"I commit to this practice. I commit to this practice as a commitment to myself. I commit to this practice for the benefit of myself and my community. I commit to the skills and knowledge growing within myself and my communityq. I commit myself to this practice." - MWR Artisan's Mantra
The rhythm of my process originates from the sounds of my youth, as a young Black girl in Richmond, Virginia; making and measuring until the dawn of most days, creating by hand, works that vibrated through my soul.
For the past 10 years, I have been in-sync with the vibrations of my hands. Within my work as a footwear & accessories designer, I used this rhythm to create a network of connections with other artisans around the world. From last-makers, tanneries, developers, pattern makers, and factories, I work with a multitude of makers from Brazil to Italy. I have foraged a unique path for my artistic practices, which merge the concepts of human vibrational connection, the education of the post-modern leather artisan, and the human hand as the ultimate dexterous tool. The breath of my work consists of bespoke leather-crafting, including the making of footwear, accessories, home goods, and furniture, for which I hand-make myself. The luxurious quality of my work challenges the audience to reconnect to the humanity behind luxury craft, realize the necessity of the Black African American artisan, and the value of education in artisanship. This rhythm has given birth to a luxury artisanal process, philosophy, and artisan house, MWR Collection. I have developed this philosophy for the building of this work, its educational practices, and its archival importance in post-modern leather crafting processes made by people of color.
With leather as my medium, I have recently employed the transformation of faith and emotional healing practices as a new narrative within my work. My most recent research, as the Artist Fellow at the Museum of Art & Design in New York City, explores leather cording within the theory of essentialism in the crafting of a series of modern leather sculptures & maquettes, titled “Black is a Pause. A Moment to Breath”. The thread of essentialism in this work minimizes the adherent narrative of leather as utility and magnifies its emotional ingenuity by maintaining all ritualized leather processes as being essential to the manifestation of the work. “Black Is A Pause. A Moment to Breath” interacts within itself with the overlapping, intertwining cables of solid Black leather cording; soaked in water and molded by hand using a series of 3 knotting strategies derived from memories of crafting in my childhood.