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These 'Ties That Bind' Explore Life With Father

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by , 06-17-2019 at 11:19 AM (1084 Views)
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In the fall of 2017, a dozen women in New York's Catskill Mountains came together for a craft project. Many of them were New York City transplants, and most were either retired or semi-retired; they needed something to occupy their minds and hands during the long, snowy Catskills winter.

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What they found was old neckties, hundreds of them, which they cut into small hexagons to make a quilt — of sorts. The group, which dubbed itself the Catskilled Crafters, pieced the hexagons into a giant 10-foot-long tie called Big Daddy, and dozens of foot-wide hexagonal cloth "vignettes." Local sculptor and performance artist Wendy Brackman became a mentor to the group. She named their project The Ties That Bind — and all of it is now on display in the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

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Crafter Gail Freund lost her father a year and a half before the project began, and used his silk tie and a tie that belonged to one of his best friends as part of the work. A former magazine and newspaper illustrator who also spent years designing costume jewelry, Freund says "it was really comforting to do a lot of sewing and handle their stuff. It was very meditative."

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