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JD Green’s Textile Transformations

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RECOMMENDED AGE LEVEL

Recommended for ages 8 and up with adult supervision.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Joseph “JD” Green joins MCD@Home from Creativity Explored (CE). A versatile artist, he engages in printmaking, painting, ceramics, and drawing, and sees art-making as an “opportunity to relax, explore his own imagination, and engage others in conversation about what he is creating.” Collaborating with Yanni Brumfield, JD painted a portrait of Breonna Taylor on a jean jacket on display in Mode Brut to send “…the message that we are still here and that a lot of Black Americans still face the struggle of police brutality.”

Green’s bleach dying practice is yet another facet of his textile work featured in Mode Brut. Co-authoring this MCD@Home project, JD invites crafters to enjoy the process and marvel at the transformation textiles undergo.

Creativity Explored and Creative Growth are nonprofit organizations founded by artist Florence Katz and psychologist Elias Katz that provide developmentally disabled artists the human right of creative expression. A collaborative effort helmed by both organizations, the MCD@Home projects celebrate their long-held history together, highlighting various art practices by prominent Creativity Explored and Creative Growth artists.

MATERIALS

Bleach 

Black or dark-colored item of clothing

Spray bottle 

Rubber bands Protective gloves for working with bleach

Tray (optional)

Sink access

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Get a black or dark-colored item of clothing.
  • Fill a spray bottle with bleach.
  • Tie up or twist your item of clothing, using rubber bands to keep it in place.
  • Place the clothing item on the tray.
  • In tray, spray your item of clothing with bleach in whatever quantity is desired.
  • Wait at least 5 minutes for clothing to fully bleach. 
  • Place the tray in the sink. Remove rubber bands from the item of clothing. 
  • Thoroughly rinse the item of clothing 
  • Let your item air dry and then throw it in the washer by itself to avoid bleaching other clothes.

RELATED RESOURCES

  • Promise, Witness, Remembrance formerly on display at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky reflects on the life of Breonna Taylor, her killing in 2020, and the ensuing protests across the nation and around the world. 
  • Learn more about JD Green and fellow CE Artist Gerald Wiggins in CE’s Art Changes Lives 2017 video. Both Green and Wiggins worked with Brumfield as part of Mode Brut.
  • Read more about JD Green’s experience creating for Mode Brut:
    • MCD: If you could teach people how you make your art, what would you like to show them?
      • Green: If it’s about Mode Brut and fashion, something I like to do is bleaching. It is kind of like tie dye but you use bleach on darker clothes. So I can show you that. 
    • MCD: Where do you find inspiration? 
      • Green: I came up with the ideas with Yanni so we talked on instagram about the ideas and on zoom. We decided to do Breonna Taylor to have the message that we are still here and that a lot of Black Americans still face the struggle of police brutality.
    • MCD: What is your favorite material to work with? Why?
      • Green: Painting and drawing are my favorite. I liked painting on clothing because I think it shows an urban hip-hop style. I like to bleach, too. 
    • MCD: How do you make art and come up with your ideas?
      • Green: We talk about what is going on, like what is going on in politics, and find references from the internet and my imagination. Then I think of the materials I want to use. My main thing is to paint and draw.
    • MCD: What part of making art for Mode Brut have you liked the most?
      • Green: Painting on clothing and making the Breonna Taylor Leather Jacket were my favorite parts. 
    • MCD: What has been the hardest part about making art for Mode Brut?
      • Green: I think none to be honest. Nothing really. Ya, nothing really. They gave me jackets, pants, and shorts and gave me freedom. I got the freedom to do what I wanted to do.

Experiment with different Shibori patterns with bleach tie-dying. Check out Craftivity Design’s guide to Shibori techniques!

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