Hannah Brancato is a triple threat. She’s an artist, designer, and philanthropist.
Her inner artist and designer shines through making jewelry and scarves that are stored with deep stories.
“I like the idea of using consumerism to spread information rather than just taste or aesthetics,” Brancato said. “Its important for people to buy things that are made locally because when you can see the person who made your clothing, you has a different sense of its value.”
I had to ask the MICA alumni, Brancato about her art, scarves and jewelry.
One of my fave art pieces from you is called FAKES. What were you inspired by when creating those pieces?
FAKES is about beauty standards and the fine line between grotesque and gorgeous. The piece, for me, was about creating a wearable item that was both repulsive and alluring. That jewelry led me to the collaborative “Get It Off Your Chest, Pluck It From Her Breast” project.
What other things do you create besides jewelry?
I make the scarves and shirts in my home. You can purchase them on my Etsy shop.
One of the things are yellow shirts from an outdoor installation I did for the Transmodern Festival several years ago. The curtains sat on my shelf for a few months before I decided to make tank tops out of them.
I make yards of fabric periodically. The process is really organic and you can never really predict how it will come out. I’ve definitely made some ugly ones. But, usually when I wrap the fabric up again and put it in another dye bath, the problem is fixed.
Where did you learn how to hand dye shirts and scarves?
I learned how to dye from Piper Shepard, a Baltimore based artist who teaches at MICA in the Fiber Department. The first bunch of stuff that I dyed was for my undergraduate thesis project, a fabric booth called Hotel Home. I made lots of samples at the time that I didn’t like because they weren’t as precise as I needed for the project. Later, I used those samples to make my first scarves.
P.S. Check out Hannah Brancato’s interviewing artists on a blog I love and visit often, Baltimore By Hand. The House Of Ruth (Advocate Through Art) is on display at the Enoch Pratt Downtown Library now until October 31.