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Introducing WIP Erin Rouse

Erin Rouse is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and children. She has been making brooms since 2016. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, Verdana, Remodelista, Domino and others. In addition to making brooms, Erin is a natural dyer, sewer, weaver and craft enthusiast.

"I am captivated by objects of the historical domestic space – brooms, linens, handmade pots, naive sculpture and the like. I make things which are easy to understand on a material level even if their construction is a little bit magical. Most of my work teeters between art and craft. Drawing from historical sources, I re-create and re-interpret established forms. I strive to make things that are emotionally enigmatic: familiar yet exquisite; repetitive yet anti-mechanical and idiosyncratic.

My work is concerned with monotony, play, mischief and optimism. It is heavily researched and rooted in historical methods of construction. For the past 8 years I have been making Shaker style brooms on a foot powered machine from the 1890s. At times these brooms are pure craft (the Platonic ideal of a Shaker Broom) and at times sculpture (a broom that makes the sweeper dirtier as they labor).

This body of work for WIP will be informed by the English traditions of harvest trophies. Harvest trophies date from at least the 1500s. They represent the end of the growing season and the wish to pacify the agricultural spirits in hopes of a good crop next year. I am imagining reveling farmers, trickster gods, and the fibers that connect them."

During her WIP residency Erin will host a workshop titled Handmade Turkey Wing Brooms, where participants will learn how to make the classic American Turkey Wing hand broom. Part household essential, part woven sculpture, brooms have a rich history and are fun to make. No experience necessary. Stay tuned for more details.



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