Library Card Project: Vanessa Walilko

Library Card Project: Vanessa Walilko

Vanessa Walilko

Our Library Card Project series continues today with jewelry designer and wearable art maker Vanessa Walilko, whose award-winning chainmaille designs have been featured in national exhibitions and will soon debut in the Broadway production of Pippin. Here's what she had to say about her process:

What did you make?
I make chainmaille jewelry for a living, but I make wearable art pieces for fun. My pieces explore the intersection between fashion and armor.

Why did you want to participate in the library card project?
I wanted to participate in the Library Card Project because I love creative reuse and sustainable materials. I make jewelry and chainmaille clothing almost exclusively from aluminum because of how eco-friendly the material is.

How did you use your library cards?
I used the library cards to make a drum farthingale and corset. I cut the cards into strips and formed the boning on the farthingale. I also used dictionary paper to fill in some of the larger areas, with strips of cards underneath to help strengthen the piece.

Where did you get your inspiration?
Most of the time, I get inspiration from the materials themselves. When I first saw the call for artists, I was inspired to make an outmoded object out of outmoded objects. As more and more aspects of our lives go digital, paper seems like a cumbersome relic. It reminded me of the drum farthingale, which was so ridiculously proportioned that women couldn't sit down on chairs while wearing it.

What is your favorite/most read art, craft, or design book?
I spend too much time pouring over a book of Hieronymous Bosch paintings.

View more Library Card Project entries. Five Questions is a brief Q&A about books and craft, with people who love and use the American Craft Council Library.