Staple draping is not really about sewing. It’s not about making a dress or a slipcover or an inflatable dinosaur, though it 's a great tool for making these things. The process is more like sculpture and architecture and body work and engineering. This is basic problem solving. It’s about recognizing the underlying shapes in our world, and learning how to make them.
It’s all about figuring out shapes and patterns. And this is a valuable skill. Breaking down problems into simple shapes, finding the underlying patterns and coming up with workable next steps is a skill, not a talent. This skill has found me a lot of work and made it possible for me to create unique works of my own. It’s a powerful tool for making your way in the world.
This skill can save you money and resources, and it can make you money. It all depends on how you use it. Most importantly, it helps you to learn to problem-solve. Being a problem-solver makes you valuable, whatever those problems are. Maybe you’ll never make a piece of clothing or upholster anything. That doesn’t matter. Learning how to break stuff down to its basic principles and figuring out underlying patterns and shapes applies to so much more than sewing. It may sound esoteric, but it’s really a practical and powerful life skill.
And it’s a whole lot cheaper than going to a trade school. You can learn it at home.
All the stuff we see around us and work with and eat and wear and play with is made up of basic shapes and patterns. Basic shapes make up people and animals and traffic patterns and schools of thought. And because of this, it’s possible to learn about them.
If you can break down a shirt, a piece of machinery, a soufflé, an idea or an astronomical orbit into its component parts, you can start to understand these things. You can learn about how they work, how they might go back together and maybe how to create your own version of them.
This is miraculous to me. It’s a never ending source of wonder and curiosity and delight. There are no limits to what we can do!
Staple Draping by A.Laura Brody is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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A. Laura Brody
I re*make mobility devices and materials and give them new lives. Sometimes I staple drape.