The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Jeremy Chase Sanders

Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Jeremy Chase Sanders is a textile artist from San Francisco, California.

He is a synaesthetic weaver who uses his gift to embed codes and messages into the fabrics that he creates. It’s a fascinating concept and I was keen to contact Jeremy to find out more.

“Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon that causes sense-pairing in the brain. The type of synaesthesia I experience causes me to see a particular color associated with every number and letter of the alphabet (ie ‘2’ is red, ‘E’ is green). I dye threads to match the colors I see in language and weave cloth with coded text.

“I use this process to elucidate the subtle dialogues at work just beneath the surface of the fabrics we use to clothe our bodies and the spaces we inhabit. By imbuing cloth with coded meaning and fashioning it into particular patterns and forms, I examine the words we share and the intricate political hierarchies at play within our language.

“Furthermore, by hand making cloth in a meticulous traditional method I encourage my viewers to question the source of this seemingly ubiquitous material, and the socio-economic issues behind its production.

Jeremy is gay and much of his work explores various aspects of homosexuality. His project “Fabricating Masculinity: Queer Plaids” consists of five hand dyed hand woven fabrics based on designs from significant stages in the history of Scottish Tartan. Each cloth also contains a coded slang word that has been applied to gay men, and Jeremy’s unique coding system is applied to create the pattern in the fabric.

I have an increasing interest in weaving. It is one of the most freeing of crafts; if you have a sheep and you know how to spin and weave you less reliant on “the man”. However, the traditional weaving outputs, as good as they are, lack the extra spark that excites and makes me want to try the craft for myself. Jeremy’s work has that spark.

The idea of embedding hidden messages always appeals to me and Jeremy uses his synaesthesia to terrific effect, commenting on society and sexual preconceptions in a language that is truly unique. I am genuinely fascinated to see where Jeremy takes this work.

You can find out more about Jeremy on his Facebook page. It’s quite remarkable.