Cailigh MacDonald is a sculptor and designer living and working in the Boston Area. She received her BFA in 2012 from Massachusetts College of Art and Design for a double major in Sculpture and Industrial Design, and a minor in Jewelry and Metalsmithing. She graduated with Departmental Honors in Sculpture and Distinction. She uses her work as a platform to discover and explore. Her favorite things in the world and what she is most inspired by are people, problem solving, people, and the planet. She is currently an Exhibit Designer and Fabricator with New England Aquarium. She values her role as helping people connect to conservation through dynamic exhibits and exciting educational experiences. Her life-long goal is to spread joy and help humanity through creative, simple, and sometimes silly, design solutions that will both solve the problem and put a smile on someone’s face.
These web-like forms start out as crocheted yarn that are then stretched and dipped in wax. The translation from here to the final cast state is a controlled accident with each piece maintaining remnants of the process used to generate it. While the initial goal is to recreate a complete form, the incomplete or sometimes broken forms can be more engaging and keeping with the overall experimental approach.
Now that the process of crocheting has become second nature, the preparation for these forms to be cast is paramount. Experimenting for both success and new discovery in preparation for casting is the new drive for this work. These crocheted, stretched, wax-dipped, and cast forms have now become hosts for experimentation in scale, color, material, and shape.
Crochet is a building block. Both in practice and form, it stands for something different to everyone. This process practiced by both men and women, is both masculine and feminine, utilitarian and decorative, timeless and generational. The iconic imagery and symbolism of crochet starts with one single chain stitch unit and, based on how these units are added and built onto one another, the forms possible are infinite. These components of such a simple task allow crochet to be used not only as a way to create an object, but adds the possibility for many different stories to be told as well.
Stretching the form is as equally important as crocheting it. The Stretching helps to blur the lines of traditional approaches to crochet and creates a certain level of transparency. Translating the created object into alternative materials creates another opportunity for variation of what crochet is to people. These three important steps are not so different from a code for a computer program or a simple word game. They create possibility and a challenge to discover the extent of their possibilities.
In the past work where the disk or sphere shape has been used as a vessel for experimentation, the form is now being used with outside information that dictates variation in form, shape and pattern. Each individual piece has qualities that I very much appreciate, while simultaneously existing as small parts within a much larger set. I am fascinated and inspired by that which is unknown to me and, consequently, discovering these unknowns through the creation of my work.