Ann Morton: Assembly Process

Posted September 15, 2015 in Blog

Now the long awaited assembly has begun for the What Happened Today? exhibition textiles, we thought we’d share a few photos of the assembly process for you to see.

There are two kinds of textiles that will be formed from the amazing contributions from the citizens of Houston – a delicate, quilt-like textile using the thousand-plus 3″ x 3″ notes submitted over the last six months; and a thick, tufted rug-like textile made from the woven newspaper modules that groups and individuals have spent so much time making during the course of this project. Even at this point, the end product is still formulating, as we await the final collection and count of all the elements that have amassed since February.

The basic decisions have been made as to the assembly methods for these components. The notes are being transformed into a 6-foot-wide cloth – the length promises to reach nearly 13 feet. Each piece is carefully sewn to a sheer silk organza strip to give the overall textile strength.

The newspaper rug modules are tightly stitched together on the back grid, first using 16 modules to create a square foot of rug material, then in turn, those are put together to form larger portions of the overall rug.

It is tedious and time-consuming work, but so enjoyable, because I get to read each and every note as I carefully place it in order and sew it in place. And as I work on assembling the rug modules, I imagine the dedicated hands that finished it – each module taking between 3 – 4 hours to complete.

I am so grateful to everyone that played a part in this project. It is only happening today because of the hard work and participation of Houston’s citizens. Be sure to mark your calendars for the opening of What Happened Today? on September 18, 2015, and running through January 3, 2016. Hunt for your own contribution, and be amazed when you see all the individual pieces that have come together to make this exhibit.

 – Ann Morton / @AnnMortonAZ / #WH2Day

Morton-What happened today 4

Each 3″ x 3″ note is carefully placed in order, then sewn through back onto a sheer silk organza strip to stabilize the overall textile and give it strength for exhibiting.

Morton-What happened today 3

The resulting textile offers the visual texture of each person’s handwriting and message.

Morton-Rug back 1

Each module made by a Houston citizen is painstakingly connected through the back grid.

sewing the divide_HR

One after the other, each module becomes an essential part to make up the overall newspaper rug textile.

Morton-Rug overall 2

When put together, one module blends into the next to create a rich textural carpet of newspaper “yarns”.