Candy Carlson – Threads of Identity


© 2018

edition of 1

dimensions in inches: 14.75 x 11.25



About this piece:

I am currently working on a large project which I call Patterns as a working title. The project addresses patterns of politics and social issues as well as aesthetic patterns and actual patterns. This piece, “Threads of Identity”, reflects how women can be trapped by society’s exceptions and imposed roles. Many females in the 50s, 60s and 70s were required to take Home Economics classes which included learning to sew, while males were taking shop classes. Using actual thread in my piece is a reminder that many females have been sewn and stitched into roles that no longer fit, like a dress pattern now dated and out of style. We must break through the threads that bind us and ask the questions of Who am I? What is my Future? How can I get there?

My method of working on the Vandercook letterpress requires lengthy press time. Unlike other letterpress printers I have worked with, I create, experiment, and formulate creative solutions during the printing process. I combine hand-carved linoleum blocks with polymer plates and type. This piece was inspired by a 1950s pattern I found in a thrift store, recalling my own memories of Home Economic classes and making dress after dress after dress. We never made pants or shorts or blouses; just dresses.

The female figure on the piece was scanned off the pattern envelope and made into a polymer plate. the two headless and limbs figures, one male, one female, are linoleum blocks I carved, based on drawings of mannequins.

The paper is cotton rag and printed with rubber-based ink on a 1950s Vandercook letterpress. The piece has 6 runs through the press.


paper, ink, thread

About the artist:

Since receiving her BA In Art from California State University in 1985, Candy Carlson has been involved in the arts both personally and professionally. From curatorial assistant, public relations, and membership manager to grant writer and development officer, Carlson has held positions in California and New Mexico. Carlson has been inspired by both the diversity and similarity of art in museum collections she has worked with over the years, and how art provides a safe forum for reimagining how life can be.

About Alicia Bailey


Candy Carlson – Threads of Identity

by Alicia Bailey time to read: 1 min