In light of Valentines Day, I decided to interview a designer that makes lingerie out of metals. Whaaaat? Yes, Ingrid Goldbloom Bloch makes art out of a variety of materials, either found in hardware stores or on the street. Given that most of her work is either upcycled or recyclable, I had to find out more! So although one might argue her line of lingerie is made out of trash, it isn’t so trashy after all.

LC: So re-purposing metals is the name of your game ehh? Where do you initially get your ideas from? Do you usually have something in mind or does rummaging through bins at hardware stores serve to be your jump-off point for inspiration?

IBG: Both actually.  Many times I am just strolling along in a hardware store looking at all the bits and pieces and I think to myself what else it could be used for or what else it looks like.  Other times, I have a specific purpose in mind.  For example, when I was making my “Trashy Lingerie” Series, I wanted to find something that looked like elastic for the underpants and I found aluminum dryer vents with a rippled edge. For the Garter belt I wanted something that looked similar to the way a garter fastened and I used washing machine hose clamps. Sometimes, I am just walking down the street and a piece of trash inspires a piece.

LC: Most ‘intimate’ wearables are traditionally thought of pieces made from soft and fragile cloth. I’m loving the fact that you use hard and durable materials. Your corsets and lingerie don’t look like they’d make me say ‘ouch!’ at every twist and turn. Is this true? Are these wonderful pieces of art actually wearable and can I do cartwheels in them?

IGB: These are meant to be sculpture.  I am often asked if they are wearable and have been misquoted as saying they are comfortable to wear but they are a conversation piece only. They would hurt to wear.

LC: Are your pieces for purchase and do you do custom orders?

IGB: Yes.  I have sold all of the pieces to Museums and Collectors.  I recently sold 10 pieces to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Museums.  I am happy to do custom orders.

LC: What percentage of your work is recyclable? How much non-recyclable trash only waste do your produce in your workshop? Any advice for artists interested in being as environmentally awesome as you?

IGB: I eat a lot so not all of the packaging is recyclable!  But on a serious note, when I look around my studio I am currently working with rocks, business cards, aluminum cans, plastic gift cards, and found objects from recent walks.  Much of what I use as the main material is from something that if not recycled is upcycled in some way.  I love using simple “found” materials as besides being plentiful and beautiful they are really cheap and so you don’t have to feel as precious about making mistakes or “wasting” material.  Any material you use is actually helping.

My best advice for artists is to go for a walk, bring a bag, pick up trash on the way and let your mind wander.  A color, shape, material might inspire something new and you will have cleaned up an area along the way so you will have had a productive day!

LC: I like the sound of that. What’s next?

IGB: I am experimenting with a quilt series made out of unexpected objects and I am also working on a series using recycled business cards. (There are so many of these laying around!)

Thanks Ingrid! I think both Lady Gaga and I look forward to seeing your new creations!