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GILLION CARRARA

the Maker + the Work

My work explores the relationship between materials, design, and function.

As an artisan my interest in solitary work entails the pursuit of natural and industrial elements, which I form into ornamental and functional accessories. The components are integral to communicating my design ideas. Often I appropriate materials that evoke specific responses based on cultural and psychological associations: bone, horn, shell, antler, and various woods and briar root, combined with metal. I select materials from sources in Italy, Africa, South America and India as well as the Western and Midwestern states.

Singular hand-crafted pieces include silver-lined wooden cuffs, wood and bone rings, silver earrings, necklaces, blush brushes, letter openers, marmalade and cheese spreaders, and men’s accessories.

As new materials and stimuli from my surroundings challenge and inspire me, I find new directions to investigate as my artistic interests evolve.

My work integrates streamlined, minimal design with honest attention to refined details of craftsmanship and a profound respect for the materials I use. What drives my designs are the pure forms of architecture and nature that have always absorbed my attention.




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A selection of lecture titles; additional titles and topics on request.
  • Seamless; Fashion + Exhibition
  • The Poverty of Beauty; Japanese + Belgian Designers
  • Modern Radicals; Cardin, Courreges, Quant + Gernreich
  • New Beauty and Functionality; American Designers
  • Man Ray; Maximum Exposure
  • Re-Educating Materials; Extreme Design Today
  • Material Tracings; Vionnet + James
  • Fiercely Independent; Clothes Closets in an Art School
  • Simply Halston
  • Fashion Passes and Style Remains; Gabrielle Chanel
  • How Many People Does It Take To Make A Dress?;
  • That Roman Artist + The Little Black Bull; Schiaparelli + Chanel
  • Presence of The Past
  • Dior; Volume Control
  • The Beauty of Fearlessness; Vivienne Westwood + Revivalism
  • Mariano Fortuny/Sonia Delaunay; The Pervasive Life of Cloth
  • Seeing Things, Making Things; The Japanese Designers
  • Couture Toujours!
  • Art of the Fashion Sketch
  • Shock is Always in Style
  • A Dress Is No Longer A Flat Closed Thing
  • Modern Radicals; Theories and Concepts of Designers in the 1960s
  • Soundsuits; Nick Cave in Dance
  • On Collecting; The Fashion Resource Center, SAIC
  • Yves Saint Laurent; Glorious Excess
  • Scattered Remnants In The Present; Gary Graham + J. Morgan Puett