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coffelt: order from chaos/chaos from order

The current issue of FiberArts magazine (January/February 2009) includes an article about Jon Coffelt’s Memory Clothing that tugged at my grieving heart. Coffelt, an abstract painter and clothing designer, began making the miniature replica garments from full sized clothing in 1993 when his partner’s favorite shirt was badly stained.

He couldn’t bear to throw it out, and instead cut pieces from the shirt and recreated it in miniature. That initial shirt has spun into a much larger project and now Coffelt creates miniature clothing for others – each garment hand sewn from articles of clothing that hold special meaning for his customers.

From the article:

I have made well over 350 miniatures from other people’s special garments – a long outgrown Girl Scout uniform, a lucky golf shirt, and the beloved clothes of spouses, partners and siblings.

From his artist statement:

My work involves the idea of chaos from order and order from chaos through historical and personal context.

The article features a pictorial step by step that shows how Coffelt creates a miniature.  The concept is compelling, the artist’s sensitivity uplifting and the garments – as beautifully detailed as the memories themselves.

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4 Responses to coffelt: order from chaos/chaos from order

  1. What a lovely and novel tool for reserving memories. I think a gift made from a shirt that was worn on a first date or worn when making the marriage proposal would make a great thoughtful anniversary present.

  2. Thank you so much for including my Miniature Clothing Project here. I also appreciate your kind words.

    I want to invite people who may be interested to commission me to do a miniature of a personal garment for them.

    My next exhibition with my miniatures is in Minneapolis at Susan Hensel Gallery. http://susanhenselgallery.blogspot.com/2008/10/planning-ahead.html The exhibition will include 100 individually hand-sewn pieces.

    Again thank you,


  3. This is fantastic! I have saved clothing items of my children, to shadow box with their small toys and photos. And I have reused the fabric from favorite clothing as trim or a small pillow and the such. But this is a great idea, I’m a fan of Coffelt!

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