Dies From Garo, displays a collection of hundreds of steel rule dies used by the Garo-Savon Die Cutting Company of Brooklyn, NY.
Die cutting is a process used in the garment industry to stamp out the fabric shapes used to produce finished clothes, bags, hats, etc.
For three years I rented studio space from Sol at Garo Die Cutters in his factory at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He had subdivided his space to offset losses in business due to the outsourcing of jobs to India and China. In June of 2006, Sol closed Garo Die Cutters and began scrapping over twenty years of dies, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. These dies were a glyphic record of many of the clothes and accessories once made in New York and represented the last vestiges of the local garment industry.
We presented almost 2 tons of these steel rule dies at the Bronx River Art Center.
The show was intended to not only exhibit the dies but to also disperse them into the community in the hopes of finding new custodians for these artifacts of a vanishing trade. Throughout the duration of the show the dies were available for free to anyone interested and after the six week run we had given away all but a few dozen.
From the exhibition Mind over Manner at the Bronx River Art Center, curated by José Ruiz, 2007.