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Utility Blanket and I-Block by Jim Isermann

Utility Blanket and I-Block by Jim Isermann

Artist Jim Isermann joined the Workshop to create a collection of quilted canvas Utility Blankets, inspired by his series of six  hand-sewn wall hangings from 1993. In addition, he challenged Workshop to produce a custom, modular cast stone block system he titled I-Block. At the culmination of his project, Jim made use of the test prints from the canvas blankets to cut and hand-stitch a new unique artwork, Untitled 2013.

"I came to the WR with the I-block, a project I had been unsuccessfully working on for a decade. I greatly revised the block system for this iteration and Braden did an amazing job of sourcing production. It is not easy to find a production-to-order manufacturer for a construction element. It’s either one-at-a-time fine art production or mass production, stock and storage. Through Braden’s persistence we were able to find just the right fit for the product. I have worked with textiles through out my career. After a presentation of an overview of my practice Braden came up with the idea of the utility blanket. I loved the idea immediately and as we both have dogs the inclusion of a pet scaled blanket was obvious. We learned a lot about economy of scale on this project. The first edition was printed in North Carolina, quilted in LA and cut & bound in SF. We sold out and broke even. The second edition was entirely produced in the bay area and was a commercial triumph. We are preparing to go into design and production on a third edition. Braden was equally adept juggling two projects with very different production, inventory and sales issues. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Braden. He is always in good spirits and is utterly indefatigable. Nothing is a problem; every obstacle is an opportunity for a better solution."

--Jim Isermann (excerpt from letter of recommendation)