Zipper Fascination

There is something about zippers that fascinates me. I don’t sew, so it’s not the idea of clothing. In fact, it’s the idea of not clothing. I want to use zippers in journals, to connect pages, to close a journal, to make a box that zips shut.

I love the way zippers close, one tooth at a time. I love unusual zippers, like the one below that shuts by lining up rhinestones and linking them together like a connect-the-dots puzzle.

The other day, I went to SAS Fabrics–the fabric superstore warehouse on Indian School Road in Phoenix. You don’t go to SAS to enjoy luxury, you go to SAS to get inspired. If you are looking for something very specific, you might not find it. But if you are going to see what they have today, you’ll be happy.

Three-foot high boxes of bandanas in blue, yellow, red, pink and white, fabrics in colors that make your heart beat faster. . . and your eyes water. Stacked next to each other. A soft apricot with yellow highlights next to a ultra-violet so bright and shimmery it must have been made on another planet. Buttons, belts, straps with snaps in every color and material. Piles of lace, trim, braid, and bias tape. Rick-rack so big it looks like a silhouette of a mountain range.

And zippers. Boxes of them. The longest and shortest zippers I’ve ever seen. Metal and fabric, colors from faded to saturated, teeth big enough to close a dinosaur’s mouth and another one so tiny it could zip up a mouse’s lips. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my treasure, but I have enough to experiment. Because zippers also represent what’s hidden and what shows and the temptation in between.

What’s your fabric-store weakness? Variegated threads? Batik fabric? Netting? I bought two yards of sage green burlap with no idea what I’m going to do with it, but it seemed like something to own. I’m open to suggestions.

-Quinn McDonald doesn’t limit art journaling to paper. There are buttons, zippers, and papers waiting to be connected with stitching, sewing, and fusible webbing.