Rebecca "Beki" Black-Gliko

  • Rapid Prototype Quality Assurance - LAIKA
  • Creator - OniSan

A love of fabric runs deep in my family. As far back as I can trace on my mother’s side there are quilters and embroiderers planning vacations around how many fabric stores can be visited. Whole rooms with more variety than the local JoAnn’s have been dedicated to stashing the purchased textiles and machines worth more than my car, destined to be passed along to the next in line. I like to think that I am carrying on this tradition proudly. Though I sometimes wonder if they feel I’ve betrayed them to the dark side by focusing my efforts on wearable fiber arts. 

Sewing was more a hobby for me until I entered high school and became the resident costume department for the drama club. I found the opportunity that provided me to create more historical garments (and less yoga pants) exciting. There wasn’t an organized drama following at the art college I attended, so sewing took a back seat once again until a year after graduation when I hit my stride making puppets for my project OniSan.

OniSan is based on my study abroad experience to Japan in 2007. It brings together two of my favorite mediums - puppetry and graphic novels - as a sculpturally-illustrated sequential piece. The development of this project is what caught the eye of the stop motion animation studio, LAIKA. And in 2015 I joined the Rapid Prototype team to work on the 3D printed faces for Kubo and the Two Strings. 

What I continue to find amazing and slightly eerie is how much I rely upon not what I learned during school, but those simple things passed down from my mother and grandmother. Not just how to do a clean cross stitch or quick knot, but their wondrous sense of experimentation and preference for tactile construction. Like they somehow knew that all the odd tidbits added together would be worth more to me in finding creatively fulfilling professional/personal work than what was provided by formal education. 

So thank you Mum and Nana. I look forward to our next visit. (I’ve already mapped out two new fabric shops I know you’ll enjoy.)