These artifacts are special to me because they are from Globe Dye Works located in the Frankford section of Philadelphia. A former yarn-dying factory, Globe Dye has been transformed into a community of artists, artisans, and fabricators.
In 2009, I co-curated and co-organized the first of several Philly Works exhibits with Andrew Dahlgren, Will McHale, Katie Winkler and Leah Grubb. The exhibits showcased creative design work being made in our city and series of photographs from the amazing spaces that supported that work. Part of the thrill of working on the photographic portion of the exhibit was being able to visit these buildings and meet the people who support them, are working in them or that had worked there. When given a tour of the entire facility before if was completely cleaned out, it was fascinating to see portions of the equipment in some spaces and to come across the dye thread sample cards and all the stunning spools of thread. Although the physical space had not been uninhabited by the dye facility for very long, it felt like a completely different world and time. To find artifacts with handwriting and such careful care given to its sorting and organization was touching. To me, these items are gems of a past life and industrial time in Philadelphia but also the necessary groundwork for the prolific creative scene that is currently thriving in our city.
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