2018 - 2019

COMFORT PROTECTION both and neither


Articles worn on the body fulfill specific intentions and desires in the wearer and, in a practical sense, we dress in gear deemed functional or appropriate for the occasion. Check the weather before leaving the house. What might be needed today? A coat? An umbrella? These objects will offer protection from whatever elements one may encounter. Additionally, these objects provide a feeling of comfort: warmth, weight, a tactile sensation of a fabric’s weaving upon the skin.

Katie Reulbach incorporates the related roles of comfort and protection in what is worn on the body into her studio jewelry. Reulbach’s grandmother taught her how to knit, but now she works with a variety of high-to-low end machines to digitally manipulate various qualities of plastic to create her striking works. Truth to materials is significant to Reulbach, who does not remove the stepping (markings) often visible on the individual plastic links. Each piece has an intentional element of hand-fabrication, an example of how Reulbach integrates her notion of comfort into her practice. Within a piece, she wishes to visually combine, rather than separate both the mechanical and hand-made aspects – to present the comforting and protective qualities of both modes of production. Through naming her pieces after medieval attire, Reulbach invokes the power and functionality of objects worn on the body to protect the wearer from harm, intending to bestow that ability upon those who wear her art.

Mark Claes
M.A. Candidate, Art History, Tyler School of Art


February 27 - March 2, 2019
Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA