Paula Sweet

In the decade of 1970 I found my currency to be imagination and ingenuity.

Beginning life on my own, just out of college, I made dust into diamonds, from a coat for a hot date, which became The Muslin Mink, to reversible dishes that could be used twice and washed once. I used the most common, natural and honest materials to create luxurious clothing, home goods and artwork. I made sculpture and dishes out of clay. I made paintings, rugs, lamps, shoes, walls and sculptures out of newspaper. The most basic form of cotton known as muslin was used to fashion paintings, bed covers, pillows, dresses, coats and fabric by the yard. With help from my friends, I turned a factory into a studio and a storage yard into a garden. The beach was my desk. I walked until a solution was found, then returned. Freedom was mine. I had only to pay the rent and eat. When times got tough, I would treat myself to a cappuccino. Practicality, Beauty and Discovery motivated me. My interest in combining and layering of disparate things began. I began watching things at rest and having an unusual mix of guests to dinner. I used symbols or icons and vivid color in a time when minimalism, Shades of Grey and amorphous shapes were everywhere. I saw a lawyer and got my first patent on the muslin mink coat, a washable cotton fur. At that time a mink coat or stole was a symbol of high living. I referred to it as the depression mink because the country was in a recession and I felt everyone should be able to own a "mink."