If we had to sum up our favorite kind of designer in just a few brief sentences, it might read something like Alyson Fox’s biography: “I like making things from paper, found objects, thread, furniture, and plaster. I like designing things for commercial ends and designing things for no end at all. I have a degree in photography and an MFA where I focused on many mediums. I am inspired by hardware stores, building sites, empty rooms, people’s messes, stories, fabric, and quiet days.” But while we had some inkling of the Austin designer’s multidisciplinary chops — from girly-tough jewelry to patterned editions for the likes of West Elm — we weren’t aware of her artier inclinations until only recently. Those include a fantastic photo series documenting the textiles people use to cover up outdoor plant life when the weather gets cold, as well as our most recent discovery: a series of 1.5×1.5-inch plaster cubes, each one embedded with bits Fox and her husband found on the 5-acre plot where they last year built a house from scratch.
Called Treasury, the project was intended as a 50-piece artist edition in response to a brief from Rena Tom and Kelly Lynn Jones, which asked each participant to contemplate time and space. “For the last year, Time has been measured by the length of time it takes to dig a well, make a floor, and put up a wall,” recalls Fox. “So I collected fallen material from the building site that I would otherwise go in the trash. I had a treasure bag on site that I kept them all in and our contractor (a.k.a. my brother-in-law) would add to it if I wasn’t there and he found something he thought I’d like. We did some of the labor ourselves so I was there a lot getting to see this and that. There are ends of pencils, wood shavings, electrical material, rubber, packaging material, brass pieces cut from pipes, painted wood chips.” A selection of cubes is below.