Monster Mash

Jennifer Strunge, creator of Cotton Monster, sews up a storm in her Baltimore studio.

By Jane Marion - April 2014

Jennifer Strunge Sews Up a Storm in her Studio

Jennifer Strunge, creator of Cotton Monster, sews up a storm in her Baltimore studio.

By Jane Marion - April 2014

-Photography by Cory Donovan

House history: This space housed mill workers a long time ago. It was built in 1847.

Art room: We wanted to move here for the house, and the location, and how it felt—that’s for sure—but having a room that would be all mine for Cotton Monster was important to me.

Fiber requirement: I was a fiber major at MICA. I graduated in 2004. It all started when I sold a lot of pieces from my senior-thesis show, which was all these monsters coming out from under a bed. That was the first time I was like, ‘People will pay me for these things?’

Mother knows best: My mom taught me to quilt. I started sewing pretty early on, beginning with pillows and little quilts.

Anything goes: The way I work is pretty intuitive, and when starting a new project, I don’t plan it out. I’ll just be inspired by the fabric and by whatever ideas are floating around—there’s lots of room for improvisation.

Where the wild things are: People have bought my work online, and I’ve sent my cotton monsters all over the world from New Zealand to Bulgaria to Japan and Singapore.

Exhibitionist: I’ve had giant inflatable works and an interactive monster installation called Belly of the Beast at Artscape and an exhibit at School 33 that is up for the year.

Room with a view: I’m usually pretty excited to come up here and have tried to make the room a place I want to be—I’m surrounded by things I like to look at and that keep me motivated. I love this space.


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