Order, purity and routine are respectable ways in which to guide one’s life and ambitions. While they provide structure and focus, they are seemingly unattainable in today’s hectic times. The concept of tediously and patiently rolling and coaxing cloth into smooth submission for aesthetic reasons, which likely relates to larger ideologies, is quite interesting. However, in today’s world, with mechanization and new sociopolitical concerns, the traditional manual mangle board is largely rendered obsolete. Rather, mangle boards can and should be celebrated for their aesthetic appeal, including shape, ornamentation, and iconography versus the “aesthetic” it was intended to impart on a piece of fabric.
It is the combination of historical inspiration and contemporary irrelevance that informed my interpretation of the mangle board, entitled Snaggletooth. Raymond’s stunning book, Mangle Boards of Northern Europe, includes spectacular boards from all over Scandinavia but the boards that struck me most were from Finland, which is from where my primary inspiration originates. Snaggletooth’s jagged arcing bottom is seen in some Finnish mangle boards, which I presume are designed to more aggressively align the maligned fibers. Snaggletooth however possesses an additional jagged element, which is much like a misplaced tooth. This purposeful placement of the jutting form subverts the object for which the sole intent is to impart beauty, order and refinement. This is further amplified by its corresponding pin, which possesses a pointed protrusion which would surely result in a less than seamless and ordered product.