From Chemistry to Costumes

Finding a common thread in science and art

Finding a common thread in science and art

After earning a degree in biochemistry as an undergraduate from Berry College, graduate student Jane Reichard is pursuing her passion for costume production at Carolina, where she has been bringing a scientific eye to costume creation.

Reichard opened her eyes to costume creation when her work-study assignment at Berry College placed her not before a microscope, but in front of a bobbing needle of a Pfaff home sewing machine in the theatre department, she surprised herself by being a quick study. She’d known how to mend a button – but that was it.

“As I learned to sew, the projects they let me help with became more and more complex, and I had a knack for it that I never knew. If you think of the costume designer as an architect, the costume producer is the engineer,” she said. “I was that engineer.”

In learning to work the material and designs she was given into part of the magic that others would see on a stage, she found herself considering the common threads in art and science, and how one influences the other.

“Chemistry teaches you how different elements can work together – that helps you see sewing differently.”


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