Stash bags are built in a studio space within an old mattress factory from the turn of the century. The factory sprang up in a hotbed of local cotton and the inventor and original factory-owner created technology that would separate lumpy, seed-ridden cotton into clean smooth fibers, replacing the corn husk, willow branch, and horse hair mattresses of the day.
My grandparents purchased the factory in the mid-50s and continued operation of original equipment from 1909 until 1976. They expanded their operation to include a custom upholstery and drapery enterprise which served the greater Gulf coast well into the 1980s.
Working in the shadows of industrial ingenuity and local sourcing since January 2011, every day reveals another layer to this building and its inhabitants. Technology developed as early as the late 1800s is preserved in such a state that we could flip a switch and the machines would once again roar to life.
In 2011, the original local-cut Cypress floors and walls and ceilings provided a great acoustical backdrop for several shows hosted by the Stash family. Will Johnson, Sarah Jaffe, and Ryan Holweger all played the space last year to an intimate audience of insiders.
"The factory has been preserved and nurtured to an extent to where I suspect it looks much the same as it might have a hundred years ago. It's a glimpse into an America that once was; a sacred fortress cherished by its owners, built with great care, and rich with soul. It's one of my favorite places to play music."- Will Johnson
2012 is turning out to be the year of the artist at the factory. Weekly, calls and emails are coming in from like-minded artists who seek to collaborate within the factory space. So far we've hosted metal artist Maurice Connolly (San Jose), book-maker Susanne Weihl (San Francisco) and super-sonic sound genius J. Raphael Klein (Houston), and the very creative crew from The Pinpoint Method.