Friday, July 12, 2013

Thoughts on home.

I realized during my final semester of college that the main idea behind all the work I make and the reason I am inspired to make objects is tied to the concept of home. Ever since I was little a lot of the playing, crafting, and planning I have done has been subconsciously linked to home. Before art school I knitted and sewed. I tried my hand at making some of my own clothing (nothing was very successful) and made a quilt for my bed at college. I really wanted to make hats and booties to donate to the hospital for cancer victims and preemies, but unfortunately was not disciplined enough to make that happen. But those ideas of home, nurturing and meaningful objects have always been important to me. They remind me of my Grandma and her practical, useful crafted objects. Grandma wasn't your stereotypical "let's bake cookies and read stories" kind of grandma. But she could make a simple quilt in afternoon and she made dress-up clothes, doll clothes and blankets for me and my siblings. Although my other grandma is a water-colorist I always attribute my crafty genes to my Grandma Betty. Because she was a homey person. And we both shared a wicked sweet tooth. Whenever she came to visit the house would somehow end up full of candy and baked goods. Apparently the same thing happens when I go visit my parents now.

When I was younger I was so fascinated with Laura Ingalls Wilder's story of how her family packed up their life into a covered wagon and headed out to start over new. If you had to fit all your belongings into a little wagon, what would you bring? This is something that I have thought about quite a lot when making objects. I want to make the things that would be important enough to be in the wagon.

Actually, I kind of got to experience this just a few weeks ago when I was packing for my move. Bringing all my belongings wasn't an option. So rather than be bummed about throwing away lots of things or re-homing lots of objects I tried to think of myself as Laura Ingalls Wilder...carefully paring down my belongings to start life over. All my art supplies made the cut. :) Actually, most of my belongings are art supplies, art, and my clothes. If you got rid of all my art supplies and clothes there would have been soooo much more space in that car. And after carting all my stuff out west in my covered-Toyota-Corolla-rental-wagon and setting up my space I felt quite at home surrounded by pieces that were made by family and friends. Because I think home is more than just a's about memories and relationships and history and love. I changed spaces, but bringing memories and familiar objects instantly helped my room feel more homey.

Anyway, back to the sketches. They're just another part of my home-concept art/craft. They say write what you know...well, the same applies to art and craft. Make what you know. And for the past 3-4 years I have not felt that I have had a home to really settle into and make permanent. I'm not even sure it is meant to be part of my future. But it's something that tugs at my heart and is the reason I make things. I don't want to be materialistic, but some objects are imbued with sentimentality and made with true love. And those are the objects I will pick whenever I have to load up my covered wagon (now a red Honda Civic...vroom vroom...yay for a new-to-me car! Double yay for a moon roof!) and go someplace new. Those are the objects I will do my best to make and share with others.

And that's the story behind these poorly photographed images from my sketchbook.

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