Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Full Cycle

I am very happy to begin showing my new series of cuffs in my etsy shop. The back story to my crocheting is quite personal. The maternal side of my family was very old school about how "ladies" needed to have "handicraft activities." My grandma was a Slovak immigrant and landed on Ellis Island at about age 12 from Bratislava with her older sister. She continued to learn and practice that wonderful lacy crochet that was once so fashionable as doilies, bedspreads and other items for the "well dressed home." It was her "thing" and she was really good at making these intricate patterns with a tiny crochet hook and cotton thread. I have a few of her doilies in my collection of "precious things."

My mom crocheted, too, but went for big colorful afghans and worked in wool and acrylic. But her main "thing" was sewing and when I was really young, she made most of my clothes...even made matching things, like skirts, for herself as a big person and me as a tot. So cute.

I started sewing and embroidery by hand earlier than I actually remember details. I do remember it took forever to do this big embroidered sampler in cross stitch and french knots. It got framed (big wow for me then!) Then on to doll clothes and a tiny "starter sewing machine." By junior high, I was crocheting, sewing, doing anything I could think of....or any new thing my mom could think of....and making many of my own clothes. It wasn't really a "budget" was my own little "fashion statement" thing, and this insatiable drive to create things.

By the time I was in university and art school--most of those activities plus my years of studying music, etc.--all took a serious back seat to painting and sculpture. And that was all good, and all consuming, even as my work evolved and changed for many years. But here I am, contemplating another one of life's "full cycles" as I come back to finding new pleasure in things I did "back then." The medium is waxed Irish linen--a wonderful, full bodied fiber that is as tough as nails. The mixed media (glass, stones, metal) is mostly captured right on and in the fiber so can't fall off. No guide, no pattern...they just kind of come together and bloom like a flower, singular and kind of fresh.

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