Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old Fashioned Fourth

The anticipation I feel for the Fourth of July I owe to my father, who raised me with his zeal for early American history. Because of him I have memories of looking down on Lake Champlain from the ramparts of Fort Ticonderoga, of hiking through Saratoga battlefields, of standing on the banks of the York River, and of walking through Independence Hall in the heat of a Philadelphia summer. But as much as Independence Day is history, it's also hometown and fireworks, summertime and night skies. It's red, white and blue bunting over the front porch, crickets in the back field.

For the July/August issue of Victoria magazine I took cues from these influences. My favorite projects to make and photograph were the vintage berry basket favors (with tags to download and print here), and mix and match cocktail napkins sewn from ticking, plain cottons and reproduction feedsack. Timeworn and country simple.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Slide Projector: L'Aube

Two weeks ago my last set of exams came to an end, and the following weekend I graduated from UCLA. It is somewhat bittersweet to leave behind the lecture hall, admittedly a place that was sometimes a duty rather than a desire. But watching the lights on that world dim as it moves into the past, I can only feel grateful. Grateful for what I've come to know of empires and masterpieces, grateful most of all, for what I've seen. I started the Slide Projector Series as a way to catalog paintings I encountered in school, and while I have a list of those yet to be shared I hope to continue it beyond. L'Aube (At Dawn) (see detail) was only shown in class briefly, supporting a lecture on the 19th century city and social class. In it, grandeur fades to ruin in the growing dawn and the wretchedness of poverty and excess is somehow made beautiful.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Doilies & Notions

I wanted to post a photo from my article in the May/June issue of Victoria which has been out for a while now. The series of four projects for this were a tribute to my mother, grandmothers, and the things they made in their sewing rooms. It seems crochet hooks, embroidery hoops, calico and colored thread are the trifles that stitch together generations.

From the article: "As a girl, I followed my mother down aisles lined with bolts of fabric and listened to the calm clatter of her sewing machine in the evenings. I cross-stitched alongside my grandmother, who would unfold her intricate needlework each time she visited. And I remember standing patiently still, early one summer, while Nana pinned the hem of a calico sundress. It was red and white with the tiniest loops of crocheted trim edging the neckline...."