A Neatly Pressed Life 56"h x 19"w . The story of my mother's life, from her earliest photo on a child's woolen cuff (on the left), up to her wedding photo on the lacey collar, through her aproned adulthood, down the sleeve of her old age. All the pictures are from her photo album, but most of the clothing was gathered at garage sales. And yes, that's the same hanging-laundry photo that you saw on another piece.
I did several pieces constructed on old ironing board covers. This began, years ago, when I found an old wooden ironing board at a garage sale. When I got it home, I took off the cover (meaning to throw it away - at that time, I only wanted the board) and found another cover. And another. Many were water-stained with lovely patterns. I kept going, all the way down to the original (disgustingly gritty) layer. Apparently, each time one cover wore out or got dirty, the owner just put another one on top of it. And I had all those layers...
The Paleontology of an Ironing Board 53"h x 15"w (2006) I washed everything. I added some crochet, and netting to hold crumbling layers in place. The blue rectangle near the center is an old cloth label found on one of the layers.
At another garage sale, I was delighted to find a bag with several gold-colored ironing board covers (A Neatly Pressed Life is constructed on one of them).
Archaeological Dig: Domestic Site 55"h x 16"w With the grids for a proper dig marked out in thread, this one shows the artifacts buried underneath. At many of the sections, the top layer has been rolled back, forming a little bump at top and bottom.
The bottom of each section has a photo printed on cloth, with actual objects sewn over it.
At some point, I asked my friends to send me any of their ironing board covers that were getting old...I do get some really interesting packages in the mail. Here's a washed selection hanging out on my clothesline:
I made several more of these, some good, some not, but I want you to take a look at this one (the fun is in the detail pictures which follow):
Forgotten Connections .... about the same size as the others
Now, not long ago, I posted information about Sheila-na-gig, and ancient goddess figures, remember? this stuff :
In Forgotten Connections, I combined my old family photos (many of people I don't know at all) with these ancient images.
Here we have a photo of my grandmother's sister ...as a Sheila-na-gig. The woman, 2 little horses and big flower are all from that Hungarian embroidery which I photographed at the London Museum. Best of all is the picture of the family (man with gun, woman, 2 kids) in front of their thatched hut - my ancestors! Yes, the little girl is (I'm told) my grandmother.
An unknown relative personifying an embroidered goddess.
A Virgin Mary on a Russian triptych, overlaid with the snake goddess and 2 embroidered birds.
The seated old lady has been overtaken by an embroidered bird.
Over the years, I have come to appreciate just how close history lurks behind me . My mother (born in 1921) talked about seeing very old soldiers from the Civil War still marching in the Veteran's Day parades of her childhood. Finding the Middle Ages (in the form of scapulars) in my mother's drawers just solidified my understanding. My son has launched himself into the Information Age, but I am a last dangling thread on the fabric of the past.
And that's enough on the past, for now.