Can I also say that geeking out on vintage linens with other like minded people has been a highlight?
One group of such textiles people is SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates). I'm a new-ish member and thanks to fellow Alaskan and art quilter Maria Shell, I was brought on board as a regional co-representative starting about a year ago. I've been to one conference in Philadelphia, where I gave a Lightning Talk/PechaKucha, and was able to meet a number of real-life members who I previously only knew from Facebook.
The reason I bring all this up is because among the 13th Boxes of Mystery are three SAQA members.
This is total coincidence.
I'm not kidding.
The emotional gatekeeper.
Kelly later shared a better story about discovering a green trunk hidden in her attic eaves.
"... (inside) were piles of unused yardages, smaller scraps leftover from a few projects, many old curtains, a few odd tapestries and quite a few hand embroideries. Most pieces had aged beyond recognition -- those unfortunately went in the garbage. But these few stayed with me, just in case I found a good creative use for them ... perhaps I was just holding them for the Inheritance Project. So here they are."
She also sent work from her grandmother and mother, both downsizing.
"...I have somehow become the emotional gatekeeper of these items and many, many, MANY others ... I have received countless boxes and bags, and have logged hours and possibly days, separating items to be dispersed to their worthy second lives: the high school theater program, the local food pantry resource center, occasionally the trash heap, and now the Inheritance Project. The psychic burden of the totality of goods has been overwhelming, but I am grateful that at least some of these pieces and their energy can find rest and rebirth."
Kelly later sent two factory produced (yet hand embroidered) tablecloth sets from China, yellowed stickers intact.
"As with many beautiful treasures, these linens were deemed too special for regular use and were put away to be saved for countless years, never serving their original purpose, now stained with age. How sad."
Diane and I last January after setting up the SAQA-Alaska regional show, "Art Cloth North," at the blue.hollomon gallery in Anchorage. I learned a lot from her and her husband, Rich, who arrived with nails, blue tape, levels, tape measurers and a plan. I also learned the importance of clearly labeling all of one's mounting bars, providing an inventory inside one's shipping box plus any special installation instructions. There were a few pieces we had to improvise with that afternoon, but Diane and Rich were so prepared it felt like a mere hiccup. All of this installation advice is probably a no-brainer, but to experience the importance was a great lesson.
Magic inside a Mystery.
For one of Carrie's sweet tutorials, click on the video below. Did I mention she's a really nice person?
The work is beautiful as is her sentiment: "I am glad they're going to a good home." And this has been a good lesson for me to consider, because while I've been hell bent on my intention to raise the awareness and value of women's work by pointing to the Unknown-Unknown-Unknown Makers, there is another value inherent in the creation of such things:
For someone, at some time, in some place -- it felt good to make them.
This is a beautiful energy that I hadn't yet placed alongside a feminist context. And of course, this is why I make things, too, and why I began 40 years ago in the first place. Thank you to JM and her mother, CF, from Chesterfield Missouri for reminding me of this.
If you've been following the Inheritance Project all this time...thank you. It's been an unexpected experience that has taught me much about myself and brought me closer to understanding the intention of the women in my own family--many of them now gone, some very recently so. I've already begun working with many of these items and will do so for the next 2 years, at least.
I believe I'm nearing the end of the call for crowdsourced materials -- I'm approaching 1 year, I'm approaching 20 posts, but don't know which will come first. If you have contacted me and I've responded with an invitation letter, plus you still feel compelled to send items -- please do. If you haven't contacted me, but feel compelled to send items, please do! I'm not going anywhere, but I am looking at how best to schedule the next 2 years.
Yo. It's tricky.