6.17.2009

Thimbelina--Mamaw's Thimble Collection

These are some of Mamaw's thimbles. Duh. But so utterly 19th century. Sewing was Mamaw. Made our family's clothes growing up. Whipped up frothy cream and crocheted confections. An amazing cook and seamstress.

I'm sure I've told this story before. My sisters and I would dream up outfits and painstakingly color in the details. A few months later, we'd get a box with Papaw's fudge and the real life incarnations of our drawings.

Wedgewood, abalone, petit point, plain, exotic...these and the crochet needles Papaw would make for her out of pecan, cedar, or oak, some cool wood. In all size hooks. Some of her pieces are quite large--bedspreads, tablecloths, hooked with a tiny needle and web-thin string. Woven as fine as linen.

Papaw also made incidental tools for her--knives she used in the kitchen, always cutting and paring vegetables and fruits, meats. Sometimes he collaborated on a crocheted piece that became a tote bag. He carved handles, drilling holes along the bottom edge of 2 matching pieces, which Mamaw incorporated to whip up and attach the crocheted bag part. I think was silk thread--it made an exceptionally strong and flexible carryall. I accidentally left it in Sedona, with two jars of Daddy's honey inside, in 1969 or so. I still miss it. I guess it wanted to stay close to those monumental Kahlil Gibran drawings.

The sophistication and complexity of her work made her one of my first sheroes. The sheer volume of creativity completely eclipsed the fact that she had only a third or fourth grade education. I never snapped to that growing up. It was only after I reached my 30's that I began to understand the implications of how she lived on the earth. Rural Arkansas transplant to Texas@1900.

Art that has totally gob-smacked me over the years

Gibran's work, only one of the many reasons that Sedona is a spiritual touchstone.

Picasso's Guernica at the MOMA. My mom took me, and purposely didn't tell me it was there, wanting to see my reaction. It was displayed on the landing between the 1st & 2nd floors, and we were chatting as we started up the stairs. When I turned, the physical and emotional enormity was In My Face. I stood riveted to the spot for at least fifteen minutes. She said I wailed. I think I only whimpered.

Rembrandt's The Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. Immense in size and sensitivity. You can smell the canals, the testosterone, the ponderance of wealth and power. Exquisite detail in the faces--a gravitas that assures us that the gentlemen are passionate about defending the gates of the city.

The Fantastic Viennese Realists. The best exhibit I've ever seen. Bar none. Will have to do a deep search for the ones I'm thinking of.

1 comments:

Agnieszka said...

Welcome to My Thimble Collection blog at http://mythimblecollection.blogspot.com/ Greetings from Poland!