Thursday, May 5, 2011

I Was Framed! - Craft's "True" Intention?

I like to make things that have a look of antiquity about them. In my mind, if a thing already looks like it has lasted the pass of time, then maybe it will be valued more for its supposed longevity and showed closer continued care. I'm sure I could come up with some blatant exceptions to this hypothesis: the extinction of the VHS, ageism, press board furniture. Still, I think there's a reason for the resurgence of homemade (or homey-looking) things in recent culture. DYI crafts are things made with meaning rather than Ikea-assemble-it yourself-junk, or purchased off the shelf. The "old-fashioned" quality that appeals so much to our generation is the time and feeling put into the craft.

Maybe, it also has something to do with the impermanence of the era in which we live. Most of our photo albums are online, you can't shuffle through those memories in your hands. One crash of an email provider, and 10 years of correspondence is gone- like it never existed. In a world where so much is available at our fingertips in a second, there is very little that we actually touch and keep forever.

I must admit that there's a selfish desire for immortality in my creations as well. I know I may grow apart from even my dearest friends from my 20's. But if I pore over hundreds of stitches in a personalized embroidery now, it may be harder for my loved ones to forget me later. With my gift staring them down from its perch in their reading nook, I have a greater chance of friend retention. "Think of Sarah," the stitches call, "She sure was great, huh? You should give her a call sometime." Now you know the real root of it. I don't really give presents, I just make preemptive friendship investments. It's purely selfish.

I chose the frame for Amy and Scott's wedding sampler from a collection of antique frames stashed under a spare bed in my parents home. I had hoped for a little more gild and a little less arts-n-crafts but I think it worked out. The greatest charm of it was my discovery of the frame's previous occupant: Meet Claudette Colbert, the 1930's starlet of "It Happened One Night", screwball comedy actress, and Kennedy Center Honor Recipient. This picture depicts her as pretty fair, but she actually looks a little more like the bride in her other portraits. Fate, perhaps?

I hope you know me well enough to know I'm not really a big, conceited jerk. If you don't, well, be forewarned.

1 comment:

  1. I just found a beer coozie of yours that I bought from the little Beloit gallery. I've been keeping it in my blazer pocket and using it at every chance and thinking of you every time.


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