fused-random-notes-from-my-studio

Old and New Stories

Alison Sherrow

Fused~ Random notes from my studio.

Today's note:

I've never been a matchy matchy person when it comes to my home's décor. Instead, I like to mix the old with the new by curating family heirlooms and found vintage pieces with today's more clean lined furniture, colors and patterns. 

But it's not just the piece, it's the story of the piece.

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The antiques that surround me as I write this have a story, a history.  Some of their stories are lost to the past but others have histories that I know; from things that once belonged to dear friends and family members.  My grandmother's colorful quilt for instance, that as a child I crawled under at bedtime, soft and warm against the chill of the New York farmhouse in winter, now arranged over the arm of the chair I sit in.  Like confetti on snow, handstitched tiny triangles, in a myriad of patterns and colors, cut from old kitchen aprons, house dresses, and her children's outgrown clothes, are sewn together with white squares.  This quilt brings me comfort still and I am fortunate to have many treasured items from the family farm, each rich with stories and fond memories of my visits there.

Across the room are shelves of collected hardcover books with stories shared inside; inscriptions written in careful, precise penmanship cite who the books once belonged or were given to.  The farming guide, Feeds And Feeding (c.1917), displays a handwritten recipe for hog mix penciled in on the first page.  Between pages 196 & 197 The Swiss Family Robinson (c.1890) holds a pale yellow rose, it's now crumbling petals and leaves left and forgotten a long time ago by a previous owner. 
My studio space houses old, tattered books whose pages make their way into my mixed media paintings.  The covers are gone, bindings are broken, pages are missing and those that are left are often torn.  Their stories aren't as evident.  These printings I lovingly rescue and recycle in my art.  They harmonize with the contemporary design of my work; a mix of the old and the new.  New stories begin.

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Make new stories for unwanted books; this article has several creative ideas!

 

 

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