Artist Statement & recent piece for my MFA

Stitched Porcelain Button 6" diameter

My current sculptures contribute to an ongoing larger body of work I call “Self Portraits of My Mother.” They come from experiences and discussions that I have had and continue having with her. I am currently working with ideas of collection and function, where the everyday, commonplace item signifies more than just a useful object. Homemade – to homemaker, I am making my home through my actions. These actions reference my mother and grandmother reiterating a feminine history. Collections of lace, tablecloths, pillowcases, buttons are everyday objects that signify a tangible happiness, time, ownership and something special. Some patterns used to imprint the buttons I make come from lace made by my grandmother; other patterns come from an adventure where my mother and I have hunted for treasure at local thrift shops.

With this work, I look at how the outside world imprints and becomes intimate through small handmade precious objects. It is through my labor, care, and studies that I am imprinting pieces of history within handmade porcelain buttons. In a day where so much is mass-produced, I strive to keep the individual alive through small acts such as making buttons. When so much is factory-made, the genuine action of creating something by hand is unique as well as empowering.

I work with ideas of craft, collection, function, uniformity and conformity. Linear lace patterns speak of the grid, the box and systems. Uniform colors point to conformity and create groupings. The multiple buttons speak of repetition and create a sense of order. They become a collection which is not actually “collected” but created. I embrace feminism through femininity. Knitting, crocheting, tatting and embroidery are all skills with feminine overtones that are present in my work which is delicate, repetitious and domestic.

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