It was in one of my Art History classes that I heard the story of how throughout Europe, you could still find broken pieces of Roman statues used as foundation stones in old farm houses. These hunks of stone were not valued for what they used to be, but were made useful by farmers, until someone else came along, hundreds of years later and recognized them not as something to build your house on, but as art, worthy of being placed in a museum.
I thought of this story as I was designing a scarf using white hankies with colorful crocheted edges. A few of the hankies also had delicate and subtle designs embroidered on the corners. The idea of sewing these hankies into a scarf made me feel like the farmer, using the head of a Roman statue as a foundation stone. I imagined someday, someone finding one of these very special hankies surrounded by the average hankies and seeing it for what it was before time and fashion made it obsolete.
Like the farmer, I’m giving this hankie a second life. A chance to survive and be appreciated beyond it’s original purpose. Most people will only keep these hankies, folded in a drawer or box in the back of the closet, for so long before they are thrown in the trash. Unlike the Farmer, I’m intentionally using the hankies to make them, not just useful but desirable and appreciated for what they are. Just as I do with the clothes and fabric I make into quilts. It’s a way to preserve ( to a certain degree) and focus on the beauty of an object without putting it behind glass. But then, that’s really the whole idea behind my work. Seeing beauty in the discarded and presenting it in a new way. A way that other people can appreciate and connect to.