This morning I woke up with the word “mend” on my mind. What a simply beautiful word. I kept thinking about it while I actually mended a few things.
- A suede jacket I inherited from my paternal grandmother.
- My daughter’s blue jeans…not a rip in a fashionable spot.
I realized that mend somehow uniquely seems more feminine to me than its masculine cousin, repair.
Mending and sewing connects me to the ancient wisdom of mothers, daughters, sisters, grandmothers, aunts and friends. Women have been sitting together stitching, solving problems, laughing and crying in gardens, front porches, church basements, adobes, tents and huts throughout the history of the world. This is a part of all of us, even if it hasn’t necessarily been our personal experience. We mend in the way I did today, but we also mend broken hearts, bones & skin, relationships, nervous systems, false narratives and so much more.
Here’s to mending whatever is in your literal or emotional stack of damaged goods.
Go ahead, tap into that ancient wisdom.
The ladies are waiting to help you.
“I have been dyeing wool and silk with eucalyptus for a few years – the scent that results is enough to keep me going especially during our long winters. I have quite the stash of beautiful samples and experiments… some I stitch (I love using the stitch as a design element) and some have resulted in teaching aprons, hats, pants and even sweaters. For me – a sleeve or a portion of a garment can become an art object all by itself.” —Elizabeth Bunsen
When Elizabeth refers to these pieces she uses “rusted” as a verb not an adjective. I love that. She was showing me different textiles and then let me know how they were “rusted”.
We really connected about making art that is usable and environmentally friendly. Her technique is easy on the earth and she uses fabric she already has or was given. That’s how I prefer to work too.
Her work has such a unique quality that at one point when she was showing me a sweater from her mother (top photo) I felt like I should be in a back room at The Shelburne Museum with white gloves on. I really adore the archeological quality of her work and process…again an ancient pull.