Sunday, July 8, 2007
Better Is One's Own Path~
A couple of days ago, Netty stopped by my house with a bag of fabrics that she could no longer use. We were chatting away , each sharing projects ahead and the joy that we both share designing for Halloween.
We were looking back to our very beginnings when she asked me to draw for her. I loved it and also loved the sculpting. I have just started my journey this Spring, sculpting and casting Chalkware. I first met Netty in the Craft Dept. of a store that I had worked in for years. I didn't know who she was, but I always looked forward to seeing her and chatting with her. One particular day I was talking with her about an article that I had read in a magazine about Chalkware. I had spent time on the Internet and in the library trying to find how the process was done. It seemed to be quite a secret. I had spent a few years as a young teen apprenticing to learn how to pour ceramics and we later owned a shop for many years. I didn't mind pouring molds, but I wanted to cast things that I had made. Chalkware could give me that. Netty shared with me a few things, that the molds were made of rubber and yes, it was a very tight-lipped media, not many would pass on their secrets. Imagine the joy to be able to eventually work for Netty and sculpt for her! She has followed her path along the years and explored Chalkware and wax casting. Her love of paper remains a great love also. It is all a journey, a path that an artist will explore blending history, science and willingness to learn from others.
When I first saw Netty's dolls, that was where my heart went. I didn't know how to sew though.. a great obstacle? Even if I could sew, I'd need a pattern. That was "The Rule". I had watched my Mom sew Barbie clothes to earn extra money here and there. Many of my school clothes and summer shorts were made by my Mom. It was quite a process to lay the fabric out, pin on the patterns, cut and then follow the rules to put together something in the right order..... I REALLY loved the dolls though...enough that just maybe, I could follow what my Mom had done so painstakingly and lovingly and what I thought was ....torture.
I asked Netty about it one day.. How do you make these dolls? Is there a pattern? She laughed at me and her eyes twinkled. She told me.."draw it out on muslin and sew on the line. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't." "You'll get the hang of it." In that moment, she gave me the world. It dawned on me~ as artists we are rule breakers, we don't need patterns , we just need to understand the process. Netty has been beside me now for about 10 years. She has been my mentor and my friend. She has shared so much with me and has inspired my work greatly. Like a Mother, she has always encouraged my journey and has always had confidence that I would find my way, just fine. Just like Mom, she has always been right about that. When Netty and I do a show together, many are surprised to learn that neither one of us knows what the other has made. We load all of our work in the van and set up our things. It always works out great, like it was ment to be. We don't need to know what the other has made, we each enjoy our very own journey and love what we do. It all comes together. We also enjoy the journey of the other and appreciate the gift that each of us has. We constantly inspire each other. There are no egos, no jealousy of another's gift. We simply enjoy the gifts that each has and watch the the other's journey with smiling eyes. You don't need a license for the journey but sometimes you just need to be reminded that there are no rules. You will find your own way.
"Better is one's own path, though imperfect than the path of another well made".
This was my quote in my Senior yearbook.