Building a House with Supports

The boro sampler that I made awhile back is turning into a house — perhaps for another garden installation?

There is something satisfying in turning a rag-a-mag-tag piece into something functional, even if marginally functional.Β  A purely decorative piece based on a peasant tradition of patching holes to extend the life of a wardrobe rubbed me the wrong way… in the same way that basing a fashion trend on torn/refugee-like/distressed garments rubs me the wrong way.Β  Wearing out an article of clothing by LIVING in it seems so much more in accord with good value and good values.

The last felt house was constructed as a grouping of fabric panels first, and then the branches added, second.Β  This time, the branches are integral to the construction, creating some decisions about which way to push the edges.

“Having a spine” is a refrain, here.Β  And “building supports in”.

16 thoughts on “Building a House with Supports

  1. deemallon

    thanks Seth. the feeling of the thing is influenced by the denim having been worn by my younger son, and the black felt having been a sweater which I washed and shrank in hot water.

  2. ginny

    I love these little homes. I imagine it must feel like you are making toys, toys for the garden, when you are putting them together. They have such wonderful charm.

  3. deemallon

    thanks Carolyn and Ginny… knowing they will be ‘planted’ outside and have a life somewhat like a house (i.e. exposed to weather, with living things in and around it), does change the experience of making…

  4. Kari of Writing Up A Storm

    I very much like the way you are using sticks with the fabric, and adding the third dimension here. And you bring up an excellent point about function. I haven’t ~ yet ~ figured out how I might turn my current art into something practical. I used to always make greeting cards out of my art or use my art as illustrations for children’s stories, but I’m wanting to do something else now. Just not sure what. I like having a purpose, and I love what you said about “good value and good values.” xo Kari

  5. deemallon

    Hi Kari, thanks for looking and for your comment… I hope you don’t get too too stuck on utility b/c I see your cut outs as catalysts to a process… little powerful figures that take you (and your readers) to places that are interesting, mysterious, and transformative… isn’t that enough?

    and yes, of course, they would make lovely cards and illustrations!

    (and, how ARE you storing them/preserving them?)

    haven’t commented on your orphan post yet, because the response needs more time to formulate…

  6. Deb G

    Oh this has me thinking….what if one was made that was large enough to be a peony support? Would probably be better with a sheer for the most part, for light to go through…hmmm.

  7. deemallon

    what a fabulous idea, Deb…
    I had already started thinking about sheer fabric, b/c two part of the fern in my first installation died, and all I can think is that they didn’t get enough sun…. something BIG enough for peonies would be quite something — almost the scale of those Japanese floor lamps…

  8. Kari of Writing Up A Storm

    Thanks, Dee! You make me feel it is definitely enough! I am (alas!) not preserving anything very well. My cut-paper, cut-fabric pieces are very much on the loose in my boxroom, in folders, boxes, on the floor, and sometimes lost. I’m trying to organize them. And please don’t worry about commenting on my post about Elspeth. You already did your own post on her, and that is enough. It is too hard to know what to say. As you can see, I don’t know what to say, but felt compelled to write this post because I had intended to write it for her since last summer. I feel now that I can let go of her a little. Onward, then, through the fog!! xo Kari

  9. deemallon

    I was thinking more about the compelling status of “orphan” — understanding that it has a kind of universal appeal to children… is that because they need to explore the catastrophe of losing their parents in a safe, story setting? Or is it deeper? Perhaps this idea that we are born to certain parents, but have to find (sometimes) our real tribe, and until we do, we feel a kind of aloneness that is like being an orphan? just thinking aloud.

  10. deemallon

    Thanks, Morna…

    Robyn! Just checked your “Stitch Witchery” post (amazing collection) and saw why you might chime in on the boro house….


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