I’ve been working on this body of work, the Our Ladies, as we call them around here, since 2011. The first one I made was Our Lady of Perpetual Dishes, she’s on the lower right in the picture. Well, here’s what I’ve written about them:
These sculptures began years and years ago, with a book on folk art that I got at the library. Big book with lots of pictures from all over the world. I’ve gone back and looked for that book, because it made such an impression on me, but I can’t find it.
One of the pictures in the book was of a front yard grotto, a shrine to the Virgin Mary, with an actual bathtub, up-ended and partly buried in the ground, as her niche.
I just loved that and started buying dolly bath tubs and silver leafing them. It’s harder than you think to find doll bathtubs that are just right. I like the claw foot tubs best.
I knew I wanted to make some sort of miniature grotto, but I don’t know that I knew what about yet, so the bathtubs sat in a drawer in my studio for a while.
Then, there was this period of time when my husband had a three hour commute—each way. Each way. For two years. More of the dishes and laundry fell to me than ever had before.
So I made Our Lady of Perpetual Dishes, which is my sincere plea for help. It’s a true expression of how overwhelmed I felt by all the dishes.
People smile when they see these sculptures, which I love, and they are intended to make you smile, but know that they arose from this sincere expression of how I felt.
Friends told me, you have to make one about homework! about cooking! At first I resisted, but finally I gave in and now there’s a whole series of seven. Here’s homework:
They’re on exhibit now with the Chicago Public Library’s West Englewood Branch. The library did an interview with me, you can read that here.
Everyone who sees these sculptures just loves them, so I decided to make them available as prints! Graphics wizard and metalsmith extraordinaire, Anne Fiala, added frames and the titles to each piece for the line of images that are for sale as prints, postcards or cards.
Coming soon: stickers, T-shirts and posters!
Here’s the shop on Red Bubble.
This project has been a long time in the making and I’m so thrilled to have it out in the world now!