Monday, February 26, 2007

Embroidery, cut outs, and childhood

Here is the prime example of an inspiring item around which I grew up, about which I wrote about in the first blog: a Hungarian embroidered pillow. This black pillow has always been a happy site-- I love the drama of the black background with the bright colors and shapes floating on top. The complex pattern is visual entertainment to me: there is movement, mystery and personality in these forms and how they relate and fit into one another. In this photo, the pillow is upsidedown: please twist you head to see it from how its creator meant the motif to be seen.

Growing up, I was also lucky that a kind and smart person gave me this craft/game called "Fuzzy Felts". It had a black piece of felt-on-board the same size of the box, that was the stage for placing these different shapes of colored felt on top. You can see that the effect of a Fuzzy Felt composition was similar to the pillow. The drama of the bright colors on the black, the strong forms, and the fitting of shapes are, to me, an invitation into an animated world similar to that of the pillow (but without the Hungarian flavor). Taking the photo of the interior of the Fuzzy Felts box, it struck me that the way the shapes are sitting in the different compartments of the box is just like how I store the pieces of painted paper that I cut out and keep for the next collage. Let this be further proof of the beneficial influences of childhood play!