Occasionally in our lives, a person comes along who changes the course of our destiny and makes us a better person, simply by having touched our lives. One such person in my life was a teacher who believed in me before I knew that one could believe.
I came to his studio as a naive, wounded young woman and his quiet guidance opened a path for me that I never knew could have existed. I am the designer, business owner, manufacturer and person I am today because of the commitment of a teacher/professor and friend: Michael Pause.
Here is a portion of an email that I received from him today:
… Speaking of which, on 30 June I resigned from the faculty, after 33 years. Cleaned the office, put my keys in an envelope, put the years in a box, ribboned it and put it up on a shelf. It was a fantastic run; every student was a gift in some way.
I mourn for the legions of students who will miss his quiet guidance, commitment to pure design and his struggle to keep a sliver of Bauhaus alive in education today.
Let’s take a moment today to thank all of those teachers along our way who have helped to shape us into men and women we are proud to be, walking paths we are proud to walk.
Thank you Michael. May your days be filled with family, joy, good work and laughter.
The new issue of American Craft arrived last week and, as expected, is totally inspiring. From Andrew Wagner writing about “Craft & Politics” and the amazing article “Let’em Eat Cake” by Sabrina Gschwandtner to the lovely story and pictures about “Craft & Community” including Denyse Schmidt and Artecnica, the layout, design and content is spectacular.
And don’t miss the second ‘Summer in the City Salon Series’ program ‘Connect/(Dis)connect’ at the American Craft Council Library held on July 24th.
American Routes takes a trip through the music of the Yellowhammer State–Alabama. Visit the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and find out what’s in the water around “The Shoals” to make it a historic hotbed for R&B hits by Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and more. Also, a trip through Hank Williams‘ childhood home in Georgiana, and W.C. Handy Music Festival in Florence. And music from Shelby Lynne, the Birmingham Sunlights and the Delmore Brothers.
This poem is from Kay Ryan, the new US poet laureate.
I kept on thinking about it this weekend while we were stitching our beautiful Alabama Chanin clothing. I kept thinking that our strong stitches were going to hold tight as we made our deep tracks.
Thank you for including me in such a special experience.
The poem reminds me of my great-grandmother – Granny Lou – moving around her house at Burcham Creek:
THINGS SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD
A life should leave
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
Her things should
keep her marks.
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space—
however small —
should be left scarred
by the grand and
be so hard.
Our weekend workshop was a beautiful mixture of women from all walks of life. It was wonderful to hear our studio filled with laughter, chatter and, from time to time, the quiet hum of concentrated fingers at work. All of the projects are lovely and I am certain that the participants will be showing off their garments over the course of the next months.
Our Sunday morning was enchanted by a serenade of Alabama Song by singer, songwriter, and designer, Allison Moorer. Allison is an amazing woman and I was inspired by her fearless choice to make our 16-Panel Swing Dress with all-over rose reverse applique.
I cannot wait to see her on stage in the piece and feel grateful to have found a new stitching sister so close to home as Nashville is just a hop, a skip and a jump up the Natchez Trace from Florence.
I would give (just about) anything to have Carl Kasell’s voice on my home answering machine; however, I have an extreme case of incurable radio fright and break out in hives at the thought of speaking personally with Peter Sagal. For this reason, I would like to be considered for Not My Job.
Being included would make my year and would also save me from having to reveal my true ignorance (and thick southern accent).
Imagine my surprise when Butch called to tell me that my name was announced on Saturday and that film historian, director and actor Peter Bogdanovich would be playing for me! Well, after much screaming, excitement and dancing around our studio, I realized that Peter did not win. I have to say that the questions were very hard and that Peter is forgiven.
Perhaps I will have to get over my fear of the perfect wit of Peter Sagal and try to play myself!
I’m sending photos from summertime in our yard. The Luna moth was drying itself off; it had just peeled out of its cocoon. They don’t live very long because they don’t eat. As a matter of fact, they don’t even have mouths. As beautiful as they are, I’d hate to be a luna moth.