Visit your Local Museum and Learn about Yourself
Ok! Now I get it. I just never understood why some people have problems with quilts hanging on a wall. Art quilters have grown used to comments like the following: “They aren’t quilts, if they’re on a wall.” “Why don’t you make a real quilt?” “You can’t sleep under it.” “That’s not like what my grandma made.”
Implying that a medium must have a specific form or use is ludicrous, I would think to myself. Well, I recently discovered my own prejudice after visiting a lovely exhibition called “Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America, 1920 to the present.”
I love enamel, I kept telling myself. Why wasn’t I head over heels in love with the exhibit? Why were there so many “paintings?” Enamel is supposed to be used for decorating “things,” like jewelry and boxes and, well, useful things. This is what I thought:
But here are a few that have me rethinking my enamel/not enamel position:
About Jean Tudor’s amazing “brooch” above. The attached part in the foreground: Enamel. The background: Not Enamel.
Then there’s Mary Chuduk’s Veiled. It’s almost an upside down bowl. But it’s not.
Now I’ve really got a problem. Katharine S. Wood’s Rocket Machine Shop is flat. It looks like parts that could be made into a bracelet, but it’s not.
So here’s what I learned about myself: I just don’t like flat enamel. So it’s okay if you don’t “get” art quilts. I give you permission to not like them. And now I get it that you don’t think they’re quilts. Or, maybe we should all stop trying to pigeon hole things and not worry so much about definitions.