Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Recap: Apron Sharing Event

Martha and me wearing our matching vintage aprons.

On Saturday, November 20th, I hosted an Apron Sharing event at the gallery, along with guest artist, Martha C. Hall. We decided to host this as a way to end our exhibit, Two Sides to Every Story. It was a tremendous success! We invited the public to attend, bringing the aprons of their lives.

The idea came about after I gave a lecture on the history of aprons that sparked a flurry of conversation and story-telling. Martha and I realized that people really wanted to talk about their aprons and the people who wore them.

Martha sported both her artist's apron and her woman's work apron, and gave the honor of wearing her dad's dead duck, turkey carving apron to her son, Alex, who attended. I had my husband, Lee's, grandma Fran's aprons on hand, which have been featured in my paintings, plus a stunning pink and grey taffeta vintage apron encrusted with rhinestones given to me by Martha. The aprons spanned the decades, from the Depression and contemporary aprons from Haiti.  

Artist, Martha C. Hall, sharing her dad's turkey carving apron
Martha wrote a blog post last week recalling some of the details of the attendees' aprons. Here are some of her thoughts:

This apron belonged to my dad and was the one he wore at Thanksgiving and  Christmas to carve the turkey. My siblings and I all have such vivid and fond memories of Dad in the "dead duck" apron, so when it arrived in my mailbox via my brother, well, I was extraordinarily excited! I'm happy to have pictures of it on my son and happy to know it's still in the family.

Martha and her son, Alex, a really good sport
There were aprons that belonged to grandmothers, aprons made by a grandfather who was a tailor and did all the family sewing, small aprons meant for children and made by children. Now that I'm fascinated by aprons it's amazing to see how many styles and purposes there are out there. Most aprons are obviously made for work, but there are many more that are so fancy one would never do the cooking in them. They are for dress-up, like serving cocktails to company. It's amazing how the stories about our aprons connect us to our family - and collective - memories. I don't think my fascination is going to end anytime soon. Read the rest of her blog here.

Visitor, Claudia, sharing her apron.

Sara Megletti's mother talking about some not-so-fond memories of her Depression-era apron.

Sara Megletti, owner of PB&J, talks about her Depression-era apron with Karen Balzano and me.
I look forward to more explorations of the apron artistically, thinking about its meaning and various ways to depict it and doing more with aprons at the gallery in the future. If anyone out there is designing and making aprons I would love to consider selling them at TraillWorks. You can get in touch with me via email.


Martha C. Hall said...

It really was fun sharing and hearing all the apron stories! Thanks for hosting the event at the gallery.

Jennie Traill Schaeffer said...

You're welcome, Martha! Miss you already.