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Lorinda Henry

Mini Quilt

Baseball Shrine

My Story: I have four pieces of art from my childhood saved by my mother and grandmother. All of them are collages or needlework. As far back as I can remember, that is what I liked doing best, and these extant pieces support that. I did some painting in high school, self-taught because we had no public art classes at all back then. I have moved back and forth among these skills since and it still seems backward to me to teach drawing before painting. 

When I was in college, I discovered the works of Joseph Cornell, wonderful boxes and constructions filled with feeling and amazing objects. Long before that, I was intrigued by shrines to Mary that use bathtubs as housing. Those shrines still seem to me to be a folk art of a fundamental sort: using objects at hand to honor a cherished quality of being. In the early 20th century, folks created memory jars, fastening a wonderful array of broken jewelry, coins, buttons, marbles and more all over the surfaces of large jars and vessels. And always people around me have made do - scrap quilts, mended dishes, handmade replacement parts surround me. 

If you have a tag sale, I am the one checking the 10 cent box, picking through the jewelry leftovers, taking home your mismatched dolls shoes and saltshakers. (I am also the one who picks up rusty squashed bottle caps in parking lots, while my children, understandably, pretend they don't know me). 

I love the process of turning things around and making old things intriguing and beautiful again. I am engaged in the process of putting things in new environments to see how they work. Some of my work is in fabric, some is in boxes that become houses of spirit or shrines, in the tradition of bathtub grottoes. Some pieces are framed and some are presented open to the world in expectation that a little dust and fading will give them an enhanced connection to the rest of life. Sometimes I paint or draw on them as well. I still get excited by my materials and there is always something new to play with.

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