Thursday, December 13, 2007

Are *you* ready for the Creed?

I'm working on an artquilt for the American Literary Naturalism course I'm teaching this semester. The students are required to produce a creative project (visual, literary, dramatic, musical, etc....), and I hinted to them that I hoped to do the same (you know, talking the talk/walking the walk....we have no hands-on arts courses where I do most of my teaching, so I try to create opportunities for students to work with their hands....).

In the process of gathering images for my quilt, I came across a very cool website for an exhibit called What Was Home Economics? From Domesticity to Modernity. The whole site is interesting, but I was strangely attracted to "The Home Bureau Creed" (in the "Educational Techniques" area of the exhibit. It's visually beautiful, and feels surprisingly contemporary (to me, anyway).

My favorite part of the creed is where it urges people "to lose self in generous enthusiasms." There are lots of ways to interpret this idea, but I think it's a nice way to think about the relationship building that happens when people share/teach other people handwork and useful arts. I confess that lately I've been getting tired of "project-ing" (though there are lots of sensible reasons why....); at the same time, this description of what I spend so much time doing and thinking about makes me feel pretty sunny, even on a gloomy gray Chicago day.

No comments: