I knew I had found an artistic genius when Maria started making potholders.
The first thing Maria did when she launched her new art career was to transform the potholder from a fuddy-duddy utilitarian tool used to handle hot pots into a new, affordable, and artistic (and fun) art form.
It was amazing to see, and I knew she would be successful.
She has sold thousands of her potholders all over the country and a good part of the world by honoring the potholder tradition but making her potholders things to use and hang on the wall and give as gifts to anyone with a love of art and a sense of humor and design.
They are all individual pieces, hand-crafted from old fabrics and often hand drawn.
Almost no piece of art you could ever buy in a gallery is so arresting and useful, either in the kitchen, on a wall, or as a gift.
Taking the images from the farm and her life was part of the genius. It makes art come alive, as it can with some of my photos, hers, and her videos.
It is something we have learned to do, a part of our shared creativity
Her latest hen-inspired potholders are still on her Etsy Studio; two remained when I last looked (11:10 a.m.).
I told her this morning that her transformation of the humble potholder into original and inexpensive art was pure genius.
She said she hadn’t really thought about that in a long time, “mostly, I just make them; I don’t think that much about that.”
She looked pleased but was startled.
That is typical Maria, and why I love to toot her horn, she would rarely do it.
Who wouldn’t love to get a potholder that was also art and, in many cases, full of color, humor, and symbolism? I want to buy half of them, but she won’t sell me any.
Mara’s latest inspiration has been inspired by our Imperious Hens (yes, I did come up with the name, but she ran with it), who have become among the most popular images from the farm.
She is making a series of Imperious Hen potholders, only a few of which remain on her Etsy Studio page if any are left. (The hand-drawn ones cost $30 plus shipping.
(This afternoon, look out for five or six Eagle Potholders, also from found fabric. They will be $20 plus shipping and also on Etsy) If you have any questions, you can e-mail Maria at [email protected]).
She made a slew of hen potholders despite having caught Covid, she was in her studio almost every day, and every one of those has sold. Soon, she’ll put up her Eagle potholder, which are striking in a completely different way.