The meaning in the process of making “The 25 Project”

I don’t talk much about the process of making in my work.  By the time I’ve completed any kind of artwork, whether it be a sculpture, drawing, painting or dress I want it to be over. It’s not that I don’t enjoy making them, in fact I love it!  But I love it like how you love the end of a long day, glad to have it over but proud of a productive, positive day where you tended your garden, got all your laundry done and managed to cook a great meal, too.  And everyone is happy.

When I initiated “The 25 Project” it was like a metamorphosis of many mediocre ideas before I came to this one, a children’s book about horseshoe crabs and mythology, a line of linens that I would design, but none of it had enough…oomph.  Then one day I just came up with this and I LOVE it.  I love getting every object and story delivered to me.  I love every moment of worry about whether or not it will be good enough, or more importantly, interesting enough.  Making it interesting is hard.  To make something interesting and personalized is taking it to another level.  When I make art for myself I am making it for me and then am glad to pass it on to another.  When I make art for you I have the same feelings, but there is more pressure because there is a deadline and expectations to be upheld.

Process.  Process can be exhausting, intellectually and physically.  My children ages 6, 4, and 1 exhaust me emotionally and physically and then I muster up what I can to make art.  The last thing I want to do is TALK about it.  But I’ve come to a point where I feel like I need to, to express to those participating that this isn’t magic, although it feels a bit like it when I finally commit to one idea, the right idea for you.

Here is a little bit of why I made what I have made so far…and to confess I haven’t shared this part not only because I want to keep it pure and I think talking about it sometimes kills it for me, but I think it can be boring, too.  What made me write about it today?  I think it’s because as I work on Stacy’s project I am thinking about how glad I am she enclosed a note about her, her family and why she sent these items, and now I can make her piece personal because she did.  Maybe if I open  up a little and share part of my process with you, when you send me  your collection, you will tell me something about you so  I can make it personal for you, too.

I’ll start with the first project, and if you all want to hear more about the others, let me know and I’ll talk about them too.  I like things short and sweet so I’ll keep it brief each time.

Project 1 – Maureen’s Pottery Shards.  The reason I made the necklace was to symbolize carrying something around for so long.  Maureen has carried around her collection for 30 years, seemingly because she saw something beautiful in each and every shard.  I like the symbolism of wearing your worries around your neck, like a burden, and….that if you let them go that is the end of it and you will always wonder whatever happened to….  I felt if Maureen had them to wear (and share) it would bring a sense of purpose to her collection.  Wearing them completes the cycle.


8 thoughts on “The meaning in the process of making “The 25 Project”

  1. I love your work because I can tell you are not trying to make marketable arts and crafts. Each project you’ve shared clearly shows how much thought you have put into it. That’s what makes it ART rather than things at a craft shop. Thanks for sharing your thought process. You posses a great gift.

  2. The Noonan’s that I have the pleasure of knowing must come from an amazing family………you both have such a gift for taking “us” in……wrapping us up….and making us feel good…..the ability to do it with your hands…..your hearts AND your words……it’s just stunning.

  3. You have explained project 1 so beautifully, it almost brought a tear to my eye. It also made me think about all the little bits and bobs that I keep and have kept for so many years and why I have. I may get them all out one day and make something out of them to complete the cycle. Really lovely. J x

  4. I’m so glad you shared. I find your process fascinating and would. love love love it if you shared your thoughts on the others. It’s been a while since I sent mine. I know I shared some info with you but if more would be helpful I totally could. Gosh with 3 kids that young I bet you could use all the inspiration you could get. Also, your 1st 9 have been amazing. Hope you’ve enjoyed a bit of summer too. Jodi

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