Saturday, February 27, 2010

Assignment 4 was to make something that was based off of a memory. This was a timely project. For years I’ve expressed the idea that when people we love die they continue living whenever we think of them or whenever we base a decision upon the influence they still have on us. I always had planned on making a gallery of “memory boxes”. A Memory Box would be a shadow box that contains a picture and memorabilia.

One of the people that will always live in my heart is my old granddad, Fred Monkhouse. Fred taught me many things as I grew up and was one of the few people who recognized my talents. While Fred was still alive, he would often come by the house and bring me all sorts of presents. Most of these presents were things that were his mother’s, or funny little odd things from around his house. There was the star fish and sand dollars that he picked up off the beach when he went to the ocean as a child. I have an old silver spoon with the name Jennie. There is this old pocket Bible, from mom and dad, date 1899. He brought me old books, stamps, and coins. The prize possessions is his mother’s blown china Easter egg when she was a little girl.

Fred was a unique person who barely entered the 20th century. He cooked off of a wood stove. The food he ate was from his garden, or what he fished and hunted. There were a couple of things he would buy, bread, butter, coffee, and packaged cookies. Everything in his house, barn, cellar, and garage were “manual”. He had no power tools or appliances (except the refrig). Shortly after Bob and I were married we took pictures of everything in Fred’s house, barn, garage, cellar, and garden. He thought we were nuts. Looking at those photos today, I’m glad we took the photos. After Fred’s death the place was sold. The house is still there but everything else is gone.

For this project I decided to use some of the memorabilia to make a Memory Box. I used one of the black and white photos I took of Fred and used an old picture frame. The garden seeds are from an antique store but they are typical of the vegetables that Fred grew. One of the presents he gave me was his old slate from the one-room school house. I included the Bible, silver spoon, the starfish and sand dollars.

To assemble the box I avoided the use of glues or other chemicals that could corrode and of the pieces. I hand sewed everything to the back board. To adhere the photos to the slate I did end up using a non-acidic glue on black construction paper. The paper was hot-glued to the slate (stone). I decided that glue wouldn’t hurt stone. I included some other small items for color and design, and were very symbolic of the life and beliefs of my old friend.

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