After weeks of texting plans that kept getting rejiggered due to weather and whatnot, my pal Julie and I drove out to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, not far north of Philadelphia, to get a look at the lovely exhibit at the James A. Michener Museum, Blanket Statements: New Quilts by Kaffe Fassett and Historical Quilts from the Collection of the Quilt Museum and Gallery, York, UK.
It was fascinating to see Kaffe’s splashy, florid quilts paired with 19th-century quilts from the United Kingdom. It was also a little jarring to think of patchwork quilts, so cemented into my mind as Americana, as a thing that was also happening across the sea. The old quilts were muted in palette but so lively and graphic; the immediacy of a good quilt does not fade with the fabrics.
The rest of the Michener Museum was delightful. Exquisite George Nakashima furniture, a collection of unsettling, glowing paintings by Linden Frederick, and a roomful of non-textile works inspired by quilts.
On our way out of town, we stopped at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, because how could you drive by a building like that, with a sign that said Moravian Pottery and Tile Works, and not stop?
A circa 1900 tile works, still operating pretty much the same way now as it did then.
I wanted to put on an apron and start pressing molds into local clay and dipping tiles in slip. Although I generally lack any inclination toward the woo woo, whenever I am in an old-school workshop environment—be it a letterpress shop or a low-ceilinged room in which clay is mixed using steam power, I feel quite certain that I have done that kind of work before.