Sue Grier / Contemporary Clay VesselsARTIST STATEMENT It is said that the work one makes comes out of the way one lives life. I look toward...
Appalachian Traditions...Past and Present SHCG
Media: Natural Materials
Lori is a corn shuck artist, bringing corn shucks into the 21st Century and dedicated to preserving its history for future generations.
Inspired by the past, and using her unique talent, Lori creates traditional and non-traditional works of art, and is developing new techniques to keep alive the tradition of corn shucks! She is also incorporating techniques from the past with her present techniques, creating a bridge from yesterday to today.
Join her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/AppalachianTraditionsPastandPresent
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/CornshuckLady
When I work with corn shucks, I am taken back in time. I am inspired by both the past and present. I have great respect for the early settlers that made the Smokies their home, and am in awe of their ingenuity, creativity and thriftiness. Corn was the staple crop, and nothing went to waste. They used corn shucks for everything they possibly could by braiding, weaving, and twisting them into many useful forms. I am carrying on their traditions, and creating a few of my own.
I, also, live in the Smokies. I am surrounded by beautiful mountains, and those mountains contain many spectacular, native wildflowers. Capturing the persona of a wildflower with corn shucks just made sense to me, especially in a time like today when making use of what you have seems to be a forgotten skill. It's my way of insuring corn shucks, and the appreciation for what we do have, aren't lost in the past forever.
As I gather my shucks, I first separate out any shucks that have color to them, I save these for the traditional things like dolls, rugs, braiding and weaving. The plain ones I separate again according to thickness. I dye each batch by hand, according to the type of wildflower or doll, or combination piece I'm inspired to create from that group of shucks. I assemble each piece by hand, using either traditional techniques, or a combination of tradition with a little added ingenuity. Each individual piece of each wildflower is securly wired into place - I don't use glue. I am careful to insure that when a piece is complete, all the eye beholds is corn shuck. (Except for doll hair - which is corn silk.)
I am thrilled to be able to bring corn shucks into the 21st Century. No one taught me how to create my native wildflowers, I rely on the inspiration I get from those settlers of yesterday. I did learn traditional techniques from Annie Lee Bryson. She taught me how to make dolls, braid and weave. She passed that tradition down to me, and I am dedicated to continue that tradition. I hope to create more new ideas using corn shucks, but keeping its history and tradition alive is what's most important to me.