1000 Yo-Yos Can't Be Wrong
The process of making something special is the practice of art. True, I have been astonished by the muse that flies in the window, producing a dazzling product to greet the dawn. More often, though, I have favored "component art" - the practice of making art in which smaller components are readied and assembled over time. Whether in the fine or the applied arts, this type of making is especially suited to patient artists working toward a large vision with only interrupted slots of time. Though some men create in this way, component art is more often the domain of women juggling daily demands with the need to create a lovely and lasting artifact.
Thirty months ago, I began to make "yo-yos" for a yo-yo quilt. At that time, my grandson was the size of a pencil eraser. I so hoped that things would go well for my dears ones, so I paired a hopeful mantra with a tangible product - the making of small cloth yo-yos. I made small yo-yos wherever I went. Hundreds. Yo-yo making became addictive, compulsive and, in some way, a ritual much like praying. I recently sewed the 1,000th yo-yo onto a quilt and gave it to the young family. Expressing the wishes and sentiments of mothers and grandmothers throughout the ages, I embroidered on the back, "To comfort, cover and protect you..." As I reflect on the experience of making it, I see that it was more powerful and satisfying than any art I'd made to date. Go figure.