Lindsey Browning
Walking around antique malls during Covid, I found these haphazardly made pin cushions oddly charming and intruriging. Seeing these impeccable embroideries, this lost art required patience, time, precision. Compared to these pin cushions; ceramic chotchkies, figurines holding baskets, old shells, or little round makeup tins with little tufts of fabric glued to random areas, mostly haphazardly. Thinking of this relationship between these two objects, these little creations compelled my sympathy. When I thought of how they would have sat unnoticed through countless projects, functioning diligently. How they were poked and prodded numerous times, all to assist their creator in creating these beautiful works of art. These objects functioned, with little recognition for their efforts. The skilled hands that used these objects are now long gone and their works are selling for dollars in faux distressed painted drawers in antique malls. Woman’s work of the time, now seemingly worth less. These pincushions honor the mother I am, the mothers before me and within me. Honor the form I was given and the privilege to follow its function through pregnancy, labor and birth. I now function with this pin “mother”… womb bearer. I rode the intense life-bringing waves and found the power within to push forward.. To transition. I’ve felt the sense of being placed on a shelf as “just a mom”, a “lost art”-est. In all the noise, in all the equalization, in the homogenizing of our species, the womb bearers who choose to to fill their wombs are not so far from these pin cushions. Forgotten. Pinned as “just a mom”. But to know the truth of “women’s work”. To feel the laborious task of creating, birthing and nourishing a new life. To know the function of this form our wombs can take. As a womb bearer, I’ve seen our bodies function. Our bodies, just as these women’s hands, work. We’re intrical to a process of bringing about beautiful creations to the world in one moment but seemingly forget all together in another. We are anything but an antiquated vessel, to be sat upon a shelf and forgotten. We are a new vessel, forged through the fire of labor, we died and were reborn, we transitioned. We are mothers.

30 YEARS! Thank you!

To all who attended this year’s Texas Clay Festival.

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