From early in my antique collecting days the make-do has intrigued me.
Whether by the joining of 2 broken items to make one, or the use of naive materials
to repair a loved piece of furniture or utilitarian object, there was a sense
that the item still held great worth.
This worth may have been due to sentimental value or simply because another was
not readily available, hence the need to make it do.
|Photos courtesy of Pinterest|
My favorite pie safe has the most lovely make-do repairs. Tin pieces cover holes
where once a mouse or other creature chewed his way through in search of something
tasty or maybe a quiet place to nest. Obviously the first repair didn't stop him,
as there are three such repairs!.
The punched tins on this piece are absolutely gorgeous, with columns topped by
birds, the color is a time softened red, and yet , it was the tin repairs that "got me" !
In my collecting, I'm not one to look for perfect, I look only for what my eyes
see as beautiful. I have crocks held together with wire strapping, a wooden bowl
with crude leather lashing, A blanket chest with a mis-matched leg and various
textiles and toys with lovely early repairs.
|Note dolly's one carved hand|
Being a stitcher by trade, this love of make-do's meant falling in love with the
Early examples are often mounted atop simple pedestals of glass or tin.
The "pincushion" portion might be created from scraps of worn clothing or bedding
and stuffed with yet more scraps or if one was lucky, wool from their own flock.
In my own work, these simple yet beautiful utilitarian objects served as great
inspiration to create my own pincushions, on pedestals and with a mohair friend
The idea of making-do permeates my work in the use of old fabrics, buttons,
trims and accessories. An early repair on a textile only adds to the charm and
sense that it was meant to live on.
I hope to explore the make-do even further as the year progresses.
Now . . . why am I telling you all this?
I am spending many hours on the living room sofa these days.
Across the room is the before mentioned lovely pie-safe, making me smile
each time I glance up.
This will be my main perch throughout the long recovery from my broken leg.
In-between naps, hops thru the house (with a walker of course) and exercises, I've had
a bit of time to peruse photos, re-read favorite books and think.
It came to light that after my most recent surgery, that I too,
am a MAKE-DO!
|Leg on the "bendy machine"|
Only the surgeons rough stitches and the leftover holes from my "fixator" are
visible, but I know that what lies underneath is a surgeons form of making-do.
I do know that in reality there are shiny plates, screws and ugly black sutures.
BUT ~ in my mind, I see strips of rusted tin, held tight with tiny brads all in a row.
If I don't look, I can picture linen threads, tiny stitches and
little x's placed just so.
Oh, and maybe a perfect bit of darning or calico patch over those holes.
|Now this is more like it!|
For now I'm making-do, this leg is not what it once was, yet for utilitarian
and sentimental reasons it holds great worth!
To read more about the "Make-Do" see these wonderful books!
By: Donald P. Naetzker