Summer Zickefoose
Cockleburs and Pleasantries (detail)
collected porcelain cups re-fired with decals, wood, spices, herbs, various food items, gathered organic materials
The text on the cups is taken from Midwestern and rural women's diaries, from the 19th Century to present. I have asked various women to transcribe each excerpt in their own handwriting. In this way, the writing continues to represent a multitude of women’s experiences suffused through the personality of handwriting. This decorates the surface of the cups, while the interiors are filled with textures, smells, and colors of materials found both in Nature and in the kitchen.

The cup as an object, documents daily experience. The cup of tea you share with a friend, what you collect on a daily walk, ingredients for cooking, and so on. I selected diary excerpts that I found to be poignant for a variety of reasons – humor, loss, survival, or in some way particularly telling of the women’s experiences. The surface text and contents of the cups are bound in a relationship of verbal and non-verbal storytelling. The materials and objects in the cups equally represent exterior and interior spaces, while they singularly serve as a suggested counterpart to the sentiment expressed in the text.

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