Women in History

Establishing Women’s History Month is a somewhat curious idea. We’ve given birth to every person who has ever existed on the planet so our history needs far more time than thirty-one days a year. But one of the joys of actually being a woman - and those joys are manifold - is that we are living history, finishing work started by those before us and laying the groundwork for future generations. Ellen and I went to an all girls summer camp and an all women’s college so this is not news to us.. We’ve been taught - and we believe as deeply as faith - that women bring unique talents (innate and developed) to all arenas of life. In the shop, we’ve make a point to carry the work of female artists and manufacturers, not to pass any kind of litmus test but because our experience tells us everytime that women’s perspectives and decisions contain multitudes. 

A woman’s life invariably crosses domains - domestic, professional, community, even minority - and this multifaceted existence results in a widely diverse and creative voice in the world. Perhaps that’s one reason that more women tend to switch job sectors in their lives: not because they are forced out of one but because they long to utilize and hone their skills in different ways and at different times in their lives. Expression evolves. It’s not just that our observations change as we age; it’s that our articulations mature, become insistent, often more poetic and pronounced as we craft our lives more intentionally and less by circumstance. And, of course, there’s confidence. Let life put you through the ringer a dozen times - as it will - and you will have more faith in your ability to not only endure but prevail. Sometimes that will manifest itself in the dramatic and colorful work of women like Jill Rosenwald - her pieces embody the glory and glitter of being firmly present in the world. And, at other times, as the world spins frantically and even chaotically, someone like Alice Miles will keep an eye on the fixed horizon, painting it for the rest of us - so serene and stable - so that we, too, might find peace. 

I’ve always been drawn to female poets because their work tends to read like a literary snowglobe: contained on one level and magically prismatic at the same time. To find such richness in small spaces and, also, to create intimacy in sprawling scenes is a skill that often reveals itself through women and - if the two of us can lay claim to anything in  this world - it’s in having the deepest appreciation for that. The many languages that represent that ability - paint, language, ceramic, service, kindness, craft - are endless. But we never tire of hearing those stories. They nourish and inspire us at every stage and fill us with pride for being lucky enough to live this life as women.