Handmade & Godmade Art
We have lived overseas for more than 14 years. We travel a lot. My heart sings every time I find some bit of handmade or godmade beauty in a little stall, in a gutter, or on a cart in a market someplace. I am absolutely delighted when I’m burrowing around in a bin above someone’s shop and I find a manufactured item that is both whimsical and utterly ridiculous. I’m equally thrilled if I find a castoff object that God has handled long enough to impart inherent value. There is great power in folkart, in the way it seeks to glorify everyday life. Folkart isn’t precious; it’s the art of and for the people. Folkart is much too modest for pretense; it begs to be touched and used. Folkart unleashes the unbreakable, unfettered power of beauty into everyday life. The objects displayed in our museum are the opposite, the nemesis of the kind of soulless, mass-produced décor that hangs like a grotesque phantom in lonely, inhuman public places.
If I can feel the heart of the artist, or of God, inside of anything, I long to take it home with me, so that I can continue to feel that love, that strength and purity, as it radiates from that object.
My heart is relentless in its pursuit of such objects, and over the years we’ve amassed a huge collection. The wall space and shelf space in our homes is always at a premium; I often cast about, as I look at some spot in my house, hoping to find yet another space to use as a plinth for folkart. These objects are my continual pleasure, and being able to look at them, to touch them, renews my passion every day. When we decided to sell our matchbook magnets online, I knew I wanted to publish images of our collection so that the power of these humble things might be shared.