American Childhood is the term I use for this series of quilts which start with Mid Century baby blankets and quilts. I’m looking at several things here and one is the huge contrast between the cute and sweet images we surround infants with and the violence/violent images we are surrounded with as adults.
The message in these quilts depends on contrast, such as the play between high powered rifles and tiny birds, nursery rhymes and nuclear bombs, or guns and Sunbonnet Sue. I feel that this contrast allows us to see the dangers and contradictions in modern life in a new way. How have icons and images we surround children with helped to define who we are, and how we are expected to move through adulthood?
Laurel Izard’s constant refrain is, “Gotta make stuff”, and is an award-winning artist who exhibits her artwork throughout the United States. She currently lives and makes art full time near the shore of Lake Michigan in Michigan City with her artist husband Edwin Shelton and three cats. As soon as she could hold a needle, she started sewing but didn’t begin creating textile art until 2010. She received a BA from Northern Illinois University, with majors in art and anthropology, and a MFA in ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After collage Izard and her husband started a ceramic business called Izwin, and they produced and wholesaled colorful whimsical tabletop wares to galleries, boutiques, and department stores throughout the country. After twenty-three years of self-employment, she taught art in numerous after-school and summer programs, and then taught at Marquette Catholic High School for nine years. Her philosophy as an artist and teacher is that an integral part of being human is to be creative and continues to teach others how to discover their inner artistic resources.
hand-embroidered, painted, and quilted vintage quilt top
46.5” x 25”
Clowns and Soldiers
hand-embroidered and quilted vintage baby blanket,
42.5” x 32″
Nanuq and the 3 Bears
hand-embroidered, painted, and quilted vintage baby blanket using cotton thread
33” x 23.5”