Bread and Butter
Sharon Mohler tells stories of her past in clay. Stories of long ago and stories of hard-working American women.
“My work is meant to tell the remembered stories that live in my head.
In Bread and Butter notice the churn by the wash stand and the butter bowl and paddle under the table.
There is also a pail of water, a wash basin and a drinking dipper. There were no faucets yet.”
“I am 72 years old, but can remember things that were common in the 20s long before I was born. Because of the depression and then the 2nd WW things were held back – no money, then rashioning and shortages of many things because of the war.
The child in Ice Delivery Day is me when I was two.
The stove was what we called at that time “coal oil” now it would be kerosene. The tank was on the side.
I can remember playing under that stove and running my hands up and down the curvy legs. The red thing on top of the oven is a cake and pie carrier.
The ice man came every couple of days. My mother always went to get her purse to pay him.
It was my first household job to watch the dish underneath to tell my mom when it was getting full of water.
I was too small to use the coal oil stove, but when I was 14 I had to go help my grandma at haying time (August) – I had to cook on a wood/coal stove for the men putting up hay. Whew, the kitchen was about twice the size of the stove.
I learned to take it apart to clean it, and how to build and maintain the proper heat for the right amount of time.
My Grandma was very proud of her [to her notion “modern “stove].
It had a hot water reservoir, with a spigot at the bottom.
Years later I researched older iron ranges in the Sears and Roebuck catalog. Those monsters looked like steam engines, but I suppose that they were an improvement over a fireplace.
Women that had to cook like that could do well in a foundry.”
We’ve come a long way but I’m glad Sharon tells the stories of our past through her art.
You can see all of Sharon’s work on her flickr page or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.