Family Tree

Family Tree by Jeannette Brossart

Most of us are descendants of many generations of makers.  It is alarming how quickly the common handy-skills of our grandparents are being forgotten and lost to commercial, ready-to-consume machined goods.  My Grandfather, Chuck, was a woodworker for most of his life.  This was not his career, rather his favorite pastime, hobby, and practiced, chosen skillset. One of his first finished furniture projects from grade school is still in my Grandmother’s house. In his retirement years, he continued to wake at 6am, eat breakfast, and head out to his garage workspace to “make his daily quota of sawdust”.  He made hundreds of different individual patterns of wooden creations, many of them from the very trees he felled on his farm land, hand planed, and cured for years.  In the last 15 years of his life, he made thousands of wooden toys and small gifts to give away.  He passed away in 2011, and left thousands of unfinished parts in his workspace.  For several years, my Grandmother has left the boxes and bins intact.  Until now….

During a visit in the Spring of 2017  I  asked her about the spare wooden parts in the garage workshop.  I explained that I would not be finishing them as he would, but was interested to use them in new ways, unique assemblies, combining with mosaic and other mixed media techniques and materials.  We talked more, and I realized that I really wanted to work in his space, on his old schedule and routine. We made several dates for that summer for me to work in the space in their house near Asheville, where they lived since the early 1970s (almost all of my life), after moving away from the neighboring farms where they each grew up.

This exhibit “Family Tree”, is both a nod to the historical tradition of handi-crafts, and skills, as well as the natural wood material that my Grandfather loved.  Most of the work is centered around family,  tradition, value of handicrafts, and personal remembrances of my Grandfather and his life.  The works are created with repurposed and reclaimed materials, from his workshop and my mosaic studio, with skills and traditions inherited and reimagined.  A portion of sales will be donated to Santa Pals, the folks who distributed hundreds of my Grandpa’s toys to needy children. Thank you!

  • An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 21, 2018, from 6-9:00 P.M.
  • FREE festivities including light snacks and drinks, as well as free art-making in the Make and Take room
  • Scrap Thrift remains open for shoppers and gallery visitors until 9:00 P.M.
  • Show runs September 21 – October 13, 2018
  • Return Saturday, September 29th at 3:00 pm for an Artists Talk with Jeannette in the Gallery about her creative process

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