Kindred Memories is my exploration of my family’s history through pattern design. Six family members are represented, each with their own pattern collection. I developed motifs for each collection based on my memories of that family member, interviews with relatives, heritage, and historical references. The patterns are applied to home goods to communicate the importance of honoring family and their presence in everyday life.
Erna – Kindred Memories Collection
This collection of patterns is based on my Great-Great Grandmother, Erna (Blocher) White. At 18, she came from Germany to America in 1910. She brought along a lamp, which was in my grandmother’s possession until she died and left it to me. A picture of her, her lamp, her craftiness, and German folk art influenced this collection. She is the only one in the series I did not personally know.
Gladys – Kindred Memories Collection
This collection is based on my Great-Grandmother, Gladys (White) Schicker. I remember my grandmother’s mother to be very proud of her Native American Cherokee heritage. She and my great-grandfather lived in the country – she painted scenes and he crafted the frames. Through interviews with my family, I discovered she was fantastic cook and loved to jam. I remember my grandmother claiming her mother made the best blackberry pie. My great grandmother and her husband were avid bird watchers, and she even had pet canaries.
Martin - Kindred Memories Collection
These patterns are based on my grandmother’s father, Martin Schicker. He was a hard working man, who crafted with his hands. Gathering interviews from my family, I learned that he adapted the ways of the Native Americans’ respect of the land. The aesthetic of German folk art influenced his work. He was a hunter and fisherman. As a child, I remember looking through frames he made which housed his collection of butterflies and moths.
Patricia – Kindred Memories Collection
This collection is based on my beloved grandmother, whom I called Ammi. Memories that I focused on for this collection were her green thumb and her love for gardening. She had a Victorian decor sensibility, and always had a love for animals, especially cats. Roses and lilies of the valley were among her favorite flowers. Through interviews with my family, they acknowledged that she represented home and warmth.
James – Kindred Memories Pattern Collection
These patterns are based about my grandfather, James Brooks. Since my grandmother has passed, I find my grandpa talking more about his past. Recently we were going over his wedding day pictures, and he talked about it as if it was yesterday. This inspired me to create a retro, Mid–Century collect attribute to his romantic persona. His love of jazz and dancing are also represented in this collection.
Teresa – Kindred Memories Collection
This collection is based on my grandpa’s mother, Teresa (Doyle) Brooks. She was first generation Irish-American and very Catholic. From interviews with my family, she wasn’t a collector, but had classic Irish Belleek pottery around the house. Classis Irish motifs such as Celtic knots, clovers, shamrocks, and wild flowers are present in this collection.