Gimme Shelter

Gimme Shelter

Reineke Hollander, Father & Mother

Reineke Hollander, Father & Mother; Photo: Reineke Hollander

We call our homes castles, we speak of feathering our nests. No matter how decorative or demure, our homes are protective spaces – safe places of renewal and retreat.

Throughout her life, Kansas metalsmith Heather Bayless has been most at home outdoors. And her kinship with nature comes through in her silver Nest rings, necklaces, brooches, and hair-pins; this one is called Taut Nest

Brooklyn artist Reineke Hollander is captivated by textiles – how scraps of cloth evoke memories and carry stories – and uses them for her painterly assemblages. Her commissionable Memorial Chairs stand in for the fabric of our lives, incorporating textile remnants that belonged to the person to whom the work is dedicated. This pair, Father & Mother, includes fragments of textile objects – a knapsack, a passport cover, a silk handkerchief – that belonged to her own parents. 

Butter and eggs, milk and bread. Sometimes, the hard-working pantry staples that anchor a home deserve their own special shelter – such as this neighborhood of earthenware Butter Houses, by Portland, Oregon, ceramist Brian R. Jones.  

Soothe a small one in this Rocker Cradle by Scott Morrison. Inspired by Sam Maloof, the Montana woodworker specializes in custom rocking chairs – and is a proponent of the motion’s therapeutic, calming effect. 

Christina Bothwell’s work channels our most vulnerable moments, articulating feelings we may not have known we had. In Me and You and Everyone Else, three figures of cast glass and clay – the Penn-sylvania artist’s signature combination  – sit quietly inside a house; one cradles a small deer. Even sheltered, they are exposed; their inner lives are visible – to anyone who cares enough to look closely. 

Our fascination with wild children who have grown up separate from society goes back centuries. In Philadelphia artist Judith Schaechter’s stained glass work Feral Child, one such soul seems to have found a measure of comfort out in the cold – sheltered by the skin of a wolf, protected by a vibrant bolt of birds.