Apron Strings (2019) by Janis Mars Wunderlich speaks to the seasons of nurturing and how changes occur so rapidly. It’s called Apron Strings, because when children are small they insist on being close by, perhaps even in their mother’s arms. Like Apron Strings or umbilical cords, family relationships make us all tethered together like an awkward traveling circus. As kids grow, the distance also grows, and we let out more string until they prefer or even insist on great distances.
At some point the constant check-ins receed, and Mom is lucky to get an occasional moment to hold her adult child close again. Her grown children may reject, respect, or revere her, as we all fail and need forgiveness— but regardless of how our children feel about their mothers, we hold a deep love and connection with each one deep within us. We constantly fear for them, and hope for wonderful adventures to unfold before them. We want them to find their joy, their passions, their own truths- and we are in complete awe of the spectacular people they become. We continue to carry them deep within us on invisible strings, always.
I made this piece twice- the first time she fell over in the kiln. She had a tiny lean, and eventually gravity won and her greenware legs just snapped. But it is always so therapeutic to rebuild a piece- she turned out to be sturdier and more majestic the second time around. My ceramic failures are equally torturous and transcendent.