I mentioned to the assistant curator at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts (her daughter took the pictures of me working in the alley for a photography class) that I needed an Ironing board for my upcoming show there. As it turned out, the museum had one and they voted to give it to me. I had a piece of plexi mirror cut to the exact size and shape of the board because when people bent over the board I wanted them to see that view of themselves, amidst the shards of broken glass. For the view that you see from that angle is a most unappealing view. If you don't have many chins you will find that at that angle you appear to have bags and chins and look haggard. I wanted that view to mimic how a housewife might feel as she leans over the ironing board every day with endless piles of wrinkled clothes. I don't think ironing boards are very ergonomic. And I don't see the point in ironing. I had a friend growing up whose mother ironed the sheets. She also polished all the pans after every use. Their house was spotless but it didn't seem like much fun keeping it that way. Her mother was always annoyed and overworked and bitching.

Then I had my first *real* job after college in the advertising department at a large women's retailer. Retailing seems to mean buying silk blouses for 98 cents and selling them for 78$. Anyway, for this job I had to wear suits and that meant ironing. I never mastered it and kinda wrecked a lot of things and it was hard work in the wrecking of them. Now all my clothes come from the Salvation Army and I don't even separate out the whites, much to the chagrin of Chi, the really nice guy who owns and operates the nicest, cheeriest laundromat in Holyoke. I buy 20 pairs of the same socks so I don't have to correctly match them. Hence my fascination with the domestic chores, and objects thereof, of yore. I gave this ironing board a cheery wonder bread pattern because advertising tries to make us think such things are cheery. White bread made of chemicals and processed and bleached flour with preservatives galore seems uncheerful to me, as does ironing. I plotted out a pattern and cut out holes to stain the plexi mirror. I set up my screen tent in the garden outside my studio because glass stains arre fumey and it was drizzly and I used rocks to anchor the edges.

 

IRONING BOARD AND IRON , 2007



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IRONING BOARD AND IRON, 2007
Vintage Ironing board, Tempered Glass, Stain, Sanded Grout,
52" x 14.5" x 33"

Photo by the most fabulous Shelley Lake.

IRONING BOARD AND IRON, 2007
Vintage Ironing board, Tempered Glass, Stain, Sanded Grout,
52" x 14.5" x 33"

Photo by the most fabulous Robert Tobey.

 


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