Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grandma Upstairs

Today I am starting something that I have thought about doing for a long time, blogging about my adventures in, what is possibly my most cherished creative space, the kitchen.

A key motivator in my creative process as a ceramic artist is the intense hands-on process pottery making involves. In many ways, the major I chose to pursue at RISD (Textiles), and my choice to move on to an even more hands on medium as an artist: pottery, were I believe, in hindsight, fated to happen. I think my deep connection to process came from my early introduction to the inner workings of my grandmother's kitchen.

I don't remember a time when I was too young to help my grandmother Nancy prepare a meal. My brother and I called her "grandma upstairs," since she lived with my grandfather, Angelo, in the apartment above ours in our two family house in Brooklyn.

My cooking has come a long way from what my grandmother taught me: early learnings about making "gravy," (what Italian-Americans call pasta sauce), steaming mussels, cleaning shrimp, cooking pasta, or making eggplant parmigiana. I owe so much of my creativity to my grandma "upstairs." After all, she planted the initial seeds of cooking in me, from which sprouted the creativity that has simply taken over my life!

So as we said at our Sunday dinners... Salute! (Cheers!) Salute a mia nonna!

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