About this piece:
Fascinated by the shape and patina of this vintage baking mold, I imagined a handmade book fitting into the curved hollow space. When I found the 1957 culinary school dessert cookbook, I knew it was a match! This Coptic bound book is made from the restructured dessert cookbook combined with ‘chapter’ dividers of baker’s parchment paper. I used my collection of vintage kitchen utensils to hand print images on the divider signatures, and assembled the book to curl neatly inside the ‘frosted’ metal container. During my creative process, I sent some photos to my former student and writer Colleen Feeney (of Bristol CT) and she provided me with a poem that brings us back to the sweetness of childhood baking lessons. Ms. Feeney’s poetry, delicately inscribed outside of the tin, completes the piece.
Angie was the oldest, a proud eight, and I, for now, the youngest, a stubborn four, with Joseph right in between not yet embarrassed to be with us. We gathered around the table, eyes wide, partners in crime. Everything was laid out in front of us waiting for our small hands: the brown sugar, the flour, the chocolate chips not yet messy, not yet tangled in our hair, dusting our eyes. I remember our mother standing over us, I knew she could go much faster our her own but instead, in a patience only mothers know her gentle hands guiding mine, through the stirring and stirring through all those measurements, so careful. Until the batter grew thicker, Until we were fighting over spoonfuls, Until in some unexplained magic the cookies emerged from the oven so much sweeter for our efforts. Colleen Feeney 2015
paper, glass, metal, thread, acrylic
About the artist:
lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Anita approaches visual story telling through assemblage, installation and sculptural artwork. The ‘everyday’ becomes the catalyst that inspires her work and the presence of collected artifacts recalls a sense of place, identity and history. Balkun received her M.F.A. from the University of Hartford and was commissioned to create installations for City Wide Open Studios 2012, (ArtSpace New Haven), and for PARK(ing) Day Hartford 2013, 2014 & 2015, (Greater Hartford Arts Council). Balkun teaches at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, and has her studio and home in West Hartford, Conn.