My grandmother Betty Jo McDowell was well known for her sayings like: ‘colder than a well digger’s clavicle’, ‘show’em where the hog ate the cabbage’ and ‘to each his own said the old lady when she kissed the cow’. But my favorite, was one she often used to describe me, exclaiming “Abby, that is just beyond the pale!”
If you’re not familiar with this idiom it means; outside the acceptable norm. It’s and old English saying, referring to the boundary of the community known as the pale.
Though I knew Grandma didn’t exactly mean it as a compliment, there was both a cautionary and a conspiratorial tone in her voice. I understood that to live outside the normal parameters of society was risky, but desirable. And in part because of my Grandmother’s encouragement, I have spent much of my life there, beyond the pale.
This body of work is entitled ‘Beyond the Pale’ in memory of my Grandmother who loved beautiful and unique things. She applied her taste, and curiosity to become a successful antique dealer. I learned much about design, my appreciate of the unusual, and a fearless personal style from her example and tutelage. The pieces, Baubles and Blatant, repurpose vintage belt buckles from her estate.
The slide show is a sample of the pieces available at my new Etsy store: Eloquent Remains.
I hope you’ll find something there that inspires you to venture outside the pale.
Visit my Facebook page for updates on my work, artists I admire and conversation about found objects and art. I’d enjoy to hearing about your great finds and creative repurposing.