Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Some times, people are amazed at the patience involved in quilting, especially when it comes to hand quilting. It is a long process. First, the piecing, sewing together all those bits of fabric, and we seem to think that the smaller the better. Then, the quilting itself, which also appears to call for the busiest work possible. Besides, design takes also time and many decisions to be made.

Last weekend, I realized how far I am from real endurance. I visited the Ware Collection of Glass models of Plants at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. I was absolutely and completely overwhelmed. First, it took me a while to actually comprehend what I was looking at. Then, I had to think about the whole process that Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka went through in order to create the nearly over 4,400 models of more than 830 plant species. It took them 50 years, which does not seem a long time when you see those glass plants.

There is a great deal of talent, art, workmanship, patience, knowledge, skillfulness, involved in this project. But there is something more important: love. Love for the trade, love for a work well done, love for art, love for knowledge, love for education, love for culture. This love was professed not only by the two men who materially made the collection, but also by the two women, Elizabeth C. Ware and her daughter Mary Lee Ware, who financed the collection and presented it to the Botanical Museum of Harvard University as a memorial to Dr. Charles Eliot Ware.

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