WINTER 2018 – Log Cabin By Anna Buckner
A farmer and his wife receive a shipment of cat mummies from Egypt in the early 1800s. They are to be pulverized into fertilizer, but before this occurs the farmer’s wife notices the intricate pattern of the wrapping. I doubt she knows that the cats were mummified as a way to ensure their passage to the afterlife. I doubt she knows that they were seen as manifestations of God – reflections of a greater unseen. But maybe she recognizes the tenderness in the way they were wrapped – maybe she senses the sacred. She makes a quilt inspired by the cat mummy pattern and eventually this pattern comes to be known as Log Cabin. Piecing fabric scraps together to form a Log Cabin pattern is cyclical – each scrap builds on the previous one, requiring the maker to rotate the piecework each time they add a scrap. In this sense, the making of this pattern is undeniably spiritual, referencing the grid as a unifying plane, growth in nature, and connection. Log Cabin patterns still demand tenderness. They require the maker to notice subtleties in the existing piecework in order to respond with the next scrap. It’s impossible to reverse the pulverization of cat mummies, but I can study the pattern that wrapped these cats and learn from its inherent softness.
Raised in North Carolina, Anna Buckner received a BFA in painting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 and a MFA in painting from Indiana University in 2016. In 2014, she completed an apprenticeship in Buddhist Thangka painting in Sikkim, India. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at Michigan State University and co-founder of Command Zine.
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