Juanita Shockey Harris, Quiltmaker
At the heart of the Fetching the Quilt Home project is a concern with the phenomenological experience of making and collecting. Guiding this inquiry is an attempt to explore skill transmission, ‘flow’, and how people value handmade objects in a era of mass production. How we imagine ourselves to care for and preserve quilts is a special question at the heart of the project— be they signifiers of a family’s material culture and stories, or pieces with a presumed historical value as cultural heritage.
This interview with (then) 89-year old quiltmaker Juanita Shockey Harris is close to my heart. Click through to Juanita’s interview, and search the transcript for “memory” to hear the story of how she was taught to sew sitting on her daddy’s lap, or listen to the final index section titled “concluding thoughts” to learn how her quilts embody the social labor of their production and call back to mind those who are “long gone.”
The interview is hosted by the Oral History in the Liberal Arts initiative of the Great Lakes Colleges Association, and published with the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer, an open source viewer creating opportunities for segment-level finding aids in audio or video oral history interviews.