Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Inspired by Reading: Home by Toni Morrison


I was captivated by the author's constant use of trees in the novel. I read this on my nook, so I was able to search the book for the number of different trees she talked about. She references 11 different trees: Magnolia, Butternut, Pecan, Sweet Bay, Oak, Peach, Pear, Cherry, Apple, Fig, & Dogwood. 

The sweet bay tree plays an integral part in the novel, almost a character itself.
  • It is where Frank invented escapes as a kid and investigated the territory while playing near the stream. "Often they sat by the stream, leaning on a lightning-blasted sweet bay tree whose top had been burned off, leaving it with two huge branches below that spread like arms." 

  • It is where he found himself when he needed to 'find himself'...

  • It is where the novel ends, with Frank and Cee getting some closure in the small town of Lotus, on the bank of the Wretched, at the base of the tree with its arms spread one to the right and one to the left. 

I chose to make a tree pendant, but I decided to use waxed linen and knotting instead of wire...

I wanted to show the split down the middle of the tree, so I used a white waxed linen in the center.
I used a polymer clay 'moon' bead that I made for another book club book.  

The leaves are peridot chips from Allegory Gallery

When I was finished, the white linen was TOO bright, so I stained it with coffee (by dripping coffee on it and letting it sit in the sun). I like it much better now.
I will say it is a HUGE pendant but I did wear it once already!

I also made some earrings for the town of Lotus, Georgia. I love how the author used Lotus as the fictional town's name. Lotus flowers are breathtakingly beautiful but grow out of mud. They flower above water in gorgeous blooms but their roots are based in the muck and mire of the yuckiest ponds. These are cut wood lotus flowers from Allegory Gallery layered on top of pink enameled disks from C-Koop resting on top of green lucite leaves.  

Check out Andrew Thornton's blog to see what others made when they were inspired by reading the book Home by Toni Morrison!


  1. The earrings are lovely, and I'm really in love with the necklace! It turned out so well, and I love that you chose a tree. I'm also impressed any time people find a way to "fix" something they don't like - dripping coffee on the white linen - because I think I'm bad at that.

  2. Wow, your tree pendant turned out super cool! I've never seen one of those done with linen before but it looks awesome. Your lotus earrings are really cute and I love the layers.

  3. Holy moly! Your projects were fabulous!!! So talented, my friend...

  4. yep - it's official - I missed most of the symbolism. Such insight, Allison.
    Your tree is stunning. I love that you used waxed linen instead of wire. I had no idea about the lotus flowers. perfect!

  5. Thank you so much for participating! One of the things that I love about Toni Morrison's work is that there is so many layers of symbolism and she's very thoughtful in the names of people and places. It's like there's another novel written between the lines. I think you did a most excellent job with the tree pendant. It's really cool that you used waxed linen instead of wire. It sort of reminds me of a dreamcatcher. And the earrings are just sweetness itself! I love the combination of pink and green and how the green frames the flower perfectly and the negative spaces of the wooden component are filled with the pink of the enamel. Thanks again for participating!

  6. I am amazed with your tree pendant and with the thinking that went behind it. And the lotus earrings are perfect.


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