Women’s Work Revisited

As a child, my grandmother insisted My sister and I learn how to sew. “These are important skills every young lady must know,”she would say. And even though I thought it was “old fashioned,” I learned to sew on a vintage Singer machine.

I vividly remember lying on the floor under the machine with my cheek resting on the cold metal stand while Grandma worked the pedals with her feet, letting out the hem on my pants to accommodate my growth spurt that summer. Whenever I see an old Singer machine this memory pops into my head, I can feel the cold metal on my face and smell a wiff of Grandmas perfume, Charlie.

My sister and I also learned needle point, crochet, beading, jewelry making from my Mom and friendship bracelets, macrame, basket weaving as Girl Scouts. My Mom was our troop leader. At the time, these were deemed important skills for young ladies to have… but somewhere along the way, after my Grandmother passed in 1988, I stopped doing “Women’s Work” and set aside craft in pursuit of “more important” things that would help me get ahead in the world, like scholastic aptitude.

My crafting skills lay buried deep in my subconscious for decades, until I rediscovered how restorative working with my hands can be. The repetition of knotting and wrapping has a meditative quality that silences the mind. My brain literally switches off and my hands just do their thing, fusing rope, yarn, ribbon and thread into something new. When I snap out of the trance, something miraculous rests in my hands. It never ceases to amaze me how insanely productive I can be when I stop thinking and just be. Counterintuitive, I know, but this how creativity manifests for me. 

I want to honor the women who instilled my love of art, by elevating craft to fine art and banishing the perception that “Women’s Work” is not as important as other art practices. All there is to do, is just be and let it happen.

To prepare for this journey, I am taking a couple workshops for fun and brush up on my skills at the Textile Arts Center in NYC this quarter.

  • Bead Embroidery workshop on 02/06/2020
  • Intro to Macrame + Knotting, a full day class on 02/16/2020
  • Advanced Pompom Techniques workshop on 03/03/2020

Check this space and my Instagram @MissTheda to see what I’m learning and how I’m incorporate these techniques into my art practice. I am excited to see what happens…

Another close up

Let Me Tell You A Story

Artist Reception: Thursday 5/23/19 6:00-9:00pm

LOCATION: Drawing Rooms; 926 Newark Ave # T107 JC, NJ

Artists Talks:
6/22/19 Sat: Kimberly Becoat, Ibou Ndoye and Shoshanna Weinberger
6/23/19 Sun: Adebunmi Gbadebo and Theda Sandiford

Artists Workshops:
6/23/19 Sun: Theda Sandiford

Gallery Hours: Thurs/Fri, 5-8p, Sat/Sun, 1-6p​

“Let Me Tell You a Story”, 5/23/19 – 6/23/19, presents five artists: Adebunmi Gbadebo, Ibou Ndoye, Kimberly Becoat, Shoshanna Weinberger and Theda Sandiford, whose works celebrate Black culture. Drawing from their rich and varied experiences, these artists explore historic and contemporary issues of race, gender and identity that African-American, Caribbean-American and mixed race cultures deal with. In these artists’ materials, scale, imagery and message, they proclaim their lives while exposing topics important to the lives of the communities with which they identify. Curated by Anne Trauben.


Astronauts Moon Landing Earth

Open Studio Party March 1

Im celebrating my birthday by opening my studio March 1st as part of JCFridays. Come take a tour of Garden Level Gallery. See new works in progress and maybe try your hand at wrapping some rope. All are welcome.

DATE: Friday, March 1st

TIME: 6:00pm -9:00pm

LOCATION: Garden Level Gallery; 315 3rd Street, Jersey City NJ. Between Cole and Monmouth Streets. From Manhattan take the PATH train to Grove Street. It is a short walk from there up Newark Avenue.

RSVP: Please let me know if you are going to make it so I get a headcount and can make sure there is enough food and drink for all….

Come see what I have been up too…

RopeWork: Yarn Wrapping

I am working on several yarn wrapped ropes for an installation. Come for the fellowship, food & drink and to try something new.

No experience necessary. Kid friendly. All are welcome. RSVP…

DATES: Saturday and Sunday February 16th and 17th

TIME: 12:00pm – 3:00pm.

LOCATION: Garden Level Gallery: 315 3rd Street, Jersey City NJ between Cole and Monmouth Streets. Step down to the Garden Level.

Rope Work: Yarn Embellishment Party

Finger dexterity has devolved into early stage carpal tunnel.

Join us for the next sewing circle session. We will be embellishing the wrapped rope with pony beads, recycled bottle cap jewels and pink army men.

Saturday Jan 26th 12-3pm RSVP Here

LOCATION: Garden Level Gallery 315 3rd Street, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

Rope Work: Sewing Circle

There is something cathartic about wrapping yarn and rope. The yarn in my hand. The dexterity of my fingers. My failing eyesight…

If you join one of my upcoming sewing circle sessions, we will wrap rope and embellish the rope with pony beads, garland and pink army men. No experience necessary.

Saturday Jan 12th 12-3pm RSVP here

Saturday Jan 26th 12-3pm RSVP Here

LOCATION: Garden Level Gallery 315 3rd Street, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctWH1Sofyrs&w=560&h=315]