About House Sparrow Fine Nesting
House Sparrow Fine Nesting is a handmade home textiles company. HSFN offers weaving and macrame workshops, woven wall tapestry, macrame sculptures and planters, handspun yarn, and plant dye. Each piece and workshop is created as a playful addition to the stories of our textiles traditions.
Though far from being a one-woman show, it's Natasha Ball you will see teaching the classes, knotting the cord, and wielding the loom.
I grew up on the west side of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, metro. I moved back a few years ago. When I go to town, I drive by the elementary school my grandmothers, my mother, and I all went to. Nearby is where the old cotton, steel, and glass mills where my grandparents and great-grandparents made their working lives. On their off time, they made beautiful works in quilting, sewing, woodworking, and more. I’m proud to be from people who made their livings—and their homes—by their hands. I’m grateful that I can make my life in the same place they made theirs. These characters, the land where they lived, and the things they loved often sneak into my work.
My husband is a smart man who often comes home with gifts for me. One night early in our marriage, my gift from him was a learn-to-knit kit. I wasn’t without prior instruction in the handcrafts. My grandmothers created sprawling and skillful works in crochet and quilting, and each taught me a thing or two. I studied textiles as part of my degree in American Studies at OSU, when I interviewed dozens of quilters in our part of the state about their work and its meaning. Even so, it took a detour through the arts-and-crafts aisle by a man who is much more at home on a thousand-yard rifle range to urge me grow into my inheritance.
For centuries women have used textiles and handcraft as a way to speak out, to validate what was dismissed as house work and to assert their value in the public sphere. Symbols and patterns used in quilts, weavings, even the colorwork in your knitted mittens are anchored in tradition, the land, and quiet dignity. That our grandmothers had the courage, energy, and creativity to transform scraps left over from caretaking and homemaking into new, beautiful things has always inspired me.
In the world we live in, dominated by global concerns which have changed how we shop, eat, work, sleep, and even the shapes of our cities, homes, and our very bodies, weaving art into such a space is a bold act indeed. Not that Target and Apple and Costco can't serve us—capitalism offers many a wonder and convenience, including the computer on which I type these words—but every dollar for art made special, for days or weeks or years the creator can never get back, is a vote for a way of life lived closer to the ground, to the veins and bones. Plus, when you bring art into your home, you’ll likely shake up a guest at some point. This is what friends are for.
A house sparrow is a common little bird, also known as a weaver finch. My oldest son has always found these regular, commonplace creatures worth noting, so I thought I would, too. House Sparrow Fine Nesting was born in spring 2015.
Your thoughts and conversation are always welcome. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.