“If you keep house for us…”

The misfortune of female fairy tale protagonists never ceases to amaze me. Women are either evil or innocent (and therefore protected by magic, fairy godmothers, spirits of dead mothers, etc.) – I remember that, as a girl, I was really grateful when, in the books of Tamora Pierce, I found a girl who, rather than going to a convent, dressed up as a boy and became a knight…but that’s a different story.

So…Snow White follows the huntsman into the woods, rather than clobber him over the head and make a run for it. Then, the seven dwarves take her in, telling her ‘If you keep house for us, cook for us, mend our clothes, clean for us, then you may stay, and you’ll never want for anything.’ Even the seven dwarves pull a ‘me Tarzan, you Jane’ stunt! It got me thinking of the pacts we make with those we love and live with. And since we’re re-doing our kitchen at the moment, I thought I’d try for a domesticated theme. The splash back is for our new cooker (and I’ll take a photo ‘in situ’ as soon as it is – well, ‘in situ’). The colours happen to match – nearly – Snow White: ‘white as snow, red as blood, and black as ebony’. The writing bears witness to my own little domestic story, it is taken from emails ‘my man’ and I exchanged. The design, too, has nothing to do with Snow White, and is instead loosely based on the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, where my husband proposed and where I found out that I was pregnant. The part of the house the kitchen is in dates from the late 1920s, hence the Art Deco ‘look’ – be kind, it’s my first foray into stained glass, made possible thanks to my friend Rachel’s patience!

And as for who will be ‘keeping house, cooking and cleaning’ around this splash back…thankfully, times have changed!

Museday

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4 Responses to “If you keep house for us…”

  1. Kevin says:

    I love it Sabine, the red is fantastic, the story fascinating and I would never have guessed this was your first piece in stained glass, can’t wait to see the pictures of it “in situ”.

  2. Jeanie says:

    Great story and great work Sabine! xx

  3. Di Sandland says:

    Goodness, Sabine, will you stop with the renaissance woman bit – you’re making me feel inferior! Seriously, this is beautiful and, as has already been said, I would never have guessed it was your first piece. Love it!

  4. Sabine says:

    Thank you for the lovely comments – it most likely won’t make it onto the wall until next week, but I’ll take a picture as soon as it’s up.