As a bona-fide child of the Hippie era, I can promise you this book is the REAL thing – an honest compilation of Hippie Creativity, including some innocently X-rated embroideries and a few references to the marijuana that probably inspired them. But, that’s not a reason to overlook this book. There is artistry here, an abundance of inspiration, and an irresistible cast of characters. The magic of the Age of Aquarius wafts through this book.
There are beautiful hand-carved doors and puzzles, handmade shoes, a “throne” completely covered in pennies and buttons that’s amazing, lots of embroidered denim, bread dough ornaments (they’re cool, I promise!), devil dolls, quilts, and more. The stories are iconic, as well.
Mary Ann, above, is wearing a blouse completely covered in embroidery loaded with images of her “Road to the Sun”, including a portrait of Jimi Hendrix, the sky, a glorious peacock, and more – which is remarkable for several reasons. At the time she embroidered it, she was serving a two-year sentence in Milan, Italy for smuggling hash. The nuns taught her to embroider, and she tore up her bedsheets for the fabric to embroider. How ’70’s is that?
These two are most certainly the predecessors to one of my favorite, current-day free spirits, Magnolia Pearl. Free-spirit is the operative word. This book is one of the inspirations that made me fearless and free – in regard to making things, at least.