Future heirlooms: what are you passing forward to the next generations?

by Neal Kielar, Tastemaker in Residence

When we hear the word heirloom (and it's not about tomatoes or seeds),
we reflexively think of something old that's been handed down to us
through generations. It's all about the past and the act of receiving.

But think about it another way. Think of the future and you might ask
yourself "What am I acquiring and enjoying today that's worthy of
passing along to the next generation: my children, other family
members, friends or even the community?"

We all know we're living in a culture of disposal goods: brand new
furniture with a five-year lifespan, clothes designed for a season's
enjoyment, trinkets and toys that are passing fads. But there's also a
renaissance of interest in high-quality, handmade goods. These pieces
of art and artisanship are often made with superior construction and
durable materials. Many are created with the idea of them lasting a
long time.

At MidModMen+friends we traffic in the past made current again when we
salvage and carefully restore furniture and decor that's 50 to 60
years old. That's one way of making future heirlooms, by carrying
vintage items into present day desirability. We also have an eye on
newly created pieces that can stand alongside our restored items and
endure for another 50 to 60 years.

That's why we created the "Future Heirlooms" showcase, to feature artists and artisans creating noteworthy works that can be enjoyed today yet are worthy of passing down to others. The inaugural showcase features emerging weaver/fiber artist Madeline Larson who uses hand-dyed wool to create colorful and complex rugs and wall-hangings, with each piece one of a kind. Madeline will be on hand to explain her processes during the showcase launch Aug. 12-13, 2017. 

"Future Heirlooms: A Rhythmic Dance of Threads," runs through Sept. 17 at MidModMen+friends, 2401 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55114. Hours are Thursday through Sunday from 11AM to 5PM. 

photo by Joel Sorrell

photo by Joel Sorrell