Jennie Traill-Schaeffer: Marriage, Dirty Dishes, and Why I Paint Appliances

Jennie Traill-Schaeffer: Marriage, Dirty Dishes, and Why I Paint Appliances

It started with a dishwasher.

After moving in with my boyfriend (now husband) Lee 11 years ago, I discovered our “differing philosophies” when it came to caring for dishes and dishwasher etiquette. Following a particularly heated dish-care argument, I felt compelled to paint our dishwasher.

Here it is, the dishwasher.

I started viewing appliances as icons.

Lee and I started registering for wedding gifts, and I started thinking about gender roles and expectations post-marriage.  Who was supposed to use these appliances?  I noticed my friends registering for similar items, as if a stand mixer had become a pre-requisite for marriage, even if it was rarely or never used.  I felt certain appliances had become status symbols.

I even canonize some appliances by painting halos over them, and in bigger pieces I mimic the structure of early Renaissance paintings, replacing the Madonna and child with appliances.

To view more of my work, please visit my General Store  shop page.

Meet your Local Blacksmith Lisa Lofdahl

Meet your Local Blacksmith Lisa Lofdahl

Lisa Lofdahl of LL Metalworks melds treasures out of hot metal in her backyard blacksmith shop in South Orange’s Montrose District.  This fiery vocation is a change from her former career in a crisp air-conditioned New York City law firm, where she was special counsel in the real estate division of Sullivan and Cromwell LLP.

Lisa:  For me, it’s about bringing the same love of creating to my work today that I learned when my dad first taught me to weld on the gravel driveway of our ranch in Colorado. Custom work is about conceiving a design and shaping it into existence. I design and build each piece by hand using new or salvaged metal, often with tile, wood and glass. With each new project I look to design that is unusual but not intrusive, and with each client, I work to create unique pieces that fit their vision.

These hearts, shaped from horseshoes, are available in my General Store shop.


Watch Lisa meld a decorative hook using her blacksmithing skills in this video.  Check out her General Store shop to view more of her work.