Deal-McEver said. “If you can teach people to slow down and be deliberate and intentional about these moments of sustenance I think that there’s trickle down into the other aspects of their lifestyle” Deal-McEver, herself a minimalist, believes in being deliberate in every aspect of her own life as well, including being aware of how her work affects the environment around her. She has solar panels to help offset energy use in her studio, uses recycled packaging to send her pieces to customers and recycles all of her unused clay, she said. “I try to practice what I preach,” she said. It’s the connection between people, environments and art that motivated Deal-McEver to create this body of work. She and her husband were renovating their 100-year-old home when the inspiration struck. “We found 11 layers of linoleum on the floor and 13 layers of wallpaper,” she said. “(It was) like a time capsule of design and what I was realizing is almost every one of those patterns was inspired by the botanical world around us.” Deal-McEver realized that perhaps that’s because of how little time people actually spend outside. “These botanical prints in our
homes, these nature images end up being kind of somewhat of a surrogate natural experience in our world,” she said. This inspired Deal-McEver to research the history of these floral patterns, which date back to India in the 1600s, she said. “So that’s what this body of work has all been inspired by,” she said. “I look at these historic textile patterns and I study them but then I put the book away . . . and I reinterpret them again because I’m really interested in being part of that process.”
Floral patterns that have stood out to Deal-McEver also decorate her own studio and home, covering many tables and even a shower curtain. Visitors don’t have to look far to find the botanical-inspired prints that Deal-McEver speaks about.
The artist’s background Deal-McEver was also going to be some kind of artist, she said. Growing up in Franklin, Tennessee, Deal-McEver watched both her parents dedicate themselves to cre-
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June–July 2019 | 372WN.com