Quaranta

PLAYFUL | Humorous or Silly

First Place Winner

Entrant: Barb Gores

MATERIALS – Paper (gum wrappers)

COMMENTS – The Italian word “Quaranta” translates to “Forty” in English and is the origin of the word “quarantine”, evolving from the Bubonic Plague, or “Black Death” in mid-14th century Europe where cities recommended 40 days of isolation. I started this gum chain braid forty years ago (September 1980) as a 20 year old college student newly arrived in Florence, Italy for a study abroad program in what would be one of the most defining, pivotal years of my life. I collected and braided gum wrappers from every country I visited (some no longer in existence today). Little did I know that it would take a quarantine 40 years later for me to complete the braid and discover it’s significance in 2020, another most memorable and defining year for us all. (Note: In addition to my love of kumihimo is my love of knitting. I used my yarn winder to wrap the braid and placed it on my wooden spinning yarn holder which just seemed to compliment the “playful” aspect of this piece.)