Recollections I remember hanging damp clothes on the line, even in the depths of winter. Each piece had just been passed through my family’s wringer washer; a machine that has a regular washing tub and agitator but also has an attached, hand-crank operated wringer for removing excess water from freshly washed clothes. My family focused on being conservative with resources and living using only what was immediately available to us. Among many things, this meant conserving electricity to save money and that we didn’t use an electric dryer. Instead, we made use of our old wringer-washer, handmade soap, and trusty clothesline to keep our clothes clean.
Hanging clothes on the line in freezing temperatures results in dry clothes that are also completely frozen-stiff. If the weather never warmed, we would carry the clothes in stacks underneath our arms inside the house to hang near our woodstove. There, in the dry heat of the stove, the garments would quickly soften, finish drying, and take on their usual, comfortable forms.
Recollections is a revival of my memories of doing laundry as a child. The casted-paper garments portray individual memories; memories that remain still throughout time, as these frozen garments remain frozen on the line.