In 2006, with the help of my daughter, I started collecting lost gloves, washing them, and turning them into dolls. Dubbed "gLove Story Dolls" by my mom, they feature button eyes and yarn hair. Over the years I continued to pick up a random glove here and there, but didn't have the same dedication to the project as I had early on. I still have a few dozen gLove Story Dolls, and nearly as many found gloves ready for their transformation.
Now, 13 years after I started making them, I am rebooting the gLove Story Dolls! This v2.0 will still feature button eyes and yarn hair, and the gloves will be sourced the same way, rescuing them from parking lots and sidewalks where they became separated from their original owners. I enjoy the process of finding the gloves, it's like a treasure hunt, the same feeling I get when I search book sales for the mini field guides or oversized atlases I use for other Montclair Made products. Obviously, winter is the season when people use their gloves the most, making it the best time of the year to score them.
In the past, collecting gloves is a nice little outing. The most memorable was on Christmas Day in 2008, I was alone for the holiday that year and spent several hours walking around the quiet streets reclaiming mittens and gloves, like little xmas presents to myself. I was so impressed with my haul that I laid them out and took this picture of them...
I approached the adventure of gathering lost gloves with renewed energy yesterday, the first day of spring. I've been wanting to go out on the hunt for weeks, but procrastination reigned and the winter slipped away. I set out on my bike with the trailer attached so I could cover more ground than walking, expecting to find many in parking lots where the melted piles of snow would reveal them. But I quickly realized my expectations were set far too high. Finally, after half an hour of riding and searching, I found a small gray glove in a parking lot between 2 cars. I dismounted and retrieved it, celebrating the small victory and wondering if that would be the climax of my morning. Where were the gloves I'd seen over the past few weeks but neglected to pick up? The streets seemed startlingly clear of all debris, as if the arrival of the new season had uniformly swept away the litter that was hidden beneath the snow.
As I returned to my bike I noticed a town employee nearby collecting litter with a trash picker and placing it into a white bucket. I asked him if he had picked up any gloves or mittens and explained why I was asking, that I was collecting them to wash and turn into dolls. He told me that he had been at it since 7am and had collected about 40 gloves from all around town, adding that he was doubtful any were left behind for me to find. I was struck by the serendipity of running into this friendly man just as I had finally found a glove, a few minutes later and he would have claimed my little gray prize! We made a plan to connect in the future so that he could contribute his haul to my mission!
I rode off, determined that I wouldn’t go home with only one glove. I found 7 gloves and snapped this pic of them at Porter Park where I stopped off to juggle clubs for a bit since it was so nice out and I haven’t juggled since Flow Meetup in the fall…
Stay tuned for an update on my glove connection and also for their transformation into new gLove Story Dolls coming to the shop!