The BraBall:

I'd like to share with you excerpts from some of the funny, poignant,
and encouraging letters I've received with bra donations. - Emily

"Your BraBall is so quirky and challenging that I just have to add to it. The ones I'm sending are well used but tired, just like me, I suppose, but they've done their jobs... Your BraBall makes me smile just to think about it." - Illinois.

"My daughter needed bigger bras - she now joins me in the world beyond leopard print. She's sad. She still gets red, rose, blue - unlike larger me. Thanks for your eloquence on this issue." - New Mexico.

"I no longer wear bras. I have literally been 'in training' for ten years and am tired of being told that I need padding and lifting for my 'immature' and 'inadequate' breasts. I've been humiliated enough... I haven't worn a bra for half a year, and hope I'm never pressured into buying another expensive, unnecessary bra. My AAA breasts are ten years old and will never droop to my navel. And if they do, let them droop. Bras be damned." - British Columbia, Canada.

"I am happy to give this bra to you. It traveled with me to India and was smacked numerous times against a rock by a dobi (laundry person) in the Ganga river. It is therefore quite thin (but clean) and perfect for your braball. May the sacredness of the Ganga river be added to your project." - Oregon.

"I'm glad to give up one of my nursing bras. This was one of the most uncomfortable things I've ever worn. It was worn all in the name of being discreet while nursing. I was tired of the stares and gasps from 'exposing' too much of myself. What a crazy United States society phenomenon - to even make nursing a baby seem like sex or smut." - Wisconsin.

"I was saving these for some art monotype printing projects of my own. But I'll donate them for a good cause." - Arizona.

"I am sending you the one crappy bra I have in the closet. I never wear the infernal thing anyway... So it is that having heard your interview on CBC radio this fine Saturday morning, I knew just what to do with that stupid ill-fitting bit of underwired foolery - symbolic of the idiocy and narrowness of measuring women for harnesses both literal and figurative. I salute you and am very pleased to make one small but earnest contribution to your great big bra ball." - Ontario, Canada.

"If only you were here to experience our enthusiasm for the BraBall! As self-proclaimed 'goddesses,' we were just busting to show support for this project. We hope our donation and vicarious pleasure will see you through to its fruition." - seven bra donors from British Columbia, Canada.

More from the group from B.C. -

"I'm a practical person: why leave my bras to grow mold in the dresser drawer when they can be turned into a work of art?"

"I'm inspired by this art project and appreciate how it empowers women. You go girl!"

"I am thrilled to contribute something that was so comfortable and close to my heart."

"In December, I had a scare and was advised to get rid of my old constricting underwire bra. To me this symbolizes my desire to become softer and easier in my life."

"I am thrilled to send you my most uncomfortable, binding bra! It is my statement of fidelity to the sisterhood. I had a great time soliciting bras from my co-workers - and from the most conservative to the most liberal, they laughed and expressed indignation at your situation. Good Luck! We're With You!" - Illinois.

"I have had this bra since I was probably 14 (I'm now 34) - I figured it was time to part with it, even though it still fits. I like your zeal for this project - it is worthy - I also like my bra together with all its sister bras."

"...And the project can't be complete without a contribution from your sister. From Target, worn under my wedding dress, and Really Scratchy!" - Australia (from one of my three sisters, all of whom donated bras).

"There were 3 women who contributed 10 or more bras in this shipment ... Build on your noble ball and perhaps we shall find more to send. Who knew women in Huntsville wanted to get so much off their chests! Thanks and good luck!" - Alabama.

"One small bra from a woman & one giant bra ball for woman kind!"

"10 bras and 1 clean, laundered, used athletic supporter from my hubby who wished to show male support for your project. Best of luck to you!" - Bra and jockstrap donors, Washington.

"Being a full-busted kinda gal, I appreciated what you pointed out ... full-busted women don't get much choice! Not only do we get the ugly bras, but we have to pay at least $35 to get anything decent with a good amount of support!" - California.

"Happy to contribute some old bras ... there are many memories with these but I'm happy that they'll end up as art. I always thought they were artistic anyway. Good luck." - Missouri.

"I hope condition is not an issue, since these are pretty ratty! I tend to wear them until they really fall apart. I was surprised at how vulnerable I felt at the thought of 'making my bras public'. It made me really assess that whole intimacy/body issues thing. I suppose that's the point of works of art like these." - New York.

"For your art project! May you have a Ball!"

"We agree that a woman should be the one to create this art piece. With your background in artwork concerning the female body image and gender issues, it sounds like a perfect project for you." - California.

"The story really got to a lot of us because we're scientists, and in science, just like in art, your ideas are your most precious property (for your career), and we all have stories of our ideas being lifted (usually by men)." - Maine.

"Here's five bras for YOUR ball; best of luck! May it be 'as high as an elephant's eye'!" - New Hampshire.

" said you wanted it to represent women who have had mastectomies. I figured that to do that you needed to include a bra that was designed to hold a prosthesis. I had a modified radical mastectomy in 1995. Since that time, thank G-d, I have been cancer-free. I have an ample supply of those special bras and am glad to contribute to your ball of bras." - Minnesota.

"4 are mine - the other 44 came from one woman who has breast cancer and won't, as she said, 'be needing them.'" - California.

"A couple of these were my grandmother's, so I'm glad to put them to such an interesting use!" - California.

"When my mother died 5 years ago, I ended up with her clothing & I loved her so, I've not been able to part with much ... She was an L.A. sex therapist & would have loved your project." - Missouri.

"These are left over from a bra burning that never happened. Good luck!" - Oregon.

"NOW I know what I'd saved these old bras for!!! Cheers" - South Carolina.

"It's weird - I was just thinking, 'I need to get rid of all these old bras' & voila! Good luck." - California.

"I love the way your project has turned into a feminist action." - New York.

"This is for the art project. If you have been the object of an internet scam, I apologize."

"Enclosed are 5 bras for your art project. I'm happy to get rid of them as I HATE bras and don't need these big ones since my breast reduction in January! (It's been a great change!)" - California.

"I recently experienced an increase in bra size, and was in denial for a long time, but reading about your BraBall made me realize I could give my well-loved, old bras a new home in honor of my feminist ideals." - California.

"Enclosed you will find seventeen bras. They each tell a story about me, before pregnancy, during, and (while) nursing twins for twenty months. They have served me well and now I pass them onto you. I am happy they will be immortalized in your sculpture." - Missouri.

"A Bra Ball! Excellent! I enclose several nursing bras, a sports bra, a sexy bra or two, an overweight bra, and a 'training' bra. Sort of covers all the phases, doesn't it?" - Maine.

"I hope you get the chance to roll that ball on over the Rockies so we can see it here in Minnesota."

"Good luck with your project, and good riddance to these UNCOMFORTABLE BRAS!!" - Texas.

"The perfect bra has eluded me as demonstrated by the number of bras I'm sending you. Your bra ball will be the perfect resting place for them since my breasts were not." - California.

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BraBall sculpture and Website ©2008 Emily Duffy.