It has not been so long since I fell in love with gliders.   During the seven years I lived alone in adulthood, interests that were only sparked earlier came to full force.  One of those interests was cheap metal.  Don’t get me going about hammered aluminum.  Today’s post is about gliders and their beauty.

I read once that the style of automobiles follows the dominant form of transportation.  This comparison works for a few decades, I think, but gets lost currently.  When cars were invented, they looked like horse drawn carriages.  Later, they began to look like engines on trains, and after that, airplanes.  Now  I think they look like running shoes, which is probably why I cannot find one I would like to buy. They ALL look like running shoes.  But running is not the dominant form of transportation just now.  I would like it to be, but it is not.

I don’t know for sure, but I think gliders follow the same pattern.  The older ones I have are more upright more like a Model T than a railroad engine.

This example is on  my front porch which looks bare now, in the winter.  I think I paid 15 dollars for it.  It has some rust and some dings, but I keep my gliders honest and reflecting their history.  I don’t want to wipe all that out by fussing over it and repainting.  I think the appreciation for this idea came with my study of Japanese art history, and their concepts of “wabi” and “sabi”.  Let things show their history; what they have experienced and what they have survived.  I use that thought in my art as well, depicting my own body with all the scars of cancer operations I have had.  It is my history, it is me.

As an aside, I transported this glider, another red one, and two metal side chairs all on the top of my old Volvo station wagon.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  And I think the whole lot cost me forty dollars!  I have a friend who says you could pay three hundred dollars for a glider in Atlanta.  Maybe not these, though. 

This glider is one of my favorites.  It sits less upright than the first one, and I therefore think it is younger.  The patterning is excellent, and this aqua is its original color.  Aqua is MY color. It is made of metal double the dimension of the first one, and is very solid.  This is also on the front porch and you can see some of the tile that I applied to the front of my house behind it in the picture.  In our county, we are so poor, we have “solid waste disposal sites” with big bins for metal, glass, etc.  The man who ran our site helped me lift it out of the metal bin, and put it in my car.  I was lucky.  I found one glider at the top of the metal bin another time, and the employee wouldn’t let me get it.  Said it was against the rules.  I hate those kinds of rules.  It is much more fun to dumpster dive.


4 thoughts on “I LOVE GLIDERS

  1. One of the fun visual aspects of gliders is the metal stamping. Often you see a wicker pattern with holes stamped into the seat and back. Wicker seats and backs were very fashionable in the early part of the 1900’s. I suppose the wicker suggests a softer, gentler comfort on a metal glider. Quilt patterns also show up which would also suggest a softer seating that actually available on a glider.

  2. Harry, love your comments! I think that what you say is entirely true, but since I have come south, and you as well periodically, I think the stamping in the gliders allow air as well—-you know, try to make a breeze where there is none! I am thinking they also facilitate easy “upheaval”, and create patterns for a while where there were none!

    And what do you think?? Look at their development—someone invents the thing, and it is wonderful, and what happens next? You can play with the overall design, and then start playing with the real “canvas” available, all those flat planes.

    Harry, you really should be blogging with all you know. Just pick a topic!

  3. One thing I’ve always wondered about these gliders (and I hope I can explain it okay)…

    You mention that you don’t refinish them and they are sort of ‘come as they are’ in their shape/use. What on earth was the breaking point in these gliders? I get throwing out a couch when a leg breaks off, but these are thrown out long beyond when they are of use to most (non-waste-loving) people. They’ve been shabby for a decade before they got the nix. So what caused the first owners to decide enough was enough?

  4. I know what you are saying. Do you remember the estate sale we found after the Gaffney run? I bought a fab glider there, for only ten dollars. It is so beautiful. The children were selling the things of their parents. I imagine that glider sat right there on the back porch, loaded with stuff for years. It became invisible for sure to the children, and maybe to the owners because they were using it as storage. Something happens to the owners, others deal with the estate, revealing an (old unusable) thing, and voila! On the market so to speak, in rusty and beautiful condition. Maybe I will do that glider next!

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