THE STORY OF AN AESTHETIC

 

The following are some of the most loved things around here.  Stuff that shows its history is most meaningful.  Ghosts of things.  Things that have BEEN places and in others’ hands.  This little desk was in an old barn made of railroad car wood and was on the property Glenn bought in 1974.  It sat in that barn until my discovery in 2008.  I love it.  It has no drawer, but who cares?

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The little black hoof-like feet are original.  Just had to take a picture of it on the piazza we are laying.

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Some child, at some time, made stars.  We preserved them.

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Found this old aluminum lawn chair in a dumpster.  It had been painted many colors in its life.  Used a tool and dug into the last paint job, the black, and revealed other colors as I chose.  Then it was protected with a thick “varnish” for metal.  Where to put it?  The decision wasn’t difficult.  I have had this amazing ceramic piece for decades.  They were made for each other.

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The following two pictures are not very good, but they illustrate how I added color to the walls of my home when renovating, and how color is discovered in my sculptural work.  Above with the lawn chair, the same thing was done.  Scrape or sand away layers of color to reveal the color history of the thing.  This house was built in 1939 and a lot of life has taken place here.  I let it show.

orange molding

sanded wall

Below is the back of the house just after we moved it to our acreage.

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So, it makes sense that my aesthetic should one that celebrates the history of a thing.  The Japanese call it wabi.  Or sabi.

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ORANGE COLORED GLASSES

The orange vases were so pretty this morning with the sun shining in. This group makes up one of my most long standing collections.  Not flighty and quickly collected, this.  Most every one has a story.  At first, I hated them.  The base of the collection came home in a group with some other colors, but mostly orange.  The other-colored vases migrated to friends.  Influenced by a book I once read about Busby Berkeley and his dancers, I kept buying the orange ones and lining them up like soldiers, the way Busby did with dancers.

It seems as though there were many glass factories spotted up and down the Ohio River, just as there were art potteries like Roseville and Haeger.  Viking was one of them, and (knowing almost nothing about this stuff) I associate Viking the most with these stretched out vases.

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The tallest vase in this group stands 36″.  It was not one of the original orange group.  My sister paid one dollar for it at a garage sale many years ago, it was for me, but it took maybe a decade for me to wring it from her!  Have never seen one so big.

The vase to the left of the tall one I paid 15 dollars for, from the husband of the woman selling it.  He was sick of wrapping the thing up every weekend at the flea market.  I had been watching it for a while, but did not want to pay her price.  It is interesting in the similar to cut glass pattern at the bottom.

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This kitchen window is perpendicular to the first.  There are eight vases in total in residence in this window.   The most unusual one is second from the right.  Having paid a dollar for it at a market in Columbia, a man stopped me and asked to look at it.

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The glass is thinner than most, features kind of a pinched pattern on its body, and has a rough broken off edge within the base called a pontil, which is a remnant of the piece’s disconnection with the raw glass after blowing and stretching.

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Unlike most of my other collections, the glass here is all perfect.  Scratches on a metal glider, rust?  Hell, yeah!  But cracks in glass, no.  That imperfection destroys the whole thing.  The value seeps out of the crack like a hole in a bucket.