THE ART OF TOOLS

What makes Glenn the happiest?  When he gets to wear his head lamp.

head lamp

Not kidding.  It is a thrill for him to have a little job for which he is perfectly outfitted.  It is like comfort food.  Anais Nin said that art comes from the overflow.  How true.  And when the overflow happens, we have the tools to catch it.  And drive it into art.

Re:

“You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.”

This quote seems to be a justification for “drama queens”.  I love it.  Someone respects intensity.

Of course, I always knew this about Glenn.  More and more every day.  Found a digital electrical fence tester on my run yesterday.  All colored up like anything John Deere.  Glenn thought it was so cool, and it is worth 110 dollars, re the web.  Now we have to figure out a way to use it since we don’t need an electric fence; we have cats.

It is true that Glenn’s tools and expertise help me with my current sculpture.  Maybe his tools are my influence.

1-IMG_0974

For Glenn, clothes are tools, hats are tools.  They deal with needs, and must be matched correctly with the environment.  Do not overdress, underdress.  Observe.

This house, prior to Glenn, was (and is) full of toy kitchen appliances.  When he moved in, I worried they were too “girly”.  They are tools, he said.

1-IMG_1026

So at the back door, in winter, stark without plants, this is what a visitor sees first (look at my little Toot in the reflection).

1-IMG_1015

Glenn’s shoehorn looks like a Mezuzah.  Proper welcome.

1-IMG_1016

Advertisements

MUSICAL CHAIRS

Installing the new exterior door created some glider movement.  Now that there are so many here, and considering what I have to pay per quart to clear coat them, a little triage is in order.

Although this glider works well, it has some bumps and bruises.  It used to also have a prime location on the front porch.  Now, not.

It has moved to be with the group under the big oak tree.

All the chairs and the glider to the left of the picture can stay outside.  They have all had the clear coat treatment, even the one on the new little deck.  The pair there still have original paint.

The wonky wooden bannister gracing the little deck is getting so tiring to look at.

Glenn made these two bannisters this past summer.  When he gets the time, something on this order will be on our back deck.

EXTERIOR DOOR

Less work is required if you do two things at once.  As always, new gliders have to be integrated into the landscape both natural and architectural.  This activity is ongoing as there is always more lawn furniture to be had.  Concurrently,  I am making new gardens around the new addition to our old farmhouse.

For years I used an old door native to this house but unused in the house, as a dining room table.  Then that dining room turned into a bedroom for about a year.  The door was shuffled out to the barn.

The other day when sitting and gliding and sensing the new garden space, it occurred to me that that door could be used as a spot of interest in the new garden, which is adjacent to our front porch.  It happens to be red on one side, and I want to include lots of red in the new garden to highlight a red line which resides at the base of our front porch.

Here is the situation of the new garden.  Very blank canvas.  A satellite dish that will be a small pond has been put up on cinder blocks which are hidden by fallen tree trunks.  Cotoneaster has been planted to the left of this image, down the side of the new addition.

The ones here are babies that were pulled from another garden.  A goal for this garden is to use only stuff that has been propagated here.

In the space behind the single lawn chairs will be a pattern of dwarf nandina which gets very red in the winter, and a pyracantha that was propagated this past summer.  I am amazed as it started getting new leaves this fall, and continues now.  This stuff I will plant today.

Second job accomplished?  With the new door in red, and the red line under the porch, we found the perfect place for Ruth’s glider, which at this point isn’t going to be changed, paintwise.  Ruth and my niece gave it its happy paint job.  Since we used the red side of the door on the porch side, we probably will paint the other side for the garden.

POSSIBLE LANDSCAPE ELEMENTS

The adding of a new master bedroom to our 1939 farmhouse has created brand new areas for gardens.  That alone is exciting enough, but Glenn came home with something which could have been very lame—an old satellite dish.  And he wanted to make a water feature out of it.  I could imagine a huge thing with DISH painted along the edge, but what he came home with has possibilities.  Of course, the dish was free.  Who has dishes this size any more?

The dish is a bit over six feet in diameter, and the edge is three inches in depth.  It can hold water already as you can see the rain from last night contained.  There are two possible places to incorporate this into the blank yet-to-be gardens created by the new addition.  Below is the more sunny and public option, connecting with the central area of the yard, around which are the two other buildings.

The more private place to put the dish, which would be more shady,  is to the side of the front of the house to which the woods come up closer,  and is used less.  Come to think of it, our bed will look out to this garden and possibly we could get some bird activity going if we chose this side, with water and feeders.  The faint rectangular edges of two windows are visible through the house wrap.

The small tree left standing in this area was once at the edge of the woods.

The tile mess below is the floor of the old side porch which had to be knocked down to incorporate the new room.  There are two big chunks still here, and this one will be dug into the earth outside the new little deck and become the base for an outdoor shower.

Just got the plumbing for the new room and outdoor shower finished today!

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE CHEAP METAL

A personal seminal event occurred in NYC years ago when traveling with my friend Clay.  We went to a commercial gallery associated with the Whitney, and on the back wall they had installed metal outdoor roofing.  OMG, it was one of those moments where you worry about not having had that experience because it looms so important in your life story.

Since then, and that was the eighties,  old fashioned metal roofing has been used in traditional or nontraditional ways on every building I have built or refurbished.  It is such a statement about southern culture.   Above is Glenn’s sculpture studio in the new barn.  He brought this old roofing from his acreage in Missouri, so installed here is part of his old homestead in his new space.  You can see a bit of the actual tin roof that covers the whole barn at the top of the image.

This is the entry to my old studio, now more of a guest house, and this building is also covered in and out, with metal roofing.  Below, we are under this porch roof, and looking out to the “big” house, which is glowing under its tin roof.

When my daughter was about seventeen, the two of us installed the ceiling tin in the guest house.  What a job, cutting and drilling above our heads.

At the table above are two examples of aluminum side chairs from WWII.  They are light as a feather and were made for use in submarines.  They introduce my other cheap metal love,  aluminum, especially “hammered”.  Below, Glenn’s latest piece stands in silhouette along with a couple of my camera-shy mosaics.  The ceiling illuminates the window to one of the gardens.

Don’t get me going about the aforementioned hammered aluminum, or old chrome tubed dinette sets.  We will be here forever.

Synchronicity:  As I write this post, the building supply company’s truck just drove up with the metal roofing for our new addition.  Isn’t it grand when actual life is like a strange movie? And the movie is about tin roofs?