three books

three books

Saturday, 31 March 2012

This is what I've learned

It's been an interesting week and this is what I have learned. First, there is almost nothing that doesn't eventually end up in a thrift shop. Last summer when we were redecorating the apartment we looked high and low for a round table no more than 32 inches in diameter. We almost bought a repro piece that was stupid expensive but I backed away because I was sure the real deal would come to us from a junk shop cheap. Finally gave up in the fall when we found a nice old harvest table. Wednesday I walked into Sally Ann and there it was, the EXACT table we were looking for $54.99. It was gorgeous but there is no room for it now so I walked on by. I probably should have bought it anyway but Daniel would have objected to being unable to get into the apartment, wah, wah, he's so unreasonable sometimes. Oh well, I left there kind of chuckling because of course you always find what you need when you don't need it anymore, it is the way of thrift shops. From there I went to the pottery studio to pack my bits for the last time because I decided not to renew my membership for next month. Much as I enjoyed getting muddy again  it was difficult to arrange time to be there and I really wasn't producing anything worthwhile. In fact I was really just playing and the only thing I really liked enough to keep was a series of terracotta spoons that have absolutely no practical purpose.
I realized finally, that I was actually reluctant to go there because I was only making stuff, mugs I didn't really need, bowls nobody really needs etc. - completely contrary to what I said I wanted to be doing which is to remake and/or to make stuff out of stuff that is already made. That made the decision easy and so there I was packing up my tools and things and chatting with the potter who was there to teach a children's class that evening. It turns out she is the maker of this amazing odd little man that I have been looking at for the past couple of months. She told me that she had made him for someone specific but was reluctant to send him because he had been over fired and was consequently "not perfect". I told her that he was indeed perfect and all the more interesting for the lumps and bumps that could not have been planned. I was certain that her friend would think so too and encouraged her to send him on. By this time I was done packing except for some clay, which I gave her so it wouldn't go to waste and my super deluxe banding wheel which I used to think I could not live without and now suddenly felt like a burden. It weighs a ton and takes up precious space in my too small studio. On impulse I gave her that too and she said, "that's it, you'll have to take the little man in trade then". For a second I almost felt guilty for doing her friend out of such a fabulously quirky piece but did that stop me from packing him up quick? Hell no! Here he is, artist: Tarrynea Biallecki
So that is the second thing I learned this week, reaching out to people, offering a bit of encouragement, a bit of spontaneous generosity - it is it's own reward. But sometimes you get the freaking prize too!!!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

errant painting

Here is the errant painting. I saw these shmucky wire houses in the book Handmade Home and fell in love with them. I don't know why, they're kind of weird but I wanted to draw them. They were so difficult to draw I thought maybe I could only understand them if I made one myself so I did and I drew that on the canvas too. Then I thought houses have to have numbers but 4 is very unlucky in Feng Shui unless you draw a red circle around it to contain the bad luck so I did that but now none of it really makes any sense so it must be time to walk the dog.

not so nice

I'm working on a painting that doesn't quite know which direction it wants to go so it must be break time. Yesterday I went poking through thrift shops but found nothing. Clearly I am not alone in the hunt for those smaller pieces worth rescuing.  I finished up the little cupboard I found last week again with the chalk paint, this time two layers, blue under the white. I like the way it peeks out just a little here and there. The wax on top seems to enhance that nicely, or not nicely, depending on how you look at it. Nice is highly overrated.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

just for me

Something just for me! I found this funny old chair at the thrift shop and couldn't wait to mess with it. I also found a curtain that was just enough fabric to cover the cushions. So far it only has one coat of wax on it and I think it needs a dark coat but I was too impatient to wait. Pretty darn comfy it is.

Friday, 16 March 2012


It seems that I will do literally anything to avoid painting these days and while that certainly may be one aspect of my latest endeavors the fact is I am really trying to avoid getting a real job. My sister and I have been trying to figure out how we can share a furniture refab business in two locations which isn't quite a weird as it sounds. We can each do our own thing, in our own style but maybe share some resources as well as a whole lot of positive reinforcement. Maggie has the "cute" and "pretty" completely aced and that leaves me to find the weird and wonderful plain Janes. Those are the ones that sing to me. This past week I completed a little game table and a six board box in chalk paint with wax. I love them both. Today I'm working on a little cupboard that used to be part of something else I think. It has some mysterious marks that make me wonder about it's history.