Sunday, January 31, 2010

Make Your Own Rainbow

Last week, my table was covered with yarns, metallic braids and my hand-dyed ribbons. I laid out the colors then cut, gathered together, twisted, and knotted the bundles. Pinks, reds, browns, greens, purples. Fuzzy, smooth, shiny, nubby, crinkly, all running through my hands. The soft pile grew. Making these fiber bundles is a favorite task. It exemplifies all the reasons why I work in fiber. I love the colors and textures. Handling them and drinking in their beautiful colors satisfies some need as basic as eating or sleeping. As I worked, I imagined what my students might end up doing with them some day. Within the pile, I had this rainbow. What a joy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Old Iron Bench

In the shelter of a 19th-century home, I found one of those absolutely perfect tableaux. This sometimes mystifies my husband, who is not really attracted to rusting iron benches set against walls clinging to their last vestiges of faded paint. Why do I like this so much? The bench mimics delicate lace but the rust declares its weighty iron bones. It took years for those shades of peach and orange to creep and speckle and blend across that bench. The wall behind it is a subtle half-and-half mix of blue and gray, almost the same values. I can't tell you why I am so strongly drawn to this, but I could find inspiration in it, over and over, for a long time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Savannah Waterfront

In Savannah there are many grand and beautiful old homes. I prefer the buildings that have been more haphazardly maintained. Their facades are more likely to divulge a few hints about the adventures and mishaps that may have taken place over the years. In America, I associate this special brand of decrepitude with New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah. Near-tropical humidity and the relentless threat of hurricanes imbues them with character and romance. This is one of the old cotton warehouses that sits on the edge of the Savannah River. The ground floor shops and restaurants offer ice cream, cool drinks and souvenirs. Look closely at the upper floors and you might catch a whisper of the stories still held within.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Georgia Pig

South of Brunswick, Georgia, there is a great place to get barbecue. The Georgia Pig looks as if way more time has been spent smoking pork and perfecting the potato salad than fussing with the decor. I like that in a barbecue joint. These days, it's easy to miss the Georgia Pig. Gas stations and fast food outlets with bright, blinking plastic signs line the road. How can a row of hand painted wooden cut-outs of pigs compete? The pigs owe more to memories of Porky than to some advertising agency's ideas about a suitable logo or "brand image." This is hickory-infused folk art, fading in the sun. By the way, if you stop at the Georgia Pig, don’t ask for fries.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Skimmers and Gull

Although we are there every few years, being in Florida at Christmas time always seems a bit strange. Blow-up snowmen sharing green lawns with palm trees are just...wrong somehow. It sure is nice to walk along the beach collecting small shells and watching the birds. These black skimmers stood patiently, enjoying the sunshine and waves, allowing me to creep up close. They remind me of old men wearing toupees, with the toupees being the color their hair has not been for many years.