This vintage animal puzzle was last summer’s bounty for wandering into one of my favorite shops, Maison Bergogne, in Narrowsburg, NY. I wasn’t exactly drawn in by the box, so I’m not quite sure why I removed the lid. Needless to say, I was pleased that my curiosity got the better of me. I should know that if something is in Juliette and Anie’s shop, it will likely be special in one way or another. And that taking the time to explore yields many aesthetic rewards. My favorite cards in the puzzle are the ones that have been repaired with a needle and thread. *See the rat and the fox.
Oh, and keep in mind that sometime in early summer, Juliette, along with biz partner Laura Silverman, plan to open bar/cafe Fish & Bicycle.
Yesterday’s post (Feb. 5th), today. A mere fraction of all the “Fives” floating about my studio.
In the darkest, coldest days of winter, these yellow enamel plates will offer a glimpse of optimism and light. (At least that’s what I told myself when I decided to bring them home.) With the added bonus of making eating, while watching a movie, that much tidier and easier. Two of these will soon leave my possession for friends, who will hopefully enjoy them the way I do.
I recently took a short but inspiring bookbinding class in upstate NY. It was hosted and organized by J. Morgan Puett, of Mildred’s Lane and The Mildred Complex(ity), and it was taught by one Leon Johnson. He, along with his wife Megan O’Connell, and son Leander, are the founders of Salt & Cedar, a letterpress studio located in the Eastern Market district of Detroit. They produce custom design work and printed matter – an extremely prosaic way of saying that they are extraordinary designers and thinkers. They also appear to have created a modern day salon of sorts, encompassing performance, food, film and more. This scarified hunk of beeswax is one of Leon’s tools. Bookbinding uses waxed thread as a means to hold together the sets of pages, which are called signatures. You can buy prewaxed thread, but most serious bookbinders prefer to wax their own. I was told that this piece, which, at the time I saw it only measured about 3.5″ x 2″ x 3″, began as quite a large block. Figure one or two pounds. It wasn’t just the beeswax that caught my attention. It was also the way Mr. Johnson used it to wax the thread. When someone is so accomplished at their craft/artform, they do things with complete ease and confidence, and a kind of artful rhythm. A ritual motion that is part of them, unlike the halting actions performed by relative neophytes.
I can’t remember how old I was when my mother gave me this pincushion. I figure maybe 5, at the outside. I never really thought much about it, until the other day when I decided to do a bit of sewing. It caught me totally off guard. It’s probably one of the most familiar objects in my household. It is regularly put into service. As such, I hadn’t realized how much I take this stuffed faux strawberry for granted. It’s been with me almost my entire life. Same pins. Same goofy shape. Same floppy little berry tassel. Same faded yellow “Made in China” tag. Lots of pleasure in the familiar.
On another note, as a means of explaining my absence these past weeks: I have been spending a lot of time in the country. Unfortunately, the trade off for the fresh air and birds, is super duper crappy internet service. What ever happened to the Rural Broadband Initiative? We are working on a solution. In the meantime, I will try and be more consistent about posting.
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