Friday, September 26, 2014

A Few More Dear Odd Things

The little ceramic piece at the top left was made by my son Erik at around age 6.  In all these years it's lived on various shelves in our various houses, and I've never really looked at it until this afternoon when I painted it.  I never quite knew what it represented, some kind of animal in a cave?  a turtle under a rock?  It was one of many pieces that came home from ceramics class, and Erik didn't say much about it.  But for some reason it has great staying power and still sits on a shelf in our house.  After drawing it I believe it's possibly a bear heading into a cave.  Whatever it is, I like its sturdy presence.

Below the bear is a small onyx match holder that was owned by my Dad's father who smoked the occasional cigarette.  It was left behind when my grandmother died, and was one of the few things left in her house when I arrived to claim a few mementos.  I was happy to get it because I remember it from earliest childhood.  Three monkeys surround it: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, and Speak No Evil.   I have no idea where my grandfather got it.  It was one of the fascinating things about spending the night at my grandparents' house:  the hand-cranked ice cube crusher, the card shuffling machine, my grandma's Avon closet where she kept her sales inventory, the wobbly fern stand that stood next to a metal swinging bench that was called a glider, the collection of National Geographics, the yellow pencils from Dunn & Bradstreet where my grandfather worked doing I had no idea what but which involved access to pencils and letterhead for us to use for drawing, and the monkey match holder.

On the right are the screaming chicken ceramic piece that I found in a trashcan in a studio years ago and that is a great expression of frustration and rage for when that is needed;  and the metal key hook that has a man on it and underneath his name:  The Fat Boy.  We bought him in an antique shop somewhere in England many years ago, and he has faithfully held my car keys ever since.  I have actually never lost them as long as I have been hanging them on fat boy as soon as I walk in the house!