The evening before last, just about wine time, I got a facetime call from friends in Australia. It was so good to hear their voices and be remembered by them. No wonder I have Australia greet me when I come in the front door!
On the chest below the large Aboriginal artworks sit The Fatal Shore pieces. I made these from Robert Hughes’ book shortly after the devastating fires there from a few years ago. The one in the back is made like a raft. There is an old padlock for the convict settlers and a rusted pin that supports an oar. All of it has been burned in places. The low boat in front is where I took the pages of his book, opened them to shape to an old wooden boat that I burned in Aboriginal marks. The pages are colored with the soils of Australia. Scattered wooden sticks that have been burned in patterns scatter across the front. The colorful card came with two lovely reds from friends who came to see the house last week.
Here is how the den is shaping up. This morning the internet was hooked up in the office area of the den.
Still no shades yet, but maybe this week.
More arranging needed on the shelves above the TV and books. Then where the old Chinese cabinet ended up near the end of the kitchen island.
And the shelves on each side of the fireplace.
At the top is a wood block print by Gwen Diehn and a couple of my Patriarchs that did not get buried. On the left is the River Lethe Boat that I made when Lee was losing his memory. I loved making this after a bit of research of how the passengers boarded the boat after drinking the water of forgetting from the river. They step in and drop their luggage on the way down to be seated below. All the tiny text that appears on them and the strings representing flowing water are in the past tense. I took the piece a bit further and imagined that the ferryman had a lapse of memory and drank the water, so ended up just tying the boat to a piling to wait for what happens next.
The next shelf down I just took hold of all the New Zealand flax baskets I’ve made over the years with basket makers in Australia and stuck them into the corner. The glass trophy I won with a wonderful cash award from the South Australia Museum is tucked in with the baskets. On the right is a collection of Lee’s turned bowls.
Below that is Chad Hagen’s felted journal page and Jo McEwen’s egg tempera painting with Indian printing blocks and metal animals.
Then a Doris Messick basket, more bowls, some by John Jordan, a boat I made of sticks and handmade papers, plus a small mixed media piece from an artist in central Tasmania who opened a cafe in an old stone church. Finally an Australian insect.
Below are boxes made about Australia and a large one holding all the gifts from students over fourteen trips down under. They sit next to a burial boat I made in front of an old Indonesian heddle.
Below that are my hand sewing baskets and a magazine basket.
The top shelf you can’t see is all baskets Lee brought home from Thailand and the cased Patriarch from my undergraduate days. Another one not buried.
Then a scroll journal entry from Helen Sanderson’s trip to the Antarctic, a voodoo basket from Africa and a ceramic piece by Obie Clark.
Next is the non nourishing bowl I made in undergraduate school about why men leave, Ted Cooley’s raven, another bowl by Lee and assorted baskets by makers I knew in my basket making days….Theresa Ohno, Grace Kabel, Polly Sutton and Edith Bondie.
Next an old carrying basket from South America, a yogurt carrier belonging to a Messiah warrior, a Knud Olson turned bowl, engraved prints by Lucious DeBose, an oil can I bought at a flea market in Ballarat, Victoria, more turned pieces and a vase with mudcloth markings that I really needed to own.
Then another turned piece by Lee, a Zulu basket, Froud’s Box made in honor of Brian Froud for all his Fairy research, another foundry mold holding monkey ball gourds, and a small family of Indonesian powder holders all gathered in the corner.
Lastly are the two baskets that have always held my extra napkins, the Bose speaker, a wicker hamper with books I have made topped by a sweetgrass basket.
On the old post office table from Brasstown sits the In Search of Lost Time Series of three using old clock parts and text from Proust. The explorers “chess” game from Expedition to Elsewhere: the Evidence sits in the middle (I could not bear to bury it with the rest of their explorations), The Writer sits with a guest book from our old house on the left of the table with a small glass case made by Marla Shelton about Lee and me.
I took time yesterday to catch up on the sketchbooks.
The cats and I are home.
New area rug comes tomorrow with an Amazon order of new towels, bedspread set and dining light fixture.