The Last of the Patriarchs

Here are nine wrapped Patriarchs ready for the shellac. I will just show pictures of the last one I wrapped. It was done in graduate school about the men in Brasstown who I spent time with. There was not much we had in common so I set out to find a way to portray what we did share. It was a complex cross reference like one would find in an old library…..”Nettles, also see…..”

Using scraps of iron, wood and a belt of old sandpaper for the container, I made several papers using something that each of us used in one way or another.  Those pages had square holes cut in the center to pass through all the strings that “attached” us to one another. The strings went through to the page of paper that best represented that person. Then like library cards we each got our own name with the main component listed first then “Also see”…. Small samples of the papers were on the back side of the name card.

Several of us had cows at the time so manure was used to make a page. I drank a daily infusion of nettles, Paul was mostly baptist, others chewed tobacco, harvested hay, ate okra etc.

The binding was like a concertinaed book to hold the pages apart.

Denim was used to make the blue page because most of us wore jeans. One of the men brought me a program from the baptist church to make a page with after reducing it to pulp.

I loved how tangled up our strings became every time it was looked through. The first letter of our names was stamped on the small squares of paper to the strings we shared in common. I loved making this piece and wrapped it especially careful. Half of these men are gone and those left probably won’t remember.

Here is one other beside the graduate that just could not be wrapped. The old patriarch teaching music. It is his open mouth, his joyful expression and his students held close as they smile at the experience.  I will keep this one a bit longer, not because I know anything about music but Patrick plays guitar and the graduate might become lonely.

Now on to the shellac. Here is the first coat on some of them. I am glad to have purchased two pounds of flake shellac but now need loads more denatured alcohol/methlolated spirits.

Til later.

PS I am very involved with the revisiting and remembering but you do not have to keep reading this as I document the process for my own benefit. Just check in later after I get everything wrapped, shellacked and ready.