Some of the best gifts come from unexpected places. Several weeks ago, I received a note through my website contact form. This is what it said:
I love your work and the way you incorporate different textures with your clay. I have two very old trunks the type that are made of wood and have metal and leather details. The two trunks came from my Dad’s family ranch south of San Antonio that is an original family land grant.
The wood and metal details are very very weathered. I was wondering if you were interested in having these two trunks. I would like to donate them if you want them and I can send you pictures to see if you’re interested. The trunks look very old.
We connected, and she sent me some photos of the trunks as well as some photos of the ranch where they came from, a place where she grew up.
When she brought the trunks to my house (yes, delivery was included!), I got that goose-bumpy feel that some old objects can produce just by radiating a sense of profound history and adventure. Canvas, rust, wood – everything I love just ready to be re-purposed.
I asked her if it would be OK if I took some of the components apart to used in mixed-media assemblages, and she said, “Of course,” but I can’t bring myself to do that just yet.
These photographs show the well-worn canvas coverings and the character of the boards that were used to construct the trunk. Some of the hardware is incredibly intricate,
What did these trunks hold? How far did they travel? Who made them? Where did the metal hardware come from? And how will I honor them thorough my art?
This is a starting place – an open doorway for a lot of visual stories.
Stay tuned for more. This is a gift that requires a lot of thought! Thank you, Margaret, for this inspiration.