Sunday, October 23, 2011

the detritus of creativity

there was a two-day flea market in our little town this weekend. apparently they do it every year. it seemed less like a flea market, actually, and more like a garage sale to which the whole town was invited. it was well-organized - with couches in one row, coffee tables in another, old computers and ancient VCRs over in one corner, odd appliances grouped, books stacked and dishes sorted into glasses, plates, cups and vases. there was even a massive table of old flowerpots. much of it had that air of sadness about it that flea markets and antique stores sometimes have...unloved, unstylish dishes and chairs, stained cushions that had seen better days, dusty cross-stitch pictures of some obscure church somewhere, but here and there, there were a few treasures.

i tried to buy just the little lino cutter above (i loved that it was in its original box), but the guy in charge of that area (those working the market were strangely clad in white doctor's coats, which is especially odd since i've never seen a doctor in this country wearing one) insisted that i take the entire box it was in. as you can see, there are a number of linocuts (and even a couple of woodcuts) with a 70s feel. there is also a collection of old bottles of paint and dyes - all dried up and not usable, but fetching nonetheless (photos in the near future). it ended up being quite a treasure for 50DKK ($10).

as regular readers well know, i think a lot about the evidence of creativity, but digging through the box of lino-cut goodies makes me feel a little bit sad somehow. looking at the stamps someone spent so much time carving, seeing the dusty bottles of dried inks and fabric dyes, long forgotten - like so much detritus washed up on a beach. i wonder what was made with these? fabrics? cards? prints? gifts? when did they get put on some shelf in a garage? how did they become forgotten? someone once spent time and care and imagination, only for it to end in a dusty box in a room full of other things someone no longer wanted.

but the bright side is that it's true what they say, that one person's trash is another's treasure. i'll have to see if i can do something fun with these stamps, to bring them back to life again. i'm pretty happy that doctor coat-clad guy made me take the whole box.


Corrine said...

As a child I remember my mother tossing a measuring cup that had lost its companions when she acquired a new set. I retrieved it and used it with my chemistry set. I felt sorry for it. Inanimate objects project their users lives, your story illustrates that perfectly.

An idea:
Have you ever done velvet burnouts? Lay the velvet face down on the wood-cut, or lino cut as the case may be, lay a lightweight press cloth on top, using a hot iron and steam, press the design into the velvet. Makes beautiful little designs on the face side of the velvet. Suitable for scarves and/or yardage.

julochka said...

@corinne - i haven't tried that, but i definitely will. there must be some velvet somewhere in my stash! what a great idea! thank you!

Judith said...

Those look like beautiful linocuts! I love the dandelion one - and that would look great on a velvet scarf.

Mel said...

What a great find! I would be a little sad too, thinking about all that love and care someone put into making those carvings, gone to who knows where now. But then I would feel a little happy caring for them and giving them a new life.

Can't wait to see what you dream up.
And the word verification is flestive. I kindof like that.