Sunday, April 30, 2006

A change of pace

My studio is in a room that was added on to our house fifty-five years ago. It has a door that goes out into our side yard where I grow vegetables and flowers. Right by the door is an old maple tree that casts a lot of shade. There is a bare spot under that tree. I have wanted to make some kind of assemblage in that area for a long time. This morning Jim was digging up a vegetable bed for me. I found an old, partially rotten table I had made with four fruit crates, and drug it over to the bare spot. Then I started gathering stuff from the yard. I had a figure made of a chunk of wood and an altar that was hanging on our fence under a bottle brush. They were both buried in a messy part of the yard, where I never got to enjoy them.

Jim came over and started to get into it. Sometimes it's hard for us to work together. I want things well made and sturdy. Jim isn't concerned if they fall apart in a few years. In fact they probably become more materials for his projects. But we spent about six hours on this and I want it to be there for awhile. Today we were in some middle ground. It's not a house project, if it falls over it doesn't really matter. So I was able to not worry so much about the things that were wired together. And Jim was tolerant of my desire to use brass screws and galvanized nails.

Jim is very good at arranging three dimensional things. I am good at putting things together. It felt like a real collaboration because we both contributed skills and ideas. For me this is a memorial for someone who died years ago. I'm not sure what it represents to Jim, maybe just having fun. Nice day!

No comments: