Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thrifting in January

Water color that looks like Trey
Bird Houses
THRIFTING: definition - shopping as cheaply as possible!

Now I'm retired have had to rethink how I shop.  Sooooooo am entertaining myself by shopping at yard sales, estate sales and my new favorite ---auctions.  Some things I keep, some I give as gifts (watch out my presents are usually vintage) and some I sell at my booth at Rockin' B Antiques and Decor, on Hwy 154 toward Sharpsburg.
Bisque German Figurine
 See our blog that is designed by my friend Denise and boothie (like a roomie except we share a booth and get to go home to our husbands when we get tired of each other). Check out what I've found this month and try to guess what I'm keeping for ME!!!!!


Loved this pair of oil paintings of Gatlinberg in sepia tones

This bird print was very faded so I repainted it with my trusty q-tips and Loran's water color paints.

Fell in love with this hand painted lamp that needs a new shade.  What shape?  What color?

Got these at Van Byars pick up auction.  Really can't resist boxes of stuff!

Sometimes you have to have a vision....Bob-bob calls my side of the garage a nightmare NOT a vision but stay tuned as I turn these legs into the perfect porch tables.  Sure hope this works...... 

Majolica Teapot and Cups

Child's Silver Set...  Tea anyone?

See I told you I LOVE to shop!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Face to Face and Eye to Eye

I am a new docent at the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory in Atlanta and will give my first tour this Thursday.  I want you to step into my time machine and travel through time and look into the faces of the past.
From Carlos Museum
Our first stop will be to look into the eyes of Tiberius, the second emperor of Rome, step-son of Augustus and son of the forceful Livia.  He ruled Rome from 14-37AD.  During this time he reformed the government, abolished Egyptian and Jewish "cults", crushed all city riots, abolished the right of sanctuary and ruled while Jesus Christ was tried and crucified under Roman rule.  He became so paranoid that he sought self-exile on the Isle of Capri. Do you think this is what he really looked like?  Do you think George Washington really looked like the face on the dollar bill?  This is what we know as the Classical Style.
Krater Sack of Troy
Our next stop is the Krater (wine vessel) Iliupersis or Sack of Troy thought to be painted by the Baltimore painter.  This vessel is illustrated with scenes from a lost poem that describes Helen and Cassandra seeking sanctuary in Athena's temple.  Notice the body language of Menelaus and Ajax as they confront the two woman. How do their gestures show their feelings? Look into the eyes of Helen and Cassandra and see how the brilliant artist has shown Cassandra's fear and Helen's seduction.  How in the world did this piece survive 2,000+ years?  It's beauty like that of Helen enabled it to become immortal.
Next let's visit another woman known not for her beauty but her ability to instill fear. Medusa, a gorgon sister who was a combination of beauty and terror, sorta reminds me of Angelina Jolie.  She angered the gods (really goddesses) and was turned from a beauty into a snake-haired monster who could turn anyone who looked her in the eye into stone.  Now be careful looking at her.  Perseus killed her by cutting off her head by looking at her reflection in his shield.  This staring head was used on entryways, gates, and public buildings to protect and induce terror in people entering.  Is superstition the best security system?
Tankhtnettahat from Carlos Collection
Let's now enter the Egyptian Gallery and visit with Tankhtnettahat.  She was a chantress in the Temple of Amun at Karnak.  Her painted coffin and mummy board are some of the best examples in the world.  But as you look in the many painted faces of Lady Tahat do you see the lifeless expression that would make you sad even if you did not know the context of the painting?  She was highly regarded in her own time and given a noble burial for she "woke the gods in the morning and sang them to sleep at night."

West Mexico,  Carlos Museum
But the obsession with death and the dead was not just in Egypt but was also a focus of the cultures in Ancient America. Next let's look at a set of sculptures of a seated man and woman that are contemporaries of the classical art of Greek and Rome.  These effigies were buried in graves in a vertical 50 foot deep shaft that was then filled with rubble and sealed with stone doors.  Interestingly behind the doors stood statues signaling the universal stop signal of hand raised palm up.  They don't face the entryway but toward the dead!  This couple was buried at the same time - I wonder if they died at the same time. Look at their faces... did love out last death?
Dying Masks, Costa Rico, Carlos Museum

Our last face from the past is a pair of very rare Dying Mask set from Costa Rica.  They date from 1-500AD the same time as the Roman Empire.  There was a dual burial ritual where the body was buried in a shallow grave until it was reduced to bones and then reburied for at final time.  The time between  - liminal - the body is neither living or dead or as they said in the Princess Bride, "mostly dead".  The masks are anatomically correct and show the characteristics of decomposition- sunken eyes, gas bloated lips,and even collapsing cartilage.  What effect does this obsession with death have on a culture? If death is overly valued, is life undervalued?

As we leave the galleries of our museum... look at all the faces of the past spying out at you.  How would you want to join them and be remembered 2,000 years from now? And remember to come see us in person at the Carlos Museum Atlanta's best kept secret.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I Adore Glass

I just LOVE anything glass!!!!!


Glass is created by volcanoes melting sand into the beautiful black obsidian and lightning flashing onto beaches creating the beautiful pieces of green glass but the oldest man-made glass has been found in graves throughout Mesopotamia.  It has also been found in Egyptian tombs that are over 4,000 years old.  Ancient cultures considered(as do I) that glass was more valuable and beautiful than gold. Later in the 1st century BC, the technique of glass blowing was discovered in Syria and glass became common throughout the Roman Empire.
Photo from Antique Trader

Do these perfume bottles look like they are  over 2,000 years old???  Just beautiful!

Stained Glass Canterbury, England
During the Dark Ages glass making also declined only to be gloriously revived with the stained glass of the cathedrals that were built during the 1100's.  I love these from Canterbury Cathedral which I visited last November.  The colors are so vivid.

Venice became and remains a glass making center. The glass makers techniques were so secret that the glass blowers were not allowed to leave the island of Murano so that they would be unable to teach their methods to others. Luckily they didn't succeed in keeping the secret but they are still make the most beautiful glass pieces on the island.

In 1676, the Englishman George Ravenscroft added lead to glass and brilliant, sparkling glass was born. This glass was softer than regular and could be carved making cut glass.  My grandmother had many pieces of cut glass so I'm a lucky ancestor.

The U.S.A. now has some of the world's greatest glass artists like: Dale Chihuly, Richard Satava and Craig Zweifel.
When I win the lottery...

So I have all kinds of glass all over my house. I have a collection of paperweights in my bedroom, cut glass in my dining room, perfume bottles in the up-stair's guest bath, colored pitchers in my kitchen and then mid-century vases( my current obsession) everywhere.

If you are considering collecting glass, here are some of my personal rules.  I have to make rules for my collections so I don't get carried away and have 87 pairs of candlesticks.  Yes, I did!

 1)Look for signatures - They hide them!

2)Keep labels on piece if possible.

3) Heaviness or lightness are equally desirable.

4) Since most pieces are unmarked and unidentifiable,  look for great color and shape - Good pieces will jump out at you.
5) Punty marks on the bottom are an indication that the piece is truly hand blown.  I especially like anything that is hand blown.

6)  And please, please, please don't drive the price up. There are still beautiful vases in my price range!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Weather

O Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? Shelly

We are snowbound in Georgia for the second day. Flights are canceled, school is closed, roads are icy, and we are stuck at home warm and cozy.