Friday…with Hand Carved Memories

July 3, 2015

Filed Under : Art - collaborations - My Home - Summer

IMG_1294When I decided that I would write some history of the table this week for the Life Band project with Rhodes Weddings, I didn’t realise that it would lead me into thinking much more deeply about life and how people view themselves within it…

I’ve realised that objects hold massive importance to me…I wanted to think about why, and also what significance other people put onto their own objects…

The table is the foundation of my domestic life…but that stems from pure practicality rather than any romance.

The table is the perfect size for me to spread out my work and completely mess up, and it’s also the perfect size for my son and I to eat at…

IMG_3124 I bought the table in Lewes, East Sussex, about 14 years ago, ( just before my son was 1 year old ), and the moment it was brought into the back room at home it almost felt as if it had been there before…it was a perfect and instant fit…

I wanted to find some images of it’s early life here, and I was so happy to find a picture of my late father sitting at the table mending things, and in the position the table originally held; the centre of the room! I also love how it just peeps into other photos of our life when my son was small…Photo 16-06-2015 15 20 07

Photo 16-06-2015 15 21 05

…comparing it’s surface now to then, it looks a lot lighter to me which may have something to do with it’s position in front of the window now…

But then those pictures got me thinking about other people’s tables…

This is my Mum’s table peeping into to the photo ( I’m the devil, my best friend is the mummy! ) which she still has and uses daily…Photo 02-07-2015 05 49 41 …and this is a picture I took last Autumn on the table shown above…without the tablecloth! IMG_1209…and just in the background you can see there is this chair, which now sits at my table!Photo 02-07-2015 05 55 54Photo 02-07-2015 05 56 21 I also found this picture of my Granny’s flower arranging ‘presentation’ table…Photo 02-07-2015 06 10 17and my Grandpa’s yellow formica kitchen table…
Photo 28-06-2015 14 08 33I loved seeing tables of my childhood; seeing how unimportantly essential they are; like big, silent giants of the family…

But I wanted to think about other people’s tables too…this is my partner’s table…
IMG_1811…and his mother’s bedside table!IMG_1466…and the shared table of me and my son!Photo 04-06-2015 08 09 54I absolutely knew that I wanted the table shown on my life band, but I also know that not everyone would feel the same about their own table…

Some people feel strongly about other objects, and I was fascinated to ask people what  ’thing’ was important to them and which they thought represented something of who they are and what their life is…I wanted to imagine how it would translate into their own life band…
Photo 16-06-2015 15 22 20So I asked a few friends…

This week I visited Susan Bell 

She said it had been quite difficult thinking about what object represented something of her life as she’d spent her childhood moving around a lot; objects didn’t seem to hold such importance…

…yet in her fireplace there was a box with a small feather; the feather of her chicken who had been recently stolen by a fox…

Photo 01-07-2015 10 09 41 …a lichen covered stick from Scotland ( where Susan is originally from ) as well as a well worn map…Photo 01-07-2015 10 09 09…and then there was this cup…the cup which inadvertently led her towards telling me about the object which means so much to her, and which represents a massive part of her whole being…Photo 01-07-2015 10 02 07The cup and saucer shows her Grandparents’ caravan…her grandfather saved up to buy it, made lots of the fittings and things to go inside it, including a little wooden bed for his granddaughters…

There was a lot of love for this caravan…and then Susan’s family moved to Japan when she was still quite young, and the caravan was sold…

Photo 01-07-2015 10 08 25It was at this point Susan told me she’s had a campervan  for about 10 years…she said it was nothing special but it was something she loved…

It was parked a few minutes away because it’s not roadworthy at the moment, so we walked down the road to meet Dolly…

…and Dolly was the life object!

Having spent so many years travelling around, and now having lived in one place for quite a while, it was obvious that  ‘Dolly’ was part of Susan’s family, and a strong part of her self…

The photos below are portraits of Dolly’s details…
Photo 01-07-2015 10 43 59Photo 01-07-2015 10 45 17Photo 01-07-2015 10 42 20Photo 01-07-2015 10 42 12Photo 01-07-2015 10 40 34Photo 01-07-2015 10 39 55Photo 01-07-2015 10 40 24Photo 01-07-2015 10 38 26Photo 01-07-2015 10 37 28Photo 01-07-2015 10 41 41Photo 01-07-2015 10 50 17Photo 01-07-2015 10 48 45Photo 01-07-2015 10 37 07But it was the corner of the driver’s seat which caught my imagination…in life band terms, this would be perfect…the worn down imperfections of the driver’s seat; the hand holding that corner before each journey, the chair which has been the backbone of each adventure, and all part of ‘Dolly’ who has supported and lived alongside Susan’s wanderlust, love and necessity to freely travel…
Photo 01-07-2015 10 36 13I was genuinely moved by this loving friendship…

Ironically I had once had a ‘Dolly’ too, a 2CV, my first car; and yesterday I kind of missed her…

Photo 02-07-2015 06 02 00I’d felt very privileged being allowed into a piece of Susan’s personal history, and it was her Dolly’s colour which inspired this weeks arrangements…her vibrant orange defied the fading corners of her life and which left me in no doubt that there was masses of life in Dolly yet, despite her rather beautiful imperfections…

Photo 02-07-2015 15 54 33 Photo 02-07-2015 16 07 15 Photo 02-07-2015 16 13 12 Photo 02-07-2015 16 25 29 Photo 02-07-2015 16 31 14 Photo 02-07-2015 16 31 50 Photo 02-07-2015 16 11 20

What I love about the whole concept of a life band is that you can create something so unique to your life; working with the details of something which you may not instantly acknowledge is so important…something which will remind you that life isn’t always pretty, but whose marks and scars, in time, constitute its true beauty…

To have a look at the wonderful work Rhodes Weddings create, particularly their life bands, please take a look here as you could order your own very special piece

You can see the Steller Story version here

2 thoughts on “Friday…with Hand Carved Memories

  1. kazzy

    I can remember all my family and friends tables!~ i was enjoying your memories and it brought back wonderful memories of ‘home’, growing up. My mum and dads house was full of antiques, art and usually other peoples old unwanted furniture ‘hand -me- downs’. both my parents were artists and the kitchen became not only somewhere for all of us to eat but also for everyone to get creative. My dad had his own studio with an old rickety table to hold his paints and paint brushes on…My mum would sit at the kitchen table and i often think it was the hub of the home around that table. My mum had been brought up in a very strict, very tidy and structured home~ And thats why i think she loved having a home that looked lived in, it didnt matter if a few dishes lay on the table from breakfast or dad had plonked a dead bird on the table so he could paint it or if me and my twin had gone mad with the glitter glue and it was over the table and up the wall…all my friends had show homes as we lived in a wealthy area, but my friends loved coming to mine cos they could be free and not told off for jumping on the sofa! hehe. There is something lovely about a piece of furniture with history… i hope my daughter grows up with the fond memories i have around my family table 😉 ~ Thank you for sharing such a lovely post x

    1. 5ftinf Post author

      How lovely to read your comment!!! Tables really are the silent strength of a creative home…I’m so glad you totally get it!! x

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