Thursday, June 16, 2016

A Message in a Bottle

Victoria and Albert Museum
One of the things I love most about my job is digging into who, what, where, and why of a piece of furniture. Nowadays with the amount of information catalogued on the internet, you can gleam an amazing amount of information from only a few clues.

I’m sure, for me, it goes back to my apprenticeship in the violin shop when I sat one night with Stan Schmidt, examining the top a Stradivarius under a high powered magnifier as he pointed of out the obvious marks of an un-sharpened scraper. Not the earmark of a master, but a craftsman in a rush. From then on I have been hooked on the stories an object alone can tell you.

Whenever I work on a piece I always let my mind wander to an image of the maker, what was his life like, what was the day like when he finished this piece? Was it a grand accomplishment or another meal on the table?

While researching a piece recently I came upon a blog describing a nugget of gold. Not just the whispers from the past in the hand of the artisan, but a letter from the artisan himself, hidden inside his work. When you look at the creation the message was found in... and then the contents of the letter itself – I’m sure you will agree this message in a bottle is almost a precious as the masterpiece it was hidden inside.

I found the article on the blog of the “Lost Art Press”. If you have not been there before, it would be well worth your time - to bookmark the site and return frequently.…/when-cabbage-and-peas-were…/