Tuesday, June 5, 2007

"Early" Beginnings - Come sit at my farmhouse table surrounded by plank bottom chairs, and have some coffee or whatever you prefer........

I fell in love with early things in the late 1980`s when I met someone sitting beside me at a little hometown craft show. The kind I wish I had never gotten out of bed for that day. The thing about those shows were, that even if you didn`t make much money, there was some connection to another show or person to help my career, such as it was. This is what happened that day. I was sitting next to a woman that made dolls like I had never seen. They looked like they were old and dragged across the grass,by some child. I was stirred by these dolls and had to find out more.This woman turned out to be copying a dollmaker
who sold her work at a country store. She was nice enough to share the location of this store. This led me to a wonderful country store that was once ,long ago, the store to the old woolen mills,now closed and empty that was still across the street. This wonderful store is a 2 story stone building with a brook flowing down beside it from the mountain behind the shop. As I walked in it took me back to country stores of my childhood, with wood plank floors that creak and the long counter with jars of penny candy. There was a pot belly stove for heat and a farm table with plank bottom chairs all around it for friends to gather and have coffee and buy handmade dolls, painted wooden santas, houses, antiques, all in the early,folk art style. I had never seen things like things like this and I knew then, this is what I wanted. It connected in me to someplace deep inside. I brought my work there and the owner sold it for me and we became friends. I met various people there, but there was one who eventually would be my best friend,Jennifer. I loved and admired her work so much! I still love it and collect it today. That`s how I learned of "early" things. Sitting at the farm table learning about history and getting to see all the wonderful things people made and brought in to sell. The owner made everyone feel at home,offered everyone coffee, and always had time for everyone. Sold penny candy , but either broke even on the cost or took a loss, because it cost more than one penny each, but it gave a nice memory to the kids that came in. This is where I learned about antiques and old dolls,folk art, painting,folk artists, good shows to go to, primitive decorating. I feel blessed to have been a part of that shop. The owner never made much money, got opportunities to buy great things, and brought together lots of people which is what I remember and I`m sure many others do to.
I`ve tried making many things over the years. Homespun pillows,I`ve woven baskets,dried flower arranging,dolls,painted wood item. I`ve grown and evolved as time went on, thank God. I`ve pursued knowledge of many arts and crafts,and I`ll continue to study and experiment with various techniques and mediums, but when it comes down to what`s important, is the creating and doing, the process, but also the people I`ve met and cared about and learned from,laughed and felt all kinds of emotions with, along the way. I look forward to what is to come as I continue down this "early " path with my work , my house, my antique spaces. I look forward to who I will meet and what I will create going down this "blog" path. I hope to share that feeling I experienced at that wonderful shop in the country, here in this blog, so come by often, bring a cup of something, and read and leave a comment , and maybe you`ll even find something to buy now and then. Come back again soon.

4 comments:

Scallywags Scribbles said...

It is all lovely Melanee,the story, layout, colouring. I love the rabbit.

Once Upon A Notion said...

Very nice beginning post Melanee! I love the story! How fortunate youa re to have met some great friends and inspirational people in the world of folk art and early works. I can't wait to read more of your blog in the future! May I put a link to your blog on mine?

Steph

wpflohr said...

Melanee,Reading your story made me think I was sitting there with all your friends! I feel very lucky to have several of your pieces and 2 of Jennifer! Can't wait to read more!!

Twila

Lana said...

Melanee,
I've enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your work and also where you work. I've missed hearing what's been going on with you so now I'll just check in here.

Take Care & God Bless,
Lana