5.10.2010

Monday-still-a-mess.

     
I hope everyone enjoyed 
a marvelous Mother's Day.  



If it didn't involve homemade cards, two kinds of flowers and a delicious and beautiful 2 layer cake with raspberry filling and lemon curd/whipped cream icing, well then I'M SORRY. . .  I don't know what else to say.  There was also Australian Licorice and the makings for a terrarium that will feature a plastic Cowboy-and-Indian scene a la Bonanza. Seriously.  I couldn't have ordered a better day.
    




But there hasn't been a lot of stitching going on 
here at Small Works. 

For awhile. 

There hasn't been much of anything going on, except hauling stuff up and down stairs and trying to put together the puzzle of where everything should go in the new space.
Things are starting to come together, but I'm getting ready to get back to work.

I decided that showing you pictures of the mess wouldn't do a lot help your attitude or mine on a Monday afternoon, so I suppose that means it's a good time for another Small Works Book Tour.

And since I can't show you a fabulous new space at my own address, I decided to spend this week sharing with you some other artists' fabulous spaces in what is one of my most re-visited books of all time:


HAND and HOME -- The Homes of American Craftsmen, by Tommy Simpson and William Bennett Seitz, 1994


This book is a celebration of the places artists create in which to live and work, and every picture is a testament to the creativity, vision, and callouses that go into making a truly personal space that reflects their devotion to detail and craftsmanship.

These are a few of my favorite rooms from the first house featured:


These rooms are in the amazing home 
of Tommy Simpson and Missy Stevens

In this living room photo, Missy made the rug, pillows, and woven picture hanging next to the stairs.  Tommy made the house-shaped fire screen and the andirons, as well as the redware pot on the hearthstone (and all the furniture!)  The mantel holds a row of tiny glass bottles that contain sand from their travels all over the world.




In the dining room (cover) everything has been crafted by hand.  Tommy built the English oak table and the cherry-wood chairs.  Missy made the cushions and wove the carpet, and also made the row of heads sitting on the cupboard ledge.  Tommy sand-blasted the glass vase in the center of the table, and Missy wove the thread paintings on the wall.  Tommy built the doors, which have the word "HOME' spelled out across the top.  He also made the figured door handles in the shapes of Missy and himself.  Remarkable.




In the bedroom, Tommy built the pencil-post bed a d Missy made the linen canopy, as well as the wall-to-wall carpeting.  Tommy grain-painted the night tables and made the bench and the clock.  The barn ladder leads up to a storage area off Missy's studio.  They made the large porcelain plates above the bed together.


This cupboard by Tommy sits in an alcove between the master bath and an office, and  holds family photos and mementos, including Missy's childhood teddy bear and a love letter from Tommy's great-grandmother to his great-grandfather.  A deck with an outdoor shower is on the other side of the french doors.

Can you imagine sleeping in such a beautifully personalized space?  It would be a pleasure to wake up every morning and think, "I made ALL of this.  With my hands."




In the enclosed porch/eating area, notice the detail in the wood ceiling beams.  The furniture is built by Tommy and comfortably cushioned by Missy.

I've always been a sucker for cupboards, and this is a honey:




The sunflower echoes the one in the room's structural post, and the cupboard wears a coat of paint designed to complement the pattern on the spongeware bowls it holds.  The two paintings are by Tommy, painted in the early 1970's, as is the tall black ceramic dog pitcher.

Wow. 
It sort of makes me tired to look at it all.  But the beauty and the celebration of work by human hands also feeds my soul and reminds me of the ways a home can enrich and inform our day to day moments.
 
Back to work now, but I'll return with another remarkable house full of stunning-rooms-that-aren't-mine soon.  (And someday, perhaps a photo or two of my own?  Perhaps.)



     




7 comments:

Allie said...

Oh. my. word. This is just amazing. I love Missy's art - went to her site - punchneedle is my new love, but I don't think I'll ever get that good! Wow. This home is wonderful.

Amelia and Justin said...

That really is inspiring. It is beautiful. What an amazing experience it must have been to create that home together. Just lovely.

susan m hinckley said...

So glad you enjoyed it! I'd be interested to see what their home looks like now, with another 15 years of work under their belts. I ran into some of Missy's work in Santa Fe a few years ago, and it really was beautiful in person.

Karen S said...

What a beautiful home -- I'd never go anywhere if I could live there. Although I did notice that there was no sign of teenagers...

susan m hinckley said...

So true, Karen! No sign of any of the things that REALLY make my house "home" . . . but I guess I'd clean up for a photo shoot, also -- it would be nice to stop by on an ordinary Tuesday and see what it looks like. Or maybe it would be depressing. Could go either way :)

Elizabeth said...

Yes, I just love to see the creative spaces people work in or just spaces made by hand.

Sometime ago I found the art of this gentleman, his name is Butch Anthony.

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/04/07/garden/20100408-doonanny-slideshow_2.html

Have no idea how to link within a commentspace but copy/paste works.

Hope you will enjoy it.

Elizabeth said...

Just had to comeback and say thank you for mentioning Missy Stevens.

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