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Memories Wheel

June 19, 2017

2017-06-18 18.09.07

Jessica’s wheel is coming along just fine.  Still some details to finish up like screw covers and wood caps to cover the upper end of the footman rod axles. It has been a delightful project and I sincerely thank Jessica for sharing her special memories with me.  She has given me permission to share them with you also.  This way you can see how her memory was transformed into a painting:

“I had long golden blonde hair (past my waist) when I was little, with bangs.  My mom put a kerchief on me a lot when we’d go into the woods, so my hair wouldn’t get caught on bushes…..I remember that the berrying cans were just old coffee cans that my grandpa poked holes in and threaded wire handles on, so they looked like paint cans. My particular can was an old brown MJB coffee can, and it was little, like me, maybe 8 or 10 inches tall, and about half the diameter of a normal coffee can…….The butterfly was yellow, not quite buttercup yellow, but not dandelion yellow either…..I think the stump was a foot or so off the ground, but I’m not positive. It’s very hazy.”

Jennifer told me her grandfather saw her, singing to the little butterfly.  What a joy this has been to paint!

2017-06-18 18.05.38

I have apparently (for the second time) been outwitted by my devices and have lost Jessica’s letter regarding her great memories of boating on Priest Lake.  The boat was a Boston Whaler and it was the vessel into freedom and adventure for this young lady.  The boat’s name was DingBat and even though it is a small part of this painting, it is a memory trigger.  The rocks along the shore were placed there by her grandfather, as was the sand.  What a great place to spend summer days!  The biggest rock in the foreground was a special one to Jessica. She was happy to see it in this painting.

A few other details – Jessica sent me some stones she had taken from this place.  I used three of them on the various knobs. She also sent me some tiny acorn caps from her grandfather’s property and I placed them in the nest with the cardinal.  Some of the lighter wood, such as the center of the hubs and the wing shape on the footman rods, are made from tamarack.  She remembers this wood from her childhood, especially as firewood.  She asked if I could incorporate it into the wheel.  I went to my trusty wood supplier – Edensaw- and asked John if they had any tamarack, otherwise known as larch.  Seem its rare in these parts, and John had to think about it for awhile.  Finally on a hunch he went upstairs to the offices and I didn’t see him for a while.  Eventually he descended with a thirty inch board in his hand.  It was larch indeed and had been used to keep the resident cat from using a potted plant for a litter box!  Hopefully they found another board to deter the cat.  I so much appreciate the folks at Edensaw.  They have always treated me and others with respect and are so generous with their time.  And when I finish new wheels I enjoy taking them out to show the staff.  My little way of saying thank you. And thank YOU again for letting me share my new memories of building this wheel.

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From → Gary's Thoughts

6 Comments
  1. Helen permalink

    Your wheels are such beautiful works of art! I enjoy seeing each one as you work on them. You really put a lot of your self into each one. Thank you.

  2. This may be one of your most creative wheels. Gary it is amazing. I am wondering if she will dare spin on such a increadiable work of art. I am truly impressed.

    • Jessica permalink

      I do, almost daily. And each time I sit down to spin, I look at her in awe and amazement that this beautiful work of art is mine, and that Gary was able to capture my memories so vividly. I am so grateful, and absolutely in love with this wheel!

  3. I can’t imagine a more special experience than to do an activity you love with a tool that captures so many beautiful memories! I think Jessica will treasure this all her life!

  4. rabbitsheepllama permalink

    Love this wheel so sweet you can do this for others Wish there were words to tell you how special this truly is. Gary you are a special person in my book above and beyond!!!Thank You.

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