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Friday, January 28, 2011

A bench of sublime beauty.

Here is a change of pace.

A decorative interior bench, carved by the master furniture maker, Charles Rohlfs. He is renowned as an icon of the Arts & Crafts Movement. There was an exhibit of his furniture on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.  I have loved Rohlfs work for sometime, and find it some of the most inspiring sort of furniture around. As I hone my skills at woodworking, I hope to return to his work and learn from it. Of note, I did not attend the exhibit, but was lead there by a blog post by writer and fellow Mythic, Delia Sherman.

Charles Rohlfs (American, 1853–1936)
Bench, ca. 1899
Oak and iron; 45 1/2 x 37 3/4 x 24 1/2 in. (115.57 x 95.89 x 62.23 cm)
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gift of a friend of the Department of American Decorative Arts and the Arthur Mason Knapp Fund 

This bench, with its deep dark finish, large ring handles, and metalwork resembling inset stones, suggests Rohlfs's interest in medieval furniture.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A refreshing bench amongst the autumn leaves...

Family issues have had me neglecting my bench blog, so I thought I would open things back up with a nice picture from November of 2009. A lovely little bench setting amongst the Autumn leaves on the campus of Anne Arundel Medical Center, in Annapolis, Maryland. We were there visiting a family member, and you'll note that this picture was taken well before I started a bench blog, so even back then, I was drawn to the loveliness of an empty bench in a quiet setting.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Benches around a Labyrinth...

We returned to the Serenity Trail & Labyrinth at Allegany Community College and enjoyed a walk upon it. I offer you this image of one of the benches surrounding  the Labyrinth.

Of note, I was an early member of The Labyrinth Society and although I am no longer active in the organization, it is only due to time constraints. I still love Labyrinths and they and benches often go together very well indeed. I don't believe I have ever seen a Labyrinth in an outdoor setting without a bench. They demand a place to sit nearby and reflect. So here is another view of the Labyrinth along the Serenity Trail. A short walk I took on it a few weeks ago, just as the leaves were turning.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Being alone on a bench...

A beautiful, immersive, and transformational little poem by singer/song writer Tanya Davis about the power of being alone...and naturally, it mentions benches.

"Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, there're always statues to talk to and benches made for sitting give strangers a shared existence if only for a minute and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversations you get in by sitting alone on benches might've never happened had you not been there by yourself"

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Autumn is for long walks and benches..

 Two benches along the Serenity Trail at Allegany College of Maryland. It runs along the gorgeous and meditative Evitt's Creek behind the college and is simple a blaze in Autumnal splendor. It was like food for my heart and I have floated for a couple of days on it. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A bench of sacred geomtry.

Lot of interesting and intrigue people at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Artists with passionate backgrounds and wildly diverse skills. Suffice it to say that sometimes the person selling you a piece of pottery or jewelry, may also be a world class painter or musician, as well.

My friend John at Sozra Jewelry is a bit like that. Recently he was approved to bring his Sacred Geometry paintings into his gallery at the festival. Now I won't use this blog to go on about Vesica Piscis, or Fibonacci Spirals, or any of the various other permutations of Sacred Geometry. The links to Wikipedia entries are are great starting points on the subject. However, these sort of elegant forms is one of my interests and I love John's paintings. Here is one of my favorites because it incorporates the hexagonal forms that bubbles make in foam.

Out front of their lovely booth sat this bench. Really it is a simple wagon wheel bench. However the continuity between the eight spoked sides and the sacred geometry paints was great. I pointed it out to John and noted also that an it is the  Dharma Wheel Symbol of Buddhism and has a deeply personal resonance with me. So there it is, resting gracefully, awaiting some to come and rest, and contemplate the forms of the very universe itself.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Benches of refuge in a time of need...

We are busy getting ready for the Maryland Renaissance Festival where we make our living as artists. The grounds of the place is thick with benches. Literally 100's of various wooden benches of all designs and forms. I expect that I will be posting many variations of them in the coming weeks. So I thought I would start out with these simple examples just a couple of booths away from us. Nice basic form, built of framing lumber primarily. Sturdy.


Every bench has a story, some more than others, many unknown. 

 At the Festival, perhaps no benches have as dramatic view point as these. You will note the red and white booth they rest at. You see, these benches sit on the deck outside the main First Aid station. You must imagine, that although the festival is a very safe and family friendly environment, there will often be over ten thousand people on a weekend afternoon on the grounds. Any time you mix ten thousand individuals in one place, you are bound to have accidents, wounds, bee stings, and occasionally worse. Add to that the many possible pre-existing medical conditions that we humans are prone to, well, some days they can get busy there. So the people who have sat on these benches have been in pain, fear, and worry, as well as gratitude for the care they have received from the dedicated EMTs who main the station. Their lives might have changed dramatically and permanently that day..., or perhaps it was a brief moment, where aid was rendered and they went on.  I have seen folks walked up by friends, often from well across the multi-acre site, suffering of heat stroke or other ailment,  leaning on the arm of their companions, and the final destination, when they could sit and know they care was on the way, was here. 

They are literally a point of refuge and rest.