I have this collection of photographs that I have been thinking about using in a post, and I realized that what they all have in common is that they hold things.
These beautiful mailboxes were at the old school outside of Salem, Oregon where I went to Encausticamp this summer.
The letters that they once held and still hold, are a mystery to me, and I can only imagine the words that they might have contained.
Words of love and sadness, words of pride and encouragement, words containing thoughts and stories of a day or a week of the person sending them.
One of the artists I met at Encausticamp, named Colleen Monette, had this old dentist box that she used for her art supplies and collections.
The items in this box speak to me of both the past and the future. What project will they inspire or bring to life? What will their purpose be?
These packing crates were stacked in the fields on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. They hold more than grain. They hold the celebration of a seasons crop, livelihood of a farmer and his family, and the health of the community.
And I come home each day from work to my own places that hold things. This amazing new journal is from Trace Willans.
You can visit her Etsy store, here.
Oh, the stitching, the fabric and the colors are all so beautiful to me!
When I wrote to her how much I loved the paper inside she wrote back: "
The paper inside the journal is not paper!!!
It is cotton fabric coated on both sides in a traditional gesso which is made of a mix of whiting (calcium carbonate) and rabbit skin glue.
It is a really lovely surface to paint on.
And, when I asked her about the button and the small heart, this is what she wrote:
They are a white clay with a porcelaneous body fired to earthenware and then smoke fired in tins in the woodfire with leftover plant material from the natural dyeing.
And these little tin boxes, what do they hold? Ideas for art projects, scraps of color, tiny paintings or photographs. Bits and pieces of my life.
And outside, besides a home for a spider web and seeds for next years garden, what about this flower?
Still strong and upright, it's seeds so sharp they sting to the touch... for me she symbolizes fortitude and strength, in facing the long months of winter.
And yellow. The color of strength and the sunrise.
This flower holds the magic of mother nature.
Even in a fading garden there is beauty. Contrast.
Hopes and dreams that will sleep and deepen over winter.
My garden goddess holds the secrets of my dreams in her half smile.
And the fountain holds a place for this rusty grate to lean on, and the memories of it's water-songs of last summer.