I read a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt a few days ago – “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”
Following my curiosities is an ongoing practice. I often stop short from digging deeper or trusting the journey. This story serves as a reminder that following my curiosities can have unexpected results.
In an earlier post, I showed you some metal letters that I discovered and loved because of their nice metal patina and well, that they are letters. When I inquired at the shop, I found out that they are used on utility poles. I’ve never really paid attention to utility poles unless I saw a lost cat or dog posting. Curious though, I went home and did some research on why they are hammered to the poles in the first place. I found, they are serial numbers used to inventory the pole and keep track of its inspection, treatment and age. Why is this important? Well I guess poles fall and hit people so they need to be properly maintained. And knowing their original purpose informs my work. Something perhaps about identity, age or even strength.
Although I usually like buying vintage things for my art, there were only a few letters from the alphabet in the shops inventory. After some research online I found a manufacturer still making them in Minnesota. I requested a few samples and soon received a package with an enclosed letter from the owner.
I was touched that someone would take the time to write such a personal letter. We chatted on the phone and he shared with me that he loves art and is a writing a book. After brainstorming a few ideas, he offered to send me a care package of letters for free. It was his way of contributing to the arts. All he requested was that I send him a photo of whatever I create. The first piece I completed is titled, Letting Go of the Words. There will be more. Sometimes these things have to just sit for awhile.