Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

12 November 2017

Crafting More Than Art While Enjoying Art

What pastime can compare with the moments spent fabricating a well-designed object or beauty or usefulness -- or both! I have great memories of the Father's Day my daughter Melody and I spent at the Art Institute of Chicago after I had picked her up in the city and before we headed back home for family picnic festivities.

I've been a devotee of the Art Institute for decades and know it pretty well. But Melody suggested we try to focus looking at collected works of home goods they had on display. A medieval chair, an 19th Century Art Nouveau pitcher, an oriental themed secretary cabinet --all were delightful to examine and imagine what it might be like to create such objects or to use them. The pitcher was a combination of undulating gilded bronze vines and leaves that served as a handle and setting for a brilliantly azure glazed ceramic vessel.

"How did they make that?" Melody mused.
"Look! See the little bronze screws they used to attach the ceramic to the bronze?" I marveled.

We discussed the gold-trimmed mirrors, the elaborate mixed-influenced desk that seemed both Middle Eastern and Far Eastern. The hour was brief but our depth of appreciation and connection over the love of art was sweet.

"When I mention things we've discussed about Art and History in conversations with my friends, they think I'm such an expert. But really all I ever tell them is stuff I remember hearing from you." Melody remarked as we rode home.

It was touching to hear that. And I thought, my most satisfying craft is most likely the one I spend time on building connections with my loved ones.

Photos taken over the years during our visits to the Art Institute of Chicago. R-L, Me, Melody, Emily.

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