Saturday, July 20, 2013


Ray has been working so much this month that I feel like I barely see him. This morning he suggested we get out and do something for a couple hours. We like estate sales. I found three on Craig's list that looked interesting and put us in the vicinity of the Helvetia Tavern, which is out in the middle of farm country and a great place to get a good burger.

The first sale turned out to be a bust. Not an estate sale at all. Hundreds of little toy cars still in their packages and a lot of cheap, junky jewelry. Where do people get this stuff? The second was pretty amazing. It was the home of an artist and apparently mostly a weaver. She also collected art and Native American artifacts and apparently never threw anything away. It was a little like a museum. The attic studio was the most interesting area with a lot of art supplies and books and piles of yarn and fibers, several looms, spinning wheels and weaving tools. My assessment was that everything was pretty overpriced, but it will all be half price tomorrow. We spent well over an hour looking at all the stuff and in the end I bought these for $2.

Whoever set the sale up and priced things probably didn't know these went together or what they even are. What it is is a nice little wood/linoleum block cutter. I found the cutter in a drawer marked "household misc." and the blades were in a plastic film canister several yards away from the cutter. Great selection of blades of all sizes and types. Several of her carved linoleum blocks were for sale. I think she would be happy that I rescued the tool. I will use it. And there are blades there the likes of which I have never seen before. And all still nice and sharp.

There is something a little haunting about an Estate sale like that one. I always feel a little uncomfortable going into someone's home and into their private spaces and belongings, and yet I like the continuity of treasured objects outliving their owners and moving on to new homes. That is where I find most of my old scissors and the idea of tools, especially, passing from hand to hand seems right. And so it is with the cutter.

The third estate sale, it turns out, ended yesterday and we arrived as they were packing up the leftovers to take to Goodwill. But it was all good. The artist's sale was enough. A good find. On to the Helvetia Tavern for lunch on the deck and the view of rolling fields and green hills.

I got in some studio time this afternoon and then checked email to learn that my piece, "Red Domes" was juried into the "Simply Red" show that High Fiber Diet is putting together. Good news. Good day.


  1. It does sound like a good day. I hope you will show us what you do with the block cutter. Congratulations on the Red Dome piece. The longer I see your work the more I like it. It really grows on me.

  2. Great find! Congrats on the placement.

  3. I am so glad you were able to put the cutter pieces together. It makes me happy that you can use them.

  4. i agree about tools passing to new owners. i have tools from my grandfather and grandmother that i hold dear. glad you rescued the cutter.