Monday, February 16, 2009

Artuality: The Table of Grace

Each month, L'Chaim hosts a blog carnival in which participants celebrate the varied forms of art and the ways it inspires our lives. The theme for Artuality in February is furniture.

I am attracted to furniture because of the stories I imagine behind the pieces. How was it made? Where did the materials come from? Who made it? Was it a rugged cotton farmer making a primitive stool for his son to sit on and whittle by the fire after chores? Was it a highly-trained furniture maker tooling a cabriole legged chair with velvet upholstry and claw-and-ball feet for a wealthy British family? Did it sell for millions of dollars at Sotheby's last auction? Did a bunch of neighborhood kids find it in a chicken coop and heft it up to their tree house to store their treasures?
I just love to imagine who and where it came from... and who and where it's going to.

My mother owned a small antique shop when I was in junior high and there were few places I'd rather be on a weekend than milling around the antique mall while she worked, looking over strange and wonderful remnants of days gone by. My teenage-girl bedroom was outfitted in primitive antiques. I felt so comfortable there.

Here are my inspirational pieces of furniture for February:
About 3 years ago some neighbors of my parents were moving and trying to find homes for their unneeded furniture. Our family was the blessed recipient of a complete set- dining room table, 6 chairs, a sideboard and hutch, and a china cabinet.

Free furniture that is in gorgeous shape, with a beautiful finish, and is large enough for our family and several friends... and... did I mention it was completely free?
Sounds like grace.

I thank my God for those kind neighbors every time I enjoy dinner with my family at this table, or see the kids fetching their crayons and Playdoh out of the sideboard, or dusting Granny's thimble collection in the china cabinet. Every time we add another leaf to the table to make ready for a feast with friends, I recall the grace that was bestowed on us in this gift.

We barely knew those neighbors of my parents. There certainly wasn't anything we'd done to deserve their dining room set.

Doing schoolwork at the table of grace


Anonymous said...

Furniture is an integral part of a kids world. They are not just pieces of wood or metal, but something that make up their world. So Kids Seating is something that a kid can call his self.

heather said...

From what I can see, the wood is beautiful--I love seeing pictures in the grain of wood.
It's amazing the memories and emotions a piece of furniture can conjure. I have a bed my great-grandfather made. (Of course, he also, died in this bed.) It's a piece of history I possess.