While sorting through the old books at the Horticultural Center, I picked up a musty old tome which I thought was a history of gardening. It turned out to be a book about alchemy and the construction of various types of stills. Most chapters focus on use of plants by the Puritans of New England for herbal medicines and tonics. However, it does occasionally veer off into herbal lore and “the chemical art” of the early alchemists. The book was in rough shape, water damaged and falling apart so the scans are not so nice. Of course, I had to offer up a few bits of it, since this blog threads together the subjects of my fascination – art, old books, gardening, and alchemy. Included among these tattered pages, is a hand drawn map from the 1600s of the area where I now live and work. Sadly, it was too faded and ink smeared to scan well.
“The fifth chapter deals with the sum total of background knowledge applied by the settlers to their task of growing, distilling, and preserving all they would need for both meate and medicine. The sixth deals with ‘the meate’ and the seventh with ‘the medicine’ for which they felt sure so many plants were intended”. – Anne Leighton
Found and constructed objects. Charms for making, to keep the connection between hand and heart, to inspire a light touch and unburdened memory, a simultaneously focused and detached response to a wild flow of ideas and an overwhelming abundance of materials. Finishing a work of art is all about letting go.
Patin’d silver metal bezel and chain and vintage charm. The image is a hand painted paper tile is an original work of art comprised of vintage paper, ink, and oil paint glaze to resemble the palimpsest of illuminated manuscripts.
The fiery flowers of pineapple sage, young radishes in a driftwood bed, one last rose before winter, and the sun shed at sunset.
I feel as old as dirt now but that’s okay because I really like dirt. I’ve been spending all of my free time playing in it. This has been an unusually cold spring and is turning out to be a ridiculously cold wet summer. I’ve been constructing a spiral garden. Stone creatures meet live critters for fun and mischief. Th garden is over-run with cheeky chipmunks. They tear through my compost, dig up my plants, steal shells, make holes in the stone wall, and torment Little Nemo. Who need TV?
He shows his true face in this one.
The compost bins C.P. made for me out of our old deck wood.