Friday, November 16, 2007

Strawberry Roan Home in Vermont

We must be entertained by late night (or, as the norm might call it, "early morning") driving. We sure seem to do it, well, all the time. A week ago today, on a standard Friday evening, I was free from managing the pub at 4am. Josh pulled up to the brewpub almost right on schedule, astride the enormous Budget moving truck intended to take us east. The true purpose for our travels was to deliver cast iron sculptures by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir to Boston Harbor to be shipped home to Iceland. But we made several stops along the way.

Rebekah, in her desperation to avoid cooking, passed off to me a few years ago a book she had called "Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special". The restaurant itself specializes in vegetarian cooking, and everyday has a daily special that pairs a soup and a salad- . I've been addicted to this book for years, so much so that my mom and dad ordered another cookbook for me from the restaurant last christmas, and went so far as to have it autographed by the cooks in the kitchen. Needless to say, I am smitten. We pilgrimmaged to Ithaca, NY, to have lunch at Moosewood. We were not disappointed, only wished that there was more time to lounge and to explore Ithaca. But we had a mission to make it to Vermont for a short stay with Dave.

Which we did at 9:30 that night. After many hours on the road, me still in my work clothes, David welcomed us and I quickly slid into comfy clothes, and we relaxed in the kitchen by the woodstove. We had salmon and squash at midnight- a true feast- and then slept like babies until mid-morning. We woke to a scrumptious fire in our bedroom's cove, music by our personal morning DJ lulling us awake, and a Vermont blue sky beckoning us to come and play.

Our task for the day was to place the Strawberry Roan on Dave's property. Josh's first instinct for placement was eventually (not without deliberation) where we all agreed it should go- playfully overlooking the pond on rolling hills, white birch and golden leaves the backdrop behind. With the lift of the truck, gumption, and some homemade engineering, we successfully placed the piece with no injuries to us... always a feat.

Josh had made stakes by hand to protect the Roan from windfall. These stout stakes are beautiful, too, sharpened and shaped by his machines. The day was perfect for this almost ritual-like process. It's always thrilling to place a sculpture.

Here are pictures that we just couldn't bring ourselves to eliminate, at least not yet...

Josh's work often speaks to the color variations and changes that happen when metal rusts. Up to this point, Roan's life has been lived indoors. Trying to maintain the brilliant oranges and reds is always experimental. Josh settled on a sealer that seems to achieve the integrity of the color.

We ended up staying one night longer than expected with Dave, cutting our time in Boston next to nill. The extra day made leaving hard, but we had a deadline in Boston Harbor to keep. We headed to the industrial harbor, twisting and turning on the narrow city streets, until we finally found our destination- a building decorated in polar bears. This company ships products from Iceland to the U.S.and vice versa. It was really interesting in many ways. The harbor itself was reminiscent of a wasteland, semis passing us with layers of crushed cars on the trailer, freights being loaded with cranes, and produce companies every which way you look. I so so so badly wanted to stay and photograph, to ask questions of those working, to find out where this food was coming from and heading to. Invariably this is produce and food shipped globally. The shipping company we were working with ships in ingredients from Iceland for Campbell's soup "New England Clam Chowder" and for different McDonald's items. Ironic.

We had another deadline in Mt. Kisco, NY. There were a few pieces that needed to be dropped separately for a different gallery show. We had met the man receiving the pieces before, an accomplished artist who had visited Ann Arbor for a show Josh had helped hang previously. His home was a complete contrast to what we had just been enjoying in Vermont. Dave, also an artist, lives with found items of natural beauty, is refinishing a beautiful but old barn, and lives in an old Vermont farmhouse. This home in NY was a museum- polished artwork hung professionally with perfect furniture and the kind of kitchen where the refrigerator is the same finish as the wood on the floor and walls. It was really a beautiful home that mimics a lifestyle of art that can be so varied.

We made it home Wednesday at 7am. It was such a good trip.

1 comment:

sarahross said...

I love the pictures and story... the Roan reminded me so much of the carved holes in the bridge on my viola--I LOVE IT! Happy Thanksgiving.