Thursday, August 28, 2008

sea oats

sea oats
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
well, the cat's out of the bag. I put this picture up on flickr, knowing full well that the woman I made it for would see it. And she did. And she's happy with it. Usually I stick with ferns, ginkgoes, and japanese maple leaves for my leaf impressions, but my friend Naomi said she thought that sea oats would work well in the same application. I decided to try it and gift the results. I've been gleaning ferns from her garden for a couple of years, mostly because my dogs wallowed in any shady earth in my yard until it was (and still is) as hard-packed as concrete. Not ideal growing conditions.

I was hesitant about this motif because my great-grandparents had Homer Laughlin's wheat dishes (the golden colored, gold-rimmed ones), and I never liked them very much. I've been trying to figure out why I didn't like them, and I think it boils down to something very simple. I'm much more of a woodland kind of girl than an open-prairie type. Which explains why, on trips out west, to Austin, Colorado, Southern California, even the beaches of the east coast- I FREAK OUT. I need the trees, the shade, the anchor that they provide in the landscape, and the ferns that grow in the shade. Memphis is covered in a dense canopy of green (Naomi is fighting to preserve some of that green space in Memphis), and it is something I need to feel at rest. The sea oats are a huge thank you to the woman whose garden I regularly plunder. And even though they were SO much easier to paint, I'll be getting back to the ferns shortly. Because I'm a woodland kind of girl.

Edit- This is the china pattern my great-grandparents had.


Anonymous said...

It's lovely Melissa. It almost has a bamboo feel.

I totally understand your connection to the woods. That's why I live on the westcoast. I am comforted by the rain and darkness of the wooded mountains here.

Twelfthknit said...

Lovely! Maybe your grandparents' plates were just plain ugly....?


Naomi Van Tol said...

Ah, but those oats (Chasmanthium latifolia) grow all over the Old Forest too. They love rich moist soil and can manage with very little sunlight.

My grandparents had those same plates and India is right -- they were just ugly!

Mama Urchin said...

I'm cracking up about you freaking out. I'm the other way. I need the ocean.