Thursday, January 31, 2013

New project: Mosaic Table #2

My kids are so embarrassed. Whenever there's something marked "free" on the side of the road---well--there's a pretty good chance I'm going to want it. I don't take everything, but I certainly CONSIDER everything.

Yesterday was no exception. On the way to the dentist with Evan, a table on the road with a "free" sign appeared. My heart leaped! I rushed Ev into the dentist, told them I'd be right back and high-tailed it back to the table which thankfully was still there. I know-I know...I'm the only one who was worried it might be scooped up.
So I shoved it right into my CRV and returned to the dentist, claimed my son, ("Oh God Mom, you didn't...), and dropped him back at school. Then I took my new baby home.

It's a typical tile-topped table that was so popular in the 90's. In fact, we had one super similar to this. But this one has sweet farm house turned legs and the top was already badly cracked. ALL GOOD NEWS TO ME.
In about an hour, my helpers and I had the thing disassembled, tile chipped out and parts stacked. Today I'm taking it to a friend who will trim off the rounded edges and corners so we get nice 90 degree angles which will further update the look. Then I'll paint the legs and the frame, but the biggest quandary is WHAT TO MAKE ON IT??? Such a delicious problem :)

Mosaic Table

I have already written about my mosaic mermaid table on Facebook, but now that I'm on the cusp of another table project, I thought I'd re-blog it again.

So story first, then photos, then the full poem.

During the summer of 1987, we did Fiddler on the Roof at my local community college. One evening
3 of us girls went over to Lia Miller's house where she was house sitting for her parents. With no one home we promptly went skinny dipping.
You've got to understand how deliciously warm it is at night in the desert where I grew up and while it's not too great for sleeping...swimming is wonderful.
So as we swam away---our friend Chris (male/gay) crashed our nude dip. We squeal and pretend to be upset, but after all ---it's just Chris...
The next day at the show, Chris waltzes in and shows us that he has written and illustrated a funny and delightful poem describing all of us in the pool.
It's called The 3 Mermaids of Miller Pond. (Lia MILLER, MILLER pond--get it?)

I have treasured this art piece ever since and sadly---it is starting to deteriorate.
So I get the idea to re-create it in mosaic.... I get all my supplies together and then, low and behold: I read on Facebook that Lia (who lives on the East coast) will be visiting her parents in that very same house...Holy Crap! I can't resist the opportunity to see her and have her lay a few tiles on my mosaic. Then I called  the OTHER mermaid and we were able to get the 3 of us to that same backyard, by the same pool.

So I hauled all my mosaic stuff to SoCal and we began. On the drive back north, I stopped in Santa Barbara and our mutual friend Laura laid a few tiles as well. Laura wasn't a mermaid that night, but she was the musical director for that show and I was keen for her to contribute.

Once I got back home, I filled in the bulk of it. I had to MAKE MY OWN TILE for the mermaid's body. Whew! Not easy. I'd found an old iron table base for free on someone's curb (naturally) and spent a good week stripping the paint off that. I had such a good time making it, I was really let down when I finished. But once she was completed, I couldn't have been more pleased.

The 3 Mermaids of Miller Pond
by Chris Wells, 1987

Stars were truly twinkling
on this stillest July nite,
and some will think it silly,
still more might think it trite
That here, while I was walking
by this warm, frog-laden pond
I spied three mermaids swimming
--they were startled as I yawned

Splashing softly, breaking spells
as if I had ruined some game
I meekly stepped once nearer
and informed them of my name
That they all 3 simply cocked
their heads, they didn't understand...
was clear to me and so I thought
I would extend my hand

Now you, the reader, may just ask
“What's this? Had you no fright?”
But then you didn't see these maids--
these beauties in the night
They slowly swam up to me
and in turn they touched my hand,
And I was simply mesmerized
right here on Miller land

Without much effort on my part
I was immersed quite deep,
my clothes a lonely shadow on
the shore--a soggy heap
We swam and played and played and swam
what fun filled lives we led
And our games did not dissuade us
from some fun on the sea bed

Pamela, Lauren and Lia were their
names I soon found out
I grew to love them wholly
without shame, without doubt
I loved their simple laughter and
I especially loved their scales
Wouldn't you prefer them to these
things we call toenails?

I had to go back to the land
we knew it had to be
And so I left my new found home
my new found family
Soon, I began to weave some spells
--magic without wand--
I sold everything I owned in life
and bought up Miller pond

Oft one will hear a neighbor scoff,
“Such a state of disrepair”
They're right; the grounds look
just as if the owner didn't care.
They don't know it's not the trees
nor the hills of which I'm fond
I much prefer the mermaids--
my 3 beauties in the pond

Pamela, Lauren and Lia—it's these 3
of whom I write
and some may think it silly,
still more may think it trite
But when the sun is heavy
and the waters getting dim
I realize I love you—
I love you

Let's swim