Friday, March 16, 2012

More treasures

The next two snaps relate to recycling wood from the old Farmers Trading Company building in Hobson Street, Auckland.  The building has since been turned  into apartments but it was once a glorious department store.  Its rooftop playgound was  a mecca for kids to hurtle around on while their mothers planned which sandwiches to have with their afternoon tea in the tearooms.

I used to work just up the road at the Regional Engineer's Office and walk down at lunchtime to fossick in the bargain basement.  I also witnessed Nixon resign on a small television set in the store. 

This first snap is of one of two bedside tables recycled from kauri saved from the old Farmers building. 

On top of the cabinet is a rimu turned container made by Geoff Addison of Putaruru in about 1991/2.  At the time I lived in Putaruru and taught at the local high school with Geoff.  Underneath is room for all seasons footwear, a pair of boots, barely there summer sandals and sturdy wollen slippers.  The small blue and white pottery ornament is from Edge City in Westmere.

The second snap is of a section of the mirror frame which is also made of recycled matai from the old Farmers Trading Company building.  You can still see the nail holes. 

The full length mirror was a gift from Leo Hunter who also made the side tables in 1998.  Leo dropped the mirror off just as I was putting on my wedding dress so I could  see what I looked like on my big day. 

In those days Leo worked his magic with recycled wood at Unitec in Mt Albert in what used to be the Carrington Hospital boiler house. He also made wooden skateboards out of kauri. His company was called 'Rustic Rumours' and does not seem to be trading any more.

People like Leo and Geoff are artists who make beautiful things which are purposeful and elegant.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Treasures, the mini series

This blog is really on the way out.  As part of a gradual process of closing I will occasionally post a picture or two of a treasure or two. The occasion today is that the weather is fine, I have a cold and time to look properly around me. 

Sometimes objects which have been part of a domestic landscape for a long time get passed over for the latest little thing from foreign parts.  They are little too as I am the queen of cabin luggage - paper objects generally; a city in a matchbox, a postcard, a little catalogue, a card from a cafe or funky store. 

Back to today's topic.

This is my teddy bear who has lived with me longer than anyone else.  He must be about 60 by now and well loved to the point of serious fur loss.  His eyes are brown and beady and he used to make a noise most like a groan and unlikely to be anything at all like the sound of a real bear.  I don't remember ever giving him a name, he was always 'my teddy'.

He used to wear a pair of shorts sewed by my mum out of some grey serge trousers of my dad's with a red stripe.  Now he lives on top of the bookcase and thinks about the good old days.

The second item is a little younger and was originally bought by me as a birthday present for my mother from Cato's, a hardware store in Te Kuiti.  I thought it was beautiful then and had no idea about Crown Lynn or collecting.  I just wanted something nice and a bit glamorous for my mum who didn't even wear earrings, lived by a river which flooded and ruined our house and who taught many kids in Te Kuiti at both of the primary schools there.

I still think it looks like a strapless dress, I still think it is beautiful.