Monday, May 31, 2010

I sure like it when something is written in as few words as possible instead of rambling on as if people don't have anything better to do than read a message that just seems to go on and on and on

As a former newspaper editor and reporter, I appreciate messages that use few words. This old sign on a thick board would have been entirely forgettable if the maker had written, "PLEASE NO HUNTING HERE." But being a flinty landowner, he or she wrote instead, "NO HUNT," thus assuring the sign a long life.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Sewer tile bust at Antique Associates at West Townsend.

What is it?

I've had this carving/tool for a long time without knowing what it is. I know it's not unique because I have seen another one. Plugged into the animal's mouth is a serated blade. I'm guessing the carving represents a dog, but I'm not even sure about that. The ears look to me like rabbit ears. Can someone out there clear up the mystery?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Painted 19th century gourd

Gourd art has a long tradition and is common in the many countries where gourds grow. In the South, it's not unusual to see gourd shells strung up in yards. B.F. Perkins, an artist in Alabama, painted patriotic gourds, which are prized by many collectors of self-taught art. I read on the Internet where gourds originated in Africa, then spread to Asia and the Americas. This antique gourd depicts a caricature of an African-American youth.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Positive about a negative

Large glass plate negative c. 1900 showing military cadets? I'm tempted to make a print from this negative, but I suspect the positive will look a lot less interesting than the negative. Glass plate negatives bridged the 19th and 20th centuries, before the invention of film. I think they're really interesting both visually and historically just the way they are. And they're cheap and easy to find.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thanks, AD

The June Architectural Digest is a special issue on Country Comfort, and on page 117 under Discoveries by Designers is this painted board for sale at my online gallery, Candler Arts. I could never afford an ad in AD, so this is quite a gift. My thanks to the AD editors. They have good taste. But you knew that.

Little devil

A humorous, naughty sculpture of an excited demon, made from pipe. I can see the metalworker laughing his head off while building this devilish fellow.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vacant building's terrain map

The sides of this shabby building, apparently part of an old day care center judging from the play equipment in the yard, are covered with a terrain map. I guess it shows the surrounding countryside of Russell County, Alabama. The building is in Hatchechubbee. I came across this complex while on Route 26, and from a distance I thought I was looking at an abstract mural. It would be a shame if the building is simply allowed to decay; the terrain map obviously took a lot of work and is impressively creative and ambitious. But the area is short on money, so I fear this giant visual is doomed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Large 19th century tin figure

Jointed or articulated man from the Northeast, with very nice paint. Unusually tall, 16 inches.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Semi-abstract doll face mold

This looks like the work of an artist instead of an industrial artifact.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Parking garage

I was in Columbus, Ga., recently and was struck by the looming presence of this parking garage. I'll bet you nine out of 10 people on the street will say it's ugly. But I like it. If Columbus lets the edifice stand for another 30 years, a preservation group will form. Inside is a world of concrete surfaces and empty, echoing space. Any bit of color pops. The only way to see the beautiful painted signage on the antique building next door, or the building's other-worldly rooftop, is to walk up a few levels and peer out a gaping slit.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Smut Eye

Smut Eye is an unincorporated burg in eastern Alabama, southeast of Montgomery and southwest of Columbus, Ga. This relic sits at a three-way stop. Not much activity in Smut Eye since the grocery closed.