It doesn’t seem possible that four months have passed since first I started on this new adventure.  Today would have been my grandmother’s 115th birthday.  She only made it to 80 but she is remembered, still.  Especially when I am working on one of my projects that involves sewing, embroidery, beadwork.  It was from her I inherited those skills through my mother, although Mother did not do much embroidery of beadwork.


For those of you with a passion for the work of John Singer Sargent, you need to read “Strapless:  John Singer Sargent and the fall of Madame X” by Deborah Davis.  An historical novel, it tells the story of the painting of “Madame X.”  She was an American, Virginie Amélie Avegno Gautreau, from Louisiana whose father fought in the Civil War.  After he died of his wounds, her mother took the two daughters back to Paris where they lived with the French grandparents.  Sargent did the painting for free as he thought it would raise his standing as painter of the upper classes.  Amélie thought it would raise her standing in society.  OOPS!  Who would have thought a dangling strap could cause such a scandal? 

I also had the pleasure of hearing Deborah Davis speak at the Designer’s Guild about her book, “The Secret Life of Frames: Lowey—100 Years of Art and Artistry.”  It was so engaging that I visited Lowey’s Frames in New York last December with my friend Susan.  It was  a memorable experience.  We were treated to a tour of the entire facility from the top down.

5th floor, art conservation

4th floor, gessoing & gilding.  We got to try burnishing with an agate burnishing tool.  We also saw a 17th century frame about 12″ x 15″ that would have been $15000.  Too much?  They had created a reproduction that was about 9″ x 12″ that was a mere $4500.  It had been gessoed and was ready to be gilded. 

3rd floor, matting.

2nd floor, archives—over 4000 historic frames of all shapes and sizes.

1st floor, display and sales.

Needless to say, the company caters to museums, galleries, and collectors.  But it was an awesome experience.  The second and third generation of the family who owns it could not have been more gracious.  The company has been in existence for over 100 years.  Next time you are in New York, do visit.  Can’t go?  Google them.  It is an experience, too.

Have finished two assemblage sculptures: :Run, Rabbit, Run: and :Love Is Blind.”  When the photos are back—when Sasha has time to breathe between her job up at Idyllwild Arts as Assistant Technical Director for the summer program and her school work—I will post them.

Until then—have a happy and relaxing summer.