I learnt to make questions about the nature of things when I was a child, especially by the methodology approach of my history teacher. Cause and effect, existing connections, only thinking like that I feel to have a deeper understanding of a event or attributing a different level of significance to something. Another thing I learnt in my childhood and I try to adopt everyday are my grandma and mum lessons on recycling, especially on clothes, fabric and finishing. That is why I would like to say something on a necklace, or better two of those.
Gianna, a dear friend of my family, had been conserving for thirty years a scrap of light wool that her sister-in-law had given her many years before. They were times when people used to buy fabric at the weekly open air market or in the only two shops in the area that sold fabric and finishing, called “Cubo magico” and “Merceria Raffa”. Thirty years ago did not everyone purchase all his own clothes from shops, much rather they used to make themselves or order custom made clothes, especially for children and ladies. I can still remember when I was a child and I often saw on the kitchen table some tissue paper on strips of cloth of different sizes and some women of our village invited to sew with my mother or just to discuss how to finish or modify a garment. I liked listening to their conversations about a new issue of fashion magazines and patterns they swapped and also about fashion on “Postal Market” a printed catalog, thick as a phone directory, where they could find new ideas.
During last Christmas holidays, Gianna and her husband were invited for having dinner and we talked that nowadays people buy “fast fashion” because there is no time to sew just a single garment and consequently of new trends, in our area it is now difficult find cloth hawkers. It was there that Gianna remembered to keep at home a beautiful piece of cloth gifted such time before. It was partially been used for a shirt but what left she did not know how to use it. As soon as she asked me if I was interested in making some fabric jewelry, I looked at my mother who nodded and I enthusiastically answered: <<Of course! I love vintage fabrics, they make you thinking and travelling in your mind >>.
And this is what my mum, few weeks later through her skilled hands put into practice. At first she took measurements claiming that this scrap was not suitable for something like this
because the fabric could put out of shape when beads go through, so she suggested to sew two loop scarves. We both thought to adorn them with some vintage buttons we keep in old biscuit boxes. Between the two we made, one is in America purchased as Mother’s day gift. The other is this one ready so you could be whom can continue this story…
The first time I decided to go out with my uncle looking for some driftwood was not as easy as I thought while closing the main door. I can still remember: it was in January in the early afternoon. Once there, I got in my mind the same beach but in the summer season, noisy, full of umbrellas and inflatables in spite of the desolation showing that time in front of me. Wherever there were trunks, large stones and an overall smaller space than I could remember. In winter storms waves are so long that they halve the depth of the entire beach, but it is also true that the erosion of the coasts is visible without technical tools. In short, I got lost in my environmental thoughts when, after hearing my name, I turned back to look at my uncle’s bag. It was full. I looked at mine. It was empty. Wisely he suggested to swap shopping bag so he could gather two or three more driftwood before going back home.
Later, he done a more accurate selection of wood. Those which were discarded would rather go into the stove, others would stand aside for a while to check they do not have “disagreeable guests” . It would be a pity to make a wooden mobile and then find out to burn it into the stove! After “quarantine” those will be used to create fish mobiles. It depends from the length of a single branch how big and high will become the decor.
While fish, butterflies, swans, geckos and other fantastic animals are made of fir that is sold in boards of different size and thickness in carpentry stores. On each board (approx size is 28″x40″) first he draws the contours shaped with the template, trying to leave as little scrap as possible (which will eventually end up in the stove) and then moves on to carving. The next step is smoothing (how much dust!). Finally he starts painting, relaxing while listening to the radio. During winter months as February and March the entire apartment is full of boards where lying all these creatures. While drying, fish, squids, mushrooms, Sicilies remind me sun dried tomatoes and it looks so weird! All those fish filling the mobiles will have a different treatment from magnets that will be decorated in full. Usually their eyes are painted one part at a time, if not the black color of the iris would be mixed with the white of the pupil. Unlikely the wooden magnets are painted first with the same color on both sides, then the decoration takes place on one side only. The following step is drilling each fish so then will be easier building up the mobile.
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