Nasturiums Wednesday, Sep 4 2013 

From the guestbook, August 1878 by Louis Goddard


Cleaning Old Glass Thursday, Mar 14 2013 

Cleaning a few kitchen doors today; both are multi-paned with exterior storm doors.  It struck me that the old glass was more interesting to look at for any length of time.  The small lights are much, much harder to clean, as they have four times the number of edges.  The big outer panels are just flat pieces of glass.  They are entirely forgettable.  We generally assume that glass is supposed to be see-through, the modern triumph is invisible walls.  And yet….they are most assuredly walls.   I have to admit, I have always found the massive panels of perfect glass with minimal framing to be jaw-dropping, no doubt, but clinically cold. 

I was admiring one of the door’s lights, about the size of a shoe-box.  This small piece of glass had so much life in it.  The bubbles, the ripples, the multitude of imperfections, every single one of them caught the light.  At exactly the right angle and level a rainbow flashed and vanished.  This wasn’t a see-through wall; this was an (admittedly inadvertent) celebration of the sun.  

Now, I am sure that the people who built the house would spring for the modern, perfect glass; they went for modern whenever they could afford it after all.  But, studying the old glass ignites the artistic sensibilities.  Stained glass, painted glass, rippled, spun, blown, fractured; the possibilities are endless.  It is a pity we believe that flat, flawless, colourless, and large is perfection.

From the Guestbook Tuesday, Feb 19 2013 

The earliest guestbook, which covers the 1870’s, has a number of truly delightful sketches in it.  This one, of the author, is a very simple one.  ‘The author’ by the way remains unidentified, we simply can’t figure out who signs with a little bird as his signature, except that he (presumably he, based on this sketch) is responsible for many of the amusing caricatures.  The initials appear to be ‘del’ but that doesn’t match either.  I am sure, by process of elimination I will figure it out, when I get around to it.



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