Apart from my pencil drawings I also loved creating optical illusions with coloured pencils. Here are some survivors from the late 1970s.
Here are some of my – admittedly – older drawings of which only a few are left. I was still at school when I drew them. During the last thirty-something years, I haven’t been drawing much but have been sewing patchwork instead. But drawing was how it all started.
Until about two years ago, I have been working as a lawyer’s secretary. I had wanted to become a cabinetmaker in the first place, but way back then it was hardly possible for girls. Believe it or not, most times it was just because of the lack of ladies’ toilets (that’s German bureaucracy for you). Back in school I loved art class and I also have been drawing much in my spare time. At the beginning of the 1980s drawing was gradually replaced by sewing.
Here’s some more family art. In the first two parts of the series I introduced you to some art on paper, made by my great-grandfather on my father’s side and my grandfather on my mother’s side.
But I’ve found some more.
Let me introduce you to a pair of wooden herons, made by my dad and my grandfather on my mother’s side, respectively. I remember that during the 1960s these were very fashionable. My family weren’t the only people who made them. There were some different patterns, which I suppose were passed on from one maker to another.
I don’t know who made which one of the pair. One of them is a little slimmer, I refer to it as ‘the female’. The other one had a broken neck and had also come off its stand when I received it. I glued it back together. The damage is barely visible.
I’m going to tell you about my grandfather (1915 – 1980) now. He was a carpenter and cabinetmaker. But he could also fix anything. After WWII he rebuilt the family home which was damaged by a bomb. He was always making improvements to the house. He also built a lot of the furniture for this home.
During the war he served as a soldier in Russia. He got severely wounded by a grenade and was taken to hospital. After he had recovered he became a POW in Russia. My mother recalled that a couple of weeks before the war ended, my grandmother was woken up in the middle of the night by him returning home. He had escaped from captivity and made his way from Russia all the way through (supposedly) Poland and the north of Germany. Under which circumstances, nobody knows. He never talked about it.
He had learned how to survive. My mother’s family never suffered from hunger like a lot of other people after the war. There was always food on the table – rabbits caught in slings, cows being milked or potatoes dug out under the cover of night, even an abducted pig as I understand it.
Granddad had a shack in the garden which housed his workshop. I remember it from my childhood. It was crammed up to the roof with pieces of wood of any kind. Large windows let in the light. There was a big workbench standing on one side. It was this place where he made any kind of crafty things. Another thing I remember was a log of wood with the shape of a heron sketched onto it. Apart from making herons – not only the one I’ve inherited – he also did some woodturning. And one year, according to my mother, he built himself a wooden stork as a costume for carnival – including a fully working beak.
My mum’s still using a box for her sewing utensils he made, but alas she wouldn’t let me take a picture. Not worth publishing, nothing special, she thinks. I need to convince her otherwise yet. One day it will be mine.
Watercolours by my grandfather
My grandfather on my mother’s side, who was a cabinetmaker, was born 1915 and died 1980. I have inherited a folder which contains some of his works, mainly pencil drawings and watercolours. It’s a little tricky to estimate their age, but they are supposedly pre-WWII as my mother doesn’t remember him drawing later. He took whatever paper was at hand. Most of the sheets have been used from both sides.
Alas, this sheet has been severely damaged.
This is the only abstract sheet in his folder. You might think someone else had painted it if it weren’t signed. – That’s the part of my artwork that I’ve inherited from him.
I will tell you a little bit more about him and his interesting life in part three of the series.
A couple of years ago I published a series of art from my family on a now closed blog of mine. I will re-introduce the entries on this blog, starting with the oldest works of art.
Drawings by my great-grandfather
My great-grandfather on my father’s side, who was a cartwright, was born 1865 and died 1936. Apart from his name, that’s about all I know about him.
A couple of years ago I was given an old sketchbook of his. I don’t know exactly how old this might be but a rough estimate is at least 100 years. On each left side is a printed drawing that had to be copied.
The old man wasn’t too bad, was he? Seems his love of detail passed on to me.
The original entry was removed due to copyright infringement and unauthorized pinning. This replacement contains the original text and pictures under a new title, but is lacking the comments. Sorry for the inconveniences.
I’ve now used up my supply of paper strips and made them into paper beads. Above are the 6 mm wide ones, below the 4 mm wide ones.
This was a very relaxing thing and really a fun project.
And I was a naughty girl and bought – right, a paper shredder, a cheap one for a tenner. I’ve got a small pile of coloured paper still in my stash, plus a box of printed white sheets that were going to be shredded anyway. More beadmaking fun ahead. 😀
But there was a bag full of paper strips I wanted to use for weaving projects. At the office we always got lots of advertising mail on all kinds of coloured paper. Some time ago I ran a couple of sheets through the office shredder as mine does particles.
Making paper beads was already on my list for 2017. So I grabbed a wooden skewer and started making some beads instead of collages. There’ll be more to come, it’s quick and fun. I have rediscovered a big box full of more strips, a little narrower and in different colours. They roll around the skewer even better.
I haven’t decided yet what to do with the beads, but definitely no necklaces or jewelry.
Recently my sister asked me if I wanted to have one of her picture frames. She didn’t want it anymore and described the colour as something between lime and neon green, she wasn’t sure if it was plastic or wood, maybe it could be repainted. I took a look and discovered it still got the original artwork which turned out to be a small collage made of a broken solar panel. Cool. Mine.
As it was a wooden frame with mat paint it could be easily changed. First I applied a layer of black acrylic paint to which I added some texture with a sponge brush. After it had dried I mixed some light blue pearl acrylic with a dash of black and dabbed this onto the black paint in a slightly uneven way for a cloud-like effect. I had thought of adding some sparkling holographic foiling but I like it as it turned out and don’t want to spoil it.
Just for the record, this is how it looked like before. Improvement highly recommended. 😉
The first Science Night in town – something not to be missed. Especially because everything was free, including the shuttle busses and ferry. I had picked some events and made a tight schedule according to the shuttle bus time table.
First stop was the Central Library at the Institute for World Economics. A bookbinding workshop was my pick there. After a short demonstration on how to thread bind a book you could get a free bookmark of your choice.
Bücherwurm = bookworm
Leseratte = reading rat 🙂 another term for bookworm
Seitenfinder = page finder
And finally the workshop. We were taught how to make a swirling notepad.
This is what I made, it’s the one in the middle in the second picture. Drying after applying the glue was going to take one hour but due to my schedule I had to leave it there. Luckily, they had some finished notepads to chose from.
Swag from the library –
Then I hopped onto the shuttle bus for my next destination, the Muthesius Art College, for a short workshop in graphic arts and printing. You could make stamps from moss rubber, try a small etching, do monoprinting and other things. I chose to make a print from the back of a box of chocolate kisses (beaten egg white on a wafer, covered with chocolate) also known as milk carton printing. With a sharp pencil I drew a cluster of circles.
After applying some paint and turning the wheel of the printing press I had a work of art to take home.
Swag from the art college –
Back onto the shuttle bus to catch the ferry to the east side and Geomar, an institute for marine research.
Swag on the ferry –
a fifteen minute language class explaining the traps of the English language that Germans tend to fall easily into 🙂 (sorry, no picture for obvious reasons)
At Geomar you could explore a couple of marine related topics in small experiments, learn about the pollution of the ocean or peek at the tiniest of creatures through a microscope. On display were a couple of research vessels and gear like the small research submarine Jago. (Everyone: #We all live in a yellow submarine, yellow submarine, yellow submarine#) 😉
Swag from Geomar –
herrings with a taste of blueberry.
I would also have loved to see the light show on the façade of the University but that would have meant to return to the west side. Also, it had started to rain so I went home instead of getting soaked in the dark. 😉
Looking forward to next year.