The making of this book has been a labor of love and one of constant problem solving; I didn’t think things through before starting the book. There is something to be said for that approach— I learned a lot and the book is more interesting because of it.
We have a little cabin in Nebraska and for several years we used an old “farm” table for dining. My husband found in an old barn; most of the red paint was gone and the wood was dry from years of extreme temperatures in that part of the world. I loved thinking about the meals that might have been served on this table when it was a bright color of “barn” red: fried chicken, peas in milk, puffy dinner rolls, lemonade, coleslaw, Jello something, raisin cream pie. When my husband built a new table I couldn’t bear to just toss the old one into the burn pile. We were able to salvage a couple of rectangles cut from the table top and I decided to use these as covers for a Farm Table Book. Straps were in order so I made book cloth from fabric purchased from a quilting fabric shop in nearby Fullerton—see the movie Nebraska and you will know. The orange hemp thread added the rustic look I wanted; it was not fun to work with and needed attention on every step of the sewing. Sections were covered with strips of handmade Nepalese paper. I covered the boards with layers of milk paint and waxed them to give this table new life. A rusty metal “thing” was embedded in the front cover—something from my explorations around our property. At the last minute I added a print from a deconstructed screen printing workshop and photos by daughter, Laurie Evans, taken on a visit to the ranch years ago.
It has been very satisfying to create this book from mostly local materials. I also enjoyed working without a finished product in mind—just letting the materials tell me what to do next. The wood told me to cut slots in it for the straps and that was really a challenge—hand drills and chisels. Next time I may not listen.
This book and seven others of mine are part of OLLI Arts Alive exhibit in Eureka, California on Saturday night, March 1. Come and see the work of over 30 local artists trying to raise funds for OLLI. If we raise $20,000 we will be eligible for $1,000,000 in endowments. We could use your support!