Saturday, July 5, 2008

Folk Art!

I love Folk Art, I always have. While traveling, one of the special treats is finding the the obscure pieces that seem to be tucked away in almost every corner of these United States.

Today, we found pieces that, I swear, if I had room, I would buy in a second. Not only do I love folk art, but sculpture is a particular favorite of mine. So imagine my surprise when we walked into a small indoor flea market here in Tucumcari and saw this . . .

Not only is this charming couple a beautiful example of folk art and metal sculpture at its' best, but these are fully functional as well. Can you tell their purpose, beyond looking so swell?

This is a barbecue grill and accompanying table! Aren't these just the coolest things you've ever seen?

The first picture is how they look when not in use, but the second picture shows just how incredibly clever this artist was in fashioning this handsome duo. If you look closely (click for larger images), in the first picture, the grill is covered by a Chinese hat, and the body of the standing figure is closed. In the second picture, you can see that when using the grill, the extra hat fits right on top of the other hat, and the body of the standing figure opens up for storage.

While you can't see it in the picture, your propane bottle fits right into the back of the kneeling figure, making this a completely functional piece of art. I love it!

So you can fully appreciate these guys, here's close ups of the faces.

And here's the fellow that's holding up the table.

Like I say, if I had the room . . .

In talking with the gentleman who runs the flea market, I learned that these are done by an artist named Frank Bell, who lives nearby in Nara Visa, New Mexico. Then he pointed out some other pieces that were also created by Mr. Bell.

This clever fellow is carved out of wood and has just returned from a trip to Roswell, where he served as an attraction for folks to pose with for photographs.

And finally, here's a table made from hand tools, mostly wrenches. So very clever.

One more thing. In working on these pictures (and those I posted last night) I was wondering why I couldn't get my focus sharp. Today, after taking these photos, I looked down and realized that the auto focus on my camera had been shifted into macro focus! I'm such a doofus sometime, you'd think if I wasn't getting good focus, I'd know enough to check that out! I guess I just haven't been taking as many pictures as I should . . .

Oh well, if that's the worst thing in my life, think how lucky I am.

Life is good.

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