Just as the Lost Art Press Horse Garage has been nearing completion, this happened.
Whenever my sister or I said “Hey” as children, at least within earshot of our local grandma (the other grandma lived far away, in New York), we were gently nudged in a more genteel direction. “Hay is for horses,” she’d say.
But European art suggests that hay and gentility have not always been at odds.
Twice this week I heard from Suzanne Ellison (a.k.a. Lost Art Press’s saucyindexer). Unbeknownst to me, The Saucy One had turned some images of the hayrake table I made for my book on English Arts & Crafts furniture (forthcoming in June 2018 from Popular Woodworking) into a framework for a collage of women using traditional hay rakes.
“I thought if a woman builds a Hayrake Table than she should probably have a collage combining her table and women using a hay rake (apparently, men scythed and women raked and fluffed),” wrote Suzanne.
Judging by their attire, most of these women are peasants (as were my grandma’s forebears), but a couple look far more refined. Please tell me that Rosina (center row, right) was not really going to rake and fluff hay in high heels and a ribboned bonnet. And what about that corseted lady in the middle of the top row?
I’m grateful to Suzanne for applying her erudition in the cause of fun. And I chuckled when I read how she addressed me in the last message: “Hey Nancy.”–Nancy R. Hiller, author of Making Things Work
Suzanne has provided the following Information about the images:
Top row (from the left): Jean-Francois Millet, a watercolor from a mid-Victorian** friendship book, Winslow Homer.
Middle left: Peter Breugel. Middle right: Rosina is dated 12 May 1794 by Laurie & Whittle, London (no other info), but much earlier than the mid-Vic watercolor in the top row.
Bottom row: Camille Pissarro, Maud Mullen by John Gast, after J.G. Brown, ‘Sweet Memories’ a postcard from around 1905, Leon-Augustin Lhermitte.
Center portion: butterfly from your table, a Shaker hay rake from Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts, hayrake from an original table (your photo), hayrake from your table.
The frame, as you know, is constructed from your table.
**Here is a link to the mid-Victorian watercolor in the top row, it is for sale (£28.00):