The story of “The Czar’s Stones”
In 1993, our cousin Barry had a significant birthday. I made this wall piece of sticks and stones, held together with looping (knotless netting). At dinner one night, before gifting the piece to him, our family created a story to go along with the gift. We had a broken clock, a cracked porcelain piece, believed to have been carried to the US by a mutual grandmother from Russia.
Here's the story we created:
We finally took our old clock that was brought over from Russia to a clockmaker. He found a string of stones and a note written in Russian. Here is the translation:
For you, my dear great granddaughter Sadie, may these bring you good luck in the New World. There were a part of the Czar’s Royal Stones of Russia. In my years of protecting the royal garden, I obtained a part of his stones by stealing them.
May they bring you happiness, good health, and good luck in the New World. They should be passed down in the many generations to come in the Berman family. I hope you enjoy this present thoroughly and good luck.
Lots of love,
Great Grandpa Berman
So now, Barry, may you share a part of our ancestry, and may bring you happiness, good health, and good luck. Enjoy!
For a very funny period of time, this story was believed to be the truth!
“From the age of 6 I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was 50 I had published a universe of designs. But all I have done before the age of 70 is not worth bothering with. At 75 I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am 80 you will see real progress. At 90 I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At 100, I shall be a marvelous artist. At 110, everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokusai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing.”
"Baskets and Surfaces" workshop
at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio, Texas. We had a great time creating wonderful baskets!
Fabulous photo by Scott Gilbert
BEYOND THE BASICS: Jackie Abrams and Friends