Day 20: I'm not sure exactly why the search for manhole covers appeals to me so much. The foundation of the quest came from the experience I shared on Day 1, when a friend pointed out Neenah Foundry on a storm grate. As I mentioned, ever since then I not only look for patterns and style, but I also look for the manufacturer. Over the years I've been impressed by highly decorative covers, but I also love the ordinary variety, and comparing how they differ depending on the year of issue. In addition to the pattern search, I think it is just as compelling that we regard these items as relics of history. Worn by time, weather, and traffic, these trusty covers serve and protect. I also love how every photo you see reveals a little bit about the environment of its location. Fancy stonework or crumbling pavement, protruding weeds or covered in gravel - it's all so interesting, am I right?
When you are wearing manhole glasses (always on the search) you get excited by any dip in the blacktop, thinking there may be a find just ahead. You also start to look at everything and think "that looks like a manhole cover". For instance:
My silver locket, an embossed metal trivet, a silicone coaster, an ornamental drawing, a sink drain, an Oreo, a waffle, or a hub cap - all common sightings that may catch the attention of a manhole enthusiast. Many other unrelated items make you think "that could be a manhole cover". Am I right?
There are patterns everywhere. Just last week I was emailing with Janet and she brought up shoe sole designs. She's right -so many different treads on shoes....and tires! My friend Mary Beth Shaw has a mantra, "I see stencils everywhere". I'm sure you're nodding along with her. As visual artists we are easily amused by the observation and mental-note-taking of patterns we encounter. The repetitive combination of shapes that form a pattern is pleasing - which is why we like stencils and stamps as tools for art-making. This week I was using embossing folders to make some decorative paper when I decided to punch out into circles. Ha! Do you see what I see? I also got to use my new foam stamp by my friend Nathalie Kalbach, found in her shop HERE.
A few more words about pattern: In an article last March, and for parts of 2015, I shared with you my interest in security envelopes. Another overlooked source of repetitive texture. Maybe not as fascinating as manhole covers, but finding and collecting these hidden patterns is a cheap thrill . Just this week I received an invoice with an envelope that had a new-to-me pattern. I can't tell you how excited I got and right away clipped a strip for my catalog of patterns. Everyday there is something to get excited about, am I right?
Don't forget to enter the GIVEWAY. Drop your name in the comment section on the post from Day 15 HERE. Drawing is 10/22.
What other patterns are you seeing showing up in your daily observations?