|Cypress knees in their natural habitat, photo by Guy Fanguy|
Looking around my own home, there is plenty of evidence of driftwood, curious looking shells, and other unusual/natural finds from the Pacific Northwest playground that I live in. In groupings curated over time, they are nestled in a way that makes some people take pause. Nature has a delightful way of offering up treasures to those of us who look far and wide.
Having never travelled to the South of the U.S. though, I was greatly surprised when I walked into Kirk Albert in Georgetown, and spied a table topped with the most otherworldly of wooden sculptures. Not knowing what they were, I inquired into their origin and was interested in hearing that they were dried Cypress knees harvested from swamps in Louisiana. These Bald Cypress trees seem indestructible and can live for hundreds of years. Underwater, they have a taproot that is the same depth as the tree is tall. The smaller roots up closer to the surface begin to grow these knees. The older the tree, the bigger the growths and the more varied their shapes.
At Kirk Albert Vintage Furnishings where they were grouped on a table surrounded by other gorgeous, vintage finds, they stood out to me that day. Imagine looking at them and alternately seeing a mountain range, a floating dress, or even a human face or hand. Their dried, polished color of golden brown highlighted their allure.
In this moment of being mesmerized, I thought of a piece called The Weight of a Crown by Seattle artist Bryan Schoneman . Made out of local dirt mixed with water; drip by drip, the organic basis of his crown pieces create a kind of manipulated natural wonder. Coast to coast, bow down to royalty outside our own doors (naturally formed, or generated by human hands).
As we transition to 2011, go hunting and find your own treasures in nature; and no matter how you spend it, enjoy your New Year's Eve!