This cast bronze urn (bought for peanuts by me on saturday) is put up for Cro to look at - see the comments below.
I started to write a post at what an awful night I had last night, when I lay awake worrying about the future. Then I thought, who wants to listen to this? Anyway, you would only blame it on the 5 pints of expensive beer that I drank yesterday, so you've got the iron dog instead. Much more uplifting.
I first saw this little feller in an antique shop, sold as 19th century English, with a price tag to match. I almost bought it - good job I didn't. A few weeks later, I went round to a friend's house on the Somerset Levels. This friend has two, big, traditional English droving dogs (the breed name of which I have forgotten) which look exactly like the iron one.
There on their mantle-piece were two of these little iron ones, and I asked where he had got them. They turned out to be a cheap, Indian import, and I went out a few days later and bought one myself at a fraction of the price that the dealer was trying to extort from the ignorant public.
It is made from a single sheet of malleable iron which has been deftly cut and folded by a true craftsman/artist using shears and pliers, until it has adopted the forlorn attitude seen in the photo. Actually, I think 'artist' would be a better description than 'craftsman', as I have seen much worse depictions of dogs in famous galleries.
My dark night of the soul last night, hinged (or unhinged) on insecurity about my future. Like the Indian who made this dog, I make things with my hands and I depend on people actually wanting what I make in order to survive. Right now, I am enjoying what can only be described as old-fashioned patronage from a wealthy client who seems to like everything that I do, but this cannot go on forever, and I do worry about putting all my eggs into one basket.
I often wonder what I am going to do when I get too old to be able pick up a mallet and chisel, let alone be able to pick up the material that I have chosen to work with - stone.
I'll just have to make sure that the things I make are as universally appealing as this doggie, so I can continue to pay for the rising costs of life's necessities, using the falling rates of the pennies I earn from them.