Last summer when he could walk longer distances following his foot surgery, Tom went off down to his studio for the first time in months. He came back to the outside table near the front door with a few odd pieces he’d picked up.
Over the next few weeks we picked up some bird cages at the perpetual garage sale near Miller Road and Cedar Hills Blvd. A cousin brought him the remnants of a fine brass corkscrew that had finally broken, knowing he’d like the shape.
Gradually these six pieces emerged, sometimes with my help in finding bases, wood or stone, wiring an angel to the roof of a birdcage, providing transportation.
The wire figures in the white cage are ones Hester and I brought Tom from Paris. “The Dying Gaul” and the “Venus” are reproductions that have associations for the two of us too complicated to explain. The cheese box base was given to us by a friend, a store owner, in Westport, NY, and transported home on the train.
The six pieces take on character for us, and even though there’s really no place to put them, they have a place in our lives and in our house.
Recently, two of Tom’s works changed ownership over in Sunriver. A friend of our son’s, with his wife, bought from her cousin a lovely house that we had stayed in years ago and that held two of Tom’s works the cousin had purchased from Tom’s exhibits in the ‘90’s.
Only when they were discussing what contents of the house would be included in the purchase did Tom’s name emerge, accompanied by surprise, exclamations and delight.
What’s remarkable is that one of these works, “Endangered Species” (also the title of the show), comes as a new work to the artist, the making of it buried in time. Happily, he finds it a pleasure to see, and doubly a pleasure to know it will continue to have a home where it is appreciated.