Modern Composite Plastic Metal Design
And Its Hoarding As Style (Fashion)
“Modern” is “Post War” “Mid-Century” Twentieth Century with an arbitrary date cap of 1972 chosen by me. “Modern isn’t modern after seventy-two”. I don’t care what date block one claims for I am using the “Jetsons – Pacman” date block star chart: One galaxy of design was ‘over’ for the fashion wise (Jetson) while the other was just introducing their... fashion wise gobbling (Pacman).
“I don’t really...”
They are younger; substantially younger. They are better educated and better financed. They were raised better?
“But they don’t know”.
No... but they do bring a blessing (to the antiquarian trade). Has anyone with the eye of ‘for decorative art’ found oneself shooed into a space where there IS something(s) in that space that have been critically chosen, procured (purloined), set out for, poised, placed and the pointed out as ‘on display’? And taken that in while taking-a-back of a “That’s like the chairs we sat in at the vice principals office after we got caught making out in the back of study hall when we... were in... like... seventh grade”. “That chair
They show it to you; these young people show you the composite plastic metal ...ahhhh... “chair”. Side chair? Office chair? It is not a ‘living room’ chair although ‘this is’ (the setting of the showing) a “their living room”.
And they are still going on (verbalized verbiage) about the chair. “It’s signed” “He was a”
Who was a ‘HE WAS A’ signed plastic seventh grade study hall kid’s chair? WHAT?
I don’t care but I can do that too. It is easy: Pick the roadside trash. Pick a price that’s high enough to ‘sound’ “right”. Right? “Just feel it”. And sit in it. For God’s sake SIT IN IT.
“Hey you know this one’s pretty comfortable. Sturdy too.” Ok so then stand back and figure the Jetsons’ kid (Elroy) could sit in this but the Jetsons’ dog stayed way away. Even a Jetsons’ cat would be slow... to go... unless it was in the sun.
“Your keeping that?”
“The rest of this stuff too?”
The chair looks like something someone would toss their coat on when they
Started to play the Pacman. “LIKE?”
So the first time I was “JESUS” of this kind of stuff in an ...actual... “right” design setting... was in the campus center at Smith College (Northampton, Mass.). I didn’t go there for that. I was going to the bookstore... after going to the restroom after... parking the car... after... we were ‘antique hunter’ down there. I wanted to find a Hadley Chest from Hadley Mass. If you don’t know what that is then you don’t know what a composite plastic metal chair is either.
“COMPOSITE”. The building was (is) full of that.
“Ok... and they were all acid orange (color) too”. So was the room. Acid orange. It worked. It still works. Go see it. Park the car. Use the restroom. Go to the book store. And take in the acid orange space with the acid orange composite plastic metal furniture. Just pass through. “It works”.
What works better is ‘collecting’ (hoarding) this... “WHAT?”? It does. Hoarding. Is the safety word. How does that? Well... if you get your collection off the trash and set it up in a ‘personal space’ gallery (living room, et al) and “FINE”. Stick with that. I don’t say a word. Why?
It’s a space term. Living room décor... space term... about the
Of the ‘my collection’ in my ‘personal (design) space’ BACK
As a market appraisal AND a physical description of
Because people (still) throw that stuff (composite plastic metal design) out all the time ...so ‘the source’ is ‘restocked’ regularly (daily for I the trash picker hunter-gatherer of). I don’t have to try for picking up the twenty dollar bills is easy.
I do not try, seek or ask... for more.
I do absolutely apply the same ‘quality assessment’ skills I use for, for example, Coastal New England (“North Shore”) Colonial ‘style’ (design) (1607-1760).
‘Sure bet’ the ... wallet soft market I feel... by selling to the Person
Who sells to the Person
Who sells to the PERSON.
It’s okay; I’ll take the twenty “for that”.
“I love it. It’s soooo.... I GUESS!”
So this one chair I get... off the trash... the other day. “Like” it’s a twenty ($20) no problem. So I look at it. Later. It is heavy... well made... sturdy... ‘can stand on it’... sit in it (“the test”). “Ok on that (sitting in) but ‘not super comfy’... on the back. “Ass” is ok. “Yeah... Twenty”. “Wait a minute”. I’ve turned the chair upside down. I’m ‘done’ with the ‘sculptural presence’ appraisal (2.4 seconds).
What is the ‘sculptural presence’? This is best defined and shown in the “game changer” Patricia E. Kane’s THREE HUNDRED YEARS OF AMERICAN SEATING FURNITURE from the Mabel Brady Garvan collection, Yale, New York Graphic Society, Boston, 1976. I don’t have the book right now...: I don’t need it day to day. It’s the game change that counts. The exhibit hung chairs on the wall as sculpture; design forms in three dimensional space. That’s a concept... of a chair’s art: Its ‘sculptural presence’.
So my “Wait a minute.” is about something else. The chair is ‘signed’ (by the maker). And just to be fair to myself; my I-eye, I had already ‘relished’ (an art appraisal term) the ...old chewing gum stuck to the chair bottom mare... FIRST; before the ‘it’s signed’ is noticed.
But I discover that.
The chair is relief blind stamped “MELSUR OLD FERRY RD BRATTLEBORO, VT” at the bottom center. “Made in VERMONT?”
“Old Ferry Road?”
“Like...”: An Old Ferry Road in Vermont is... “LIKE”... where one goes on a weekend to find apples, maple syrup, cheese, trees, stonewalls, fences... cows...: Not composite plastic metal ‘modern’ chairs being MADE. “Yeah”.
“Goggle that”. Plenty of the chairs for sale. No mention of the ‘signed’.
Or is it “cool?”
I’ve been picking antiques in Vermont for over forty years. I bought a maple Queen Anne table ‘in old red’ in 1971 (one year before the end of ‘Modern’) and sold it for twenty-five hundred right then. I have... as-I-examined-the-maker’s-mark... been very sensitive to the Vermont-New England design heritage and SEEK IT. But... a... composite plastic metal ‘modern’ chair... “SIGNED” “VERMONT”? No. ALL my books... show... “no”. ONE book touches ‘later’ Vermont chair design but... as an Adirondack chair. Another book on just Vermont furniture... is comprehensive and filled with wonderful ...antique... furniture discoveries. Oddly, the last chair (circa 1850) pictured in that book DOES sort of ‘do the same’ as sculptural presence but... it’s a hundred years off.
I’m feeling... standing over the chair... “This chair should be in a book?” “It should tell its (design) story. And that story be an ‘old ferry road’ Vermont story. “Yeah”. “But”.
I’m just gonna sell it to ‘the Jetsons’ for the twenty.
He space; a ‘his gallery’ “living together in our own apartment” we.
“Yeah it all really just comes to me”.
She space that too. “Maybe I could do this (decorate personal gallery spaces in metro apartments for ‘living together’ collectors) on the side until I get my name out there”.
“You go out early?”
“In the morning. To pick the trash?”
“Here?” Pick the trash here? No. No one throws chairs like that out around here. I buy them at the flea markets. Mostly”.
‘The Jetsons’ are hoarders. Of composite, plastic and metal.