“Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” – Loren Eiseley
The residents of El Matal surely feel as if they are veterans of an ongoing war and continue to search for a way to make peace with Mother Ocean. The photo above is not of an Ecuadorian beach, but of one in Costa Rica during the rainy season.
In Costa Rica and also now in Ecuador, my friends sometimes surprise me with unique pieces that the high tides wash ashore. When I see a pile of debris waiting to be burned on Playamart’s beaches, I often exclaim, “NOOOOOOO! Don’t burn the sofa… or the bed… or the bench!”
My friends usually laugh, but know that I am serious! Some transformations take a short time, and others need a period of incubation, but eventually, I reach for the stockpile of beach treasures.
My biggest problem is that I don’t have enough time to pursue all of the things I’d like to do each day! Shall I focus on fine art or on whimsical art or build a piece of furniture or —- sigh, it’s a nice problem to have.
Before my trip to Mississippi, I painted a few items that were easy to pack and give as I visited from one end of the state across to Arkansas and back again. Can you guess what material was used for these spoon rests?
One can always find strips of bamboo on the nearby beaches, and it’s fun to say, “They came from Playamart!” Selecting strips that worked well with long-handled cooking spoons, I cut the sections with a hand saw and sanded the edges. Two coats of white latex house paint provided a good base for the strong colors.
The newly-painted kitchen counter tops inspired the first bamboo spoon rest, which I enjoy using. Why NOT paint more and share with my loved ones?
Most were painted with flowing waves of color, often wet into wet, and the dark blue-black lines were painted last. The blue and yellow ‘fabric’ designs were painted with sensitivity for those in my family with red/green color deficiency.
Two coats of non-yellowing floor finish protect the designs. Someone asked if they could be put in a dish washer — Hmmm? I told them to test them and let me know how they hold up!
The original prototype remains in the kitchen and continues to serve me well!