The vase sat on the curb outside Elmore Leonard’s house glowing like a ruby in the waning afternoon sun. Nestled amidst flattened cardboard boxes, recycled newspapers and a trash can or two, the vase was destined for the landfill, her sassy shape soon to be reduced to a handful or two of crimson shards.
My inner Pascal came to life and I plucked the vase from the dross. Nary a scratch on her surface; not a nick on her lip; the vase was perfect. Why had ol’ Elmore tossed her? Had he more vases than he could deal with? Did he hate the color red? Maybe the missus put it out.
I don’t know that I would’ve paid cold cash for the vase, but rescuing something so pretty from the trash delighted me. Home it came where it now sits on a table in the living room catching the morning sunlight and blazing to life for a few minutes each day.
The blue piece (it’s neither vase nor paperweight) we bought at an artfair, entranced by the seeming impossibility of its existence. How did the slender glass stem support that corona of cobalt? Had the artist pulled molten glass up from the puddle of deep blue? Or had she blown the delicate anemone-like cup and worked downward?
Neither, as it turns out. A friend who is a glass artist told me our art fair confection was actually a blunder of some sort. The artist was using a certain technique that went awry. Our cobalt glass bibelot wasn’t art at all but a vitreous blunder. Were we suckers for having bought the artist’s boo-boo? Matters not a whit to me. I still think it’s cooler than cool.
One author’s trash is another’s treasure. Creative mistakes can be marketable. It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Well, you know I love castoffs and “junk,” and it often finds its way into my artwork. And look how Elmore’s virbrant red vase found its way into your thoughtful essay today … This bright shot of red made my morning cheerier, and reminded me that beauty resides in the most unusual places!