In 2002, Bob Giles experimented with pleasing natural forms and shapes of wood only slightly modified and hung on a swivel on an inconspicuous bar from the top of a 6 foot post in the garden. He called his first form Topics to suggest something that people talk about. He did not intend for the garden object itself to be talked about, but that it symbolize the importance of topics that can be seen from many sides, that are dynamic, that may be unique at least different, and that have missing parts or holes. He was genuinely concerned about the lack of conversation and discussions resulting, in his opinion, from excessive, quiet TV watching and the demise of the family meal. Engaging in fruitful, courteous dialog seemed to him essential for pleasant life in the future communities of the region.
While Sculptors may become actively involved in the production of Topics, Giles proposed that they be made available along with items for gardens. It is essential that a painted inconspicuous post be included and an improved hanging bar (perhaps a clear plastic of ample length) be designed along with an attractive unique object. Photos may be included on an Internet sales page. Placement in the garden is critical for there needs to be the possibility that wind or other forces (squirrels, passers-by, etc.) can move the objects. Ability to see the object often from a window (etc.) is important.
Objects can be sought-out by a Topics crew in logging operations, sold as being from a specific mountain or project, sold as found by certain specialized workers with unusual esthetic insights, and value-added by the books and brochures on conversation, on leading group discussions, on the history of the area, and books on pictures showing garden spots where they have been installed. Value is also added by a required natural locust post (untreated), some with walnut stain. Painting may be by hand or by dipping in flat commercial stain.
Drift wood enhancement may be of interest. Moss may be used with some objects and display areas.
Later he planned and briefly experimented with smaller Topics suspended from about 3 foot "posts" placed in the garden. Light colored stone backing and white gravels around these was encouraged to include the shadows cast by these unique moving shapes.
See The Sculptors and The Products Group.
See New River Valley Rural Crafters Network, Beans And Rice, Inc. an ARC-supported project.
Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) etc. above .
Robert H. Giles, Jr.
July 3, 2005