Saturday, April 3, 2010

In Memory

My father passed away a little over a month ago. He was just about 10 days short of his 96th birthday. This piece, the old wooden washer, is a collaboration with him. He was the metal worker. A machinist, mechanic, watch repairman, clockmaker, jeweler and the go-to man in town to fix anything that no one else could fix. Give him a pile of scrap metal and he could build you an engine or a firearm. He was awarded a bronze star in WW2 for scrounging up parts, including an old vacuum cleaner to construct a make-shift iron lung for the army hospital he was assigned to.

I inherited his treasure trove of interesting junk and being the pack-rat that I also am I still have most of it, as well as most of his tools. When I first moved here, 38 years ago, there was an old wooden washing machine, and I used it for a time. It wasn't set up quite like this one, but the principle was the same - a handle and a reversible flywheel. I was messing around with a box of old clock gears one day and managed to come up with several that worked in just the right way, so I built a washing machine under them. I guess I am interested in combining a little more of Dad's junk with my creations. It keeps him in my life.

The washing machine is 4-3/4" tall, with the lid closed. The tub is red cedar from this farm. The top is apple wood, from a neighbor whose tree died. Dad contributed the hardware and the genes and the teaching. Thanks Dad. You are part of my sacred web too - gone on now, but never far away.

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