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Posts Tagged ‘statuary’

d 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estateI am so excited to tell you that I’ve been asked to serve on an advisory board for the Dunsmuir Estate!  I’m told that this is the first advisory board since the City of Oakland took over care of the property, so I feel truly honored.

I was just over there last Friday because I made an effort to remember to visit during their insanely restricted hours (it is an effort, even bank employees would drool over these hours!).  I work from home not very far from this place and even still, I can’t seem to get over there while they’re actually open…. never-mind the times they should be open (imho) but aren’t, like weekdays squeezed between major holidays and weekends (I tried to go last Black Friday for example).  BUT, that’s not the point I’m here to make.

a 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estateThis place is a gem in the rough.  Anyone who has read my blog before knows how much I enjoy visiting historic estates and gardens, but this one eluded me until a few months ago.  SO, without further delay – a few photos from last Friday to celebrate my budding relationship with the folks who are working so hard to keep the place up and promote it.  I’m plain ole thrilled about it.

b 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estatec 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estateSo above you see the Main House and the entry, ducks, fountain, and gazebo (drought?  what drought?)….

f 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estate e 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estate… and two benches with gobs of personality…

i 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estatej 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estate h 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estate… a couple of shots that I think exemplify the magic of the character of the place….

g 30 jan 2015 dunsmuir estate… but I’ll leave you with a shot of my favorite thing, the pool and pool house.  I could do a whole post just on this one item, and I probably will, but it is such a magical, beautifully proportioned thing, I wish I had drawings of it to study, find out what it is about the space that is so magical, apply those ratios to my own work (even though I don’t design by mathematical formula, I just want to “get” it and be able to replicate it).   I dearly hope that this can someday be restored, but in the meantime, I’ll stare at it and imagine what it must have been like.

 

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OW, mommy, HOT!

I have a general dislike of “lifelike” bronze statuary. I am so tired of bronze children playing in fountains, bronze horses, bronze people on park benches, bronze wildlife, bronze memorials, you name it, someone has made (and displayed) it. Most of these works are not at all clever, though there are (rare) occasions when I like one of these “artistic statements”. I live near South Shore Towne Center and I like the little bullfrog under the roof drain scupper.  A note to maintenance: the scupper has garbage behind the wire mesh now (this picture is a few months old).

scupper frog sculpture

scupper frog bronze sculpture

However, I was recently walking to Panera in the morning for a latte – a warm summer morning, but not hot.  A little girl walked up to this deer (one of two in the shopping center, both are kid magnets) and reached out to pet the deer. She said, “OW, mommy, HOT!” Aesthetics aside, as a designer, I will forevermore think twice before putting a metal kid-magnet in any position where it could get hot and potentially hurt someone. Luckily, the other deer is in a spot where this is far less likely to be a problem.

dangerous hot bronze deer statue

Talk about dangerous; I don’t need to explain all the many reasons I think the frog fountain is a failure, do I?

Food for thought in public spaces….and private ones!

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