Friday, July 12, 2013

the 5 and 10...

I ducked into my local "variety" shop the other day to pick up a few odds and ends- envelopes, string, wooden craft sticks, lined pads, and learned that the shop that has been in my neighborhood since 1965, was going to be closing at the end of the summer. The owner, a very dapper older man, looked wistful and a bit defeated. He had hoped to stay working at his shop until as he put it "he could no longer move around anymore". But the neighborhood is slowly changing. More building, more cafes, a wine bar, more young people..and with that comes raised rents and a cleansing of the old for the new. This neighborhood has always had an old fashioned throwback feel, and it will be a loss when that flavor is rolled over.
But the 5 and 10, that made me sad. It is a crazy kind of a place, disheveled, with dusty plastic dolls sitting next to a box of ball point pens. Faded oaktag paper lying near thimbles, bandanas and other notions. There is something for everyone here though. Stickers and packaged plastic animals for the kids; yarn, cups, laundry lines and wooden clothes pins for the seniors. I love walking in there and trying to find something and then sifting through boxes with typefaces from the 70's holding needle threaders and erasers. There was a 5 and 10 where I grew up that I also loved. It was called Jacobsens and my sister and I would head straight there whenever we had some cash and we would usually buy baby clothes to put on our dolls and embroidered patches that were in a display that rotated. We would scout out the coolest patches- a butterfly, a rainbow peace sign and some thread and needles and rush home and sew them on our jeans and jackets. That store was magical to me. SO much to look at all jumbled up together. I know my fascination with this store influenced my later delight in collecting and putting objects and images next to each other in crazy and unexpected ways. And I know that Joseph Cornell also frequented his local 5 and 10 and his finds fueled his intense creations of mini-worlds in a box.

My studio is like one big dusty 5 and 10-all the crazy things I find and set out near each other creating inspiration for the still lifes that go into a plate design.

joseph cornell piece spotted at LACMA yesterday--
straight out of the 5 and 10..

I will take advantage of the variety store staying open through the summer and will purchase some items and take in the chaos that has its own order and very much its own charm.