Sunday, October 6, 2013

Vintage Revivals pt. 1: the Nightwatch (a local color post)

On Sunday mornings after my wife and I have disposed of... um... I mean, deposited, yes, deposited our kids at their grandparents' house, we go to our favorite cafe. This cafe, which is completely superfluous to this post, serves something (which I am almost positive I've mentioned before) called an Aztec mocha, which is spicy. And awesome. But, as I said, it doesn't pertain to this. After receiving our hot beverages, we often go walking through Railroad Square and look in the windows of the shops. Some would call this window shopping, but, for myself at least, this is not what we're doing. [I just want to point out that our excursions almost only include looking in windows because of the Sunday morning thing and the shops not being open yet. Not that we are often inclined to go inside anyway.]

One of the shops is an antique store which is actually less of an antique store and more of a loose network of people that operate out of one location and sell old junk, some of which happens to be antiques, some of which happens to be collectibles (like vintage Star Wars figures and "old" comic books), but most of which is probably junk you'd find in a yard sale. Still, it's fun to wander through  the place from time to time because interesting things do turn up.

Somewhere around a year ago, they had a window display of what I'm calling "found art." [After looking that up, I'm seeing that the more common terminology is "trash art" or "junk art," but I don't like either of those terms, so I'm going with "found art."] The objects were made up of "found" items that were put together to create artistic pieces, some of which had a very steampunk feel to them. [And, yeah, after last weeks post about Wunderkammer, I'm sure you're all thinking that I'm so big steampunk fan, but, really, I'm not.] And here's the problem with always being around before the store was open: we kept intending to find out more about the artist, but the store was closed, so we never did, and the month ended and the display went away.

Then we intended for a long time to try to find out where we could find the artist's work, but we were never down there late enough for the doors to be open, and, eventually, we stopped reminding ourselves. At least, we quit reminding ourselves often enough to do anything about it. And, so, basically, a year went by, and we never followed up. But, THEN, one morning rather recently, we were actually down there late enough for the antique store to be open AND we remembered to go in and ask.

Now that's a difficult conversation to start, let me tell you: "About a year ago, you guys had a window display..." >blank stare< Hmm... Eventually, we got through that conversation to find out that the woman we were talking to only vaguely remembered that window and, also, vaguely thought the artist (who used to be part of the group that sold out of the antique store) had opened her own store, but, really, we'd need to come back and talk to someone else.

Because, you know, we'd been so successful the first time at remembering to do that.

But we did, actually, remember to go back within a couple of weeks and the person we talked to the second time knew exactly whom we were talking about and, yes, she had opened her own store in the neighboring town of Sebastopol. Now, having been a year or more since we had seen this window display, we just assumed that the woman meant that this other shop had been open for a while, but, when we drove over, we found out that, actually, her new store had only opened just a couple of days before, so, if we had found out what we needed on that first trip, there wouldn't have been a store to go to. How's that serendipity for you?

The shop is called Vintage Revivals. I went by there and picked up a pair of earrings
for my wife for her birthday. They can also make custom pieces, so there may be some of that coming in the future as there is a style they do that both of us really like, but more about that next time.

Back to the "found art":
Most of the pieces in that original window display involved birds, and, rather than try to explain how cool they were, I'm just going to show you. Mostly, I'm going to show you next time. However, this time, I'm going to show you the one piece that really made us fall in love with this stuff. It's called Nightwatch, and it's completely appropriate to the season.


  1. Great stuff and I love how you and your wife have a coffee date.

  2. I like the whole outlook on life this artist must have. A joyful one!

  3. Those are some creepy looking birds.

  4. Yeah, what Alex said. Did you end up buying that or you just really liked it? I'll admit, if I saw Nightwatch and it wasn't some crazy price (like $100) I'd probably have bought it on the spot. I love dark, quirky artwork like that.

  5. Wow, what a fabulous artist. It takes something special to see beauty in random pieces.

  6. You should include a link to the shop's FB page:

    to credit appropriately. :D Thanks. Xx Great write-up!

  7. Those eyes on those crows are creepy as can be. I'm a sucker for that type of art too. It's awesome.

  8. Those crows remind me of something you'd find on Dickens' or Poe's writing desk. Fun.

  9. That's a very creepy piece of art. Part of me likes it, but part of me doesn't like it. Hmm.

  10. I do love how you tell a story, and I think the Aztec mocha was definitely needed, in life and in the story.
    I do like that found art piece, and the concept in general. I've seen some very weird incarnations of it though...
    Tina @ Life is Good

  11. What pretty earrings. Interesting sculpture, too. To me it feels like a mash of Poe and steampunk. Also, I swear those birds are watching me.

  12. Alex: No, not yet. I'm hoping at some point. It's fairly expensive.

    JeffO: Yes!

    JKIR,F!: It's pretty nice.

    Anne: And quirky!

    GP: They are. And cool.

    ABftS: Despite the cost, I am still hoping to get it. Unless someone else beats me to it.

    S.L.: It does.

    Lauren: Well, I wanted to connect to the actual web address I have, but there's nothing there yet.

    Rusty: Typewriter keys!

    L.G.: Dickens? Why Dickens?

    Michael: All of me likes it. I wants it.

    Tina: The Aztec is always needed.
    And I'm glad you like how I tell a story.

    Jeanne: The birds are watching you! And they are pretty earrings. Be watching for more from that store.

  13. Lovely earrings. I'm a huge sucker for repurposed metal in jewelry. There was one company I used to fawn over at the florist I worked at.... on my 16th, they let me pick out two pairs. I still have them, and they're some of my most treasured earrings. ^_^

  14. moha: There will be a pic of another cool pair in the next post.

  15. I love the Nightwatch! Super cool!

  16. Very cool "found art." I want an Aztec mocha.

  17. The found art looks pretty strange, but if it involves birds then it's good as far as I'm concerned.

    Tossing It Out

  18. Lee: Most of her sculptures (that I have seen) do have birds. There will be more next time.