Out There

It is a strange thing that, whenever our feet hit the ground, we are traveling. The picture you see for this newsletter is a sign painted by Suzanne Ravgialla for my friend Nancy. Nancy has Norwegian forebears, and this sign in disarray hung on a shed at the back of her house. Suzanne took it and spruced it up as you can see.

It is the theme picture for this newsletter because it depicts travel. The Vikings traveled around in these ships between 700 and 1000 A.D. These were not cruises, but expeditions to make profit either by theft and murder or by trade – whichever was easiest. It was only later in their adventures that the Vikings started staying in the places to which they traveled. Even then, as in Normandy (land of the north men), they branched out to Sicily and, more famously, to England with William the Conqueror.

Now what does all this have to do with furniture design? The answer is simple for me: designing furniture is its own form of travel. Every design is, for instance, a node from which other designs blossom. I find myself growing all over the map. I learn a technique and use it again in a slightly different way. The profit I get is sometimes monetary, but most often personal growth in self expression.

This seems to be true for everyone, no matter their endeavor. Each of us leaves a mark, a footprint, as we travel here or there. The sad thing is that we are sometimes convinced that our work does not count, we are not leaving a track. Now that track may be one of sadness for others or joy, but it is real nonetheless. It is our contribution to the life of this world. We are all out there.