Saturday, September 27, 2008


Our Patrons brought in their Antique William Morris Style Chair to be reupholstered.
I wondered - was that the famous English William Morris-? The Poet, Painter, Social Reformer
Textile Designer-? YES, it was the one whose work I had always admired, but I had not known that He had a major part in designing the first Recliner Chair, in 1866.

The Chair has a high back and arm rests, and can be used like any arm chair in it's upright position. The signature feature of the chair though, is it's reclining back, which was revolutionary at the time. It's considered the predecessor of all modern reclining chairs .

This Chair was very popular during the Victorian Era in England, but later adapted into the Classic Mission and Arts & Crafts design movements which emphasized craftsmanship, rather than factory produced work. Their designs featured hand-dyed and woven fabrics and hand-carved wood.

The fabric chosen for the chair pictured above, was quite "Morris"-like in style with a velvet texture and was so agreeable to work with - the end results looked quite inviting and the chair was actually very comfortable.
It felt just great to help give new life to such a beautiful and solidly built Antique Chair-!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


The Stargazer Lily Acrylic on Canvas 28" x 24" Mary Maki Rae - 2008


A friend - a bouquet - a stargazer lilly -
placed atop a pedestal -
next to a painting table.
Here all flowers are observed -
in a loft-like studio -
above and near a front door.
I catch - the seductive sweet scent.
I am inspired -
to begin again.

Many swatches of cotton ticking -
ticking - ticking.
A pale gold stripe -
I paint the wall.
Gray blue - lavender - aqua stripes
for the table.
A sienna brown basket -
threads of lavender - blue -
and burgandy -
to blend - to warm - to entwine.
The first flower - scented - seductive -
a siren lilly -
then a violet dahlia.

My own garden -
a small garden - big enough for today.
I tug on my imagination - my memories.
I find: bright fuchsia geranium - and dianthus -
soulful purple petunia -
ruffled marigold - startled auricula.
The day ends - an exotic vibrant rhododendron.

Leaves - heart-shaped - rounded - pinnated.
Pointed gray blues echo the ticking.
Vivid greens - setoff the flowers like jewels.

Some whimsy -
cooing turtle doves - tall handled parasols -
bobbing flower buds and blueberries -
a line of snapdragons.
I leave it there - for now.
I am dreaming of -
blue butterflies - soft flower petals -
a souvenir - a keepsake -
a memento. -MMR