Life as the textile expert at a regional history museum

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Chicken Wire Christmas

This was sort of an exhausting week at work. I mean, my job is never that rough because I don't work as a miner or a greeter at Walmart--but I did spend three days watching a team of people attempt to move a 2,000 pound piece of wood. It alternated between being boring and stressful. Boring: We're going to spend these four hours just adding more straps to it. Stressful: Was that section of bark always like that? Did it shift? Are we putting too much pressure on it? Too many straps? Boring: Boy, those bolts sure do take a long time to remove! Stressful: IT'S STARTING TO ROLL! LOWER THE FORKLIFT! GET OUT OF THE WAY! (everything was fine, but we did all have a pretty serious 5 second adrenaline rush).

But if there was another theme this week other than "log move" it was "chicken wire scarf." When I was writing my thesis about John Doyle Bishop, I learned about the signature scarf that he produced with a chicken wire pattern.

First of all, it is awesome because it is something he designed, and is a reference to his childhood growing up on a chicken farm in Idaho. This re-interpretation of a not particularly glamorous part of his history was a move that my thesis advisor called "a very Chanel thing to do". It is also cool because there are photographs of him wearing the scarf and, of course, Elsa Schiaparelli wearing one too. 

Finding a Bishop scarf has been a constant goal of mine for some time now. After months of nothing, I somehow found TWO in one week. First, a red one popped up on ebay. Then, I found a gray one at this house that I was visiting. I had gotten an email at work from a man who was cleaning out an old home owned by two sisters. He said there was a lot of vintage clothing and the museum could come take its pick (yeah, obviously I shouldn't be complaining about my job because it is awesome). Sure enough, the house was full of treasures, and I found the scarf in one of the last piles I looked through. I also found some ostrich leather shoes, a bright green 1970s Oscar de la Renta evening gown, and a so-hideous-its-awesome 1990s corduroy ensemble from Eddie Bauer. 

On Tuesday I won the ebay auction (I was the only one who bid) and it arrived in the mail yesterday. The scarf from the house visit has to go straight to the museum, but ebay one is mine! I'm excited to wear it, but I'm discovering that a big red scarf is kind of a hard thing to pull off. 

Here I'm either a pirate or Rhoda from Mary Tyler Moore

"I'm going to have to have my grandson explain the internet to me again"

"Your nearest exit may be behind you!"

"Life on this collective farm is very difficult"

"Gosh, do you think Bobby will be at the sock-hop tonight?"

"Dude. Pot is totally legal now in Washington."

1 comment:

  1. I enjoy your blog, immensely, especially the story about your chicken wire "find"! And especially your scarf photo essay! And especially your writing style!