Now for my adventure. I'm not sure how many of you are into flea markets and collecting. Sometimes when I write a post like this, I feel like maybe I bore you with my love for the colorful and the old. But here goes anyway. My space, my loves!
Last Thursday I headed off to the Brimfield Antique Market. I usually go to J&J which is the "best" show (i.e. most expensive stuff) but because of the incoming rain, I decided to go Thursday. I walk around in the mud enough here. I wasn't really looking for anything - I don't need new things but I do love to look at all the old stuff. I didn't take much money with me - I was just going for the experience.
Each day different fields are opened. The show changes around as the week goes on - some dealers move to the different fields as they are opening and some just stay put. I have been going to this flea market for over a decade so I know my way around. Several years ago, I hit upon a booth run by a woman named Linda who had a treasure trove of antique textiles. I was in a collecting mood and bought several beautiful embroideries from far away lands. I have used them in the decoration of my home - especially in the library. I only saw Linda once and have looked for her again but to no avail.
Well, guess who I found on Thursday? Linda! I exclaimed to her "Oh here you are!" I was so happy to see her and to know that she was well. I probably acted like quite a nut - although a nice nut. I told her how I so loved the textiles I bought from her. I spent quite a bit of time pawing through her plastic boxes and picked up an embroidery from northern India. Here we are in the photo below with my new piece. Linda has lived a very interesting life trading textiles. She said that the sources overseas are drying up and that now she purchases textiles to sell from collectors who are getting rid of their collections (or the children of the collectors who don't want the stuff). (Her booth is #76 in the field across from the New England Motel.)
Linda tipped me off to a booth I shouldn't miss a few spots down from her. Run by two men from Afghanistan, this booth was a gold mine of color and pattern and texture. Featuring beautiful embroideries, clothing, etched lassi cups, rugs, beading, and Indian block print wooden printing blocks, I could have stayed here all day. Such beautiful objects. Very nice vendors too. I didn't catch this fellow's name but when I go back to see him, I will make sure I get it.
Here are the piles of carved wooden blocks from India which were used for printing fabric. He told me that the textile industry in India is moving away from the traditional block printing method. What a shame.
Each was a small piece of art. Many had dyes embedded in them.
On one of the other walls, there were beautiful embroidered robes and clothing. Stunning and so inspirational for me as a textile designer. This piece was all hand-embroidered.
Here is a Suzani border embroidery with fringe laid upon the textile above. I love the interplay of the patterns.
This could inspire the top of a Fair Isle hat.
One part of the booth was covered in these gorgeous beaded pieces. I didn't ask what they were used for. Does anyone know?
After these two stops, I really almost left. I didn't need to see more because I was so satisfied. It was so early - not even 10:00 - so I had force myself to keep looking. I went to find the booths that are filled with handmade American textiles. This dealer has been in the same spot for years in the Central Park field. She sells pillowcases (mostly hand embroidered), tablecloths, quilts, bedspreads and more. She comes from the Midwest. Here is a gorgeous cross-stitch tea towel. It had a William Morris vibe to it.
Near this booth (also Central Park), I found a rather creative booth featuring found objects turned into hanging lights. Nice.
Farther down the road at Hertan's Field I saw these rusted handmade sunflowers. I don't usually go for this kind of thing but I liked these.
It started to get hot and crowded and so I decided to pack it in. I had a fun day - all by myself just looking at all the stuff that people sell. On the way out I saw these pretty blue glass vases. Nice.
I didn't come home with much but my appetite was satisfied. I'll go again - maybe in July if it isn't too hot, and definitely in September.