Custodians of Place and Memory
The on-going conversation...

On Your Desk

Anais nin's desk

The "On Your Desk" photo series is now up and running again, so if you haven't sent your desktop photograph(s) in yet, this is the time. For anyone new to this series, what I'm looking for is a photo or two of your desk (or work table, or easel...or wherever it is that you do creative work), and please don't pretty it up for the camera -- I'm looking for images of work spaces as they truly are when they're in use. Information on where and how to send the photos is here, in the first post of the series. The photo above, by the way, is Anais Nin's desk, during the later years of her life when she lived in Silver Lake, California in a house designed by Eric Lloyd Wright.

Our first two desks today belong to Jessica P. Wick and Amal El-Mohtar, the co-creators and co-editors of Goblin Fruit, my favorite source for mythic and folkloric poetry bar none. Jessica, who lives near Los Angeles, is a fiction writer, poet, artist, and bookseller. Her beautiful, charmingly cluttered desktop is pictured in the photograph below. Trust Jessica to work in such an atmospheric place, full of myth and magic.

Jessica Wick

"Do you see the little bird-girl sketch of yours," she asks, "hidden behind the March hares feasting on candlelight?  There is, in fact, quite a lot of from my trip to Dartmoor in this particular desk set-up."

Amal, who hails from Canada, is a fiction writer, poet, harpist, and academic. She currently lives not far from me in a small town on the Cornish coast, where she's working on a PhD in English involving fairies. "In spite of living in a perfectly lovely house with perfectly lovely housemates," she says, "I actually lack a desk; I do all my writing either sitting on the couch [first photo below] or at the dining room table [second photo]. My desk is presently my lap more than anywhere else." (I imagine there are other intinerant scholars out there who can relate to this!)

I like the candlelight that links Jess & Amal's very different work spaces...particularly as I'm fond of writing and musing by candlelight myself.

Amal desk 1

Amal desk 2

The next desk belongs to mythic artist Grey Walker, who lives in beautiful Colorado. (For readers unfamiliar with the U.S., Colorado is one of those Western states full of enormous mountains, large tracks of wilderness, and vast blue skies.) Grey writes: "I make all sorts of art in my work space, including wearable art, altered books and boxes, paintings, and assemblages. My art projects tend to bleed into stories and poems, which then spark more art projects. I don't currently have a public blog or web site, but they're in progress."

Grey Walker

"My work table is a repurposed -- and slightly saggy -- architect's drafting table," says Grey. "I work at it standing up. On the table itself you can see an old encyclopedia that I'm deconstructing to make a pocket book.There are also bits of other projects-in-process, such as a painting for the web site I'm building, an inside-out matchbox, and a tray I'm mending for a friend. On the wall I'm sticking up motifs for a scarf I'm crocheting as I finish each color group. I got the scarf idea from images of millefiori. My new kitten, Chipita, is eager to be a part of it all." Ah yes, the new kitten! Already fitting into her role as Studio Muse, I see.

Our final desk today comes in the form of a drawing and three photographs from writer, artist, and blogger Amy Sperry Faldet, who lives and works in a small historic grove town in Wisconsin:

Amy Sperry Faldet's desk

"I write fairy stories," says Amy, "and draw my imagination's whispers at this desk. It is a five-by-seven old draftsman table that can be propped up like an easel. I like to fill the top with flowers, usually pink, usually from my own garden. I am wistful and joyful as I work and the desk's old soft wood warms my heart. It sits next to the fireplace in the livingroom of our 1860s house, in a Craftsman-age addition to the building; there is much light in the morning, and it seems to almost glow at times. Tea or coffee and four young children are my constant companions."

On Amy's desk

On Amy's desk 3

To see more of Amy's magical, whimsical art, visit her blog: Such a Wondrous Place This Faerytale Space.

More desks to come....

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