Bud & Suzanne Richards's Gallery
WHEN I WAS SEVEN: When I Was Seven is based on a poem given to Bud by two ladies in England. Summer is no longer forever. Green and gold change and fade too quickly. It seems the time of daffodils is too brief, and they seem to take forever to pop up again. Seasons catch one unaware. Leaves drop, hedges are suddenly green again, snowdrops appear and disappear; then time tricks us again, proving " . . . a year is not forever anymore." Memories of flying kites, sailing boats, and making airplanes and flying them, as Bud did when he was younger, are forever in our boy's mind. The delights of the seasons of his younger years are seen as snow upon the distant hills and daffodils blooming at the bottom of the picket fence and his boat and airplane resting in view. Please be sure to look at the alternate views of our work.
When I was Seven is our third piece to be selected for inclusion in Toys Designed by Artists, a biennial event exhibited at Little Rock's Arkansas Arts Center. It is an international competition open to all artists and began in 1973 after the inspirational works of Alexander Calder's circus figures of the 1920s and 30s. We are very honored to have been included for a third time. This year's show was juried by Tim Tate, a Washington, DC native and co-founder of the Washington Glass School. The exhibition opens November 21st and will run through January 6, 2013.
Photo By: Photographer: Ralph Anderson
About this Gallery
The art of automata dates back to ancient Egypt and has developed over the years into the contemporary folk art produced today. Driving through the Appalachian Mountains you have no doubt seen whimsical wind driven whirligigs depicting people sawing logs or washing clothes in a tub. A gust of wind turns the propeller that sets the mechanism into motion. By changing the propeller to a handle, the device becomes an automaton and is moved to an indoor environment. This is just one form of the wide variety of automata that we have today. Some are simple and move only one part while others are more complicated and become engineering projects. There are some that are moved with complicated clockworks and others that are modified marionettes utilizing strings and keys. Whatever the mechanism used, they are designed to entertain by acting out a brief story or moment in time. These are our most recent contemporary folk art automata. The piece known as Homer Ledford, Kentucky Treasure was exhibited in the Makers and Their Mentors Show at the Folk Art Center from late May until in late August in 2005. That piece was made to honor Homer Ledford, a Lifetime Member of the Guild, who has made more than 6000 dulcimers alone. After returning from our August 2005 demonstration at Parkway Crafts, we began working on a new series. The first piece completed was Leonardo. Upon turning the handle, Leonardo's life-sized head slowly opens, revealing a miniature Leonardo standing on a scaffold furiously painting. We finished Mark Twain in May of 2007. Mark Twain's head opens to reveal Tom taking advantage of his friends' desire to have some fun whitewashing the fence as in the beloved story from his novel about Tom Sawyer.