Thumb drum

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I am embarrassed to admit that I don’t remember where I bought this little palm-sized drum. South Africa? Papua New Guinea?

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I have many of these crudely carved objects from my travels, because I was on a low budget, and I just wanted to take home something that would evoke the place.

In the end, the nationality of the maker does not matter. I can see his hand working the knife, and in the cut he sits beside me.

Hard hat

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China, 1991. Everyday objects were made by hand, from common materials.

The hard hats worn by construction workers were made from twigs or bamboo, bent while still pliable, and sewn together. When they harden, they are quite protective.

 

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They made all the scaffolding from bamboo, too.

[Shot with the “new” macro.]

In a glass eye: Herat

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I regret that I wasn’t a better photographer when I traveled through so many countries, in my 30s and 40s.

For years I have been thinking about creative ways that I could interpret those journeys through the perspective of time.

All my film negatives are scanned, and some shots were salvageable with careful editing. I tried to use digital manipulation to bring out the sense of those places, but often the results seem contrived. My painting skills are not up to the task of memoirs, yet.

While experimenting yesterday with my “new” macro lens, I saw the blue glass I bought in Herat in 2004, and other objects I have collected in my travels, sitting all around my house and in storage …

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and I thought, what if the art is to see those places again, through the minute inspection of the objects I still have?

So I photographed the air bubbles of Herat, the exhale of its maker rising into a vast blue sea of glass.