Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 2013 Trip: A visit with Lucy Coles and a day in Paris

When Missy and I arrived in Portland last Saturday morning she dropped me off at the train station, after saying our goodbyes (which is so difficult after more than a week together) I took the train to Exeter in New Hampshire where fellow blogger Lucy Coles and her family picked me up for a 2 day visit at their lovely home in the woods.

Winter here in Gauteng ( the province I live in) is dusty and dry and there are certainly no natural woods here, so I was very much enchanted by the beauty of the trees both in Maine and New Hampshire, a wonderful shade of green that you never see here.

Isn't it just gorgeous!!!

I also saw my first chipmunk ever, not easy to get a photo though, they are pretty quick. Lucy and I quickly chatted like we had been friends forever, and she showed me all her wonderful work, her knitting is just wonderful and so fine. But her porcelain work really just blew my mind, the detail is incredible in real life.

Lucy gifted me with these two items and told me how she made it, my photos doesn't do them justice at all, the black vase was poured in black porcelain slip and then soft fired in the kiln, the white and gold details on the vase was then painted on with slip. The tiny little flute player was sculpted out of a lump of porcelain, he is just amazing and stands only 17mm (21/32") high including the base.

The vase turned 180 degrees and the flute player from the back, thank you Lucy for two wonderful days of visiting and these precious gifts, it was great meeting you and spending time with you.

On Monday I took the bus to Logan airport in Boston and left for France in a thunder storm.

My first glimpse of France through the clouds. Originally I was going to meet up with Jonquil but unforseen real life circumstances put a stop to those plans. Knowing that quite a few of the big museums was closed on Tuesdays, I asked Bill Robertson if he knew about anything that might interest me and he suggested the Musee des Arts et Metiers, after a bit of research on the internet, I realized that it was fairly close to Notre Dame and since the train from the airport stopped at Notre Dame without any transfers I decided to go there first.

Notre Dame certainly lived up to its reputation and I enjoyed taking a quiet stroll through the church and admiring the beautiful iron work on the doors.

I then took a slow walk to the museum enjoying all the beautiful buildings on the way.

Don't you just love those iron balustrades.

The outside of the museum with a miniature Statue of Liberty, the French did design her after all.

An Astro Globe, I would love to make one in miniature.

This 1660 glass alcohol thermometer just fascinated me, it looks quite delicate and I certainly wouldn't want the job of cleaning it, imagine breaking such a treasure.

I loved this desk with all it's drawers, something else that would be nice to make in miniature.

A knitting loom from 1785, my mom had a knitting machine when we were small, I never realized they went as far back as this.

I loved this little read-in stand for the sheer beauty of the wood and turnings.

The museum also had a nice collection of porcelain and glass items and I really liked this beautifully painted stand.

The stand from the side.

And then a model of the Statue of Liberty being constructed.

Well, this is the best photo I managed to snap of the statue from the ferry back in New York, hopefully next time I am there she will be open to visitors.

Some early light bulbs.

Louis XVI's rose engine, I never knew he liked to do this kind of thing.

Hmmm, I am not so sure this sentiment helped him much, he did lose his head in the French Revolution through the lower classes as he put it!

Isn't this hall just beautiful!

And lastly, a model T Ford from 1908. Thank you Bill for the suggestion of this museum, I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, there were so many interesting things in it.

From the museum I wandered back to the Seine and admired some more of the wonderful French architecture.

The closest I got to the Eiffel tower which was designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel who also had a hand in the design of the Statue of Liberty.

Although it doesn't show in my photos, it was a hot sunny day with a clear blue sky in Paris and I was really thankful for a small park with some shady trees, where I sat down and rested for a bit.

I just liked the blue paint on these windows.

And my last photo of Paris, after I took this one my camera announced that my SD card was full, since I was really tired by then and there just happened to be a train station right on the corner where I was standing straight back to the airport without any transfers, I decided to call it the day and go back to the airport for supper and my flight to South Africa. I loved Paris and will definitely go back there again, hopefully next year I can fit in a few days there.

Well, I really enjoyed sharing my trip with you all over the last few days while getting over the jet lag, tomorrow it is back to making miniatures and the house is begging for a good clean, in winter it gets dusty very quickly.

Till next time


John said...

Hi Elga,

My favorite thing about Paris is just walking around the streets as you did, taking it all in. I have never been to that museum, but will definitely try to get there, next trip. So glad you got had such an excellent trip and got to meet some of your miniature friends abroad.


Melissa Boling said...

What lovely gifts from Lucy! How nice that you got to see both the Statue of Liberty exhibit in France and the real statue in the same trip. That looks like a very interesting museum to see. Thank you for taking the time to share all the wonderful pictures and the story of your experiences! Yes, it was awfully hard to say good-bye after a wonderful week together.

Linda said...

So glad you got to spend some time in New Hampshire and Maine, Elga! I lived in NH for 4 years when I was a graduate student and loved it - so close to mountains AND ocean. :)

Those Paris pics are beautiful; I hope to someday visit there. :)

Thanks for sharing your trip with us.


Isabel Ruiz Alonso said...

Has realizado un maravilloso y envidiable viaje.

Catherine said...

Hi Elga

WOW! You sure covered a lot of ground and stuffed a lot into your 18 days. I have enjoyed seeing and reading about every bit of it.

What lovely gifts from Lucy. I am sure you will treasure them along with all the memories. Her home is gorgeous. I LOVE all that stone.

What a good museum tip from Bill. I bet you could have spent several days soaking up inspiration in Paris.

Your head must be bursting with new ideas and enthusiasm. :-) I am so glad you had such a good time!

Josje said...

I bet you were absolutely exhausted after that last day...But Paris is beautiful and it is nice just to be able to walk around a bit, even if it is just for a day.
It is funny, Paris is not that far away for us (maybe a six hour drive or so) but I have never driven there and the last time I visited must have been 15 years ago or so.
Glad you are home safe and full of inspiration after such a wondeful trip!

Dorien Litjes said...

Dear Elga,

What a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.
I love Paris!
Hugs Dorien.

Steinworks said...

thank you for sharing your wonderful photos of Paris it's so lovely!


miniacollection said...

What a wonderful trip with so many beautiful photos!

Debora said...

Great pictures of Paris Elga, and indeed a great tip from Bill. Paris is full of museums and having had only one day it seemed to have been a wonderful choice.

Pfff... so much in so little days, all in all a great trip again this year, you've definitely made the most of it. Thanks for sharing!!!

ps, we have here in Holland; those who travel a lot, can tell a lot. And you sure can, you're a great writer/story teller

Elga said...

Thank you everyone for your comments on all my trip posts. Yes, I certainly had a great time, I always wanted to travel and see the world, that is why I pack so much into a trip.

And thanks Debora for saying I am a good story teller, I never really thought I was but I am glad you enjoyed it, ha, I didn't like languages much at school and certainly not writing essays, but maybe it is easier with a subject you really love.

Debora said...

I think so too Elga; words come easy when the heart is full ;)

Lucy Coles said...

Hi Elga,

It was a pleasure having you. I am so glad that you enjoyed your day in Paris.

I am investigating silver clay...I will keep you up to date.

Many hugs,

jeffry said...

Hi Elga,
Your holiday sounds wonderfull, you've been "everywhere"so it seems.
And you've made again wonderfull miniatures at Castine!
And I really like Lucy's black vase a generous gift!

Sandra said...

Sorry it didn't work out to meet your friend Elda, but as a consolation that was a wonderful day to gain lots of inspiration for future minis I'm sure, as well as seeing the city. The atmosphere in the photos you took is wonderful. The gifts from Lucy are outstanding. I especially love the little figurine. Sandie