Of Art & Friendship

This exquisite tray was made by my artist friend Eileen. (She has her own blog at, which offers excellent insight into her health issues, and helpful hints and recipes that have worked for her over the years.) She is one of the people who understands the creative fire and passion that drives some of us to do what we do. In her case, it finds fanciful fruition in pieces like this. Designed as a sushi tray, it can (and will) be put to other uses, as it’s too pretty not to use at every possible opportunity. Made by her own hands, the designs were imprinted by a shell or object from the ocean in Ogunquit, a favorite destination for both of us. Because of that, this piece is even more special to Andy and myself.

Eileen had been kind enough to grace us with another of her items a while ago, a beautiful vase that I’ll feature again, and this new addition is a wonderful complementary piece.

It’s also a work of art on its own, and I chose to photograph it surrounded by a plush blanket, because I liked the juxtaposition of the rigid clay against the soft fibers.

The tray itself is a glorious riot of texture and color ~ the polished finish of the top, the rough unfinished earthen texture of the bottom ~ the imprints of shells and objects that hold such soft, sea-inspired color. I hope it’s not too New-Agey of me to say that when holding it I feel a little of her energy transported, the goodness and kindness of a kindred heart, and our shared love for a day beside the beach.

She and her husband were scheduled to spend a night with us on their way to Ogunquit, but a surgery she needed to have prevented them from making that trip. I know that she’s been unable to make it to that beautiful place by the sea a few times now due to health set-backs, so the last time we were there we collected some sand, bottled it up, and sent it along. I wanted a little bit of the beach to find its way to her. Given her severe immobility, it’s amazing that she’s been able to create what she has, but the creative fire is not easily put out. Thank you, Eileen, for sending some of your beauty our way. It will be treasured every bit as much as your friendship. (And one day soon we hope to see you and Raph in Ogunquit again.)


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