Hey ya’ll! I’m back and I’m bringin’ some eye candy with me! There was sooooo much to see at the 54th Shenandoah Antique Expo, in Fishersville, VA, that I thought I’d post a part deux to my original story. I was taking so many photographs throughout the long, hot afternoon…that I probably should have used my two-day pass to return and do a complete second walk through. I’m sure I missed some amazing items…it was really tough to see it all in a 4 hour spread. One guy said, “If you buy it, then you don’t need a photo of it!” And my response was, “Well, I’m takin’ the photo because I can’t afford to buy it!” Ha!
I never know if a dealer is annoyed that I’m taking photographs or if they welcome the fact that I have such a deep passion for these artful objects. My friends (who are not antique collectors) always ask me, “don’t you get tired of looking at all that old junk?” My response…HELL NO!
For me, this is how I find inspiration. I work long hours as a senior designer for a large public relations firm. I LOVE the work I do there and I’m blessed to also LOVE the folks I work with…but anyone can get burnt out. A person can only work so many hours in Photoshop or InDesign before they start to feel cross-eyed! Plus, I work on some pretty large/national brands, so I’m constantly expected to bring new ideas to clients and stay on top of the latest trends. For me, I find inspiration from the colors, patterns, textures and craftsmanship I see in antiques.
I love the history and I find a rich connection between objects and the places where they were made. I like to imagine stories about the people who made these unique items with their hands…sometimes skilled, sometimes self-taught. One of the first questions that I ask a dealer about an item is “Can you tell me where this came from?” or “How did you find/acquire it?” I have heard some really amazing stories by simply asking those two questions.
The other thing that I love about seeking antiques is the journey that keeps me on. By traveling and going to flea markets and antique shows, I get to meet some REALLY interesting people! That’s a big reason I decided to start doing interviews on my blog…people LOVE to talk about the things they collect…all you have to do is come up with the right questions!
One particular time, I asked an older gentleman what he was going to be selling at a particular antique show. His response…”a bunch of sh**.” I laughed out loud. When I asked him what he meant by that he elaborated on the fact that he actually collects Stickley, Roycroft and other fine arts and crafts pieces. He saves those items and sells them in Atlanta. There’s a greater market in Atlanta for that type of furniture because there are more Arts and Crafts style historic homes that young couples are buying and refurbishing. And those couples want the authentic furniture for their bungalows to complete the look. As for the other “sh**”, he saves that for a different city because he knows the crowd is looking for smaller items, at a lower price point. Funny, but makes sense.
So, I hope you’ve enjoyed my random rant on “old junk.” It was a little long-winded. If you know of any upcoming vintage pop-up markets, fleas or antique shows, drop me a line and I’ll post the dates here on my blog!
Copyright 2014. The Savvy Seeker blog by Erin Hurley-Brown. All Rights Reserved.