Saturday, July 29, 2006

From Art to Part

Recently I had dinner with an acquaintance who owns a custom blow molding company. He shows me a four color brochure with pictures of cabinets, spoilers, picnic tables and toys, wheeled trash cans, and a child’s sleigh bed, all products his company makes. He mentions making a sketch of the sleigh bed before it went “to press.”

I tell him I want to know everything, how he gets an idea, how he knows what mixtures work, how it moves through the giant presses, what happens, how it happens, everything. “Oh,” he says. “From art to part.”

From art to part. That’s a new phrase for me. Immediately I begin wondering how that’s analogous to writing. He talks about ideas, sketches, molds, flash, trains, outsourcing, PSI, ambient air, costs, green space, product life cycle. But out of nothing – often borne of desire or need – comes something.

I rather like this phrase, from art to part. I might adopt it. It may be useful to describe the writing process to people who wonder what I could be doing on a weekend in a room with a Jane Austen Action Figure and garish Orange Carpet. I could say I’m working on taking art to part.

That will be this writer’s shorthand for describing how I come up with black and white marbled portfolio books, scribbles on scraps of paper in my purse and on my desk and every other room, pen blobs in unlikely places, and various manuscripts. They are the conduit that transports the vision in my head and yearning in my heart. But really, I'm just taking my ideas from art to part.


Theresa Williams said...

Beth, I've read over this entry several times now. I like the saying, too, "From Art to Part." I'm thinking about how it relates to me. I think my saying would be "From Part to Art." I take all these different, rough, raw "parts" and assemble them into something that I hope is a work of art. I like this entry very much.

beths front porch said...

Theresa, I like how you have changed the saying. After all, I think the entry is about translation; that's in part why I'd use the phrase, to create a bridge of understanding to others, to help translate to them what I do. And I guess my acquaintance used it to help me understand what he does.

Theresa Williams said...

Yes, the entry speaks of a bridge or liminal space. This may be why I am so attracted to it.

V said...

Ahh, the art`s got you!

Erin said...


What a great entry! I love the phrase--From Art to Part--and also Theresa's iteration--From Part to Art. Right now I'm just happy to being taking part in art. :-)


Paula said...

Can black children have sleigh beds?

beths front porch said... noted. Thanks. Beth

Paula said...

TeeHee. Love you!