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Saturday, December 29, 2012


I got this handmade stool from another Etsy artist, Mab Graves. The acquisition process inspired a poem:


We brainstormed the design associated with my name. 

One did the construction and one added the finishing touches.

This is hand-made, so it's not factory-perfect.  It's one of a kind.

You can't tell (because of the paint), but this
is historically-accurate for  making retro-inspired.

P.S. I love my collaborator. 

(P.P.S.  He is my hero.)


How to make a poem?  Peer at her email
while you caress the pink stool.  Make
the "I" the poet and the collaborator
the reader.  Collaborate.  Brainstorm.

Don't let the effort show
for there is no sacrifice

when poetry is a gift.


If poetry is a gift ...

So, the above poem took off from the actual email sent by Mab Graves in describing how she and her father made the poem.  She had emailed:

This is a new collaborative collection I started recently with my father!
He is a scholar, architect, carpenter and all-around Renaissance Man, and my hero.

We brainstormed the design, he did the construction, and I added the finishing touches.
This is a handmade chair - so it's not factory perfect. It is unique and one of a kind. ^_^

This little chair is made of pine and cherry and the legs are peg set - you can't really tell because of the paint but it is a beautiful, classic and historically accurate way to make retro-inspired furniture!
I kept looking at her email and something just whiffed of ars poetica (art of poetry).  So I riffed off from it and the above poem resulted (probably needs more tinkering; poems posted on this blog will include poems-in-draft as they are posted as they are first written). 

So much thought into a tiny object.  So much thought emanating from a tiny object.

No wonder I got two (haha).  I also got the blue version:

[Prov.: "Jack and Jill custom made "Blythe chairs" from Mab Graves on Etsy; Scale: 1:6]

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Maureen Lauterbach, who owns Etsy shop RavenRage, first purchased this wrought iron and wood rocking chair in Anchorage, Alaska about 20 years ago.  It was from a little shop going out of business.  Maureen says it then sat in her doll cabinet for all those years until I acquired it.  I love it because it’s very well-made, and from the same materials that could create the larger chair.  It’s not just sturdy but it has a rock-solid presence.  It may be small, but has the presence of a boulder—sort of reminds me of certain tiny paintings; if you hang up such a painting on a large wall by itself, it still, as they say, “holds up the wall!”  That’s this chair:

Here it is recontextualized in my home, by a bedside lamp and wooden sculpture--such a presence!

[Prov.: Maureen Lauterbach/RavenRage on Etsy, purchased 12/2012. Scale: 5"x6"]

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Mary Scheller is among the artists I've discovered on making miniature chairs.  She started making dollhouse furniture as a piece worker at Mini Graphics in 1998 where she also later designed some pieces. Her Etsy store is her attempt to sell her her own designs from her collection.

I love this chair which is a swivel-base, "gamer type chair" with attached pillow and matching soft ottoman.  She made the chair about 2-3 months ago after seeing its fabric at a Walmart. Mary says the inspiration for this set of furniture, as with most of her pieces, comes from seeing actual furniture at stores or the internet.  The inspiration for this had a different base--a swivel base (vs the fixed wooden base she made) with metal castors.  Anyway, I think the result is quite fetching. 

[Prov.: Direct from Mary Scheller/  Scale: Approx. 3"L x 3"w x 6 1/4" H at top of back. Ottoman is approx. 2 1/2" w x 2"H.]

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


I decided to start collecting miniature chairs in a serious way after a November trip to the Philippines where I saw a miniature living room set carved out of narra wood.  I loved that set and am now hoping my brother, who traveled there for the holidays, will have a chance to find such a set and bring it back to me.  Narra wood is popularly used for furniture in the Philippines.

As a collector vs. mere acquiror of miniature chairs, I knew I needed to focus (something I learned from collecting paintings).  I've decided to focus on three elements:

1) a scale of about 1:6 (like what a Barbie doll would use) because I expect that scale, though an artificial constraint, would help create a unifying theme to the collection as a whole (and because that would allow me to include Vitra chairs which are fabulous).

2) chairs made by artists (like Sally Davies) and craftsmen.  Thus, I mostly focus on those made by individuals (I find much of these chairs on, which makes sense as that site focuses on hand-made objects).

3) chairs that bear a certain presence, whether from its spirit or the mark of their maker.  It's hard to explain this element but it's why most factory-mades wouldn't fit my collection as the nature of how they were made logically results in a certain sterility.  The presence of the hand--and transcendence of the hand--must make itself discernible.  I suppose an example is the Cordillera chair (though it's not featured here as a mini).

I hope the chairs I present will fit the defined parameters for creating this particular colleciton. 

[This Collector's Statement likely will be refined over time as collecting, as an art on its own, needs to be loose rather than fixed.]

Monday, December 24, 2012


Babaylan poet-scholar Leny M. Strobel sends over an image of a chair from the Cordillera, Philippines:

I love it-- would someone please make Moi a miniature version? :)

I appreciate this chair for many reasons (its sculptural element, the innate spirit that lives within (not all objects carry a spirit), its simple but welcoming presence, etc.).  But the element that continues to strike me is how it reflects its culture through its form: by being squat, it makes the sitter sit low to the ground and that's significant.  To lazily quote from the Cordillera Wikipedia page:

Cordillerans view land as the source of life, an integral part of their cultural identity, that traces its origins from the land. Land is considered sacred and tribal land can neither be owned nor sold, but it nurtured to produce life for the communal benefit. For Cordillerans, the loss of their land, or their alienation from it, can be equivalent to taking their lives. It is because of this belief that Cordillerans now and in the past have willingly shed blood to defend their domain from colonisers, and have fought for the right to remain on their land.
A higher positioning of the seat would make the sitter farther away from the floor, the land.  So the design bespeaks a marvelous fit between Form and Content.

Having said that, the above is just my take on the chair as I look at it and reflect on what I know of the Cordillera (I grew up as a child partly in Baguio, part of the Cordillera).  If someone actually knows about chair design and how this Cordiller chair was made and/or designed in this manner, please do let me know (

Thanks, Leny!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I've had these two wooden chairs for years -- I don't even remember how I got them:

I've always enjoyed their company, relishing how I have two instead of one.  Together, I think they're greater than the sum of 1+1, for reasons that are partly reflected in the "Empty Chair Poems"--HERE and HERE.

[Prov.: Unknown; Scale: To Come]


This post also features the last of the chairs I have from when I was haphazardly acquiring chairs--that is, before I thought of collecting chairs.  Collecting vs Acquiring -- there's a difference and in a future post I'll detail the difference in my acquisitions once I determined that I would create a "collection."  Essentially, a collection (for me) requires more rigor, a rigor reflecting the Collector's perspective.  So more on that on a future post.  But I think the chairs I'd presented prior to and including this post also reflect something of my subjectivity, which will naturally influence my Collector's perspective.


Yes, I have the token Playdoh project by my son.  He built me -- okay, he built it for a class project but gave it to Moi! -- what I consider to be a Chair For A Heart:

The cradle is Playdoh, the cushion is from cotton balls and the heart is papier-mache.  Here are the individual components:

Art Criticism Alert: The "chair" appropriately is a cradle rather than the conventional chair because of the subject matter's requirement of care, intimacy and love.  Equally appropriate, the cradle must come with an attached hand (brown Playdoh) to hold on to the heart.  The heart, interestingly, is not out of Playdoh but from the more fragile papier-mache material because the heart is, uh, fragile.  And that is your art criticism du jour; I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed blathering it.

Nota Bene: for some real art criticism albeit still in non-conventional ways (because Moi is non-conventional), feel free to check out my books MY ROMANCE or, in short story form, BEHIND THE BLUE CANVAS (the latter if you're feeling frisky). 

Synchronistically, my son was eating a pear the other day and he carved this out:

My son, my one and only son: he is my undisputed Heart...

Friday, December 21, 2012


Well, yes, I sometimes feature the chairs with paintings because they comprise a long-favored collection.  But, as these are miniature chairs, it would be nice to feature paintings which one imagines Peeps sitting on such chairs can peruse.  This means, ta-dah, tiny paintings!  And who comes to mind but poet-painter-scholar Thomas Fink who dropped me a line the other day that he's enjoying moi new chair blog.  His email reminded me to bring up from the e-files a certain image that fulfills my fanciful notion:

To get an idea of their scale, look at the painting on the far right column, second from bottom.  That's an image of all of the paintings put up on a bulletin board in, I believe, the professor's office for an exhibition!  All very enchanting!  Go HERE for more information on Thomas Fink!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Here are two chairs put out by Artesania D'Carela of the Dominican Republic.  They are sitting, ahem, on an armchair (nothing like mixing styles!).  I don't remember now where I got these -- whether in DR or elsewhere.  But I liked them then and like them now; they're painted wood with rush seats.  I'm glad I bought two.  One is just an empty chair; two chairs is a potential for engagement:

I am posting a second photo of them below, even if the image is slightly blurry, because I noticed that the empty (thus, lonely?) chairs were hanging out with one of Jean Vengua's tiny canvases which I so loved when I first saw it on the internet that I did the necessary to acquire it:

Jean is both poet and visual artist -- I'm so happy she's painting.  "Brink City" is magnificent and one of my favorite images yet from what I've seen on her blog.


Two chairs offers a possibility for engagement.  Entonces, while a single empty chair might bespeak loneliness, what's even lonelier are two empty chairs.

The Empty Chairs

have been offering

significance since Mom

You can admire

-staking craft in

cattail leaves firming

for conversation (with

You can marvel

bougainvillea, the only

for "tropical flowers"

to me.  I

feel the labor

Senor Anonymous who

his time sanding

staining the wood

a pleasing gloss

suddenly, context becomes

suddenly, air turns

Why should this

be considered "pretty"

it is empty

my Mother who

before we could

all desired conversations

on rush seats

together by strong

festooned with flowers

so realistically their

only highlights the

of company--say,

who so loved

down to chat

the moon replaced

or sun replaced
or until (despite

I would agree,

what a wonderful

[Prov.: Artesania D'Carela, Dominican Republic; Scale: 12"x5"x5"]

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Here is an image of one of the most popular miniature chairs about, Vitra's Planton Chairs:
Sadly, I don't have the chairs -- though would love to have them in my collection.  Until I can afford them, however, I am pleased to be more than soothed by Indian poet and engineer S.S. Prasad's visual poem:

As a master of tiny, excuse Moi, nano-poems, Prasad is an apt commenter on this project!  Anyway, I appreciated his poem right away (for reasons detailed below).  But before I offered his reaction, I asked him what he was thinking of when he created the poem.  He replied:
I was thinking of the plural form of this noun. Plastic chairs, when not in use, are arranged one over the other to occupy less space, it so appears it is a single chair that sometimes one sits on without wanting to dismantle the pieces. The visual arrangement of one chair over the other to have a plurality of it, yet  shows a singular form- the plurality is constructed from bottom to top.

The representation is more compact in that it allows an embedding of adjective. How many chairs? The representation will differ depending on the number of chairs. Thus we can classify multiples not just as singular and plural, but with more granularity, and using a single word. Thus it's a number poem. Sanskrit offers three classifications: singular, dual or pairs, plural. Did English have it originally? I was trying to question it by the rearrangement.

The stacking of H is borrowed from Ana Maria Uribe.

Here Are some links on the Argentinian visual poet Uribe: and  And if you go to her, you can see a stacking element on the home page.

I replied back to Prasad:
As for what I think of your poem, it's interesting.  I read it and then thought about it for a couple of days.  But in my memory, the capitalized "H" you use was a small "h" in my memory.  And so I thought the poem brilliant because by stacking the h at the bottom of the line of letters, you were creating chairs -- indeed, multiple chairs -- through the shape of the "h".  Then I returned to the poem .. and saw that the image instead was "H".  Which is all actually a metaphor for how one reads a poem, isn't it? One reads a poem (subjectively) the way one wants to see the poem. That's the difference between a poem and a technical manual where one actually has to submit to the words being presented.  Hm. Maybe that's why I'm having a difficult time understanding the manual on my brand new dishwasher (haha).

And Prasad replied back: it strikes me how you imagined the 'h' in the poem in small letters! I thought I saw that Uribe poem long back on  the IOWA review site: it was  a series of spirals/ladders using the alphabet 'H' which is mute in Spanish. It represented ascension, but the spirals eventually meant evolution. As far as I remember seeing them, they were in capitals. I landed at all other sites than the original, and here is what I found; you'll certainly like to read them. In the review essay, I find 'h' in small letters though. I think it has to do with how our eyes register things seen: the image is inverted on the retina and reinverts in the brain. So something similar must be going on biologically with small and caps!

I'm tempted to argue against the dishwasher's technical manual not being poetry. I did notice a work of art in nokturno using some such manual, I'll argue this point with you separately :-)

But whilst I wait for my future discussion on technical manuals as poetry (actually, I'm quite open to the idea!), Prasad isn't done.  He noted in a postscript:

The 'H' in chairs helps avoid repetition as well as conjoins. It's a matrix transposition, as well as transposition of alphabets in the given word.

I'm delighted Prasad visited and stayed (sat!) for a while.  All this conversation, of course, makes me even hungrier to have a set of multiples in my chair collection.  But I'm still waiting for the humongous royalty checks from any one of my over twenty books (hah!), e.g. THIS, THISTHIS and THIS! (Sorry to advertise but, yes, I need money for chairs!).

Meanwhile, you may come here for chairs ... in which case, yes, I invite you to sit and peruse the links on an innovative poet: Ana Maria Uribe.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Years ago, after visiting various exhibits at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the hubby and I stopped off at its gift store.  There, we saw this enchanting chair pendant.  Of course the hubby immediately gifted Moi with it. 
Looking at it now, I know it must have been a replica of a real chair.  But I can't place the chair (though it does look familiar).  The "block" upon which the base sits is a square with those cross-like structures on all four sides. If you know the chair, please identify it for me (I'll give you a poetry book in exchange!).  Here it is:
Because form equals content, here's a hopeful 24-karats:
What else
is Anonymous
yet Gold?
What else
but what
you are reading!
[Prov.: Metropolitan Museum of Art gift store, New York. Scale: about 3/8 inch high]

Monday, December 17, 2012


While going frantically through the house, I wrote a poem -- it ain't much, but you get the drift:

When a Cigar is Just a Cigar

...the gossips are yammering
over the affair, the insider
trading, the teenager sent
away, the many

elephants in the room
ignored by polite company
(except when whispers
surface with sideway
glances, raised eyebrows...)

But I do mean what I say:

"My elephant really is missing--
 wherefore, art thou, Moi Love!"

I shall keep keep ransacking through the house until I find 

And for a wonderful post about Eames' Elephants, go HERE!

[Prov.: A Jonathan Adler store (I think) in San Francisco.  Originally bought as a birthday present for the Hubby...]

Friday, December 14, 2012


Sometimes, you see a painting -- or, in this case, three chairs (ahem) -- and you can feel (the poet often sees by feeling) the passion of the hand that painted.  That's why, I positioned these "Lucky Chairs" by Sally Davies in front of a vibrant, colorful Manuel Ocampo painting when taking their photograph (Lucky Chairs apparently have appeared on Oprah and Sex in the City and now here, ta-da!):
Sally Davies, according to her Wikipedia page, first garnered attention in New York with her "Lucky Paintings" and "Lucky Chairs" series at the OK Harris Gallery.  And, indeedy, got these chairs directly from Ivan Karp.  Here are close-ups of their charm:

Here's a closer look at the chairs as they relax on the living room couch:

Their backsides are also colorful:
And so I'm delighted to inaugurate the peeks at my mini-chair collection through Sally Davies' talent ... which can be seen also at her site for "paintings and alien photographs"  as well as site for photos.  Color is a narrative, as noted in the prior post's poem, and the vibrancy of the palette for these "Lucky Chairs" explain why sitting on them would
"enhance your life"

"inspire great ideas"

"enhance your relationship with the great beyond"
Who knew sitting would accomplish so much?!

[Prov.: OK Harris.  Scale: Fits Barbie; 5.25"x3.25"x2.25"]

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Well, before I even had a chance to post the first image from my miniature chair collection, I already received something from a viewer which generated a new poem!  Woot!  Thanks to Mel Nichols who sent me a colorized b&w pinhole camera image:

(Photo Credit Mel Nichols)

Shortly after receiving her image, I had to go out on errands.  But the image obviously sparked something in me as, while I was driving around, I ended up mentally writing the following poem in response:

Because Color is a Narrative
--after Mel Nichols

if empty
then blue

like the lemon
molding to gray

or my love
freezing to salt

when unused

Love it slant!  Love how poetry extends: how a chair inspires a poem not (only) about a chair...!

Thanks Mel!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I was sitting around one day trying to think of new ways to create poetry.  So I decided to go with your company -- please do pull up a chair and let's engage! -- by showcasing viz blog my slowly-growing collection of miniature chairs.

As this is also about miniature chair collecting, I want to say that I'm inspired by MiniatureChairMan.  Also, while I would love to have all of chairs from the Vitra Collection (over which I've drooled many times while visiting the MoMa museum store), I'd say I have empathy, too, with Laura Tarrish's collecting approach.  I've linked to all three. 

Friday, November 30, 2012


Over time and in reverse chronological order, I will post the growth of the chair collection (Moi has so much spare time to do this...):

As of May 24, 2013: 91 chairs:
--The collection (recently deaccessioned five but added three) currently sits on two bookshelves and three shelves:

As of April 12, 2013: 93 chairs:
--The collection currently sits on two bookshelves and three shelves:

As of March 22, 2013: 85 chairs:
--The collection currently sits on two bookshelves and three shelves:

As of March 6, 2013: 81 chairs:
--The collection currently sits on two bookshelves and two shelves:

As of Feb. 21, 2013: 49 chairs:
--The collection currently sits on two bookshelves:

As of Feb. 8, 2013: 45 chairs:
--The collection currently sits on two bookshelves:

As of Feb. 4, 2013: 40 chairs:
--With the latest chair additions, I had to move the collection from one bookshelf to two other bookshelves:

As of Jan. 30, 2013: 37 chairs:

As of Jan. 29, 2013: 35 chairs:

As of Jan. 25, 2013: 33 chairs:

As of Jan. 11, 2013: 27 chairs:

As of Jan. 10, 2013: 24 chairs:

As of Dec. 28, 2012: 17 chairs:

On the day this project began in December 2012: 7 chairs.

Plus 2 Elijah wooden chairs & Gold Chair