Finding the Right Stuff

sulawesi-island-terracottaBeauty and soul are the twin lights that inform and guide me in my quest for pieces for the Collection. Once I’m drawn to a piece by its beauty or soul, then I look for the other essentials: balance, harmony, structural integrity, craftsmanship, good materials and condition. A piece may be lacking in any of these areas and still come home with me. Structural integrity can be repaired, gorgeous wood can to some degree override design flaws or average craftsmanship. If the materials aren’t the best but it’s stunningly beautiful, it comes home. Great soul or energy can override every other consideration.

Price and shipping are factors, but rarely the determining factors with the furniture, art and accessories that I buy. If I think it costs too much, I may ask for a break. I don’t bargain much with the good collectors. If we have a good relationship and like each other, the prices are already near their lowest level. I never insult them by saying that it costs too much. Rather I say “I can’t resell this piece at that price.” That way it is my problem and they can choose to be “generous” or not. I save haggling for the street vendors where it is expected. If it is the best piece of it’s kind that I have ever seen, oh well, what’s money for?

strangler-figWhen I am buying, I try to do nothing but buy for days at a stretch. When I get into the “Zone,” chills and goose bumps come often and easily. When those signals occur then I know really to pay attention to that piece or that collection.

The most informative questions I ask are: Did the piece make me say “wow!?” or “I love that piece?” Did I get goose bumps or chills when I saw or touched the piece? Did it bring tears or stop me dead in my tracks? Did it just plain make me happy or inspire me? If I have any of these reactions, it invariably means the piece comes home. Good energy is king.

In the end, I choose what I chose because I love it – not because I think someone else will like it. If a piece inspires me, gives me joy or pleasure, creates a sense of wonder or awe and reminds me of what’s important in life, at that moment and for that moment, my quest is fulfilled.


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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