Monday, 22 April 2013

Monkey Business on St. George's Day



photo by Chris McAlister

It's St. George's Day on April 23rd and what better time to look at dragon benches? St. George is the patron saint of England, the one who slayed the dragon in blah blah blah

Eddie:  This is not a good start. This is boring. And remember, you promised to get a primate photo in at the start.

Welcome back, Eddie, my former Inner Editor who has been away for a while.

Eddie: Away? You fired me. I've been on garden leave since February.

True. But under pressure from many readers and the good people of Fribble-under-Par, I have asked Eddie back to edit this important St. George's Day post. He came back, under certain conditions.  

Eddie, I actually think there should be a dragon bench here rather than a picture of you.

Eddie:  A picture of me. Or else.

So here is a picture of Eddie 




It's very small. I'm not sure it captures my true character. 

It does. But now I want to get on with the dragon theme. Readers have been promised dragons for St. George's Day.

One dragon, one primate. That's what we agreed. So here's a very interesting monkey bench from Chinatown in San Francisco. 



image from www.karenlaw.ca


Eddie, you've already put two primates in and I haven't got a dragon in yet.  

OK then, out of the goodness of my heart, you can do two dragons in a row.

Great! So here are two beautiful dragon-inspired benches then. First, this gorgeous rosewood bench, painstakingly restored by Master Craftsman Eric Saperstein, who is one of the Artisans of the Valley in New Jersey. 


image from www.artisansofthevalley.com


And here is a cheerful monkey on a very small bench. 


image from www.playgroundinfo.com

I think the monkey makes the bench photo much more interesting.

Do you notice that I only got to show one of the two dragons benches you promised me? 

Sorry, but it's not my day to care.

Here is a very nice sock monkey. 



image by www.sockmonkeybutz.com

I'm not sure about sock monkeys for this post. This is a rather nice one though, I have to admit.

And it's on a bench.


I like this unusual cedar dragon by Preston Manganaro at the Outside In gallery in Piermont, New York. 


image from http://outsideinpiermont.webs.com/

And I have another very good dragon bench made by chainsaw artist Paul Sivell on the Isle of Wight.

image from http://www.thecarvedtree.co.uk

Sock monkeys are always excellent value I find.

This is Eli and Sirus at their wedding. Or Civil Partnership as we say in the UK. 


image from www.themonkeyville.com

Eddie, you are sneaking in extra pictures again. And this is TWO sock monkeys, so that counts for two for you. No more sock monkeys!

I'm going to do my dragons now. This is a pretty sea dragon bench from Lost Art, who restore historic garden furniture.

image from www.lostart.co.uk

And this is a photo of a real komodo dragon which my nephew took when he visited Komodo Island.


photo by Toby McAlister


It's a dragon but it's not a bench. You can't sit on this dragon, can you? This blog is called B-e-n-c-h-s-i-t-e.  Do you see the word Bench in there? Does that give you a hint as to what this blog is about? 

I do, but it's my blog and I love the real dragon here. 

I'm sure readers are more interested in primates than dragons. People didn't descend from dragons, did they?

I'm not going to discuss evolution. I'm going to show Dragon Hall, a medieval trading hall in Norfolk. It has a very nice sign and some lovely benches. 


photo by Chris McAlister



photo by Chris McAlister

I've picked up on your tricks: notice how I slipped two dragon pictures in?  

Didn't notice. 

Two can play this game you know.

I'm ignoring you. 

And just to make the point, here's a dragon bench from Poland. 


image from http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/wikipedysta:Wojtekskaiski

And another one from Wales. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/9560337181


If I might get a word in edgewise here? 

This monkey has fallen off his bench. He is Macaco Gordo (Fat Monkey), by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. He was made in a park in Sao Paulo in Brazil in 2010. 


images courtesy of Florentijn Hofman at http://www.florentijnhofman.nl

Fat Monkey is made from 10,000 flipflops sewn together. No kidding. Here they are up close. 




Gorgeous. I really like the flipflop monkey, Eddie. I do. 

Good. Then here's a monkey ice cream bench for you.

image from www.asianreplicas.com

This isn't really a monkey bench though, is it? It's a monkey on a bench. And don't think I didn't notice how you slipped another one in.

Here's a Victorian dragon bench from Lost Arts. Aren't the blue ends beautiful?


image from www.lostart.co.uk


Yes, but look at this garden monkey bench from the Singapore Japanese Gardens. Look how minimalist and serene it is. 


image from www.everydayminimalist.com


Yes, that's true. But this is TWO monkeys again, Eddie. By my reckoning that's nine monkeys and only five dragons.

Did you count both blue dragons on the Victorian bench?

Well, maybe not. What about this dragonfly bench then? It's a sort of dragon.


image from www.cottageandbungalow.com


Eddie? Come on, it's a beautiful bench. Why are you covering your eyes?

image http://www.popartdecoration.com


Oh, don't start that See-No-Evil stuff with me. 

It might be pretty but that dragonfly bench is not a dragon and it's not a primate and it shouldn't be here. End of story. 

Hey, it's St. George's Day! I think we should be open to possibilities here, not just dragons and monkeys. 

This is where we fundamentally disagree. 

Here is a terrific monkey couple on a log bench.

image from www.rakuten.co.jp/kanmuryou


Eddie, you have stolen this off my own blog. These are on the Japanese post. Regular readers will have already seen them.

You kid yourself that you have regular readers.

Back to dragons now. I insist. 

Do you know the dragon flag benchpress move? It was a trademark move of Bruce Lee in the Kung Fu movies. Remember those?

No. And nothing to do with St. George. 

This Kung-fu Master uses the Dragon-head Bench as a weapon. Let that be a lesson to you, Eddie.

image from http://hasayfu.com


That sounds like a threat.

I suppose in a way it is. 

In that case I will remind you what happens to people who offend intelligent primates. This fellow fell foul of a gorilla at the Old Gaffers Festival on the Isle of Wight. 





I didn't know they had gorillas on the Isle of Wight.

They do. And I would like my treble fee now, please, as we agreed.

We agreed double, not treble.

In that case I will have to consult my lawyer.

In that case I have just two words for you, Eddie: Circus. And Circus.




That's hitting below the belt.

Yes, sorry about that. You know I would never send you to work in a circus. I'm bananas about you.



You are an annoying but highly skilled editor. 

Happy St. George's Day, Eddie.

Thanks. It's nice to be back. 



Lawrence meets a Welsh dragon. Photo by Mary McAlister


Credits

St. George is the patron saint of merrie England, a folk hero, a warrior, a much-loved saint. St. George's Day has been celebrated since the eleventh century and in Henry VIII's time you could be fined for not attending St. George's Day celebrations. Forgotten in some decades, the feast of St. George's Day has been revived and there is much white-and-red-cross flag waving these days.

I'll let you in on a little secret about Eddie:  he hates insect benchesPersonally, I find Eddie rather hard to work with but if you like his style, you can see the posts he has ruined edited for me on Benchsite. In 2013 there were the orange benches. Eddie got stressed out and threw a strop. He interfered with my careful numbering system in 31 Things to Do on a Bench. In 2014 there were the Blue Monday benches in January and then, worst of all, the Red Bench disaster in February. After that, Eddie went to Mexico for a while and I had a bit of peace. I am having to rethink my animal editors. Monkeys are bad enough but cats . . . as for Meredith, don't get me started. Put it this way: if I had to call in Noah to round up animal benches for the ark, monkeys and cats would not be on it. 

If by any chance this is not enough monkeys for you, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey Bench. I thought it only fair that the story about monkey benches should be handed over to Eddie. What could possibly go wrong? 

The Green Dragon is a pub sign at Wymondham in Norfolk. This and the Dragon Hall photos are by Chris McAlister. Oh how I love receiving people's holiday photos! 

Preston Manganaro's cedar dragon is at the Outside In Gallery in Piermont, New York.  http://outsideinpiermont.webs.com/   The Outside In describes itself as an ARTefact gallery offering a diverse collection of fine art, found objects and hand-selected artisan objects 

Paul Sivell makes intriguing chainsaw sculptures and is inspired by nature, local traditions, and mythology. His distinctive style is well known around the Isle of Wight though he also works throughout the UK and abroad. The dragon bench is one of his many functional sculptures (benches!) which can be seen at http://www.thecarvedtree.co.uk/

Dragon Hall is a Grade 1 listed medieval merchant's trading hall in Norwich, Norfolk. The Great Hall was built around 1427 but archaeological research on the site has shown evidence of 1,000 years of human habitation.

Thanks to Karen Law at www.karenlaw.ca for her image of the Chinatown monkey in San Francisco. Karen has interesting travels and photographs which are well worth a look. 

The beautiful rosewood dragon bench was painstakingly restored by Eric Saperstein, who is one of the Artisans of the Valley. The artisans do hand crafted custom woodworking and period restorations. The Valley is in Pennington, New Jersey but is more easily visited at  http://www.artisansofthevalley.com/  The artisans publish a blog and a quarterly review of their projects at  Artisans of the Valley's Artisans Quarterly Review Volume 6 Issue 1 - 2013

The blue sock monkey is by Heather Doon in Canada at www.sockmonkeybutz.com

The sock monkey couple are Eli and Sirus. They were married in a same-sex wedding ceremony in Massachusetts. You can see the wedding and other sock monkey activities at www.themonkeyville.com

The monkey on a bench was photographed by Erin Eastman at www.playgroundinfo.com. It was created as a tabletop sample for tradeshows. The bench is by DuMor Site Furnishings and the sculpted/molded monkey is by Tivoli Too.

The komodo dragon was photographed on Komodo Island by Toby McAlister in March 2011.

The bench with the bright red dragon feet is at Beddgelert station in Wales. Beddgelert is a town lucky enough to be along the line of the Welsh Highland Railway and Snowdonia National Park. The bench was photographed by nh53 in 2013. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/9560337181  nh53 is very, very well travelled indeed. 

The flipflop Fat Monkey is by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman at http://www.florentijnhofman.nl/dev/projects.php   Many thanks for permission to use these images. Here is a brilliant short video about the making of the monkey:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5FyGf7PCA8&feature=related

The pretty dragonfly bench is by Cottage and Bungalow and costs $2,260. It's at www.cottageandbungalow.com  

Three Wise Monkey benches are easy to find in bronze, plastic and just about any material you desire but I liked these life-size Three Wise Monkeys On A Bench from http://www.popartdecoration.com   

The two serene minimalist monkeys holding up a bench are in the Singapore Japanese Gardens, photographed by the Everyday Minimalist on her extensive, minimalist travels. This is a girl who knows how to live out of one suitcase. She has a fascinating website with excellent minimalist advice at www.everydayminimalist.com 

The beautiful blue dragon bench is Victorian cast iron. Along with the sea dragon bench, it comes from www.lostart.co.uk where they are dedicated to the careful restoration of historic garden furniture.  Many thanks for permission to use these images.

The lovely carved wood Japanese monkey couple are from http://www.rakuten.co.jp/kanmuryou/

Hasanfu is a Kung Fu style which features The Five Animals. The Dragon is the final form and the most difficult because it combines physical moves with a culture of spirit and a higher state of awareness.The Dragon-head Wooden Bench Weapon move is demonstrated by a Kung-fu Master at the Lam Tang Kung Fu Academy in Lexington, South Carolina. This and other Kung Fu moves can be seen at their interesting website at www.hasayfu.com

Lawrence, age two, was photographed by his proud grandmother, Mary McAlister. 

I photographed the gorilla holding the man in a cage at the Old Gaffers Festival in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. I know, I know, I wasn't close enough to get a good shot. But there were people in the way!

Circus Circus is a casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Eddie has never worked there and never will. I, however, was a cocktail waitress there in . . . no, I'm not going to name the date but if you're thinking evolved from apes you're in the right era.   

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Baaaaad Sheep Benches


It's time to break out the champagne and celebrate some baaaaaaad sheep benches.



Miggy's niece Lettie grew up on a farm with sheep. By the age of nine Lettie herself had turned into a sheep. 





They say sheep follow each other and this must be true; the whole of Lettie's immediate family also turned into sheep. This is Lettie's mum, Nora. 





And here is Lettie's family portrait.


image by Kelly Riley at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CoyoteRimStudio

As Lettie has some experience of sheepness, I invited her to help me with this post. Although still very young, Lettie realises that we need to get on with showing some sheep benches rather than just sheep. 

Here is a lovely sheep seat from Elizabeth Cadd, the Greenwood Woman, in Shropshire. It's made from sweet chestnut and ash with a padded woven wool cushion. 


image from http://www.greenwoodwoman.blogspot.co.uk

Lettie likes this one. She's something of a eco warrior so she likes to see benches made from natural materials. The Greenwood Woman certainly knows how to use natural materials. 


The quintessential sheep bench is made by designer Rimgaile Samsonaite in Sweden, though her workshop is now in London. 'Sheep' is made from non-processed timber by-products and covered by sheepskin, without use of glue or screws. 



image from www.samsonaite.co.uk


Lettie is glad to see that this bench got an Honourable Mention in the 2010 Green Furniture Design Awards in Sweden. She's also happy to hear that there is a new Baby Sheep bench which looks the same, but is two-thirds size.

Remember Dolly, the cloned sheep? Here's the Hello Dolly Sheep Stool by Dutch designer Frank Willems. 


image from www.frankwillems.net

Nice and fleecy. Lettie approves.

I also wanted to show you The Relation Sheep bench by Korean designer Shawn Soh. Unfortunately, I couldn't get that one for you.

But here are two by designer Bo-pEEp. The first one is called Don't B Sheepish 1.  






Lettie doesn't like this one. She can't see why the wool is all piled up without any pattern or pleasing randomness. 

The second one is called Don't B Sheepish 2.









Lettie isn't keen on this either. She thinks it looks like a bathmat on a piano bench. 

Come on, girl, this is Scandinavian design. For heaven's sake, this is ART.

Lettie says she's not sure how she feels about Scandinavian design. She is making the point that these last two are not actually sheep benches; they are merely fleecey-things on legs.  

Nora:  On the matter of these two Sheepish benches, Seashell, I have some creative issues.

OK, maybe we could discuss that later though?

Nora:  How would you describe Sheepish Bench 1? Would you say it was felted wool, or woven wool, or what?

Just wool. 

Nora: Would it involve my wool by any chance?

Yes, Nora. Sheepish Bench 1 is entirely your wool. I was going to note this in the credits. 

Nora: And who is this designer Bo-pEEp?  Would this be anybody I know?

Probably not, no. It's an obscure designer in a remote area of . . . somewhere.
I need to get on now, Nora, and show Lettie the rest of the sheep benches.

Here is a delicate pastel by Russian artist Annet Loginova. It's called Two Under the Moon and features two sheep-like creatures who seem to be having a lovely time on a bench.  



image from http://www.annetloginova.etsy.com

Lettie admires the pretty pastel so I show her two more ovines having a nice time on a bench.





Then she says she would like to see an actual sheep bench that you can sit on. Is there such a thing?

There is. For example, this robust chainsaw sheep bench is called Ewe'an from Wood Actually. 


image from http://woodactually.co.uk

Gorgeous! I'd love to have Ewe'an in my garden at La Casa Perfecta.

And here's Ewe'an's mate Baabara.


image from http://woodactually.co.uk


Lettie loves the sheep but she's worried about the proximity of chainsaw and sheep with Ewe'an and Baabara. She's a sensitive child. She wonders if the chainsawing hurt them. I try to explain it's only art but Lettie is in tears.  

There, there, now. What about this nice French sheep bench? The French word for sheep is mouton and the word for bench is banc.   

image from http://www.bancspublics.net

Lettie is worried that the French banc might foreclose on these mouton. She weeps at the thought of them being homeless.  

Nora:   I'm still interested in where you got those Sheepish Benches. 

Locally. That's all I'm going to say. Very locally.

Nora:   I thought so. Would I be right in thinking that you are the designer of the Sheepish benches, Seashell? In other words you are Bo-pEEp?

Yes, kind of. You could say that. 

Look, Lettie, look! Here are two very nice whole sheep with a lovely red barn. They're not French and no one is going to foreclose on them; this barn is theirs for life. 


image from www.nikisawyer.com

Sniffles but no tears at least. 

This isn't going as well as I had hoped. 

Lettie, here is a herd of sheep from your farm. I hope that seeing something familiar makes you feel better. 


drawing by Kelly Riley 


Yes, quite right, these are all your relatives. 

What do you mean they look like mutton dressed as lamb?  

Nora:  I recognise some of my felted wool scarves in that picture of Sheepish Bench 1.  Would that be the wool scarf I gave Mungo for Christmas by any chance?

Yes. But I don't think that matters. The scarf looks beautiful as part of the aesthetic qualities of the wool, don't you think?

Nora: No. It is the most appalling bench I have ever seen. Apart from Sheepish Bench 2, which is even more appalling. 

I'm sorry you think that, Nora. I was just trying to replicate some of the sheep benches I saw online. I thought I can do that. So I put the bathmat down on the piano bench and one thing led to another.

Nora: So basically Sheepish Bench 1 is your piano bench with my wool scarves on it and Sheepish Bench 2 is your piano bench with a bathmat on it?

I guess that pretty much describes them, yes. 

Nora: You have denigrated the whole concept of art. 

Sorry, Nora.  

Here are some jolly traffic-calming sheep benches in Switzerland. 

Look, you can either sit on them or you can drive around them very slowly.



image from www.christophermatchet.com

No, don't worry, Lettie. No one is going to run over them with a truck. I promise. 

Look! They glow in the dark.



image from www.christophematchet.com


If you stop crying, Lettie, I'll show you a really special sheep bench picture by children's book author and illustrator Victoria Jamieson. She writes books about Bea the sheep, who is ewe-nique.  Bea is the one with the handbag but this is an old image and Bea has changed quite a lot since that time. 



illustration by Victoria Jamieson at http://www.victoriajamieson-illustration.blogspot.com/

Yes, I agree, they're wonderful illustrations. 

Victoria Jamieson's latest book is Bea Rocks the Flock. It's for ages four to eight, which Lettie says is slightly age-inappropriate for her.

So here is April, age six, on a sheep bench with her Parallel Selves, May and June. 





Yes, the sheep does have a zip, Lettie. That's because he's a CD holder. Clever huh?

You're being silly now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a sheep being a CD holder. He's multi-purpose. There is nothing wrong with that. 

Alright then, look at this lovely little sheep couple on a bench together. They're decorative; they have no other purpose.

They're made by Iren Adler in the Ukraine. 



image from http://www.irenadler.etsy.com

You're right, Lettie. Some of these are sheep ON benches rather than being an actual sheep bench. But come on. So far for actual sheep benches we've had Baabara and Ewe'an and the lovely Greenwood Woman in Shropshire and the Swedish bench and the Swiss traffic benches. And of course the two Don't B Sheepish benches. What more do you want? 

No, the sheep did not die for nothing. They're martyrs to art. Their fleeces have created beauty and comfort. And probably the sheep got eaten as well.

Ohhhhh, sorry! Sorry!  Forget I said that. Of course, no one actually eats sheep.

I know you are a practical sort of kid, Lettie. Here is something more down to earth - a sheep shearing bench from the late nineteenth century. 




image from www.ceredigion.gov.uk


Yes, they would have used shears for shearing the wool off. No, I don't think that's blood that you see on the bench. It's just bits of wool. Really. Don't worry.

Tell you what, Lettie, you need to lighten up.

Nora: I hate to say it but I think your readers have been fleeced.

I was in a hurry, Nora. I had to get this sheep post done. 

Look, Nora, this is you on a marble bench on top of Don't B Sheepish 2. A sheep on top of a bench on top of a bench: it's an interesting post-modern concept don't you think?






Nora: You have used this image without my permission. You have totally destroyed my identity and my public image. 

I know. Sorry. 

But speaking of benches, there are Ladies Baa Sheep Fleece jackets on ebay. They say Bench dot on them. Of course. That's what makes them a bench. Sort of.





No, Lettie, that's not Aunt Miggy's fleece jacket. Aunt Miggy is much too large to fit in any Bench dot clothing. Besides, she's not urban cool. She's . . . rural chic. Or something. Anyway, this white fleece Bench dot jacket would be totally impractical for life in Fribble-under-Par. 

You might remember you and Aunt Miggy out walking with my dog Sit?






A llama bench? Here's a splendid one.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmacex/3018984578 

So you're saying a llama is not a dog. And it isn't sitting. Fair enough.

But my point is that the clothes you were wearing on the walk are not 'fashionable urban guise.'  In other words, they are not Bench dot.


Gosh, Lettie, you are such a sensitive child. I'm trying to find some sheep benches that won't upset you. 

Here's a nice little sheep on a red bench dressed in his fleecy finest. You can't object to this, surely? 

This is a notecard made by Margot Curran who, rather like myself, likes to photograph toys. As Margot says, they're such patient subjects in the studio and they'll wear anything.  



image from www.etsy.com/shop/shopmargot


No, Lettie, it's not exploitation. The toys are models. They like to work.

Of course they don't get paid. They're toys

I have one last sheep bench I think you'll like. I found it on  http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/eccentric-childrens-decor-the-electric-pink-rocking-sheep   It rocks. Seriously. It's bright pink and you can sit on it and rock.



Feel better now? You don't?  

Because pink is a gender stereotype and not something that should be attributed to non-gender specific animals. Who knew? 

Doing this post with Lettie has made me realise that nine year olds aren't what they used to be. When I was nine I don't think we had gender.  

Anyway, I'm going to give up now. If you want to see any more sheep you'll need to look at http://mitademo.com/tasarim/sheeps-in-design/

But Lettie has something to show me. 

Yes, it's a sheep bench I made and I took a picture with some German friends of mine on the bench. It wasn't something I was going to put on this post though.

No, honestly, Lettie, I don't think it's good enough. We've had some really nice sheep benches here and . . .





I wish you hadn't done that, Lettie.

No, it is not so bad that it's good. It's just bad.

Stop laughing at me, Lettie. 

I mean it. 

STOP LAUGHING. 





Credits


Following my difficulties in finding sheep benches for this post I spoke to Hood-D, who studies at the Paradise Island School of Art. I asked if he could possibly come up with a simple sheep-themed bench for the community to enjoy and which I could post on the blog.  

He calls it the B/ovine Bench Concept.




image by designer Hood-D

The rest of us just call it the Cow/Sheep Bench. Everyone likes it and they all turned out for the launch. It's only the cow who isn't happy. Nora is always prepared to suffer for art.  

Nora and the sheep family are needle-felted sculptures made by Kelly Riley at Coyote Rim Studios at http://www.etsy.com/shop/CoyoteRimStudio You can buy a felted sheep like Nora readymade. Here is Inkle:





 or you can buy a felt kit and make one yourself





Kelly also drew the family flock in 1999 so that Lettie would have something to show her lambs grandkids. Kelly is an artist and musician whose website is at https://www.kellyrileystudio.com

Elizabeth Cadd, the Greenwood Woman, is from Shropshire in England. She makes all kinds of beautiful things from natural materials. She runs environmental arts workshops for making furniture and all kinds of things out of greenwood. She does drawing and painting, felting, printmaking, furniture making - you name it, she does it.  I love the sheep seat and the riven oak vases she makes and shows on her blog at http://greenwoodwoman.blogspot.co.uk.  Her website is at http://www.elizabethcadd.co.uk.  

The Hello Dolly Sheep Stool is by Dutch designer Frank Willems, who has a whole range of interesting stools, benches, and other furniture. His website is at www.frankwillems.net and you can see his fabulous Madame Rubens bench in the Alphabet of Dutch Benches

Rimgaile Samsonite specialises in interior furniture and product design. Originally from Lithuania, she graduated from Ingvar Kamprad Design Center at Lund University in Sweden. Her sheep bench won an Honorable Mention in the 2010 Green Furniture Design Awards in Sweden http://www.greenfurniture.se  She now runs her own design company in London at www.samsonaite.co.uk where Sheep is available at £710 and Baby Sheep at £420. 

Annet Loginova is an artist in Moscow in Russia (not in Moscow, Idaho, which is a sheepy type of place).  Annet's shop is at www.etsy.com/shop/annetpainting  The pastel Two Under the Moon is from a series called Snow Fairy Tales.

The two sheep on a bench together are in a front garden in the town of Ganderkesee in Germany. We spent quite a lot of time in Ganderkesee one summer on the basis that what's good for the goose is good for the ganderkesee.

Iren Adler in the Ukraine makes gemstone jewelry and felted toys, including beautiful bird brooches. The sheep in love on a bench cost $100 and are available from www.irenadler.etsy.com

The chainsaw sheep benches Ewe'an and Baabara are for sale at £95.99 each at http://www.woodactually.co.uk. I'd love to have both of them at La Casa Perfecta. Many thanks to Simon at Wood Actually for use of the images. 

The traffic calming sheep in Switzerland are by designer Christophe Machet at http://www.christophemachet.com  I was really excited when I saw these and thought how much more interesting they are than bollards or sleeping policemen. Apparently people put flowerpots on them sometimes. Many thanks to Christophe for use of the two images. 

The French bancpublic bench was seen on the website www.bancspublic.net  It has an amazing number of bench images.

The two sheep with a red barn on the bench is called the 'Prim Sheep Bench' (www.nikisawyer.com) and comes from an extraordinary collection of 6,000 sheep objects and images which Niki gathered over a life time. If ever there was a woman who loved sheep, Niki was it. Niki died in 2006 and her site is a tribute to her from her husband Thomas. They lived at Hound Heaven Farm in Fairville, Ohio. I would love to use some of her wonderful images but copyright issues for vintage artworks are just too complicated. 

Bea Rocks the Flock (Bloomsbury US) is by the brilliant author-illustrator Victoria Jamieson, whose books appeal to both adults and children. Bea is not one of those sheep who follows sheepishly; she's ewe-nique, which is why she rocks the flock. Bea was inspired by a sheep fashion parade which the author saw in Australia way back in 2003. Since then Bea has changed quite a lot and the author has moved on to other creations, such as Olympig. Her website is at http://www.victoriajamieson.com/ and she also has a fascinating blog full of pictures and stories at http://www.victoriajamieson-illustration.blogspot.com/  If I could illustrate like this Benchsite would look a whole lot better! 

The Welsh sheep shearing bench is at Y Casgliad Amgueddfa, otherwise known as the Ceredigion museum in Aberystwth. The museum has a wide range of material from Welsh life, past and present. Of course Welsh mountain sheep feature strongly. Their website is at http://www.pilgrim.ceredigion.gov.uk  

The Bench. fleece jacket was for sale on ebay recently. I'm sure it's gone by now but there are plenty more in every colour. 

The llama bench - Lammaskaluste - was seen in the kids' department of a shop in Malmo in 2008. It was photographed by Mace Ojala, who is a librarian in Turku in Finland. His photostream suggests a love of travel and cycling. https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmacex/3018984578 

Margot Curran's Dressed Sheep notecard is from her ShopMargot at etsy.com The Sheep notecards are $3 each or $16 for a set of six. Dressed Sheep is from a series of oil paintings inspired by toys. Margot writes: "For long hours in the studio, sitting patiently, without blinking, they pose under the lights. It's inhumane really. Don't tell them: they do it without complaint." Oh dear, maybe Lettie was right about our exploitation of toys. I'll have to ask all my Fribble characters how they feel about being models for me on this blog. I already know what Meredith and Eddie, my animal editors, think. 

The Turkish website mitademo.com has a great selection of sheeps in design http://mitademo.com/tasarim/sheeps-in-design/

How important are sheep benches, anyway? Maybe you prefer goat benches? If Noah were rounding up animal benches for the ark, would the sheep benches be saved? And is 2015 the Year of the Sheep or the Year of the Goat? 

The whole subject about sheep as art is not new to me. For more about sheep in art, my poem The Year of the Sheep is in Rewriting The Map by the Vane Shore Women Writers, published by Vane Women Press in 2003. 

Don't B Sheepish 2, subtitled Bathmat on a Piano Bench is available for $4,500. Contact Bo-pEEp via this blogspot. 

And finally, working with Lettie on this post has taught me a lesson. They were certainly right when they said you should never work with dogs or children. 





Lettie's family on the farm