My friend Jeanne Pescitelli and I have been known to spend hours strolling through fabric warehouses stroking silks, eyeballing buttons and braids, and imagining all the things we could create with them. So when I wanted to see all the chairs on display for the Gwinnett Library's Chair-ish the Arts Contest, I knew it would be a lot more fun with Jeanne, not only for opining about the chairs, but for the long ride between all the branches.
At the Lilburn branch, we were pleasantly surprised to see a scrapbook containing all 72 entries. Well, that made it easy. When we opened it, Jeanne was immediately drawn to a pink and purple chair called "Such a Princess" by Evelyn J. Onyechi.
"That's every little girl's dream," Jeanne said. And of the "Yarn Bombed Chair" by Jean Estes, she remarked, "What a good use for leftover yarn."
Next, Amy Yu's "Red Butterfly Stool" caught her eye. "It reminds me of my father who made stools so kids could reach the sink."
She was equally intrigued by Linda Diane Whittington's "Imaginary" with nearly every square inch covered with rhinestones and sparkles (so like Jeanne with her elegant taste) and Brian Koh's "Amazing Zoo" with legs painted like jungle animals and a snake crawling up the back.
"A snake? That's not you!" I said.
"No, but it's so captivating!" she replied.
I, on the other hand, was more intrigued by the titles, especially those that related to literature and lyrics. I thought "Into the Woods" by Lorena Griffin and "The Secret Garden" by Duo-Wei Yang both captured the essence of the plays and Michelle Sienkiewicz's "Secret of Chair-herazade" especially entertained me with the clever pun.
And then there were chairs that we both would have loved to take home, even if we didn't have a place to put them. "The Musings Chair" by Valerie Kim McMillan was a huge tub chair covered with swirls of color. Jeanne loved it purely for the visual effect, but this one took me back in time, like the red stool did for her.
"I'd have loved this back in the '60s when I was in charge of decorating the local coffee house. It would've been hippie heaven to have that sitting in a corner," I told her.
Anthony Yun's "Your Story" was quite novel and Sandra L. Linn's "Back to My Roots" intrigued both of us so much that we had to drive to Lawrenceville to see it up close and personal.
"That took deep thinking," Jeanne said. It inspires it, too, I thought.
We agreed that "Spring Creature Chair" by Hi Hope Service Center was really cute and we both toasted "Chairs!" to the creativity Dennis Calbreath poured into "Chairdonnay."
Voting is open through Oct. 31 for all this "chaired" talent. Be sure to cast your ballot for the best seat in the house.
Susan Larson is a writer from Lilburn. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.