When I was a little girl I loved to visit my Aunt June’s house. She has a winding staircase, and a grand piano, and untouchable things in glass cases. Her home, to me, was like a fairy castle.
Aunt June had these tiny little silhouettes in frames. They were fascinating and seemed very special to me. I remember thinking that you would have to be very beautiful, and very good to have one made of you. Only the very beautiful could cast a shadow interesting enough, and only the very good could sit still long enough to have it drawn.
So, when I ran across a photo of a set of thrifted silhouettes (of three boys!), here, I decided that had to try to make some of my young men.
Who, incidentally, are very beautiful, and very good, but not so very still. I didn’t think that we could manage the “sit in front of a piece of paper while I shine a light on you and trace your shadow” technique.
So, I took profile shots of them with the camera. I printed them, laid them over black paper, and taped the pages down to a cutting board. Then, I did a little dance with the exacto, and came up with these:
I’m really very pleased with them. I think that I will treasure those little fly-away hairs, chubby cheeks and poufy uppper lips when my little boys have gone, and big angular-faced men have taken their places.
Something about their silhouettes, to me at least, captures childhood so well. It is a vaporous thing, a thing that can’t be defined. You can take photos, journal, scrapbook, even videotape it, and you’ll do a pretty great job of outlining it’s sweetness, but the sounds and the smells, the details, you just can’t ever capture them all. I guess that’s what makes it so precious. All this messy fun and mind boggling joy is a limited time offer.
Speaking of capturing. While I was taking pictures of my newly framed creations, I heard the back door open and close. A couple of minutes later, when I decided to see who had gone out to play, I came around the corner to find this scene:
1) When did he learn to open the door himself?
2) Dear God, my door desperately needs a date with a bottle of Windex.
3) Is that my laundry basket in the backyard?
4) That funny little punk has snuck out back with his brother’s candy! He’s furiously downing the Pez before anyone is the wiser!
I opened the door. He jumped out of his skin, gave me a pink teethed grin and said, “I don’t have any candy.”