Sunday, June 14, 2009

“But calm, white calm,

was born into a swan.” (Elizabeth Coatsworth)
I guess these unstable times call for calm, and I try to create that in my shop...although we can be a bit chaotic with "stuff" coming and going.
But I have always been a patient person, and perhaps that is why I am always attracted to swans, live or creative. I have always been fascinated with them as they glide gracefully in the water. Being an English major and having had to analyze Yeats' poem, "Leda and the Swan" where Zeus turns himself into a swan so he can have his way with Leda, and then studying the related Greek mythology, I think that Hollywood could use some of those plots to work with!!! The swan provides plenty of symbolic intrigue.
Swans are the largest members of the duck family, and one of the largest flying birds. Swans have a gland just above their eyes that enables them to drink salt water. The gland removes salt from the water and concentrates it into a solution that is excreted from the nostrils, which the bird can shake its head to clear. Perhaps those of us dealing with salt water intrusion may have to learn to do that!

Swans will mate for life. They keep their young with them until they nest again, some staying through a second clutch. Just like today...the kids don't is good at home! If one of a pair of swans dies, the survivor usually takes a new mate, and they form a dedicated pair.

Many glass companies created a variety of swans, and today they make wonderful accents for soap dishes or for jewelry or even candies.

Pottery companies also had a variety of swan vases, and my favorite is McCoy's early swan vase shown in pale matte green; it was produced in 1948 in softer colors. In the 1950s it was redesigned and made it in glossy black, white, and yellow, and they sold for $4.80 a dozen. Now the earlier version books at $40-$50 while the later one is $50-$60.

Then there are the swan vases that were probably sold in the dime stores that were imported from Japan. They are ceramic, but no less charming in their lines. Here is a gold over pink swan and a purely pink one!

There are several swan varieties in nature also, and one type...the mute swan only made grunts and that gives us a popular saying. Socrates wrote that the swan sung a beautiful song just before it died, leaving us with the phrase “swan song”. Plato said that Socrates had explained it as a song of gladness because the swan, sacred to the god Apollo, was shortly to join the god it served. So, although this is the finale for this post, it is not my "swan song"...and I hope that tune will be kept at bay for a long, long time!!!


Mountain Home Store Vintage said...

Love your new look (logo) on your blog!

gail said...

Hi Susan,,,how ironic. I love swans so much, but my blog post today has to do a little with swans too! Great minds think alike ~ yes? I remember my Mom having the blown glass swans you put colored water in. I loved those things. Havent thought about them in years. lol
Have a great week. (()) gail

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Hi Susan,

Beautiful post. There is something so serene about swans. My DH may think otherwise though. On a bike ride one day, out of the blue we saw some swans by the lake. We stopped for a second on our bikes to admire them when they began chasing my husband and making all sorts of noise. It was quite a sight to behold. We rode off with a line of swans behind us.
Have a great week!

Patricia said...

Susan, the new blog is gorgeous. Just love the old fashinned quality of it. Perfect for The Dutch Rose.
I go out of my way (quite literally, about 40 miles) to see what a pair of swans are up to on a river that runs along the NYS Thruway up towards Kingston. They have been there for a number of years, or perhaps it's the children and grandchildren of the original pair, and I have gone up every spring since I first spotted them to see what they are up to. Always a few young, always majestic and always worth the trip.
Thanks for your nice comments on my blog, I appreciate your support more than you know!

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

So beautiful and graceful...and I just realized why swans are used for wedding decor...LOL.

I love seeing all the goodies you have in your shop.