Our friend Darrah Dunn has worked with us for over 30 years in both our antique business and our architectural restoration projects. He is not only an artist but also a master craftsman, who has lent his expertise to our many endeavors, big and small. In the photo below, he is working on repairing French 19th Century lacquer boxes (one is a tiny music box) that require the gluing of missing slivers of veneer. Behind him, is the cabinet that he built here in our Victorian in Texas. He had a hand in restoring (or constructing from scratch) the interior of this entire house, aided by the vision, guidance, and grunt labor of my husband Ray, who is willing to take on tasks that others would quickly deem unsalvageable. I am also in this mix in my capacities as avid supporter, energetic helper, and opinionated design consultant.
Ray and Darrah are fun to work with because they both appreciate the fanciful. An example of this shared sense of art and humor can be seen below in the photos of our newly improved dollhouse. We have owned the dollhouse for years, but Ray has always felt that it was unfinished. So, he decided to have Darrah put decorating touches on it so that it felt more complete. The two of them had lots of fun discussing the various decor items from the light fixtures to the art on the walls to the floor coverings. They also agreed on the choice of wall coverings and drapery fabric. In addition, Darrah made sure to put a bedspread on the bed.
The whole point of this piece was simply to make the viewer laugh with delight at all the individual touches. I saw the new rendition last night when we arrived and must confess that it make me laugh out loud. These finishing touches also make what was an unfinished, uninteresting dollhouse into a valuable piece of folk art.
Ray is always looking for humor in life; when Darrah is added to the mix, laughter soon fills the room.