Writing and Ikea

I volunteer as a tour guide on the weekends, leading vacationers through an old house in the middle of a botanical garden owned by the city.  I’ve learned to point out things I never would have noticed–the claws on the paws at the base of each front leg on the sideboard in the dining room, the Parcheesi table inlaid with 27 different types of wood.

I point out a bed and bookcase in particular, both hand-carved in the 1860s.  Think about that.  The 1860s.  150 years ago.  This bed stands strong, on thick legs and adorned with carved flowers on the headboard.  The bookcase is made of a very dark wood, almost black, and the carvings on it depict the arts, such as with a woman holding a mask, representing drama.  When you sway, the hand-blown glass ripples in the light.

I have no furniture like this.  My furniture came from Ikea, all of it.  My boyfriend and I snapped together parts and laid all the screws and bolts out on the floor like they were instruments gleaming before an operation.  We learned about ourselves in these endeavors, but we certainly didn’t spend months carving designs out of tough pieces of wood, pieces strong enough to frame our sleeping lives.

What is your writing like?  Is it like the pieces of wood from Ikea–easily assembled, fun to look at, and practical?  Or is it like furniture from the 1860s–heavy and ornate and built to last?  Is it a mix between the two, such as a durable Arts and Crafts piece from the mid-1900s?

Are any of these better than the others?  Well, that all depends on your taste and personal opinion.  Think of each type of writing you encounter every day and consider: does this piece say something?  Is it built to last?


About Em-dash Lady

Em-dash Lady enjoys creative writing most of all, but her interests include art forms from music to writing to visual art to indie films and so forth. She's especially interested in how the art forms influence each other and blend together. She's a creative writing teacher and writer who mostly writes memoir and poetry about her favorite activity, watching TV. I would say I'm kidding, but I'm not. Naps are also her favorite. Too many favorites to count! Enjoy following Em-dash Lady as she figures out how she fits in the ever-evolving world of art.
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One Response to Writing and Ikea

  1. What a great way to express writing styles, with furniture. As a painter before I devoted time in recent years to my writing, I wrote an article on seventeenth century furniture, original designs by an itinerant artist, Christian Seltzer. I’ve painted his designs on blanket chests for a local furniture company, Eldred Wheeler. The two crafts definitely compliment one another – I’m a mix when it comes to writing.

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