My sister-in-law gave me the chair itself, apologizing for its condition and assuring me I didn't have to take it if I didn't want it.
Or course I wanted it! Like stray puppies, sad chairs call to my heart.
In order to transform it from trash heap fodder, I first had to replace the smashed plywood seat. I chose a simple, tweedy version originally attached to a bland waiting-room chair.
Next, because all the solid space on the chair's back cried out to be given meaning, I dusted off my Bartlett's Familiar Quotations and set about finding enough quotes, phrases, and expressions - each of which had to contain the word "word" - that I liked to cover the entire back of the vintage wooden chair. When Bartlett's was exhausted, I dusted off both my liberal arts education and culturally-literate brain and came up with the rest of the material.
Then I had to dig through my giant bag of alphabet beads in order to find the letters I needed. Some w's got turned into m's. Some u's got turned into c's. Some v's got facelifts and became a's. Once I had located all the letters, I arranged them on a template to determine spacing. Then, my tweezers and I began the gluing. A few coats of shellac and VOILA! Great success! My friends and family were very surprised at the lack of bright colors...but I consider this one of my loveliest pieces.
Here is what it says:
say the word and be like me buzzword secret pass
word four letter word i give you my word in other
words baby kiss me these are words that go togeth
er well words are flowing out like endless rain int
o a paper cup bird is the word mere words in thought
word and deed words are womens deeds are mens motz
too wordy wordless in the beg
inning wa s the word
and the w ord was w
ith god a nd the wo
palabras verbum bon mot
rd was god words fail me just say the word the mo
st valuable of all talents is never using two wo
rds when one will do i have nothing but contempt f
or anyone who can spell a word only one way spea
king words of wisdom let it be word with friends
words will never hurt me at a loss for words oh
actions speak louder than words