Wheels Within Wheels

This is from a photograph that I took several years ago at an estate auction for an antiques dealer named John DeWitt, of Long John’s Antiques. I had never met DeWitt, but his home in rural central Ontario was beautiful. It was this time of year, autumn… a brilliant day, but the chill reminder of winter’s coming could be felt in the air. One young collector bought a quilt and wrapped himself in it; I have a shot of that too. The DeWitt auction was one of hundreds that I covered for The Upper Canadian antiques newspaper (now magazine!) but for some reason – maybe the light, maybe my mood – I took several photographs that ranked outside my usual workman-like fare, including these spinning wheels. Perhaps it is the subtle sense of melancholy that permeates an estate sale that set me off. All around are the chattels of a life and within a few hours of bidding, it’s all gone. But the wheels turn and life goes on.

This piece foreshadows my eventual entry into the world of wood cuts and wood engraving, with its use of tonal lines to distinguish form and shadow.  I had no idea there were so many circles and curves in a spinning wheel, so the title fits on many levels.

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