Crafty Man

Week 49: #52 Ancestors – Craft

By Eilene Lyon

My maternal grandfather, Laurence M. Smith, was a crafty man in more than one way. He loved to play practical jokes. He used his wit in a cunning, sneaky way. But he also like to make things, especially in his retirement years.

It isn’t surprising that woodworking was one hobby. I used to have a candlestick he turned on a lathe.

He and Grandma like to collect agates and other pretty pebbles on the Oregon beaches. Under a pile of pillows in the guestroom closet, the rock tumbler whirred and clattered away, polishing the uneven stones.

When done, Grandpa would use the prettiest agates to make jewelry. The bracelet and tie pin that I had went away with the burglar, so I can’t show you those, either.

Laurence Smith working on a still life in November 1970.

Grandpa painted as well, but I don’t know what happened to all those pictures. This is getting a bit depressing!

One thing I can share with you is his hooked rug project. After he finished the yarn work, Grandma sewed it up into a pillow for me. You can see the finished piece above.

Smith 026
Laurence Martin Smith, undated family photo.

36 thoughts on “Crafty Man

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  1. So sorry you had the treasures from your Grandpa stolen. It is nice to have the pillow to cherish. More men partake in the fibre arts than is believed. I had a boyfriend who knit. I still have the Cowichan sweater he made for me(doesn’t really fit anymore, but I can’t part with it!)

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    1. I’m glad you kept the sweater. Sadly, I no longer have the pillow. The plastic backing he made it with was disintegrating – you can even see it in the picture. It wasn’t salvageable, but I at least I finally had the sense to get a photo as a remembrance. Some other things (including the jewelry) went away before I realized I should be documenting them.

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      1. I know my husband took pictures for insurance purposes, but I haven’t taken pictures to document family heirlooms in a way that I could then pass on to my son. Thanks for the idea.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I appreciate the sentiment behind the writing about iconic treasurers that mean so much to so few, if more than one.

    The part about the tumbler under the pillows made me smile – I wonder if that was grandmother’s idea? To keep peace in the house, in more ways than one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh how I yearn for a snippet of a talent like his. Losing a treasure from its old age is one thing, but losing precious one courtesy of a thief is another matter. May those positive memories that came through in this post give you comfort.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a shame you don’t have more of his items, but the picture is pretty cool (and the pillow is pretty!).
    I have a small curio shelf that my great grandfather made – he was quite the woodworker and I have a vague memory of him.
    Hmm… maybe I should dig through my photos again – the here might be a post on Facebook here. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really bad about keeping stuff that I don’t know are. I have a greater appreciation for heirlooms now than I used to. Grandma gave me a beaver-felt lap robe that they used to use when sledding. Mom said it used to be in the back window of their car. I can’t describe how hideous it was – I really should have taken pictures before I got rid of it. And I broke a promise to Grandma on top of it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, the pillow was falling apart so badly I couldn’t salvage it, but I did think to take a picture! I don’t know what I did with the candlestick. I thought I still had it but couldn’t find it anywhere. That’s nice that you have their wedding portrait. I will be doing those on Saturday. Pictures I really do cherish.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really like the pillow, and I did a couple of those projects years ago so I know the effort that went into it. You may not be able to find those other actual treasures, but I bet every time you look at that pillow ‘all’ the memories come flooding back to fill your heart.

    Liked by 1 person

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