Friday, 22 April 2016
When This Old Sofa Was New
I was playing around with the various techniques I use to produce interesting textures and colour combinations for ring-making, when I thought: Wait... That's the upholstery of the Old Sofa!
We bought the Old Sofa just before the birth of our first child, in 1991. Although, I suppose, technically it was the New Sofa back then. It was a January sales item from a very up-market brand, and pushed the outer limit of our budget, but it was felt a decent sofa in the living room was an essential part of the new bourgeois, nuclear-family lifestyle we were embarking on, and it was damned comfy, I can tell you. Not to mention stain resistant.
It figures in the background of so many of the snapshots from that first decade and a half of family life – tiny babies checking out their feet with that absorbed "WTF?" expression, exhausted parents crashed out in unlikely poses, toddlers making castles out of the large square seat-cushions, doting grandparents doing their doting, and serial, ritual Christmas and birthday gatherings for the distribution and unwrapping of presents. If that era has a distinctive "colourway", then this is it.
Eventually, its cushions began to subside, and its stain resistance began to retreat in the face of sustained attack, and it was decided that the Old Sofa would need to be replaced. But, like the valiant light-blue Vauxhall Nova saloon with its capacious boot that took us on our first holidays, it will always hold a permanent and honoured place in the collective family memory. I have yet to conjure up the like of the Old Curtains, though... They remain a colourist's enigma.