418 Alden Cole


The basis of this small assemblage consisting of seven discrete items is a cast iron floor flange that I first found and claimed many years ago from my dad’s barn in Maine, a place rife with an amazing variety of utilitarian and non-utilitarian items from the 19th and 20th centuries that I have dipped into frequently for fascinating items over the years. For quite some time I had been looking at this particular piece, thinking it should be incorporated as a part in one of my luminaries. However when I got caught up in the hunt for something interesting that would fit into the 4″x4″x1″ space limitation for My Philadelphia Story, the flange was a perfect fit. #2: The crescent-moon-shaped brass-filigree artifact that sits atop the raised lip of the flange was, of the seven items, the piece most recently acquired, discovered just two weeks ago among a miscellany of objects being discarded from my friend Frank Burkhauser’s storefront, SOTA—Spirit of the Artist at 1022 Pine Street here in Philadelphia, a crafts gallery that closed last December, where I had been selling my luminaries for over a decade. #3: Next found and added was the central piece that looks like a mandala, made of copper-wire wrapped around the spokes of a tiny radiating apparatus. This was originally part of either a computer or some other mechanical device that had been salvaged by Dumpster Diver extraordinaire Neil Benson, who had turned the aesthetically-beautiful practical-item into a magnetized brooch, which he awarded to me (for what reason in particular I don’t remember) at a Dumpster Diver Annual Awards Banquet two years ago. The piece fit perfectly into the flange’s opening as if made for it. #4-7: the final additions—four blue marbles given to me years ago by friend and patron Betsy Alexander as part of a gifting of numerous marbles to replace some of those lost along the way, added as a tribute to honor Randy Dalton, Philadelphia’s Mr. Blue, another fellow Dumpster Diver, who died unexpectedly last winter. R.I.P.