"Scale" by Jean-Claude Mogin

I pinch myself each morning  . . . I’m actually living inside a house!

The Prowler – a 5th wheel trailer, which the three of us – Lisa, Zane and I – nested in while I tore our house apart and gradually put it back together, no longer obstructs the better part of our driveway or our sanity. In its place we can now park both cars and still have plenty of room to make our way into our new dwelling. Well, it’s not exactly new but perhaps 25 percent of the old house remains. We long ago took to calling the project Bungaloft.

The shape of our Bungaloft is clarified with each additional completed project – a kitchen tile backsplash is underway at the moment. The Bungaloft (I think “Where Modernism meets Bungalism”) is our attempt to infuse a bit of Modern style into this modest bungalow. My formal and informal history as a student of Modern design and Lisa’s fondness for the phenomenon that is Dwell Magazine delivers the drive for a crisp clarity in each choice we make. The welcoming diversity of Portland’s neighborhoods filled with an endless collection of traditional architectural styles provides the counterbalancing love for the coziness of intimate scale cottages. It is not done but we now enjoy the progress from within its walls.

We are far enough along that we find ourselves settling into the task of making the modern – cozy. As we search through the collection of photos and other artworks we have collected, a bit of the lived-in look builds with each additional nail and hook pounded into the wall. Because of my long-standing work designing and building cameras I  have a pretty decent collection of photographic work by artists who may or may not own one of my cameras. Each image has its own point-of-entry, its own collection of stories which necessarily includes the one about how we came to posses it. So when the beautiful image above slipped into my consciousness I quickly recalled that although not made with one of my cameras, it was in fact made by an artist who does own an example of the current camera – the P.90. Although I am quick to express the preference that my cameras live a productive life as a useful tool, I have the impression that Jean-Claude Mougin purchased his camera more as a work of art. Much as I would love to see P.90 images made by Jean-Claude, I’ll readily accept as a substitute the gift he made of a beautiful print of this image with no further incentive than my compliment on its haunting beauty. Some images possess an emotional power extending well beyond the simple total of their visual content. For me, this image is a rich and compelling story engaging my imagination every time I look at it.

Having nearly met its demise at the beak of a certain African Grey parrot who will go unnamed, the print is now destined for matting and framing in preparation for its prominent role in elevating the level of enchantment we experience each day we share the privilege of living in this little jewel we call Bungaloft.

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