Monday, April 13, 2009
A different kind of lighthouse
While I was sharing some of my Easter-themed designs last week, behind the scenes I was painting lighthouse ornament canvases like a crazy lady! Sixteen canvases in one week is by no means my personal best, but one of the lighthouses needed to be adapted first and was of a type I'd not attempted before.
According to one of my reference books, lighthouses are categorized by shape, design, and foundation. They can be conical, cylindrical, octagonal, square or pyramidal. Some can be eclectic in design or distinctly Victorian in their abundance of "gingerbread" trim. Then there are the reef, caisson and screwpile lighthouses, so named for the various ways their foundations are secured at their locations. But a style known as an iron skeletal lighthouse, which falls in the latter category, is a bit of a nightmare for a stitch-painter to design.
Sanibel Island lighthouse, shown here, is located in a string of barrier islands along the southwestern coast of Florida. The engineers who constructed the lighthouse in 1884 showed great forethought in choosing the skeletal design, as this region is buffeted by tremendous hurricanes. After one such hurricane in 1947, the keeper's dwelling in front of the tower was left standing in a foot of water due to beach erosion.
The Coast Guard transferred custody of the property to the City of Sanibel in 2008. City employees now live in the two dwellings at the base of the tower rent-free in exchange for helping to maintain the property.
Now I have model No. 79 to stitch, and hope you'll follow my progress!