Four days off work and its rained flat out. Surf is onshore and with the amount of outflow from the waterways it would be trecherous anyway: all sorts of debris, logs, flotsom and jetsom. Nothing to do but paint and polish my shoes! This water colour I finished today and owes its inspiration in two parts, to Kerouac and Nobbs.
In 1943 the Papa's Papa sailed off to the Pacific Islands to engage the forces of the Nipponese. Signalman John TesorieroNX134804 of the Australian Imperial Forces, Number 5 section, 2nd Corps Signals packed up his swag in his Commonwealth issue kit bag and set forth on the adventure of a lifetime that would campaign up through the dense jungles of New Guinea and the swamps of Bougainville and the Solomon Islands.
Fast forward 69 years and the Papa is digging around in the garage and discovers the duffel discarded in a crate. What to do? A duffel isn't exactly a practical item to use unless heading off on a long voyage and let's face it who travels like that these days. Faced with the dilemma of what to do the Papa contacted Matt Shallenberger of California with the idea of rebuilding the duffel into something practical and useful, something the Papa can use every day something that embraces the legacy and celebrates the Papa's linage.
The result was to remake the duffel into a spacious tote. The vertical duffel panels were cut and laid horizontal to make use of my father's stencilling, these panels were then attached to a waxed canvas bottom and leather shoulder carry straps were added.
Matt Shallenberger, photographer, bag maker and surfer did an amazing job with this collaboration.
My father was a commercial artist before the war, working with a movie theater marketing department which was an agent for MGM. He hand cut the stencil himself and then was bitterly disappointed as he applied too much paint to the dabbling brush causing the lettering to run.
Matt used the round bottom of the duffel to make the internal pocket. This was also stencilled with the shipping transport number for 5 section signals.
The Union Jack flag was also found in the crate. Its all wool and made in England, thread bare and moth eaten it represents an era before all glory had departed.
Matt Shallenberger bags are available through his blog, mattshallenbergerbags.blogspot.com or at
http://www.etsy.com/shop/mattshallenberger. Matt is also a very talented and accomplished photographer, www.mattshallenberger.com to view his portfolio, thank Matt!
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