Welcome to MissouriBendStudio!

This is an online journal of my artistic investigations and a way to communicate about my work, ideas, quandries and queries! I welcome comments and conversation and do hope you enjoy these musings. My artwork is available in my shop MissouriBendStudio on Etsy.com or on my website.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Made By Hand: Gabriella Mirollo


Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun.

Under my window a clean rasping sound
When the spade sinks into gravelly ground:
My father, digging. I look down

Till his straining rump among the flowerbeds
Bends low, comes up twenty years away
Stooping in rhythm through potato drills
Where he was digging.

The coarse boot nestled on the lug, the shaft
Against the inside knee was levered firmly.
He rooted out tall tops, buried the bright edge deep
To scatter new potatoes that we picked
Loving their cool hardness in our hands.

By God, the old man could handle a spade,
Just like his old man.

My grandfather could cut more turf in a day
Than any other man on Toner's bog.
Once I carried him milk in a bottle
Corked sloppily with paper. He straightened up
To drink it, then fell to right away
Nicking and slicing neatly, heaving sods
Over his shoulder, digging down and down
For the good turf. Digging.

The cold smell of potato mold, the squelch and slap
Of soggy peat, the curt cuts of an edge
Through living roots awaken in my head.
But I've no spade to follow men like them.

Between my finger and my thumb
The squat pen rests.
I'll dig with it.
Seamus Heaney  (1939-)
- from Death of a Naturalist (1966)

Be sure to check out these links to Gabriella's wonderful, inspiring blog and her delightful etsy shop!


  1. I can smell the earth when I read this.
    Love the crochet gloves too!

  2. Thanks for checking out this post Julie! If you haven't seen Gabriella's blog and/or shop, I'd encourage you to have a peek. She's a wonderful writer and photographer!

  3. Artistic hands hidden in arty gloves. I do enjoy seeing creative people work. Thanks Gabriella and Patti.

  4. Robyn...thanks for stopping in and for your comment! Glad you enjoyed this post on Gabriella!

  5. Hi Patti - great to see G/TT's hands in the making and read the lovely words of Seamus Heaney. I am enjoying the work of the makers...


I'm happy to hear from you...comments and questions are welcome!