Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Grand Transformation


To our guests at this time of year, the Grand Transformation at Castle in the Air seems to have happened overnight. In a sense, this is true. While we do spend months out of the year planning and working behind the scenes, the final push to bring everything out for you to see is done in just one day.

We begin the morning of the day before, when friends and family gather to hang at least one thousand ornaments, create dozens of treasure mounds, and tidy every last corner. The work lasts all day, and all night. More help arrives as the hours pass, and around midnight most of the morning crew goes home to rest for a few hours before they come back to open the shop in the morning.

Those of us still standing at the first light of dawn carry on until just before opening, making sure everything is in place. When that moment comes, we realize that the Grand Transformation renews the shop on more than just a material level, and that the holiday spirit isn’t simply a marketing term.

This year we’ve broadened our sense of what the holidays mean to us. If you are a longtime visitor to Castle in the Air, you will recognize familiar objects—the cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest, our marionettes from Budapest, Czech and Polish glass ornaments, European crepe paper, a new season of clothing from C.P. Shades made in Sausalito…

But a look upwards will bring you face to face with a wonderfully fierce and friendly Chinese dragon. He watches over us and flies between giant antique silk lanterns we found in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Lately, China gets a bad rap from many people who value craftsmanship over consumerism, so it’s worthwhile to remind ourselves that every culture makes objects of lasting beauty.

Magic is everywhere. We live to share it with you.












8 comments:

Three Loons said...

Thank you for all you do. And thank you also for sharing the Beauty from China this year. I can't wait to see the transformation, and find a few treasures to bring back into our home this holiday season.

Jane said...

It all looks so beautiful! A Grand Transformation indeed! Wish I lived closer!

Lynne said...

Oh, how I wish I were closer. I would love to come see the Great Transformation - and I would help! I really enjoy your blog and photos. You are an inspiration - thank you!

Barbara said...

I am looking forward to experiencing your shop for the first time when I come up for a family visit over the holidays. Mt sister and I are planning the day! Fantastic and beautiful!

Bella Carta at Art 'n Soul said...

oh my! where is this magical store? I want to visit and stare in all of its wonder and charm! where oh where are you?

Incipient Wings said...

This looks like the contents of my dreams!
It's just stunning.

sharile said...

Wow! Hard to imaging, but each year is always more glorious and magical than the previous. Love the addition of the magnificent dragon and the vintage Chinese lanterns.

rochambeau said...

Fantastic!! You all did a spectacular job! Did you end up using the CHinese puppets? I didn't see them in the photographs.

Happy Holidays to all who are part of the Kingdom of the Castle in the Air!

xox
Constance