Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Inventor, Decision Portrait Series...and Trip to San Fran!

(Above: Inventor, Decision Portrait Series. 2010. Framed: 31" x 25". Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Stitched words: Saw a need; Solved a problem; Got a patent; Pegheds Inc., For Better Cello Tuning. Click on image to enlarge.)

The word "genius" is defined as (The Free Dictionary):
gen·ius (jnys)
a. Extraordinary intellectual and creative power.
b. A person of extraordinary intellect and talent: "One is not born a genius, one becomes a genius" (Simone de Beauvoir).
c. A person who has an exceptionally high intelligence quotient, typically above 140.

No matter how one defines it, my former neighbor Chuck Herin is most assuredly a genius. I don't tend to use the word frequently or lightly. I reserved it for very special people with truly extraordinary intellect, talent, work ethic to maximize their potential, and an IQ that is easily in Mensa territory. Again, Chuck is a genius.

Chuck graduated (Magna Cum Laude) with a major in visual arts and minors in math and physics. He's played the cello professionally since before he went to college. If he ever held a "regular" job, I don't know about it. Chuck has always worked for free lance music, in restoration of historic buildings (doing all the work himself....including the building in which I currently live and work), and in "fixing" things as a profitable hobby (currently rebuilding mini-coopers and other cars but generally as a stringed instrument expert). Chuck used to be my next door neighbor. He has lived in three of the five houses on my block....fixing each one and moving next door. He built our garage from scratch. He built a garage next door...where he invented Pegheds and started manufacturing them.

What's a Peghed? It looks just like the wooden pegs on any other cello but includes a 4:1 gear reduction that makes tuning easier, more precise, and accurate even in the hands of novice players. Once invented and patented, Chuck started manufacturing them in his garage...until he out grew the location. Since then, Chuck bought and totally renovated a formerly empty and long neglected high school outside Winnsboro, South Carolina. It is the headquarters for Pegheds, Inc. Chuck has created all the machinery to make Pedheds and personally distributes them across the globe.

There's a Peghed for cellos but also for viola, ukuleles, and Flamenco guitars! Chuck could have simply invented this device for himself but he decided to share it with the rest of the world....and many stringed instrument players are really happy about his decision!

By the way, I'm leaving tomorrow morning for a long weekend of art/fun/wine/ballet with Steve in San Francisco. We're planning to visit Colma, City of the Dead again....since there was no way to cover this place during last year's trip! I'm ready for more grave rubbings, epitaphs, and photos of cemetery sculpture. After our return Monday morning, I repack my bags and head immediately out to the airport for a flight to England. I'll be seeing my elder son Mathias and his lovely girlfriend Laura-Jane in two Birmingham Royal Ballet productions: the 20th anniversary gala (I'm going on Wednesday night and must be in my seat by 7:10 as the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are also attending!) and The Sleeping Beauty. Mathias will be performing the role of Blue Bird, a principal part even listed on the BRB website's casting page! Laura-Jane is one of the fairies and Little Red Riding Hood (not at the same time, of course....there are multiple casts....and I'm seeing two different shows!)


Wanda said...

This is a wonderful addition to the Portraits series. To have the thought...and make it real. How awesome. I heard that you were out of town but not where you were. I sure wish I could jump on a plane and fly around like you guys. But, alas, my flying problem gets worse every year! Have a wonderful time in SF!!

Kaylene said...

This is a great way to acknowledge the work of others.

Question, what embroidery stitch do you use for your wording?



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