Pen #22

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Project by Mark Wilson posted 04-18-2019 08:11 AM 428 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

You ever have trouble finding the right light in which to photograph something?

Yeah. I’m sure everyone’s as anal about it as you are.

Ignore him.

I found the light I was looking for, and I was beginning to shoot pictures…

Then, someone wanted a ride, and I had to leave. I made the photos above outside the car wash.

And, as long as have nothing important to say, I’ll share some more of Spring with you.

And, while I’m at it, I got a real good shot, later in the day, of something I had seen many, many times, but, was never in a good spot to take a picture.

Now, there’s a story behind this. Here’s the story, in someone else’s words:

“Why do so many Los Angeles-area banks have amazing murals, mosaics, and sculptures? It’s mostly the the work of the Millard Sheets Studio, which starting in the fifties designed more than 100 Home Savings bank buildings and their accompanying artwork. Howard Ahmanson Sr. bought Home Savings and Loan in 1947 and the bank prospered by making home loans to SoCal residents during the mid-century boom, according to historian Adam Arenson’s blog on the banks. Sheets was an artist who became well-known in the thirties for his paintings. In 1952, according to the Daily News, Ahmanson wrote to Sheets: “Have traveled Wilshire Boulevard for twenty-five years. Know name of architect and year every building was built. Bored … Need buildings designed?I want buildings that will be exciting seventy-five years from now.”

Ahmanson and Sheets’s first bank collaboration was the Wilshire Home Savings in Beverly Hills (their first building together was the National American Insurance building on Wilshire, near Western, now the Ahmanson Center). Ahmanson gave Sheets plenty of latitude to create “banks clad in travertine and trimmed in gold, adorned with mosaic, murals and stained glass, and sculptures that lauded family life and the history of the Golden State.” (Ahmanson loved them, according to a Smithsonian interview with Sheets.) Sheets designed 40 banks before Ahmanson died in 1968; he designed 80 afterward.

In 1998, Home Savings sold to Washington Mutual, which collapsed in 2008. Its banks were acquired by Chase.”

Yeah. That’s a tile mosaic. They’re all over the place, in California. I have photos of many of them. This one is, now, a shoe store.

This pen, by the bye, is made of Ziricote. I’d mad a couple others with this wood – #s 7 and 14, think. I haven’t really much cared for this wood, because it kinda looks like charcoal. However, this one sorta catches my eyes differently. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll grown accustomed to it. Maybe it’ll grow on me.

Thank you. And I apologize.

-- Mark

10 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1765 posts in 2314 days

#1 posted 04-18-2019 11:30 AM

Another great pen, amazingly creative use of backgrounds, and thanks for the history lesson – it is nice that the community had such forward thinking people back then. Wish it could have been like that here but most of the local architecture from that era is of the cookie cutter “build it fast but build it to last” type (sturdy but not distinctive).

Thanks for sharing,


-- Leafherder

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22527 posts in 3467 days

#2 posted 04-18-2019 12:57 PM

Another nice pen, Mark!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View lew's profile


12736 posts in 4117 days

#3 posted 04-18-2019 01:23 PM

Thanks for the wonderful tour, Mark!

Nice pen, too.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View pottz's profile


5028 posts in 1346 days

#4 posted 04-18-2019 01:34 PM

very nice pen buddy,i see your still counting them,well after another hundred or so you wont bother anymore-lol.
ya know ive lived in l.a. my whole life but you keep showing me stuff i never knew about or payed atttention too,thanks for the eye openers.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6549 posts in 3715 days

#5 posted 04-18-2019 01:56 PM

Nice pen Mark! Is that St Augustine turf?

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2540 posts in 1425 days

#6 posted 04-18-2019 07:10 PM

Thank you.

Thank you.

You’re welcome.

Larry: Not yet. Open your eyes, man. The L.A. Basin a wonderful place. Get a load of this: Over the past two weeks, I’ve been dragged out of the Basin, twice – Pinion Hills (look it up, I didn’t know, either), and Twenty-nine Palms. You shoulda seen the wildflowers and Joshua Trees in bloom out there. That hillside above was, I think, in Covina.

I don’t know. Probably.

-- Mark

View majuvla's profile


14372 posts in 3229 days

#7 posted 04-19-2019 06:21 AM

Nice pen…I see grass is ready to mow…

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Grumpy's profile


25216 posts in 4213 days

#8 posted 04-20-2019 12:32 AM

Keep em coming mate.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View GR8HUNTER's profile


5966 posts in 1074 days

#9 posted 04-20-2019 02:52 PM

simply a very beautiful pen GR8 story also GREAT JOB :<))) GRATZ TOP 3

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View DocSavage45's profile


8794 posts in 3204 days

#10 posted 04-23-2019 11:47 PM

Nice work Dude!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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