Newcomers to Small World Gallery sometimes get confused when I tell them I’ve been photographing Cuba for 40 years. I can’t blame them; you’d naturally think of someplace like Havana when Cuba is mentioned. And any place worth 40 years of attention must be exotic, you’d think, celebrated and renowned.
But my Cuba is right here in Kansas, a small town near the Nebraska border, not so far from Belleville where I grew up. As a boy on the farm Cuba was all rumors to me, I never went there. Rumor had it that folks in Cuba had fun, something frowned upon on general principles amongst my English heritage stock. Cuba was Czech. A polka kind of place. We didn’t polka.
When we opened Small World Gallery in April 2002, it would never have occurred to us that we would offer Jim’s prints in 40 inches by 12 feet. Or create our own jewelry designs using ancient Roman Empire glass or rare stone cabochons. Nor did we envision stocking unusual vintage kimono jackets from Japan via a designer in Colorado. Or wool-cashmere jackets sewn by an Eastern European designer.
It’s 2018 and now the gallery is offering... shoes. Yes, shoes. Like everything else in this gallery, this footwear has a delightful story and link to creative history.
Anatolia Shoes are handmade by experienced craftsmen in Gazientep, Turkey, one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and known for fine shoemaking for 700 years
Jim and I are happy to be back in the gallery and in Lindsborg after two weeks away on a business trip to Scotland.
After having accompanied Jim over 25 years on some of his storied Scottish journeys, I have become a bit of an aficionado myself. I find that many Kansas qualities also dwell in some parts of Scotland. That is especially true when comparing the far northern Scottish isles of Orkney and our own Lindsborg.
Now, you may ask: What could landlocked Lindsborg possibly have in common with town in sea-locked Orkney in Great Britain? The comparison is positively elegant.
I met an old friend on the Isle of Eigg a couple of weeks ago. Hiking down to the beautiful ribboned beach at Laig Bay on a brilliant sun-washed day (such things do happen in Scotland) I was greeted by the border collie that lives in the beach house.
“I know YOU!” I said,
For me, an exciting part of Instagram is being able to share the thought process behind our designs. We can share sketches, inspirations, musings and insights connected to our small world.
Jim volunteered to start photographing our jewelry for the website and Instagram. I always love getting a chance to watch him work. I don’t think he fully understands what he signed up for; he just does such a great job. I think he will have a permanent position as jewelry photographer, haha.