I never studied Ancient Greek and was a reluctant, mediocre Latin student in school. Thank goodness for the excellent translations that allow all of us to be inspired by these old epics. I recently read a number of the young adult Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordon. It was a pleasure to find the familiar Greek gods, goddesses, creatures, monsters and places all mixed together in a contemporary context, following the tale of a half-blood son of Poseidon. The stories and characters of yore continue to come to mind throughout my life. When stuck in a repetitive job, I recall Sisyphus, condemned to the eternal task of pushing a heavy rock up a hill, only to have it roll to the bottom once again. In fury and frustration at the start of yet another war, I could remember Lysistrata, Aristophane’s play about the women of Athens withholding sex to bring about the end of the Peloponnesian War. When studying Renaissance paintings of voluptuous nudes, I thought of the many forms Zeus took in order to seduce far too many maidens. Rediscover the classics with the collections below!
[Clockwise from top left: Horse of Troy print by Artcalifornia; Homer pendant by Petsalad; Achilles herbal poultice by Kyrabotanica; Circe exhibition poster from Rogallery; Odyssey poster from Secousse; Odyssey charging dock by Richneelydesigns]
A long journey, full of obstacles and adventures, has given us several thousand years of inspiration.
[Clockwise from top left: Hades and Persephone in the Underworld by Mariaaragon; Pan necklace by Billyblue22; Pan sculpture by Jolucksted; Athena mosaic by Blueterracotta; Pegasus sculpture by Songandbranch; Demeter wall plaque by Heritagebay]
The tale of Demeter’s yearning for her daughter, Persephone, during the time she is held captive by Hades, is a deeply moving story of a mother’s love.
[Clockwise from top left: “Daphne” by Inthecrystalpalace; Pandora necklace by Shannonwestmeyer; Centaur wood figurine by Cardinalcreekstudio; Magnetic art dolls by Thehandmadeclassroom; Faun drawing by Almapottery]
Basic textile skills are so ancient they are the very tools of the Fates.
[Clockwise from top left: “Aesop’s Crow” etching by Stephaniemartinart; Fox and grapes pin by Chickenscratchcoop; Tortoise and hare scrimshaw by Scrimworks; Crow matchbox by Jadajazz; Tortoise and the Hare sculpture by Thepleasureseekers; Teacup and saucer set by Zmedceramics]
It is far too easy for those with natural talent to take their abilities for granted. The slow and steady are to be admired.
Some stories retain their excitement no matter how frequently they are repeated: the road trip, the overcoming of a series of trials, the returning stranger who is recognized by the old dog. What a thrill to realize what is happening and what delight in knowing the old, yet ever new, story.
Cate Fitt, a.k.a. knitfitt, has been a member of Etsy since 2007 and is an experienced critic, curator and juror. She earned her MFA in fiber in 1978, later receiving an artist’s fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Through the years, she’s been a maker of one-of-a-kind hand-painted clothing, pottery, jewelry, and linocut and monotype prints. She lives in a little house close to the James River with two whippets named Moose and Peach.