• Jo Mercurio

Post-war Japanese vase travels down three generations

All my life growing up in my parents’ house, my mother would say about her large dining room hutch which she was so proud of, “Someday this will be yours” and I’d say “Mom, I don’t really want it.” In the last three years of her life, the hutch was in storage while my husband and I cared for her in our home – some of the most precious, painful, and hilarious times of our lives. Well guess what? The hutch is now in our living room. I couldn’t part with it when the resale shop owner said people don’t want that style nowadays and I wouldn’t get much for it either. I cleaned it, polished it, fixed the broken glass and filled it with my mother’s vases and other things. When I was done, I said “Well, there’s my mother’s life.” Not my life. I have a large piece of outdated furniture in my living room that held things that were precious to my mom, and by extension now to me. I’ve started photographing the things in the hutch and sooner or later, I’ll be ready to let them - and the hutch - go out the door. This Japanese vase, one of millions made, belonged to my grandmother. My mother always wanted it and it eventually became hers. It'll have to go to a good home - someday.

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