Just an Ordinary Summer on Nantucket
Copyright Vladimir Kagan, October 12, 2014
(posted from Geneva Switzerland)
PARTIES ON NANTUCKET
Vladi the party giver
This summer I hosted over a dozen dinner parties and entertained 100 guests mostly to uproarious chili dinners - al fresco in my garden. However, to celebrate my 87th birthday I gave a sedate sit-down for twenty of my nearest, dearest and oldest friends, mostly octogenarians like myself, some of us hobbling on sticks, canes and crutches. A sumptuous filet mignon dinner was prepared by my clever, culinary daughter, Jessica, who drove up from Connecticut to wish me a Happy Birthday…thanks Jess!
One of the many dinner parties I hosted in my kitchen this summer
Bob and Ingrid Grueter, my old ski friends visiting from Aspen together with Lee Bordes another Aspen skier and myself - we've all skied together for over forty years
After their final recording session, the entire Coq Au Vin Band came for a Chili dinner: back row is Caleb Cressman the band's leader, Andy Harris the fabulous trumpeter, foreground Gordon Gund, Joanna Hay the violinist, Marjan Shirzad from the Whaling Museum, Lindsay, Caleb's wife and Anne Gund
No room for the high and mighty - everyone in my house pitches in. Here is the world-renown art appraiser, Ellen Lake-Ewald and me shucking corm for twenty guests
The three musketeers, Jeff, Reed and Steven flew up to 'Tucket for some fishing but first stopped to visit me for the BEST martinis on the Island - Vladi-tinis!
setting up for an intimate Fondu Bouginion party
Here are two of the bevy of beauties that usually gather in my kitchen: Tina on the left, my Serbian housekeeper with my friend Amy Lau, New York's hottest interior designer
After dinner entertainment in the living room with Australian virtuoso musician, Hugh McDonald Playing his guitar and Me tootling along on my accordion
The Nantucket Double Dip is not a dance… it is a typical Nantucket social weekend with two or more parties to attend. My most audacious Dip was a party I hosted, with my guests invited to arrive at 7 pm. I managed to escape with three lovely ladies, my houseguests for the weekend, to attend another party… just before my guests were scheduled to arrive. By the time we returned, my party was in full swing…we were hardly missed! Over twenty friends were on hand for one of my Chili fests. In
classic Vladimir fashion, dinner was served after nine and guests hung in till after mid-night.
ILLYA KAGAN’S ANNUAL ART SHOW
Illya Kagan's annual reception at the Westmoor Club
The unofficial end to the summer is not Labor Day; it’s my son Illya Kagan’s spectacular art-show extravaganza. This is THE event of the season… He plans it annually for the last week of August to give himself time to finish the forty or more paintings he creates yearly. It is a tour de force as he paints en plein air in all seasons; rain, sunshine, nights and sometimes snow. His show has become a “le must” on Nantucket’s social calendar. Hundreds of people crowd the Westmoor Club’s huge gym for an elaborate vernissage of delectable food and a generous open bar. The show takes Illya two days to install and another two to dismantle. It is a colossal undertaking but worthwhile when you see all those red dots embellishing so many paintings…Of course I am proud of my son!
....And finally the annual family photo of me and the granddaughter: Gabriella, Annecy, Sophia, Ondine and Olivia... Mallory was missing as she had to work
Two generations of Kagan painters: Illya giving his daughter Ondine some pointers on painting en plein air
DESIGNING ON NANTUCKET
In spite of my sybaritic summer, I actually find time to draw and create new designs for a collection of limited edition art-furniture for The Ralph Pucci Galleries in America and the Carpenter’s Workshop Galleries in Paris and London. Chris Eitel, my wingman for all seasons, interprets these designs into AutoCAD to feed into our new 3D printer. This machine is a wicked, cantankerous and disobedient gadget but gives us a significant leg-up on design development…I am able to study each design in miniature and make corrections before going into full-scale prototypes.
From sketch to 3D modeling
My freehand sketch of a potential daybed to be cast in bronze - part of my limited edition series
Chris' computer interpretation of my design
The bench as it comes out of the 3D printer with all of the debris that supports the delicate legs while printing
The 3D print of my original design
The intricate detailing of a new chair's arm done by Chris on his computer
My first love is still pencil on paper and then developing the new designs in clay.... there is a hands-on pleasure lost when the computer gets involved. I wish that I could show you the full repertoire of my new designs that I have created this summer, but for obvious reasons, they must be kept under wraps until their introduction in 2015.
When 3D printing becomes too complex to prepare, I still make clay model of the project. Above is proposal for a "Sea Coral" lamp
On a lovely sunny afternoon, I gave an illustrated lecture to an attentive audience at Audrey Sterk's Gallery... the bottom photo is Audrey thanking me for the talk... the bear-hug was worth the effort!
It was sometimes difficult to look at a cloudless sky with temperatures in the 80s, dreaming about the beach or a sail but continue to slog away on a sketchpad… Chris and I welcomed the rare blustery day when we could work without regrets.
......Hey, it’s been a hell of a great summer!