Works of Art – Out to Lunch – It’s Acadiana
The saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” assumes a democracy of things. Meaning every object, from a speck of sand to a skyscraper, has the potential for beauty, if we decide it’s beautiful. Even if you believe that to be true, you have to admit that some objects are just more obviously beautiful than others. On this edition of Out to Lunch, Independent and ABiz publisher Cherry Fisher May sits in for Peter Ricchiuti and talks with two Acadian craftsmen who make objects of undeniable beauty. And function.
To describe what Alex Caldwell creates as “handbags” or “purses” is a bit like calling the Grand Canyon a ditch. Technically it is. And technically Alex does make handbags and purses. But they’re not like anything you’ll see at Macy’s. They’re handmade works of bejeweled art that look like Faberge eggs.
Actually Alex also makes Faberge style eggs, and other jewelry. His list of many impressive customers around the world include the Sultan of Brunei, Harrods, Neiman Marcus, and his works has even the star of a blockbuster Hollywoood heist movie. Every piece is hand-crafted right here in Acadiana under the name Vivian Alexander.
If you’re a listener to Out to Lunch you may have heard in the end credits that the show’s theme song is performed by Andre Michot.
Andre is a member of the Grammy nominated band, Lost Bayou Ramblers. The band’s nearly constant touring, their appearance at rock festivals, and the respect they’ve gotten from the established rock and pop community make them one of this generation’s foremost ambassadors of Cajun culture. The accordions Andre plays on stage are instruments he builds himself, part of a line of Michot Cajun accordions he builds and sells.
Andre and Alex find they have a lot in common in their detailed craftsmanship and the painstakingly long time it takes to make a genuine work of art, that is also carried, swung, pushed, pulled, and dropped.