"Six degrees of separation" is the idea that all living things in the world are no more than six steps removed from one another.
The idea was originally advanced by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 but I now have proof that the theory holds true for folk art objects.
I spotted this charming folk art bird on the Instagram feed of one of my favorite antique dealers, "Sophisticated Florida". She had purchased it on a recent trip to New England and I knew on sight that it would be a perfect addition to our new home in southeastern Arizona. We live on one of the largest migratory paths in North America so have become avid bird watchers and photographers. Plus we have collected folk art birds and handmade hearts for years so the piece hit a sweet spot in our world. When I received the bird, I posted a photo of him in his new surroundings on Instagram as a thank you to Marilyn, the seller. I was shocked when Daniel Strawser's wife commented on that post saying the piece looked like one her husband had done years ago. (For those of you who are not familiar with the name, Mr. Strawser is one of the foremost folk artists in the US and I have been a huge fan of his work for years.) I responded to her saying it must have been done by someone who admired his style because it was signed "WJG '76" on the bottom, which to me indicated another talented artist was responsible for the piece. She replied that those were the initials of his former in-laws and confirmed it was made as a gift for them 30 years ago.
What a thrill to learn we have unwittingly become the proud owners of an original Daniel Strawser work of art!
The path from the studio of one of my favorite folk artists to our home may have met the "six degrees of separation" rule but, contrary to the premise of the parlor game of the '90's, Kevin Bacon was not involved. I'm positive Marilyn would have given me a heads up if he was. :-)