The Java Place

The Java Place

Finally, my Java carving is up on the wall at Speeder and Earl’s on Pine Street in Burlington, my favorite coffee place.

It came about because I was exploring the wonderful Javanese traditional script, called Carakan. Not only are the letters themselves beautiful, but the script has features that we don’t have, such as the lovely flower-like flourishes at the beginning and end of a text.

First I had Marc Leone at Sterling Hardwoods make me a wonderful coffee-table with a Javanese inscription (Java/coffee/coffee table: get it?).

Then I realized that many of the coffees at Speeder’s, which is right next door to Sterling, come from Indonesia, and some indeed from Java–but almost nobody who comes in for their morning java stops to think that the word java comes from Java, where Java is, or even that it is an island within the country called Indonesia, let alone that the island has its own script, language, culture, and long tradition of writing.

So this seemed to me a great opportunity for the Endangered Alphabets to serve an educational function, in a whimsical and attractive way.

I carved the word “Javanese” (actually “carakan,” the word for the Javanese script) and painted it in an off-white acrylic to give the whole thing a coffee-and-cream palette. The result when up on the wall of Speeder’s this morning.¬†(My thanks go to Emma the manager, for making this all happen.)

By all means come back at me and suggest other opportunities for public appearances of the Endangered Alphabets!