Debra Walland: Chuck's Diner

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Name of Piece: Chuck's Diner

Designed and made by Debra Walland


Town/State: Blufton, SC

Backing material: Linen

Supplies used: #4 cut wool

Inspiration: Chuck's Diner has a story! There is a little diner on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which is a classic 'greasy spoon' kind of place called Harold's Diner. It's been there for years. It has become a spot where all tourists feel the need to stop. If it's open, the sign on the door says, "Sorry, We're Open. Hours: M-Sat Sunday sometimes. It is owned by Chuck, the head cook and bottle washer. He is kind of a Smart Alec and he is the reason the place is so popular. He loves to give everyone a hard time. He won't serve anyone with a baseball cap on unless the hat has the logo of his team. The first time tourists come in, there is always the classic question, "Are you Harold?" Chuck always answers with a straight face, "Harold's dead." The tourists are stunned silent. Then the regulars crack up every time. So, I had to give Chuck his due and, finally, name the place for him.

The piece is done in a kind of Impressionistic style. The walls and floor are done in irregular blocks to bring out the larger people in the composition. The walls are meant to be a little dingy and greasy. The area below the counter goes from dark to lighter to show the change in light - it is a counter, but I did not want too many horizontal lines, so there is no obvious edge of the floor meeting the counter. You intuitively know it is there. The sign on the cash register originally said 'No Checks' but I found the extra details distracting. The dog is there just for fun.