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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

unexpected fun

Recently as you know I was up in Jackson Hole participating in the Art Festival up there and during that time I met many really nice people.

Among those I met, a lady that is with the Teton Association and she studied my work closely and finally asked me if I had ever done a pika.

Now for those of you that live on the prairie and never have ever seen a pika, it is a very small animal kin to the rabbit that lives at a very high altitude and is endangered

because of the temperature change we are experiencing due to global warming (yes folks it is not a rumor, it is very real and changing faster than we imagine). These little critters are like the polar bear that drown looking for the missing ice bergs with the serving of seal on top. They continue to move higher and higher to find that cold altitude that they must live.

I had fun doing the research since we have them here as well as Wyoming does but they are way high up above Trailridge Road and Longs Peak trail along with the Ptarmigan.

I love doing fun little pieces and hopefully it will assist the Teton Association in their quest as a fund raiser. Here is my little guy...enjoy.

Not preaching just reminding, what you use and how you use it has an affect on every living little creature...think next time you make a purchase. It could be you on the endangered list next.

Thanks for dropping in.....

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Splatters happen and also wind (fun project)

I recently was on Etsy and came across a method for pouring tent weights and thought it was great...already have them poured and ready to go for the upcoming Estes Park Art Festival in September.

I took two pvc pipes 10 feet long and cut them in half, sealed them with caps on the end then lashed them to a fence post and filled the other end with cement and placed a long I hook screw (with nut on end for grips in cement) into the cement on the poured end before it hardened and I am now ready for whatever wind blows at me. They lay nicely close to the tent pole (better than the sand bags I have been using). Thanks to Etsy Metal and Kathryn Riechert.

So I thought I would return the favor, here is my solution to splashing, staining and steam while cooking when you have a wood cabinet that is catching it all from the side of the stove.

  This is simple tin purchased from Home Depot and placed in the vulnerable area where the heat and splashes occur.

I based this idea on the old pie safe you used to find in antique shops. I decided on the design, two moose heads to compliment the decor in the rest of my house. Drew the design out on just plain paper then laid it on the tin in the area needed and viewable.

I took the raw tin and placed it on a board that did not matter and took a very large nail and just tapped around the design until the profile I desired. Try to keep your tapping the same strength because it makes your holes all the same depth.

Now it is wipeable (if that is a word) and keeps steam and stain from ruining my cabinet.  Have fun and let me know what you tried. Also we had aluminum stove etc. in room so they matched (I guess you could do the same with copper if that matched better).

Monday, July 28, 2014

New Friends

I have to tell you I am always so impressed with the quality of art I see at the shows I do. I met a man with turned wood, a lady with antique door knobs on hardware that were gorgeous, a very talented print lady (check her out at  and an egg tempura artist these all at the Chessman Art Festival in Denver.  Most artist can not afford to pay big bucks into these shows and not have quality work. Most of the people I met are so good at what medium they chose such as  at the Jackson Hole show I met Cathra-Anne Barker (check out her wonderful art at Each time I have a show I meet phenomenal artist again such as and all sweet talented artist.
I enjoy so much meeting the other artist and I want to always mention them in reference to a quality always is not about the money (even though it helps pay for your travel and show expenses and seed money) but also the relationships you form along the road. Not only the artist but you get to visit with a lot of remarkable people , the organizers that work their tails off to make the shows work, the patrons that walk all day through the tents patiently looking for that perfect work.
As usual we had various weather in Denver for the Chessman Park Art Fest, it burned us, it melted us, we ended up opening up the back of the tent to let in fresh air but yet had to keep an eye open for the dark clouds that would promise rain. I used two portable battery operated fans inside the tent that both myself and the patrons appreciated.
I had a nice surprise as the time arrived to pull down our tent and pack everything daughter, her husband and my two grandchildren arrive to help and it really went a lot faster.
So thanks to all for a job well done.
One more show to go and I will complete my journey this year, it is Estes Park and I will hopefully be able to include some pictures with my entry in September. Happy trails.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming Art Festival

We arrived on Wed. before the show in order to set up our own campsite which we found Gros Venture to be the perfect spot. Just outside Jackson Hole and far enough away that we had a young moose wonder through camp around 6:00 am the next morning. He had been kicked off his mom when she probably became pregnant again and knew that she would have a new little one again.

 The entire area is so beautiful that it was truly difficult to put my responsibilities aside and not run off into the wild to just take pictures.

Most of the drive was bleak the first few hours as it goes from flat and dry to valleys and pines. The entire trip up took us 8 and a half hours from Greeley to Jackson Hole.  There are beautiful ranches along the way though that have taken advantage of the beautiful rock formations to choose their locations...course the wind probably had a great deal to do with that decision.

This was a shot of the Tetons that I just could not resist using.

You can tell by the pictures of our tents set up that it was the beginning of the morning and this was just a small percentage of tents in my area...I think there were around 150 tents with over 800 entering the juroring.
This was my tent set up and we had a variety of weather, hot (86) and then wind and rain so we got to test our fortitude. Yes the sandbags are a distraction which we solved later but were required (100 lbs on each leg) in order to handle the gust or micro burst we experienced.

Like I said I could have stayed all week and just taken pictures. The flowers were the cream on the top of the mountain shots. Just gorgeous.
Small note, we had to put all our food items in a steel box called a bear box in the campground so that we did not intentionally attract a bear. That also included toothpaste, soap, deodorant etc.
This was a show that even though I did ok it will be debatable as to whether it would be one that I would drive 8 1/2 hours again to attend. The crowds were ok and the views tremendous and maybe you just have to think that, hey I had a great vacation and made sales also so what do I have to whine about.
As I have always said the greatest thing that I can say I enjoyed was meeting the patrons I met and the other creative people that were around my tent...that is what makes a trip enjoyable.
Back home again I begin the process all over again and prepare for the Chessman Art Festival in least I can sleep in my own bed this time even though you can not beat the fact that I went to sleep one night watching the most beautiful full moon slip its way up through the trees over the Green River.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Packing up and Moving Forward

The big day has arrived and for the past few days I have been preparing the trailer and back of the truck to accomodate not only my work and pedestals but also all the things we will need camping in the Tetons.

All of work is wrapped in either bubble wrap and packing blanket or the foam you use under flooring and blanket and placed in Rubbermade tubs

Our trailer is just large enough to haul the 11 pedestals I carry with me and the ice chest and one tub if you notice I have "seal a meal" type plastic covering the pedestals to prevent damage or moisture and all is cinched down tight

The truck was a jumble of three tubs with pieces (trailer would be too rough) sleeping bags and tent

Monday, June 9, 2014

Preparing for Jackson Hole Art Festival

I know we have discussed shows before and I have shown what my truck looks like but it is an entirely different scenario when packing for a long distance trip.

My destination in a month is Jackson Hole, Wyoming and I am excited for this show but not looking forward to the drive even though it will be beautiful country.

From the day I received the notice I made it into the Jackson Hole Arts Festival I began to work on my gasoline budget, food budget and expenses for the eleven hour drive and five night stay.

Packing nineteen pieces varying from 5 pounds to 50 pounds, which by the way no one ever gives you a class in packing, you have to be so careful. Your work must be packed to protect it from not only the elements but also just the vibration of movement for eleven hours.  Even the texture of fabric can rub a place on a patina.

I wrap (after cleaning and inspecting) each piece in bubble wrap or the thick pressed foam wrap then again in a moving blanket.  Then label each piece. (By the way if traveling in the south in very humid weather you would have to re-think the bubble wrap).  These pieces I pack carefully in tubs (the best are Rubbermade-Roughneck).  These are tough and can stack if they are not too heavy.  All is then tarped down.

Zapplication shows are very particular about appointed times given to set up or tear down.  You have no more than one hour and 30 minutes to set up your 10 x 10 area and unload all work.  Then the truck and trailer have to be moved elsewhere.  (Often they take your license plate number and threaten that if they see you parked anywhere near the area you will not be invited back.) Sometimes you are not allowed close to your space so I usually pack two dolly's along with my twelve pedestals.  The back of my trailer has a ramp type gate so easy to dolly pieces right off the back.

Two weeks before a show I check each pedestal, use wood hole filler for any nicks from last trip and repaint.  Nothing detracts from a piece worse than ugly or scratched pedestals.  I wrap these individually after drying with the same plastic moving company's use.  Take this with you for pull down because you don't want them damaged before the next show 2 weeks later.

It will be even more complicated because we are going to a mountain area that has evening rain so all needs to be tarped.

Making sure all your business needs are in your brief case- Iphone, square, receipt book list of pieces and prices and those all necessary labels for each piece.  An artist name tag is great also unless provided.  I even have a small money bag to keep checks and cash intact.  If possible even figure tax ahead of time on a sheet for convenience.

I have a file with all paperwork, bio, authenticity papers, artist statement, care of bronzes and an explanation of process. Include the all important business cards that I display in two acrylic holders.  I also carry extra bubble wrap, tape, stapler, scissors, tape measure,  pen and pad. Always remember "what could happen, will happen" and be prepared. Some shows will not let you wrap pieces sold where they can inspect going out but others let you as long as the patron shows his receipt so take along extra bubble wrap.

Last but most important, if a work gets damaged in transit please do not think "oh hopefully the patron won't notice".....this is an example of your personal work that will be in someones' home or office for probably the rest of their life...let it be only your best. Wrap that damaged piece back up and pack it away.

Now since I am camping to enjoy the great outdoors hopefully I can find a shower and electricity somewhere. Add to that load a tent, tub of cooking tools, cooler, stove etc. fishing fly rods, a very large lab and hmmmmm..........if you are a fellow artist, good luck on your shows this year and if you are a patron reading this, hopefully this gives you an idea that we just do not show up and all is magical, it takes a lot of work both in clay and on the road. We hope that you enjoy our work as much as we enjoy showing it. Hopefully we will all come home with fewer pieces than we took.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 Schedule

I am excited to finally have my 2014 schedule down in black and white and committed..

A few days ago I traveled down to Evergreen, Colorado and set up my pedestals and work for a featured sculptor exhibit for the month of May (through the 25th), the reception is at the Shadow Mountain Gallery in Evergreen, Colorado on Fri. March 25th from 5:00 pm until 8:00pm. I have never shown in Evergreen so excited to meet the public and possibly any other artist showing in that co-op gallery.

The month of July I have the Cheesman Park Art Festival and also the Jackson Hole Art Festival in Wyoming, so it will entail several days of enjoying the beautiful area and checking out all the galleries. There are usually so many animals to see also...might even work in a little fly fishing on the Snake.

Then in the Fall I will be in Estes Park, Colorado for their Art Fest in September, that should also put me up close and personal to not only elk lovers but the elk themselves. If you know me then you know that the flood that destroyed the canyon and also the eastern plains fell victim to that also occurred last year at that same time and we were lucky that it happened the day before 92 artist were to arrive and set up their tents.

So other than those shows I will probably be just working to keep up and perhaps creating some clays to travel with me so that I can get pre-cast interest. I will take pictures along the way and let you travel the experience with me.