Wednesday, December 5, 2012

New work for Craft Boston Holiday Dec. 7-9

Nothing like a baby shower and an upcoming show to get the
creative juices flowing.  When trying to make a mom's journal
cover for a friend about to give birth, my eyes fell on this funky
stitched  patch from Panama in my studio. I also found the small
beautifully  stitched Hmong piece below. Both seemed perfect
for small journals.
I know new moms don't have much time for writing, but having
a place to jot down notes, fun images, or brief reflections is
always welcome. We all write on computers, but somehow
seeing something in the handwriting of our moms or Grandmoms
is always precious.  I have kept a journal for each of our
grandchildren begun on the day they were born, or soon before.
(Of course,  it might take a code breaker to decipher my hand
writing.) Each time we are together I try to write something.
or as they have gotten bigger, have them draw or write
something in the book themselves. I believe the most
valuable things we have to pass down to future generations
are our stories.

After making the two journals above, I looked around and found
more textiles that had been waiting and created a group of
journals to bring along to Craft Boston Holiday  this weekend.

These two have more pieces from Panama:

This stitched rooster is from an Oboe remnant left over when
a dress was being made for my mother. 
I couldn't think of  going to a show without plenty of dragons,
so I sculpted a dragon on the cover of this leather journal:
And speaking of dragons...There is a shy guy in my studio
who finally decided it was time to let me finish him. You may
remember seeing him in beginning stages in one October blog post.
His name is Terus,the Timid.  He used to try to be terrifying,
terrible or taunting, but has finally accepted himself for the
gentle, timid  creature he is. He asked that I show you his
fancy  beaded anklets before letting you see all of him:
And finally here he is to say hello:
He is about 3 feet long and 24 inches tall with rawhide wings...and
has a snout  made from a stone I picked up during our wanderings
in ancient walled  cities in  Italy.  His belly is another beautifully
stitched piece made by the Hmong, gifted to me by a friend.

I look forward to seeing whom I'll discover at 
Craft Boston Holiday this year...and to see how Terus fares
in public! If you are in the Boston area, please come by.  
I'll be in booth # 611 with  creatures waiting to greet you
and plenty of luscious, fun leather accessories to keep
creative energies stirring.

My best to everyone for great story-filled holidays.

Adventure on!  Wendy

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Variety and inspiration at American Craft Show New York -Aynne Applebaum, Frederick Prescott, George Nock, Laura Goddard, Avner Sher

As I said in my last blog post,I had a booth at  The American Craft
Show NYC  held at the Javits Center on Oct. 19-21.  Since Sandy
devastated so much of NYC and NJ only a few days later, it was
sobering to think of all the locations and tunnels I had travelled in
and through that were under water only a few days later.

But New Yorkers as artists are a resilient bunch, so I didn't want
to miss sharing some of the work at the three shows in one at the
Javits. As was true for the last two years, there was wonderful variety
- whimsy, elegance, fun and inspiration.  

In the whimsy as well as amazing category was the work of  Florida
artist  Ayenne Applebaum -the bird sculpture pictured above and
rooster below. She brings a painte,rs eye to her well as
a wicked sense of whimsy and incredible skill to her clay sculpting.
There wasn't a child (or adult) who didn't enjoy the large kinetic

In the inspiring and elegant category was the work by George Nock.
I especially enjoyed this bronze sculpture entitle "Win, Place or Show".
Be sure to check out George's website to see the amazing range
and superb quality  of his work..and read his will
help you understand why he is able to capture movement and motion.
It may challenge your perception of  professional athletes.

Laurie Goddard was also exhibiting. I've enjoyed seeing the way Laurie
has pushed forward with her fine art in recent years. Beautiful and strong.

And finally- an artist new to NYC - or at least this was the first time
Avner Sher has brought this body of work to NY from his home in
Israel.   He works with large flat pieces of cork, which he burns and
scratches intricate images into.  He describes his work "as an
expression of hope in the face of chaos". Check out his website to
learn what inspired this intriguing  new direction for his work.   

Next year this show will be one week later - good thing it wasn't this
year.  It is an extraordinary event that we hope we can continue to
build and entice larger and larger crowds to attend.

 For now, I'm working on inventory for Craft Boston Holiday,
to be held on Dec.7-9. A new large rearing dragon will be there.
Please drop by if you are in the Boston area.

Adventure on!   Wendy

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Creatures come to New York City Javits show Oct. 19-21.

Last blog you saw the are some of the finished
creatures and items going with me to the NYC show at the Javits
this weekend, October 19-21.  Complete info on this three-in-one
show at:
I'm still trying to figure out the total story behind the new species.
Ideas anyone? This figure is 26" tall, wingspread is 32". The beading
ended up taking quite  a few more hours than I expected.
Below is a youngster of the species, 14" tall.
During Roxbury Open Studios, a visitor observed that they
probably live in mountainous areas and love to hop boulder to
boulder...their wings help them glide between. I'd love to bring along
a pair of wings for my next trip to the Rockies or Andes.
I went around in circles  deciding how to finish the figure below.
Finally he told me he really wanted he ended up with these
This "eye" tree leather book cover seemed to want a little color:
And finally....yes, I'll be going to NYC with a good supply of
other "eye" leather items....covers for I-pads and e-readers,
I-phones and card holders as well as my journal covers.
Above is a  preview of two I-pad covers.

The Javits show is advertising itself as 3 shows in one.
Should be a fascinating mix.  I'll share some of my
discoveries or favorites next post.  Anyone near New York
City - please come on over...I'll be in Booth #233. It would
be great to see you.

Adventure on!   Wendy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

New sculptures and books emerging in the studio

October - Open Studios and Fall shows. 

I've been having fun working on new creatures and new book designs,
including the one above who facebook friends have so far identified as
a unicorn, a fire breathing deer, and dragon. We'll see what folks think
during Roxbury Open Studios this weekend. Studios are open 11-6 both
Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct 7.  Map and complete info for 
Roxbury Open Studios at: Discovery

Besides lots of finished work, people who visit my studio
will see new creatures in various stages of
completion. Including this dragon rearing on its hind legs.  

And these figures....which started as dancing wire armatures...
Next the wire was wrapped with polyester and that covered
with muslin..and beaks added. Leather, beads and wings
will follow.

One last "before" photo for you. This shows what
is beneath the leather of the cover at the top of this
post. Pieces of bark and wood are glued down as I
begin to visualize the final design. But until the leather
is on, I never know exactly what the final  piece will look
like.  I enjoy being surprise.  Who would ever guess it
might be a fire breathing deer!

Hopefully many of the new creatures will be finished for my next show
American Craft Show NYC Oct. 19-21.  Next post I'll share the
final appearance of at least some. Definitely a couple new
species in the works, so I'm hoping they'll tell me their stories.

Happy Fall  - Please drop by my studio or the NYC show if you're
in the area!

Adventure on! Wendy

Monday, September 17, 2012

Movement, Motion and Meaning in Boston Area Exhibits

 So if I need a wheelchair someday, I'll have David Lang design one like
this for me. Title: Deadelus on the other Hand.  It's part of his and
 Virginia Fitzgerald's exhibit  "Upon Further consideration: What tells a
Story" at the Carney gallery of Regis College  now until October 27. I've
been aware of both of their work for some time, but this was the first
time I had the fun of seeing so much gathered together and playing of
each other...which they do beautifully.....

As the show title indicates, this is a show filled with story and meaning.
Here's David with his piece: "If shoes could talk":
And talk they do thanks to speakers in the piece.   Most of David's other
pieces tell their stories through motion..activated as you approach the
pieces.Such as this piece, titled: "When the Castinetti Sisters First
Learned to Fly" :

 The materials Virginia makes her pieces from tell a good part of their
 stories, enhanced by form.  Below: "Dress of Etiquette" - made from a
shredded copy of Emily Post which Virginia said she received as a
wedding present and thoroughly enjoying tearing up.
The piece below called "Treacherous"  is made of wooden skewers,
wire, masking tape and broken mirrors. -Made from  "the feeling you
are overwhelmed with  responsibilities and are just keeping things
together - a dangerous game":

I recommend trying to get out to experience the exhibit as well as
checking out David and Virginia's website and their  blogs to learn
about them and their journeys.   You can see the movement of David's
pieces on his website, but in person is always better..  Both artisst keep
very busy with exhibits around the area.  There is a collaborative
installation called Birds of Poetry by Virginia flying in the atrium of
the Attleboro public library.

   Finally, I want to lift up one other exhibit - the Os Gemeos exhibit at
Boston's  Institute of Contemporary Art.  I went a few weeks past and
the images from the work are definitely still present for me...awake and
in my dreams.   The exhibit is there until Nov. 25th.  I could go on and
on about the work of the Brazilian urban artists, Otavio and Gustavo
Pandolfo, but will leave you just with this one image and story it
brings forth. Title of this piece is: " No Fundo de Mar E Respirar Mas
Facil" (In the Depth of the Ocean, it's Easier to Breathe")
and encourage you to see the exhibit if you possibly can.

Now back to my studio to work on sculptures for Roxbury 
Open Studios Oct. 6-7 and for the Oct. 19-21 American Craft
Show NYC. 

Adventure on!   Wendy

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sculptor gathering in New Hampshire

Last Sunday sculptors, other artists, and art enthusiasts gathered at the
Millbrook Gallery in Concord, NH.  Donna Dodson  Andy Moerlein,
and Pam Tarbell  invited us to  gather, network and enjoy Pam's
beautiful gallery and sculpture garden. I hadn't expected prehistoric
creature decoys to await us including the Entelodont  by Bob
Shannahan pictured above.

Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised.  After all, as I pulled
into the drive, I passed by this sculpture by Andy Moerlein
made of steel conduit, saplings and hand made stones. Andy
calls it"Suspense".  To me, it looks like a nest about to hatch
some fantastic creatures.

This wooly mammoth "decoy" by Bob stands at the entrance to the
gallery enticing any prehistoric creatures still lukring around to come
on by

Around back, Bob's giant ancient camel prances near the
I enjoyed talking with Bob and hearing  how he constructs these
marvelous creatures. 
Bob explained that it takes about a year for each, figuring out scale,
making mock ups,creating the wire armature, collecting fresh birch
sapling branches and other natural materials and finally finishing
construction. Stones make the awesome jagged teeth and claws.  He
points out that the  toes of the mammoth are made from boulders
created when mammoths were wandering the nearby forest.  (Yes
 there is evidence they were around even in New England. )

The Entelodont  tries to be fearsome, but I'm not fooled.  I think he is
actually pretty friendly.

It was a beautiful afternoon in a gorgeous setting filled with good
conversation.The grounds are an ideal setting for outdoor sculpture.

Lin Lisberger's "Tall" is appropriately situated by the stream that
runs through.
 and Liz Fletcher's "Prayer of Rana" adds a meditative touch:

Anyone  going near Concord this summer, fall or anytime
of year, I highly recommend stopping by Millbrook Gallery and
sculpture garden. You won't be disappointed.

Thanks Donna, Andy, and Pam for organizing the gathering.
I returned with inspiration swirling. 

Adventure on! Wendy

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Star Wanderer posters

In my last post, I wrote about my current exhibit
" What's in a Story?"at the Haley House Bakery Cafe  and promised to show some of
the posters I used in locations where I couldn't  install
sculptures. Here they are. The one above was created
specifically for the exhibit.  Nunoona and Furb, the Star
Wandering companions in the poster are still looking for
their permanent home. Story objects hang from the
embellished saddle blanket and fill the leather trunk.
The duo measures 24" x 24" x 18".
The creatures in the posters below have all found new
homes, where I trust they are stirring up stories.
Hopefully their images can inspire even more.  In the
exhibit, I placed some favorite quotes about stories
underneath the posters.  


That's "Faydor, the story hatcher" above holding a
story egg, with story emerging.   At the exhibit
it was posted with the quote: "Inside every seed
there is a story, Inside every story a seed of truth."
(my phrase - or at least I don't think I saw it
and copied it.) Every story trunk that accompanies
one of my storytellers contains a water hyacinth seed
chosen for  sculptural beauty and for my phrase.
I realize water hyacinths are an invasive species
but honor nature's intriguing sculpture. Of course
inside every egg, there is definitely a story.
 Under Beadle, the Curious, I posted:
“Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom”
                                                     Rachel Naomi Remen

And under the poster of Tadaah!, I put:
"Stories are the Language of Community" - Dean Ornish

I have some extra copies of the posters available...including
a few additional designs.

Now on to trying to do some more serious editing of
"Sophia's Quest" and continuing to contemplate what is
or can be, in a story.

Adventure on!    Wendy

Thursday, July 26, 2012

"What's in a Story" exhibit at Haley House Bakery Cafe

Last week I installed my exhibit "What's in a Story" at Haley House
Bakery Cafe:  It feels great to be 
showingat local venue for a change,  especially one which is so 
supportive of building community. Their website says it all, "We 
believe in Food with Purpose and the Power of Community."  
Have fun exploring their website and facebook page. Haley 
House's story is inspiring.It started as a soup kitchen and today
includes the soup kitchen, an in-community housing program, a 
farm, one-the-job training,classes, the cafe and more.  The cafe
has become a busy venue for all sorts of  events including music, 
art, poetry, readings with regular open mics.  The folks that 
gather and work there demonstrate the wonderful diversity and 
creative energy in our neighborhood.

Celia Grant organizes the gallery in the cafe.  When she asked
if I'd be interested in showing, I jumped at the chance. The
challenge was to present 3-D work in a space  where two 
dimensional work is usually displayed. But hey, I've  never
been one to avoid a  creative challenge...Windows were
adapted for flying books, storytellers and large journals.
and shadow boxes and posters were hung on the walls. 
There is a large screen which comes down in the middle of the 
back wall  so nothing could project out very far in the center.
We set up small shelves (made by my hubby for my recent
NYC show) to the right and left and put posters between.
The creatures and figures thought they looked good against
the brick walls.
An overhead support was perfect for Snarval,the large dragon.
The opening was last Friday eve announced via the flier
above, plus various social media networks, emails, and 
ad in the Bay State Banner. My thanks to to Bing Broderick
and Celia for PR and helping brainstorm setup, Sandie 
Fenton and my hubby for photos of the opening and to 
everyone who came. 40-50 people showed up, young, old 
and in  between from  many different connections.  Also
thanks to all the folks at Haley House Bakery Cafe who have
been talking about my work to customers since the opening.

Snarval was noticed: 
 There were lots of stories shared, questions and good 
Haley House sweet potato pizza.

I discussed techniques distributed a few stories, talked with
friends including kids I have worked with and met new folks.
A "Can you name a dragon that is not in Wendy's Great
Book of Dragon Names challenge" resulted in two more
names to ad to my book which had 451 dragon names.


Haley House cafe is a place where going beyond comfortable
boundaries is supported, so I stepped up and read from "Sophia's 
Quest" the mythic folk tale I have been working on for a long time. 
I'm hoping to get it into a finished form by the end of the summer. 
The story was  inspired by the cupola of a run down Victorian 
house in the  neighborhood. I kept looking up at the cupola 
wondering what  was up  there. A nest ? perhaps the nest of a 
phoenix? I didn't know if  my creatures would show up  in the 
tale, but of course they did as well as a library of flying books.

 People asked what next ? Good question. Next post I'll show
some of the posters I had in the show..and soon will  begin
to give a peek at some of Sophia's travels.

Meanwhile, if you're in the Boston area, drop over to Haley House
Bakery Cafe at 12 Dade Street, Roxbury for conversation, good
food and to contemplate "what's in a story".  

Adventure on!  Wendy