Friday, December 19, 2014

Inspiration at shows in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Boston

   Happy Holiday Season everyone.....
Before I'm off to share the holidays with family, I wanted to end the year
highlighting a few of the wonderful artists I encountered at my final two
shows: American Fine Craft Show Brooklyn  and CraftBoston along
with a trip to St. John the Devine cathedral to take in Xu Bing's 100
foot long phoenixes (shown above)

The Brooklyn show (Nov. 22-23) produced by American Art Marketing
at the Brooklyn museum was beautiful. Better attendance than last year.
Attendees were very enthusiastic and it has all the marks of growing
into the awesome show we know it can be.  The quality was excellent
and range of work exciting. This show is part of a new series of  AMA
shows with museum connections. Look for more of the series in 2015.

I really enjoyed talking to Zaliah Zalkin  about his  luminary vessels in
carved alabaster .

The beautiful vessels have a quiet spiritual presence

Infused occasionally with a sense of light humor.  Zaliah said 
he created the vessel below when his wife was pregnant:

Check out Zaliah Zalkin website: to learn
more about this second generation sculptor and his process.

On the funkier side - Barrie Rust  was there with his
Great Plains handmade musical instruments

What fun a band would be playing these:

One of my favorite artists/sculptors, Reina Mia Brill , was also
there adding funk and fun.. Reina took off a little time to
give birth to and begin the fun/creative challenge of raising
twins.  Now she's back with more energy than ever with an
added cool twist to her work  reflecting her situation as
an enthusiastic and occasionally crazed co-parent:

Valerie Gladstone of Brooklyn Dollworks  was there,too. It is rarer
and rarer to see dollmakers at these shows, so I was  glad to meet
Valerie and see her work.

The figure below was purchased by the same collector with whom
my Canoby, the canoe paddling librarian found a new home. I trust
they will get along famously.

As I mentioned above, I made it over to St. John the Devine to see
Xu Bing's amazing phoenixes after the show.  I missed them at
Mass didn't want to miss them this time.  They will be
there until the end of February...If you haven't had a chance to
experience them and learn the story behind their creation,
try to manage a trip to the upper West side of Manhattan. It's
definitely worth it!  The use of recycled materials from the Chinese
construction site is  masterful....look closely:

and the setting is spectacular:

If you can't make it to the cathedral, here is a link to a good video piece
on the story behind the phoenixes:

Finally - a couple mentions of artists at CraftBoston, Dec. 4-7.
Best of show went to Sang Joon Park.  His work is
exquisite, I appreciate  his recognition of the bowl as art.

His design approach to his beautiful place settings is strong, simple yet

Finally - artist choice went to contemporary metal worker
Michael Rossi.

We especially loved his airplane shapes:

Happy Holiday to all. May yours be filled with warmth, music,
good food, friends, family and story and the new year be filled
with wondrous adventure!

Hope to see you down the road.....2015 is looking like a busy year
of shows for me beginning with Arisia 2015 Jan. 16-19 and the
American Craft Council show in Baltimore Feb. 18-22.

Adventure on!        Wendy

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Traveling librarians -process and completion

As mentioned in previous blog posts.. Inspired by the program
From Words to Wings which our daughter and her husband founded
in Ecuador, I've been making a series of traveling librarians...even
tried my hand at a little poetry to accompany them. 

          Traveling librarians

Some children cuddle at home
To share a book, hear a story
Some children walk down the street                                             
To find a book, hear a story
Some children go in a car or bus
To search for a book, hear a story
Some children go online 
To discover a book, read a story
Some children turn on the tele
To see a book, hear a story

Some children dream and wait
For the traveling librarians
     Who come by jeep
     Who come on horseback
     Who come by canoe
     Who come by skiff
     Who come on dragon’s back
      Who bring books
      And stories 
      And  wings

It's fun to see them emerge in the studio...
Here are some process photos:

A dragon librarian...basic armature:


A little further along...polyester and thread
around wire..and designing spokes.

Muslin hand stitched over stuffing....
(small creature in front ended up a winged dragon
named Majestis) 

Next leather....

Patina added to leather....and rawhide wet-formed
spokes (and books) added:

Completed Pageante and Roland

Head of another creature...which I thought was going to 
be a dragon...but she had something else in mind

Beaded leggings were definitely requested.

And a basket just perfect to fit between legs and hold mini books..
including a mini dragon book, of course

As I said, thie creature had her own ideas.. These rawhide wings
seemed much more appropriate than dragon wings... and 
Skreeraugh (aka Peggy) came to life..

But it is not just creatures that can bring books...Remember
that wood from the old dock in my last blog post?


As I thought it became a skiff with library on

Loofe, the librarian enjoys taking a break to read one
of his books...

Other Star Wandererers prefer to arrive by canoe:

Canoby enjoys paddling  along with books in tow

Next destination for the librarians is the Brooklyn Museum....where
I'll be participating in the American Fine Craft Show, Brooklyn
Nov. 22-23.

There was a fun article by Jenifer Eberhart  on the show  which
appeared  last week with responses by myself and four other 
sculptors to various process and life questions at

All my figures  are looking forward  to greeting folks in
Brooklyn....and sharing the booth - #49  with a new species of mini
creatures called  Taradiddles...(more about  them in a future

Hope to see some of you at the Brooklyn Museum!

Adventure on!   Wendy

Friday, September 19, 2014

Stories in the Bruce Peninsula

My website opens with the phrase "Life is all about Stories"  After our
recent end of summer trip to  Ontario, Canada I was reminded
 "so are places". 

We drove up to Ontario to visit my sister and brother-in-law in their
cottage in the woods (see above at sunrise) on the Bruce Peninsula.
Their children are the third generation to enjoy the cottage my brother
in-law helped build when he was young. Family photos  of good times 
past and present cover the walls.  The paneling in the kitchen is from
the wood of a tree lost in a storm, then milled is the
table the family eats on in the sun porch. An anchor pulled up from a
shipwreck sits by a tree with a inviting swing ...The anchor head
looks every bit like  a creature patiently waiting to tell its story. 
The wood of the old dock lays near the new, holding its stories....Some of the
aged, waterlogged wood  came back to Boston, to become a skiff for one of 
my traveling librarians: 
We went to the Keady farmer's market and livestock auction where
young Mennonite farmers looked over the cattle and my husband
talked of his days growing up on a farm in Oregon.

We walked through woods whose roots reached out with tales, undoubtedly

disturbing some of Ari Berk's earthfasting giants.. (If you need  
further info on earthfasting or details re the life cycle of giants, check 
Ari's 2008 "Codex Giganticum".  Every home library should have this
"Secret History of Giants" for reference when heading into ancient realms.)

I explored a cave on the Georgian Bay. My sister was eager for me to 
see it, confident it was one of  the sites  in my story "Sophia's Quest"
she was helping edit.  I agreed. I wondered if  tales told  in  First Nation
reserves on the peninsula  spoke of this opening to the sea. 

As the others patiently waited above, I climbed down into a grotto 
which  held  many, many stories...trying to absorb at least a few:

If I had not had our good camera, I definitely would have dived
in. The depths were calling.

The next day, a magical forest lured us forward 
to Grieg's caves...where again the family was tolerant while I 
climbed in and around dark recesses with a flashlight and
cell phone so I could capture a few photo memories.

We  explored a big open cave with intriguing
abstract designs on the walls. A large bird flew
out, unhappy at being disturbed.

Now back home  - I am savoring sites, sensations and precious
time with family...holding sunrise images and flying on.

My series of traveling librarians are coming along nicely getting ready 
to be displayed at the Paradise City Arts Festival in Northampton
on Columbus Day weekend...process photos - very soon.

Adventure on!  Wendy