Friday, August 6, 2021

Calligraphy in a Card

Here is a summer selection from  my series of calligraphy cards. This is a one of a kind creation, using  freeform watercolors to make the writing pop! I chose this message because it speaks to me . As we all get older, we realize wealth is not just in having "more". Quality is as important as quantity. I love the idea. Am I there yet? Probably not, but its's a nice goal.                                                                                              It measures  four by six inches, a nice little message to send. It is necessary to print the card from an original master because my paint would bleed out if  applying it over the black ink I  use. Here is a  mixture from my palate  applied  in a random manner. Just doing whatever the paint tells me.                                                                  I am writing in the Italic style, one of the most popular alphabets, used since the time of Queen Elizabeth the First ! We don't use the word  font with calligraphy. Leave that to the computer.  I like this alphabet because it gives me a chance to flourish my letters. Not quite as easy as it sounds, but here's my years of practice put to a fun result . I also use other calligraphy styles on the different messages I create in my collection. I  can even do a special request. Summer brings the visitors who want to take home a small momento  of Sedona. How perfect is a card?


Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Jewels are my Latest Creation

 Here is the latest of my creations in a series I sell called "Jewels". It is a beautiful short necklace, with handcrafted, porcelain beads and real turquoise decorative touches. I made a matching pair of earrings because I like to keep it easy. What to wear? Voila.   
Now the different aspect of this creation is that I made, by my own hands, each and every tan bead. I use high fire porcelain, stained with that lovely red iron oxide we see in the red rocks of Sedona, AZ, where I live and work in my studios. Each turns out a one of a kind color and design.
 First step is to my clay studio, where I create the beads. They have to be sponged clean, so each is smooth against our lovely necks. After the beads come out of the kiln,  I go to my " clean," calligraphy studio which doubles for my jewelry assemblage. the word Clean is open to interpretation,  I suppose. 
There I look in my magic boxes of stones and beads and find the perfect turquoise, including  a lovely turtle. I like  these creatures.  Kind of like me, I guess. They might move slowly, but they  don't stop. Slow and steady,  but there is always something new to inspire. Enjoy. 
What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

A Stay in Cherry, AZ

Here I am standing in front of the  cemetery in the mountains  near Prescott, AZ. I was camping with two friends and we took  a  3 mile derive into what is technically  downtown Cherry AZ.   I have seen it listed as a ghost town, but with the graveyard, volunteer fire department, a bed and breakfast, and vacation homes,  it is still alive. When you camp, you better bring Everything, because there are No stores in Cherry, so named for the cherry tress growing near the creek. It gets cold up there at 5,200 feet, where we camped .
 It served as a stage stop between Fort Whipple( now the VA hospital in Prescott )  and Camp Verde, AZ. There was a post office established in 1884, a school in 1898, a general store and some saloons, no doubt. At one point it had a population of up to 400 people. There were six mills to process the gold, silver, copper and lead pulled out of that area.  When you hike around you can still find old  abandoned mines. But the ore played out, and Jerome became the  next bonanza in the area. Finally in 1943 the Post office was closed. But if you want more  history, walk into the cemetery and look at names and dates. Quite a few stones marked "Baby". I enjoyed being there. Comments?


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Here I am in Boynton Canyon with family. Recently,  my older brother, niece and family said they were coming to Phoenix for a short visit and wanted to see me. I asked them " Have you ever been to Sedona? People come from all over the world to visit here" . She admitted they had not, so in the midst of flakey winter weather they came to see my home town. We had a ray of sun from the west that day.
We did all the usual tourist things. Lunch at a lovely Sedona restaurant with views; touring uptown and driving by  my former home, and  then we headed out to Boynton Canyon. This is where I go to raise my spirits in the midst of this Covid  lockdown. There is always a path to follow, and a vista to survey . After thirty six years I am never bored by what I see living here. Where does the time go? 
I also realize how wonderful to stay connected with people you have known since birth. The stories and secrets you share. The tall guy on the right is my Great nephew. He'd grown since last  I'd seen him and i have shrunk an inch. Nature has a way. This to me was a special day and will stay in my mind as a lovely creation.


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Turquoise Touch to a Sedona Creation

Here is the latest in my Large white bowl series. It measures @ 12" across and @ 3 1/2" in height. As with all handmade art , it it is not  is completely uniform, but then again, neither am I. What makes this so unique are  the decorative touches of  real Arizona Turquoise. It doesn't go in your oven or the microwave, but it is fully functional for food or decoration.
 This glaze is actually totally clear. Fired to a temperature over 2000 degrees F, it is food safe and very strong.   What you are seeing is the white porcelain clay beneath it. I intentionally leave the outside with a rough exterior , so I can decorate with the iron oxide that makes the  Sedona rocks red in color. I like the juxtaposition of the smooth inside with the rough exterior. Kind of like life I guess. Comments?                          

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Standing on the corner

    Here I am , standing on the corner of Winslow, AZ on a cold December day. It has been about 50 years since my sister and I were travelling on Route 66 from California heading east. Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey had yet to publish the iconic song "Take it Easy". I think we were heading  to the Petrified Forest , so you  gotta' go through Winslow, AZ. I remembered it as a small western town with not too many people and not much to see. Id like to say a lot has changed but...                                                                                       It was a railroad town, headquarters for the Santa Fe RR.; Hubell trading post had its warehouse there, and Fred Harvey  built his luxurious hotel, La Posada in 1929 for travelers to eat and perhaps spend the night. Harvey, an Englishman, was the original entrepreneur. He hired single women of "good moral character  who had to have an 8th grade education. The designer of the hotel was Mary Jane Colter , who also did buildings at the Grand Canyon.               But everything did not stay the same.People stopped taking the RR; Route 66 was replace by interstate 40 in 1965.  My sis and I travelled route 66 where we could. This lovely sculpture was not there yet, and La Posada was a deserted building. In 1994, Allen Affelt and artist wife  Tina Mion started its transformation. It is now fairly close to what it looked like in the beginning: Southwest design with real Navajo rugs in the rooms; the delicious Turquoise room for dining  and for us art aficianados , Mion's large surrealistic paintings in an upstairs gallery.  So Winslow Arizona is back on the maps and it was such a fun sight to see. Comments?                                                                     

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Art of the Large

Here is the latest and greatest of my turquoise bowl series. It measures eleven inches across and @ six inches high. It is Large. Actually, it is as big  as can fit into my kiln and still have enough space around it to high fire. High fire is 2300F. Most ceramic artists use a gas kiln to go that temperature, but living in Sedona, AZ. as I do, I now fire in an electric kiln.
 This is the second firing where I add the final colors, using the white porcelain clay that I like. It starts out larger than this by at least fifteen percent and as the moisture dissipates in the initial bisque firing, the clay body shrinks. Then it does its real disappearing act when you go to the high temperature, and it has a mind of its own as well. There is always uncertainty depending upon so may unscientific factors. This makes the clay strong enough to use and even put in the oven. However, this  is Not Pyrex; you must go slowly. 
 I add texture when I am first making the bowl and then I decorate the indentations with iron oxide, that great color that we see here in our red rocks. So copper and iron, a very southwest combination. Comments?