Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Art of Musical Instruments.

 Standing in front of a delectable selection of instruments from some far away country, here I am visiting the Musical Instrument Museum,  located  in our  own  city of Phoenix, Arizona. I  haven't been writing much lately. It was the holiday season, with Christmas, New Years, and then my very own birthday month of January.                Being a maker of ceramic drums, and  a dancer, music has always been a love  of mine. This seemed a fitting way to spend my birthday. My sister flew in to celebrate with me , so I figured this would also enchant her. We spent the day there and even had a  delish lunch  in their dining room.  Be sure to give yourself  plenty of time.  We got there early and stayed all day  There are 2 floors packed with every style of instrument,  from antique to present.                                              Opened in 2010, it was the private collection of a  wealthy man who decided to share with the world  his special love. There are over 15,000 examples of different items that have sounds that are unique in their own way. They give you a headset so as you stand in front of a display, the sounds come on.  What is so touching to me is how universal  the art of music is, and  will continue to be interpreted by those who follow us, in their own creative style. Comments?

Monday, November 29, 2021

Our Gifts from land and Sea

 
  Here is my latest creation a coral, turquoise and crystal necklace. I like to work with organic pieces because they are individual in size, shape and color. The turquoise and crystal are stones that can be found in Arizona.I have seen bits of crystal embedded in the red rocks of Sedona while out hiking.
  But coral, that is a different story. Coral  started out as a live animal, not a plant as it would appear. They are marine invertebrates, like the sea anemone and jellyfish.  Often they are form reef barriers made up of individual polyps  that wave in the water. They can be  found in tropical waters with the symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that absorb sunlight and provide food. They also extend their tentacles to catch plankton and other edibles. Why the color? These pieces are somewhat an orangy red. I have seen darker reds and pinker. Corals adapt to the light and water temperature and  also come from colored proteins made by the coral animals.                                                                            Native Americans  use this material to make their jewelry  As I read my words,  I realize what a gift from nature is this set. I think the day of unlimited coral may be changing.  Hopefully these natural products are harvested responsibly. The supplier said they would carry it no more. I will enjoy what I create. This creation is a precious jewel from the sea and the earth

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Here I am in my latest jewelry creation , a necklace of  black stones, decorative beads, and of course, the noble bone skulls. It is approaching one of my favorite holidays, Halloween, an occasion of much celebration here  in my town of Sedona  and other areas in the Verde Valley. This particular piece is for sale in the Heritage store in Jerome, AZ 
It is a very ancient celebration , dating  some  2,000 years back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain. It was the end of summer; the crops were in; it was time to celebrate before the dark and death of winter time. There was a belief was  that on October 31st, the ghosts of the dead could return to earth, before their Celtic new year of November 1st.  
In 1000 AD, the Catholic church made November 2nd "All Saints Day" to honor the deceased. In Mexico, it became Dia de los Muertos, day of the dead. It was the immigrant  Celts, the Irish,  who brought  this  holiday  to America, with candy and costumes, a long tradition.  What a melange of the ancient, the  religious, and holiday spirit has evolved into this modern day celebration.So I like to celebrate by dressing up and creating some fun fashion for  this magical, mystical holiday. Comments?

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.