On the Etsy store, you’ll find more one-of-a-kind stuff. No wait, let me explain. It’s ALL one-of-a-kind, handmade, handbuilt by me all by my lonesome except for my precious doggies in my little studio on the plains of North Dakota. Did I mention that the wind blows here? Like alot…. But back to the etsy store. That’ll be the place you’ll look for the welcome signs, business card holders, glaze tests, sets of stuff I don’t normally offer or don’t have many on hand, etc.
Clear as mud?
I’ll be adding more work. To both places.
Opened the studio and house on Sunday, November 4th from 2-5 PM for visitors, art lovers, curiosity seekers. Lots of fun! Great food! Sold plenty too! Here are some photos if you missed it: Let’s start at the beginning… I cleaned. Mom cleaned. Jason cleaned. I knew I was going to use the house as the “gallery” for finished pieces. The studio would be for the story of how. We moved the furniture around in the living room/dining room to create this gallery space. Gone were the dining room table chairs. The sculptures were going to be in the living room space. The tiles and boxes were going to be in the dining room space.
Here’s a sculpture displayed in the living room. This is “Willy” — small bust very Italian Greyhound like.
We grouped the sculptures using the bench that is normally in the living room. They were lower than I’d like, but I liked the idea of grouping them.
I used the plant stand for the “Rabbit on the brain” sculpture.
“Princess” sat on the floor in the corner of the living room on her fancy pillow.
The sofa table made a nice display space for the Fool sculpture. Above are framed sketches done to prepare for “The Fool” and the other sculptures.
“Modern Day Hunter” sat on the magazine stand. I put some of my early boxes around him.
Onto the dining room:
The photo about is how we set up a selection of loose tiles on the dining room table. You can see the sideboard in the background– the boxes were grouped on that piece of furniture.
All sizes of boxes grouped. Here are some close ups:
Then let’s move on to the kitchen.
Now we’re in the kitchen. You can see the dining room table with the loose tiles and the sideboard with the boxes peeking through the doorway.
Here are the my tiles installed under my cabinets.
This is the scene behind the range. Bowman is located at the foot of twin buttes– so that’s what I wanted in this scene. Rolling hills with the twin buttes and a huge cloudy sky above.
We put the food in the breakfast nook. Here’s the spread. It tasted good! If you’re wondering if I made all this food — ha! — I had the food catered.
I put my new masks on the wall next to the table in the breakfast nook. 5 masks in all. Here are some detail shots:
Harlequin. Handbuilt with glazes and ribbon embellishments.
Camouflaged. Handbuilt with leaf impressions and leather cord embellishment.
Two-faced. Glazed with ribbon embellishments.
Red in the face. With leather embellishments.
Then we went to the studio….
Woke at 5 am again today. Nothing like the stress &/or anxiety of an upcoming big show to get me out of bed in the morning! There is no snooze button to buy some time. I’m up. Better start the coffee pot and toaster.
I have projects to finish. Why didn’t I get some of this stuff finished earlier? Oh yeah… I was working on other stuff. I feel so far behind.
I feel this way every year.
The Greyhounds Reach the Beach show at Dewey Beach is challenging every year. It’s a hard show. There is no organized system of booth rental, no big host hotel, no main convention center, etc. The weather is always a factor. Getting there is long and not always straightforward. The “what-ifs” of this show are numerous. And the build up (i.e. having enough work to make it all worthwhile) is treacherous.
Every year I say I’d like to be better prepared. I’d like to get in the van with at least ONE night of GOOD sleep in the past month. “Next year,” I tell myself, “I’ll quit with the fast and easy junk food and too much caffeine. I’ll be nicer to my friends and family and not be so stressed out. I’ll take care of myself more and make this build up more fun.” I get closer, but I’m not there yet.
So why do I do it? Why “Do Dewey?”
- Because it’s “Dewey.” It is the largest gathering of adopted Greyhounds in the US (world?). It is *the* event. There are many, many smaller gatherings across the nation, but this is the biggie. And so I go…
- Because it’s a great motivator for me to make new work. I shoot for 30% of my exhibit to be new or different than what my audience saw the last time they viewed my work in person. Maybe that is working in a different scale, coming up with a new idea, pushing the sculptures in directions I wouldn’t be motivated to do otherwise.
- Because I like to hear people’s comments. With the exception of the internet, most of the time nobody sees the work I do. I like to hear what people have to say– to use their opinions to look at my work a new way. Yes, sometimes it is negative. Artists speak of growing thick skins, but I don’t think my skin is any thicker. Nothing is bouncing off of me. I hear the negative comments too. I’ve learned that I don’t have to agree with the negative things. You don’t like my work because it’s “weird” or “arty” or whatever. Okay. It’s not for you. Good. More for other people.
- Because people also say fabulous things. Or they bring their friends and show them my work. Or, better yet, my work makes them happy. The woman who bought the first angel sculpture… she was so happy to have something that memorialized that friendship she’d had with her recently dead Greyhound. I remember that dog’s name, the way she said it, quietly, as she saw the sculpture for the first time. She hugged the box that contained the packaged sculpture as she took it out of the storefront. So happy.
- Because it’s an opportunity to meet new people, introduce them to my work, hear their stories about their dogs. With every piece I sell, I get a story in return– how this tile will be placed here, how this sculpture will be a gift for an anniversary, how this box is exactly what they were looking for to hold their old dog’s collar & tags. The stories are wonderful and get me excited to make more work.
- Because I live in an extremely rural area. (That’s 80 miles from the nearest McDonald’s, 180 from the nearest Starbucks). Don’t get me wrong. I love it here. But interesting restaurants? Not in the way you’d want interesting to be. There was that “interesting” meal I had at the local cafe– I ordered the special of the day, nothing exotic(?), chicken stir fry, and got a plate full of brown gravy. Huh. “Interesting”.
- Because I get to see distant friends again. Crazy greyhound loving fools like me that otherwise exist only in email or facebook or phone.
- Because leaving makes me love home even more. Skies so dark and clear at night you can see a zillion stars. Sunrises and sunsets and glorious skies in between. And boy do we have quiet. I appreciate these things even more when I have to be away from them. Reminds me how lucky we are to live here — away from the roar of civilization.
- Because I love the dogs. That crazy red dog standing in the middle of Sharkey’s restaurant wagging his tail like a fool in the middle of all those sleepy, cold, food & coffee seeking humans. I offered to trade the contents of my booth for that dog– his owner wasn’t going to accept my offer — nothing I could do… And the dogs that come back, year after year, looking like the years have no bearing on their health or outlook. “No old dogs here,” they say. And all the greyhounds who look like this whole Dewey Beach weekend is just one big interruption of their nap time. Or the ones who think it is just one big party in their honor. Or the ones… I think you get the picture. I like the doggies.
I should end this and head to the studio. It’s all good as they say. Work to do.
Participating in the Greyhounds in Art Show during the Greyhounds Reach the Beach weekend at Dewey Beach, Delaware in October again this year. I’ve had work in the show previous years and always had a great time.
Year one, it might have been 2003 (?), I did a series of five busts. All from red clay with a bronze toned glaze.
All five pieces sold and I was so pleased with myself.
Then I participated in the show the following year. I committed the big artist no-no. I did not photograph the pieces before the show. All five of the pieces sold and went to their new homes with no way to photograph them. Bad artist. But I learned. And now pieces are photographed before being packed for a show.
This is the third year I’ll be participating. I’m doing something new. Don’t tell anyone…
Think it is too creepy?
Where did August go? Where did summer go?
Nothing to blog about here. Getting ready for the show in Dewey Beach, Delaware. I feel like I’ve had my head in bucket for weeks. Don’t know a thing. The work looks good, so far. Firing again tomorrow. Will post photos when I unload the glaze firing.
Drafts. Beginnings of blog posts. Unfinished. I’ve been furiously spring cleaning the house, here’s the spring cleaning of this blog:
On 4/15/07 I began to write about the 2007 Whippet Nationals in Overland Park, Kansas. Fun event, but also long (# of days wise). Here are a couple of photos of the those precious Whippets waiting at ringside.
And here’s a sculpture of mine, Modern Day Hunter, checking out the Whippet show….
On 3/12/2007, I started a post about living in small towns and how frustrating it can be. Then I thought the better of it. Best not speak too loudly in a small town. But I will post a photo of the Twin Buttes to the north of Bowman, North Dakota.
You can see these buttes from miles away. I’m not so sure we treat these fine sentinels like we should. What you can’t see from the photo is the white BOWMAN sign on the butte with the cell phone (and other) towers. I wish this painted BOWMAN would disappear from this butte…
On March 14, I was going to post the photos of a drive around the countryside:
And somewhere in there I was going to blog about Greyhound feet since I get so many questions about them and my artwork. (I love Greyhound feet– always begin with the feet when making sculptures.)
Oooh! Look at the lovely Greyhound foot above.
Uh-oh. And here are the feet of Apollo, ex-racing greyhound with “bad” toes. He’s always been pigeon toed, but the old arthritic toes are from years of going 100 miles per hour retrieving the tennis ball or whatever. Plenty of supplements for this guy.
Ever have one of those weeks? Nothing terrible here, just busy, busy.
Returned from the Whippet Nationals on Sunday. Not sure what’s happened in the days since other than a lot. I remember attempting to catch up with library work? And the taxes? I think I prepared the taxes? Packaged and shipped a bunch of artwork? Unloaded the van? Attended a wine-tasting fund raiser for the library? Worked a few days at the library? I’m not sure what else. This week has flown by– while I enjoy being busy, I’m ready for a rest.
That’s not likely to happen for a while. Must get ready for the Greyhound Gathering in Kanab, Utah.
The studio’s furnace isn’t running. Crap. That’s on the list of things to do— “Call about furnace”.
The to-do list for the library is HUGE. And I want to have an open studio event in May. After Kanab. Can I simultaneously hope that I sell everything at Kanab AND don’t sell anything so I have something to fill the studio?
The Whippet nationals were a hoot. My favorite was the lady who told her friend, “I like that and that, but that one is just a weird arty piece of crap!” as they were looking at my sculptures. And she meant it. I like honesty. Later, her friend did buy the “arty” sculpture — that sculpture was/is really, really neat. (I didn’t photograph it or I’d picture it here. Bad artist.)
Here’s a sneak peek at what I’m working on for the Greyhound Gathering:
Well this Dewey Beach is one for the record books. So that’s what a nor’easter can look like…. Looks a whole lot like a North Dakota blizzard but with rain instead of snow. Winds like home.
Here’s the way it was supposed to work: load the van, drive to Delaware, unload the van, set up in the tent space I’d rented because the storefront we normally rent has gone “condo.” Be open for business Fri-Sat-Sun, then load the van and drive home. Meet lots of really cool Greyhound/Art lovers in the process. See friends we never see unless at Dewey Beach.
Here’s the way it went: load the van, drive to Delaware, look at tent space as tent blows around in the wind and rain, think/hope that tomorrow will be better. Nope. Worry. Think that we’ll be driving back to North Dakota sooner than expected. Worry more. Get tired of worrying and try to be positive. “The weather will clear” — say that over and over again to oneself. Not working. Suddenly friend’s overwhelming kindness finds a motel room for me to convert to a gallery for two days. Unload van. See friends we never see unless at Dewey Beach. Meet cool Greyhound/art lovers. Load van (lighter!) and drive home.
So thank you to everyone who helped us this past weekend. Greyhound folks… they are something else.
So I’m attempting to prepare for both the 2006 American Whippet Club National Specialty show and the Greyhound Gathering in Kanab. Means I will have the van packed and ready to travel on the 20th of April. Then Dad and I will drive to Boston (actually outside of Boston) to spend 7 days at the Whippet show. We’ll pack up on the 29th of April and drive to Kanab, Utah for 3 days of Greyhounds. I’m not sure if we’ll make a brief stop back in North Dakota along the way or not.
I’m not sure my van will hold everything I’ll need for the two shows.
So I’m stressing.
I’m trying to get everything on my list finished, knowing that this will be impossible and I’ll have forgotten to make something. My lists are always more ambitious than time allows… I worry that I won’t have enough artwork– always. Every show.
Today I rolled out enough clay for three more lamps, cleaned leatherhard tiles for the framed wall tiles, unloaded the glaze kiln, packaged four orders to be sent tomorrow and rolled out more clay for tiles.
I need to find some time to run to Billings, Montana (4+ hours away) to pick up my clay order.
I have two big sculptures that need to be packaged, plus a bunch of cockroach sculptures that are ready to go to their new homes.
The van needs to visit the repair shop– the brake light sensor is wacky so I have to push up on the brake pedal to get them to shut off. Shop says next Tuesday is the soonest they can fix it.
On top of this I have a job. Way back in November I accepted a job as a project manager for the new Library we are building here in town. It’s been really fun and something I feel very passionate about, but I was *sure* we’d be open by now. Nope. So I’m dividing my time and still talking with contractors and electricians, etc. When it’s done, this is going to be a great thing for the community. But I thought the building would be done by now!
I won’t mention the mountain of dirty dishes in the sink…
This sounds like I’m complaining… I don’t mean to complain. I really like having many things to do. I like having a big “to do” list. I am much more productive when I do. Right at this moment, it feels like alot on my shoulders, that’s all.
And every time I take Winchester and Apollo and Kelly out to the ball field, I know that Winchester needs a playmate. I wish there were other Greyhound owners around here– and somebody who has a two year old Greyhound who plays well with others– and they’d have a schedule close to mine so we could run the dogs together. I feel slight guilt that Winchester doesn’t have a hound who’ll play with him like he wants to play.
Just random thoughts I guess. After reading over this, I can’t help thinking that all of the about means that life is good. Busy, but basically good.
Arrived back home around 5 pm from Dewey Beach. Long drive, but great to see everyone and have so many people say such encouraging things about my work! Greyhounds Reach the Beach is truly a one-of-a-kind event.
Will post some photos and more thoughts soon. Now to unload the van…