Thursday, February 28, 2008


Years ago I kayaked in the Queen Charlotte Islands for 17 days with a group of women. It was a time I will never pristine...magical...eagles as plentiful as sparrows...the deep throaty call of the bears...the sweet company of women...reading nautical charts...eating like queens...and finally paddling around a point and seeing all that was left of a Haida village, the deteriorating totems left standing on the edge of the shoreline... watching us.

On one of the nautical charts was a little pinpoint size dot that represented an island called ALL ALONE STONE. I thought the words were magical and poetic and have never forgotten them over all these years. When it came time to create a box for a group show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts that little island whispered to me.

This box is 6 inches by 6.5 inches and is made of cherry, photo-etched nickel and red brass, clear marbles, a vintage level vial and a single stone concretion. Concretions are one of my most favorite things on earth...I've collected many from beaches near my home in Port Townsend, WA. This concretion won the prize and gets to live in this box made especially to honor it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I've been thinking a lot lately about words and the power they hold. They seem so simple...just a bunch of straight or squiggly lines strung together and yet they have the potential to break a heart or send it bring us near or to scatter us like leaves in the squeeze a tear or to make us laugh uncontrollably. A spoken word, whether a shout or a whisper, can change the world. I keep a list of words that move me and sometimes I will come across one in my sketch book and be inspired to create a piece of art just because of that single word. For me, that is powerful.

Then there are names. I also keep a list of great I might bestow upon a dog if I ever get one...or an inspired name for a boat, (I once saw a tug boat in Seattle named EARNEST, I just love that)...or a piece of property...or a business. I especially love titles of artwork and have a pet peeve with art named, "UNTITLED #37". I know that some of my artwork has sold because of it's title. The words were the initial hook...maybe they stirred a memory or maybe they acted as a bridge of common experience so that the viewer could relate to me on a heart level without really knowing me.

My friend, Daniella Woolf, is an encaustic artist and used to use "untitled" on her work. One of her paintings was of brightly colored randomly placed dots from small to large. She decided to title that piece, "WHEN MAMA SPILLED THE BUTTON JAR". At her next show there was practically a fight between customers over that painting. Many of us grew up with a mom and her button jar...we can relate.

My friend, Kim Morris is another example. She weaves beautiful rugs with exquisite color. One rug is named "PICKING PEARS". When you see the rug you are struck by the beauty of the craftsmanship and by the gorgeous color combinations but when you read the title you can actually smell pears ripening in the late summer sun. Another rug is titled, "PERSIMMONS IN A BLUE BOWL". You can just imagine.

Linda Jarvis, a mixed media assemblage artist, and I often bat titles back and forth over the telephone like we were playing badminton, always hopeful to find a great double entendre. We both know the value of a good title and we both get frustrated when our work has occasionally been displayed in a gallery setting without a title.

So I guess this post is just an encouragement to all of us to use our words. To speak and to write from the make our words be meaningful and memorable.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


With tomorrow being Valentine's Day it just seemed right to post this pin. Does she look familiar? Yes, she is the Queen of Hearts found in a deck of playing cards. This image is from a vintage deck. She is believed by some to be a representation of Elizabeth of York...the Queen consort of King Henry Vll of England. But most people these days associate her with matters of the heart and romantic love.

In Slovenia, a proverb says that "St Valentine brings the keys of roots," so on February 14, plants and flowers start to grow. Valentine's Day has been celebrated as the day when the first works in the vineyards and the fields commence. It is also said that birds propose to each other or marry on that day. It has only recently been celebrated as the day of love.

So tomorrow don't be surprised to see pairs of birds sitting extra close to each other on the telephone wires or spring bulbs just starting to break through the ground. And about the romantic part....take a walk...hold a hand...let someone know that you think they are great. Have a sweet Valentine's day!!

This pin is photo-etched sterling silver and is just over 1.5 inches tall and just under 2 inches wide.

Monday, February 11, 2008


What's not to love about rulers and measuring devices...the little tick marks in perfect order and numbers from petite to bold. I have always loved beautiful steel Lufkin rules and the wooden folding variety with the warm patina that comes from much use. More and more these beautiful tools are being replaced with plastic or some lazer or digital nonsense. It's just wrong.

While these house pins are modeled after a measuring devise and can be mistaken for steel, they are actually photo-etched in sterling silver. Some of the roofs are sterling silver and some are copper. There is a small window on each house...the gateway to looking within. All the house pins are 1 inch wide and 1 7/8, 2 1/8 or 2 3/8 inches tall.

I just gave the #50 pin to a friend who turned 50 yesterday...oh, and she's a real estate agent.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


THE TIME TRAVELER is ready for any and all adventures. With the world map behind him the universe is at his finger tips...well maybe his wing tips.

Over the last few posts I have been introducing THE TIME TRAVELER. Here is the completed box both inside and outside. It measures 12 inches wide (with the doors closed) by 14.25 inches tall. The framework is cherry and the metals are red brass and nickel with a vintage beveled protractor as a finial on top of the box.

I'm still working to perfect the photography of this box. It is tricky at best and I have struggled with my lighting equipment and bulbs burning out at critical times. As I get better photos I will replace these.

Sunday, February 3, 2008


THE TIME TRAVELER keeps a list of specialized equipment...all the things necessary for his journey and for his safe return. He also has to be well versed in math and equations of all kinds and have extensive knowledge of worm holes out in the universe. Click on the images below to enlarge them.

These images are of the inside of the doors of THE TIME TRAVELER box. They are etched nickel. My tungsten bulb just blew ...the one I use for these images of the doors are from the transparencies that I use to etch the metal.