Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Remember that you can click on the image to see a larger version.

I am participating in a group show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts called "PLAY OF LIGHT." It runs December 3rd through January 3rd. The opening, this past Friday night, was a lot of fun and well attended. It's a great time to see friends, new art work and fellow artists.

My box for this show is called SEEKING POWER. For over 2 years I've wanted to make this piece and have drawn it repeatedly in my sketchbook. It measures 16 inches wide by 18 inches tall by 1.75 inches deep. It is one of a limited edition of 5 and is made of photo etched brass, nickel silver, copper, cherry, mica and a small 12V battery with an LED bulb.

The brass background is one of the larger pieces of metal I have ever etched. It took a while to get all the right sized containers and tanks to do the etching. I have recently switched from etching with acid to using a salt water etching technique that incorporates a car battery charger with a strong solution of salt water. Soon, I will publish a new post having to do with this technique.

I really like this image of a roof top with all kinds of weather related gadgets. The man, in his turn of the century three piece power suit, is equipped with a lot of attitude and a 3-d copper helmet with a lightning rod attached to the top. I left fire scale on the copper helmet and lightning rod showing that this is not the first time that he has participated in this kind of activity. He is more than ready for the surge of power that will come to him with the first lightning strike...which can be seen by gently pulling the chain at the bottom of the box. Some people will do anything to seek and obtain power.

Friday, September 3, 2010


This is another one of my pellucid skimmer boats called NAVIGATING THE PAST. I chose vintage images that all related to the beach and to water...two of my favorite themes when it comes to vintage photographs. The images are printed on thin gampi paper and attached to a frame work of hammered copper. The copper frame is held together with waxed linen thread. The overall look is of an ancient skin boat held together with sinew. the stand is made of cherry with copper uprights. Unfortunately I forgot to measure this piece before it sold but it was approximately 9 inches long.

The other side of the boat. Remember that you can click on a photo to see a larger version.

Thursday, August 19, 2010



On July 31st BEET GALLERY in Portland, Oregon closed it's doors. After waiting 2 years for a solo show that should have been in October, I had the opportunity to be part of a two person show the first 2 weeks of July. I was glad for the opportunity to show in this gallery even for a short period of time and to get a little better acquainted with Sandy Japel, the owner. It was a solid show for me and a good way for my work to be seen by a different clientele other than the outdoor crafts market venue in which I have participated in the past....ART IN THE PEARL and the now discontinued ROSE ART FESTIVAL.

This is a difficult economic time for galleries and artists. It's hard to watch so many galleries struggling and some succumbing to the strain.....having to close their doors. For me it means a time to dig in....tighten the belt...try to keep the creative juices flowing even when work does not sell as quickly as it used to. Throughout history artists continue to make art in difficult times.... the strain informs the art and makes an appearance on the canvas or in the sculpture and certainly in the poem. I also think that the challenging economy gives us (artists) an opportunity to seek out a new model....a new way to present our work....having to look beyond our comfort zone. This past year I felt compelled to get off the road and not do the outdoor craft show market anymore. The risks started seeming too great...large booth fees....having to travel further and further from home base....crazy weather patterns, etc. Having done the outdoor craft market for almost 20 years I have many times felt like a compulsive gambler....hoping the next show will help pay for the last show. It can be a crazy making environment. I also have to say that in that same 20 years I have had my share of really incredible shows....but those successes seems few and far between these days.

Seeing my boxes on the wall at Beet brought some things to the surface that I've been feeling for a long time. Mostly it stirred up in me the feeling that I would like to step up to a new level with my work... possibly stepping out of the craft market and into a fine art venue with the boxes. That would require, on my part, work that is somewhat larger, bolder and one of a kind. In the past I have been making limited edition pieces but that won't fly in a fine art venue. It is possible that I would still have limited edition work in craft galleries. While in Portland I went around to five of the blue chip fine art galleries with my dear friend and fellow artist, Lin Haak. She is always encouraging me to be bold and to step up. I just wanted to walk into these spaces and try them on for size and fit and see if I could imagine my work hanging on their walls. I am often intimidated by fine art galleries. I was surprised to find that I felt comfortable in the spaces and can now have a visual image of carrying my work through the front doors into my top pick of the five. Once I have a new body of work built up I will begin the process of finding a good fit for myself. This is an exciting time for me....challenging, yes....but there are some good things waiting just around the corner. My work now is to just keep showing up ....for me....for my art....for my life.

Friday, August 13, 2010


This is a copy of the article that was published in the PENINSULA DAILY NEWS just prior to our Artist Studio Sale held in July.


Shane Miller stands next to the 1952 Farmall Cub tractor she uses to mow the rustic acre that surrounds her house and barn, where she and four friends are holding their second annual midsummer art sale this weekend. -- Photo by Jennifer Jackson/for Peninsula Daily News

But turn off the main highway into town at Fredericks Street, then left on Otto, and follow the winding road past Nimba Forge and down the hill, and you'll find yourself in a rural enclave tucked between the town and business park.

And on the edge is Shane Miller's place -- that's her barn you'll see on the left before you round the corner at the bottom of the hill.

Pass the life-size figures of a man, woman and a coyote dancing, and you'll be at Miller's drive, where you will be greeted by Gunther.

Gunther is a crocodile, rampant, who holds Miller's mailbox in his claws.

He is just one of the creatures that grace her rural acre, where the animals roam free and the art is in the barn.

The animals are silhouettes that Miller created during her 12 years as a metal sculptor, doing large outdoor pieces.

She's graduated to smaller pieces, which she crafts in the barn, built as her work space.

Last year, she invited four artist friends to join her in holding an art sale in the barn, an event they are repeating this Saturday and Sunday, June 26 & 27.

"It's the perfect setting for bringing in the summer," Miller says of the property, which is bordered by woods to the north.

"There's definitely a country feeling."

More than 300 people came to last year's sale, where they were welcomed with lemonade and homemade cookies courtesy of Miller's friend Carrie Ehrhardt, principal of Port Townsend High School.

Ehrhardt is again setting up the refreshment stand for the event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, and people are invited wander the property, dotted with old apple trees and resident animals.

Each has a name, including Thorndyke Major, the canine in the picnic area.

Miller didn't realize when she created metal dog silhouettes that they would evoke emotional responses.

"Almost every single one was bought as a memorial dog for someone," she said.

"People would come into my booth and be crying. They'd say, 'We want to look out in the garden and still see the dog.'"

Thorndyke Major is a clone of a sculpture that Miller sold to a woman who wanted the original, Little Dan, for the grounds of a home she and her son were buying back East.

Viewing the property, they discovered a glen of trees in back, and in the middle of the trees was a tombstone with the name "Thorndyke Major" on it.

The name turned out to be that of the former owner's dog, a Great Dane.

"Little Dan is now lord of the animal garden," Miller says.

Miller, a former kayak tour guide in Baja California, moved to Port Townsend and bought her house in 1998, which she describes as a "fixer upper for the rest of my life."

On the back porch is a black lab named Silas, who faces the arbor topped with metal crows.

There is a white fence topped with animal figures, originally the walls of her craft fair booth, and a patch of giant butter burrs screens an outdoor claw-foot bathtub.

There's also an old shed, and the barn, which is only 10 years old, but built to match one that Miller saw on a farm near Poulsbo.

She named it GreyBird Barn after a vintage toy zeppelin she saw that had the name "GREYBIRD" painted on it in red.

The idea of naming the barn after a zeppelin, which hovers over the earth, appealed to Miller.

"I believe there is a lot of power in words and especially in the name of something," Miller said. "GreyBird just seemed to fit my barn."

She also has a 1952 pickup truck, and mows her acre with a 1952 Farmall Cub tractor, nicknamed "Bliss," because that's what she feels when she drives it.

Miller is also a '52 model -- she was born in Hot Springs, Ark., where her grandmother had a florist business that she started on her side porch.

It was passed down to her children. Miller's mother, who inherited the business, worked there from the age 16 until her death three years ago at the age of 86.

Called The House of Flowers, it had the contract to supply all the flowers for the Hot Springs horse racing track through the season, Miller said.

The biggest event was the Arkansas Derby, which required gardenia corsages for the 300-plus women who worked there, and rose boutonnieres, 600 to 700, for all the men, from the stable boys on up.

"For derby week, Mom would call all the chickens home," Miller said, referring to siblings and family members.

"A whole crew of cousins and aunts would sit down and sew the horse blanket for the winner with hundreds and hundreds of gardenias."

The idea for a communal art sale originated with Miller and Linda Jarvis, a painter, assemblage artist and sculptor.

They invited Diane Gale, Beverly Saito and Lynn Anju to join them.

Gale does wood-fired ceramics and glazed pottery for kitchen and home, including tea pots and vases. Saito makes beaded jewelry and sculptural ceramics.

Anju, a jeweler, was not able to participate this year, so Shirley Moss, who makes silver chains, is filling her spot.

The GreyBird Barn art sale is held in conjunction with Diana Cronin's studio sale featuring six ceramic artists on Egg and I Road in Chimacum.

For last year's sale, the barn took on a life of its own, Miller said, as if the purpose for which it was built was happening.

"The big payoff was that it was so much fun," Miller said. "We have great camaraderie. We enjoyed hanging out for two days and getting to know each other better."


For several weeks I've been meaning to post just a few images from our 2nd Annual Studio Sale at GreyBird Barn in Port Townsend, WA. This sale took place on June 26th and 27th. The weather was glorious....the home baked cookies delicious....the company of my fellow artist friends was endearing....a good time was had by all. The week of the sale an article about me, GreyBird Barn and my property was published in the paper. Many people came from surrounding areas to see what all the ruckus was about....some carrying a folded copy of the article under their arm to give to sweet! My next blog post will be the article. Enjoy these images and remember that you can view a larger version by clicking on the image.

The artists of GreyBird Barn: (from left to right) Shirley Moss...hand made sterling silver and gold chains, Shane jewelry, narrative boxes and boats, Beverly Saito...beaded jewelry and sculptural ceramics, Linda Jarvis...mixed media paintings, sculpture and assemblages, Diane Gale...wood fired and glazed pottery.

Sculptural ceramics by Beverly Saito.

Paintings and assemblages by Linda Jarvis.

Shirley showing her hand made chains to a customer.

A couple of Shane's boats.

Diane's ceramics with Shane's jewelry in the background.

Shane with Morgan Brig....a friend and phenomenal metal artist.

Big smiles....a lot of camaraderie....that's Kristi in the middle, our friend and great helper and supporter of this event.

An overview....that's Bliss, my tractor in the foreground.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Recently, two major life events happened to my dear friend, Kristi. In addition to celebrating 20 years of marriage, her only child, Katie, graduated from high school. Both events were emotional and markers of life's march through time. What Kristi didn't know is that her husband, Tim, chose to surprise her with one of my skimmers for her anniversary. The real trick was in keeping the secret since Kristi and I are in touch almost every day....and from what I hear, Tim, isn't always the best at keeping secrets either. From another project I already had some wonderful photos of Katie from toddler age up through graduation. These images seemed perfect to me to mark these two occasions and a boat was the natural metaphor for life's journey.

This skimmer is made of beaten copper wire and thin japanese paper (gampi) that has been ink jet printed with archival ink. I love that the paper is thin enough to allow light through it....making it very translucent. Looking into the boat, the backside of the images are almost as clear as the printed side. The overall length of the boat is just over 12 inches and it is about 2.25 inches at it's widest point. Remember that you can click on an image to see it larger.

It means a lot to me that via my art I had a hand in helping mark this place in time for dear friends....their lives shared and the launching of Katie's boat into bigger water.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


SAVE THE DATE!!! June 26th and 27th
Mark your calendar for our 2nd ANNUAL STUDIO SALE AT GREYBIRD BARN in Port Townsend, WA. Five wonderful artists: Diane Gale....Linda Jarvis...Shane Miller...Shirley Moss....and Beverly Saito will be featured in a variety of mediums.

Our good friends at Diana Cronin's Egg & I Pottery Studio in Chimacum, WA will be celebrating their 5th Annual Open Studio & Pottery Sale. Once again GreyBird Barn Studio Sale will coincide with the Egg & I Pottery Sale. Read more info about Egg & I Pottery Sale here.

Bring your friends and come for a delicious day of art and fun.....Port Townsend is beautiful in June.

(remember that you can click on any image to see it larger)

Have questions?...Or would you like to be added to our email list?...
Contact Shane Miller

Friday, May 14, 2010


This is my second attempt to make a boat. This POND SKIMMER measures 15.5 inches overall with the boat opening being about 10 inches. It is made of flattened copper wire and thin japanese paper (Gampi). The image of the lily pads is from a photo that I tweaked a bit in photoshop to make it appear less photographic and more painterly. The stand is made of cherry with copper uprights.

Looking down into the boat.

Is there anything more fun than gazing into a still pond and wondering what lies beneath the murky water....tadpoles....a snapping turtle....someone's lost wrist watch....? I remember lying flat on my stomach at the waters edge and watching water striders...also called jesus bugs because they walk on water. They weigh next to nothing because with no effort at all they seem to skate or glide across the surface. I read recently that they can carry up to 15 times their weight and still stay afloat... they must have a little magic in their pocket. The striders remind me of my POND SKIMMER. It's not actually made to go into water but if it was I'm sure it would ride high and be moved around by the slightest breeze.

Remember that you can see a larger image by clicking on the photo.


It's getting close to that time of year.... the SECOND ANNUAL SUMMER SOLSTICE ART SALE at GreyBird Barn here in Port Townsend, WA. Mark your calendars for June 26th and 27th. GreyBird Barn will host 5 artists this year: Diane Gale (ceramics)...Linda Jarvis (painting and mixed media assemblages)...Shirley Moss ( jewelry)...Beverly Saito (ceramics and bead work)...and myself, Shane Miller (jewelry and 3D mixed media boxes and boats). If we have half as much fun as we had last year someone will have to tether us to the ground to keep us from floating up into the clouds.

We will be sending out information via our email list and I will post more information on this blog as the date gets a bit closer including maps, times, postcard images, etc. If you would like to be included on our email list or just want more information email me at

Just like last year we are having this sale in conjunction with Egg & I Pottery in Chimacum, WA. There will be 6 wonderful ceramic artists at Egg & I Pottery. We will have maps available at GreyBird Barn if you have never been to Egg & I.

Hope you can come by to see us....and see some great art....stay a while....have some cookies and lemonade.....shane

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have always been drawn to boats. Growing up in Arkansas near three lakes, there was always a boat in the see, my dad loved boats, too. There was an aluminum fishing boat with sweeping curved lines and at one time a large wooden boat big enough to sleep several people and later, once the kids were mostly grown and water skiing was out of the question, a party barge or two. I have wonderful memories of fishing for crappie, bass, and bluegill with my dad on Lake Hamilton. If I close my eyes I can still remember the smell of my dad's tackle box and the peculiar odor of the rubber purple worms. He used to tell a story of having me out in the boat with him when I was only 3 or 4 years old. A storm blew in and there was thunder and lightening in the distance. He said every time it lightened my fine red hair would stand straight up from static electricity. My dad kept trying to smooth my hair down afraid that I would draw the lightening to us. Needless to say, we did make it off the lake unscathed.

When I was about 12 years old I wanted a kayak so bad. Mom and dad bought me a kit for my birthday and dad and I worked on the wooden kayak with a cloth skin for months in the unfinished living room addition of our house. We had a pulley system rigged so that at night, or if company came, we could pull the boat up out of the way. Later in life I worked as a kayak guide in Baja...again being drawn to the pod like shape of kayaks.

Maybe it's all this early boat memory in my cells that joined forces a few days ago and led me to make a small sculpture of a boat. I'm calling this style boat a SKIMMER (thanks to my dear friend, Kristi, for helping me come up with this name.) To me a SKIMMER denotes light weight and a hull that barely touches the water. PELLUCID is a word that means translucent. A PELLUCID SKIMMER is the perfect description of this style boat.

The frame of my first skimmer is made of copper wire and just like the skin boats of early arctic people, it, too, has a skin. A very thin Japanese paper (gampi) that has been printed with vintage imagery covers the boat. I purposely chose imagery from old photographs that showed people enjoying the beach or water in general. I glue the paper on while it is damp and as it dries it shrinks slightly and really does resemble a stretched skin.

On this particular boat I used waxed linen thread to attach the ribs. The linen thread reminds me of sinew that was used in traditional skin boats. Eventually this 7 inch skimmer will have a stand. Next I want to try a slightly larger skimmer....maybe 12 inches....and then maybe 20 inches.....stay tuned!!

Remember that you can click on a photo to see an enlarged version.

I really love this organic shape that is both pod and boat at the same time. There is a beautiful translucency when the SKIMMER is slightly backlit.

This photo is looking down into the SKIMMER.

Friday, March 26, 2010


AT DUSK is the second box that was made for the exhibition ART COUTURE...HATS AND SHOES showing at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts through the end of March. Like the first box, this one is wired for a small light. When the light is off only part of the story is revealed but when the light is on, all is revealed.

I enjoy writing a haiku from time to time. This is one of mine etched in nickel on the right side of the box.

AT DUSK measures 10 inches wide...9 inches tall....and 3 inches deep. The box is made of cherry, photo-etched red brass and nickel, glass, a vintage photo on paper and electrical components.

Enjoy these images and remember that you can see a larger image by clicking on the photo.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


This is one of the boxes I created for the exhibition ART COUTURE...HATS AND SHOES at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts. I've been making my boxes for a couple of years now and for nearly all that time I have wanted to illuminate one. At first I really wanted to figure out how to make the light be powered by a battery because I didn't want a cord showing....thinking that it might be distracting. A battery operated box is tricky. In a gallery setting with the light left on for long periods many batteries would have to be replaced. Then I discovered new vintage reproduction cloth electric cords. Since my boxes have a vintage feel to them this discovery helped me embrace the cord and let it be an integral part of the box.

The fun part for me in making this box is that when the light is off you only see part of the story but when the box is illuminated, all is revealed. A metaphor for life really. Also, I am attracted to layering and the slow reveal. On prior boxes this was accomplished through the use of doors. You had to be patient and discover the layers. In these newest boxes the secret is discovered through the twist of a light switch. When I had the idea to try this kind of layering of imagery I was reminded of reading children's books to my niece and nephews. Just as the story got good there would be the anticipation of "and then what happened" before the page was turned. Flipping the light switch is the same kind of anticipation for me. Also, when I etch metal I am always working from a transparency of the image. Sometimes in looking through my transparencies two non-related images may be stacked together. I love looking at the image on the top transparency and also seeing the image on the transparency behind it and then making up a story.

A DREAM REMEMBERED is made of cherry, etched nickel and red brass, glass, a vintage photo on paper and electrical components. It measures 14 inches tall...6 inches wide...and 3 inches deep.

Enjoy these images and remember that you can see a larger image by clicking on the photo.


ART COUTURE....HATS AND SHOES is the title for the March exhibition at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island. The show runs from March 5-30th.

BAC says about their show, "The clothes we wear are close to our heart – and also close to our heads, hands, and feet. For Art Couture, artists have provided us with great design, amusing stories, and unexpected poetry. When BAC invites artists to participate in a group show, we give them a specific theme or premise of the show. What they do with these broad guidelines is always impossible to predict."

I am excited to have two of my boxes in the show. I went to the opening this past was well attended and a lot of fun to see old friends and get to hear reactions to all the art.

I tried something different this time and electrified my boxes with small lights. Check in on the next couple of posts to see the results of my efforts.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Collective Visions Gallery

Just a note to say that THE YOUNG ENTOMOLOGIST (you can see this box in the previous post) was selected to be part of the CVG show (Collective Visions Gallery) in Bremerton, WA for the month of February. Only 128 entries were selected out of almost 800. Two friends from Port Townsend, Linda Jarvis and Diane Gale, also had pieces chosen to be part of this show. If you are in the area think about stopping by to view some wonderful art.