Tuesday, March 22, 2011
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"IN WILDNESS IS THE PRESERVATION OF THE WORLD"....this quote by Henry David Thoreau has always been a favorite of mine. It's a wonderful way to believe and an even better way to live.
A few years ago my sister, Lisa, shot an incredible image of a heron on it's nest. She and her partner, Greg, were on the ferry coming from Whidbey Island to Port Townsend, WA to visit me. At the ferry dock, on the Whidbey side, she noticed a heron on it's nest built on a piling right beside the ferry. Luckily she had her camera and was able to capture this great photo. If she ever wants to leave her day job...and it's a pretty good one....I think she could be a nature photographer. This isn't the first time she has been in just the right place at just the right time to capture a lovely image. When I saw the photo I thought of the Thoueau quote and decided to make a box combining the two.....with Lisa's permission, of course. The photo has the feeling of wildness/wilderness juxtaposed with the man made cable caught up in the nest...a powerful symbol of man's presence in the natural world. On the box the moon phases around the edge represent the passage of time.
This particular box doesn't have doors but instead has a narrow mirror. A great piece to use in an entry way of a home. It is 12" x 12" x 3" and is photo etched nickel with a cherry surround. This etching was accomplished using a salt water bath and car battery charger technique.
From March 4th - 28th you can see this box and several others at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in Washington as part of the GALLERY ARTIST SERIES.
Many thanks, Lisa, for letting me use your photo. I hope you are carrying that camera around with you all the time.
Sunday, March 13, 2011
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LONGING FOR OPEN WATER is another narrative box that is on display this month at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in WA. This Gallery Artist Series will be on display from March 4th - 28th.
LONGING FOR OPEN WATER is all photo etched copper with the exception of the young woman in the boat which is photo etched nickel. I usually try to have at least 2 different metals for the back wall and the doors just to add interest but on this box I loved the richness of the all copper look. I am depicting a dark forest scene and the sameness of the metals helps with the continuity of the forest. The box surround is cherry and there is a driftwood finial on top. Within is one of my copper wire and gampi boats. This limited edition piece measures 12" x 12" x 3". When the doors are standing open the width across the front is 24".
I was a young adult before I saw the Pacific ocean and understood the vastness of that distant horizon line. It was a time in my life when I was only visiting the west coast and had to eventually go back to my home state of Arkansas and a small land locked town in the northwest part of the state. My property was about deep woods and persimmon trees and hooting owls and fireflies and thunder storms. All wonderful things but confining if you've just recently been introduced to the Pacific ocean. LONGING FOR OPEN WATER reflects that time for me. The young woman in the fern clad boat holds a chambered nautilus shell....a talisman of sorts....that helps her keep the thought of open water near. Perhaps she occasionally holds the spiraled shell to her ear....closes her eyes....and drifts on the current.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
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This month I am part of a show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in WA. There are 5 featured artists: Barbara Wilson (painting)....Mark Horiuchi (ceramics)...Donald MacLane (kinetic sculpture)....Caroline Cooley Browne (textiles)....and me, Shane Miller (photo etched narrative boxes). The show runs March 4th - 28th. The opening this past Friday evening was well attended, in part, thanks to some very dear friends of mine who came out on a stormy and rainy night to support me in this endeavor. Big thanks and hugs to each and every one of you....you know who you are...I have the best friends.
This box, BUDGIE SOCIETY, was one of the featured pieces at the opening. It measures 12" wide by 8.5" tall by 2.25" deep. When the doors are open it is 24" across. It is made of photo etched nickel and brass with the box being made of cherry. This box is an edition of 5.
If you've read this blog at all you must know by now that I am totally enamored with vintage photographs. There is always an element of mystery there....who are these people?....what are their relationships to each other?...etc. When I first saw this group of people I immediately thought of combining their sad and stern faces with some activity that would be light of heart. And so the Budgie Society was born. They have gathered for the annual meeting and a day filled with talks and lectures and the camaraderie of fellow budgie owners. Each member also receives a free cuttlebone for their budgie....a good source of calcium and helpful in wearing down overgrown beaks.
A small budgie etched in nickel quietly surveys all the proceedings from it's safe perch high above on the corner of the box. I imagine it saying, "What's all the fuss about?"