Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Recently my dear friend, Kerry, journeyed from her home in Australia to Port Townsend, WA to visit friends and old haunts. She brought with her an envelope of precious photos that her friend, Michael, sent along with the hope of having one of my skimmer boats made. I've never met Michael but after sorting through the images....scanning....resizing...printing....glueing....I feel as though I now know at least part of his story. We all have a story, unique to us....the checker at the grocery store....the woman who walks her dog everyday at 3pm....the man in the red shirt in the sailboat on the bay. Making this boat was a reminder to me to consider the people around me....the ones I don't know....the ones who I only glance in their direction....and to remember that they, too, have a story....and it is as valid and worthy as my own.

The frame of this skimmer is hammered copper.... I used waxed linen thread to connect the ribs. Using archival inks I printed the photos on gampi paper (a very thin but strong Japanese paper). The paper is glued to the boat frame using an acid free book binders glue. This skimmer measures (with the stand) approximately 9.5" x 4.5" x 2.5". The stand is cherry with copper uprights.

A big thanks to Kerry for hand carrying the boat on the airplane back to Australia and to Michael for the opportunity of making his skimmer.

Here is a portion of a note I included with the boat.
I call this style boat a skimmer. It reminds me of a curled leaf on a pond riding light and high on the water....just skimming the surface. To me a “boat” is a metaphor for our life’s journey...swift water...placid water...a few white caps...the occasional tsunami...we are carried along. I’ve titled this skimmer “Michael’s Journey”. I’m hoping the rest of your journey will be amazing and filled with wonder and that your boat will ride high and dry.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


My ETSY shop UNCOMMONWORK is now open for business. I'll be adding a few items a week... so check back often to see what is new. Eventually I will have all my jewelry, some skimmer boats, a few narrative boxes, and some new digital prints available for sale on my site. Since I don't sell my work via this blog and not everyone can get to the galleries that represent me, this is a great opportunity to see what is available for purchase. If you google ETSY instead of using my shop link you can locate me by typing in uncommonwork (all one word) or by my name, Shane Miller. Once you are on my site be sure to check out my shop policies...profile....about page....and of course, my art. The galleries that represent my art have been very good to me and loyal... and continue to be so. My prices on ETSY are the same prices I charge at a gallery. It only seems fair.

Back in 2009 I briefly had an ETSY shop but I didn't really commit myself to it and eventually let all the listings lapse. So....I'm ready to give it another try....with some commitment this time. What is ETSY? might ask. Etsy is a social commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. It's known as the Worlds's handmade marketplace. It's huge....there is no telling how many people buy and sell on ETSY...but it is well organized and inexpensive to list an item. In this economy more and more artists are turning to market places like ETSY to introduce their work to a world wide audience. Almost anything you can think of is available on ETSY....and like any site of this type, the range in quality and price is wide...but once you are within the site it is easy to search for items of interest by category or price. Besides handmade items, various art supplies can also be found. There is also a vintage of my favorite places to visit. I can type in 'vintage industrial' and dream and drool over the approximate 27,000 items. This is not an auction....if you want it.

So check out my shop....bookmark it....tell your friends....visit often....I don't think you will be disappointed.