Sunday, December 15, 2013



I had a request recently for a small boat sculpture that depicted the bedtime classic ... THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT. I didn't grow up with this story being read to me so I had to read it a few times to get a sense of the characters. My client, however, and her brother, considered this story one of their prime childhood memories. When the brother's house burned with all the keepsakes of their youth, I was asked me to make this piece as a touchstone of their childhood.

The boat is made of copper wire...and the figures are photo etched brass, copper and nickel. The overall size is approx. 8" long by 3.5" wide by 4.5" tall.

I used a photo I had of a friend's cat. I love the sprawling posture and the look on the owl's face that clearly says, "oh bother."


The Owl and the Pussy-Cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat:
They took some honey, and plenty of money
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
“O lovely Pussy, O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!”

Pussy said to the Owl, “You elegant fowl,
How charmingly sweet you sing!
Oh! let us be married; too long we have tarried,
But what shall we do for a ring?”
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the bong-tree grows;
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood,
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

“Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Edward Lear, 1812 - 1888

Wednesday, October 30, 2013



I am so pleased to announce that my Icarus wing, titled IF FOUND RETURN TO ICARUS, is on display at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art from October through January. This is just the second round of exhibits in this wonderful new museum which is just a delight to explore.

The 20,000-square-foot art museum includes a reception area with a two-story atrium and grand staircase, seven formal galleries, two classrooms, a 95-seat auditorium, conference room, community gallery, bistro, museum store, and a green roof garden and patio. The focus is on contemporary work by artists from the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas and the western Puget Sound region. We are so fortunate to have this museum in our own backyard and as an artist, I am so proud to be a small part of the whole.

This past Friday I traveled to Bainbridge with my friend Linda Jarvis and her sister, Wendy. We wanted an art day and none of us had yet seen the newest exhibition at the it seemed like the perfect place to go. Cynthia Sears, one of the founding board members of the museum, treated us to lunch in the newly opened bistro on the lower floor. The food....the conversation....the sharing of stories was just delicious. It was the kind of exquisite day that transforms into a long term memory. I managed to get my photo taken with Cynthia beside the Icarus Wing. She is a wonderful supporter of art and artists in general and it is because of her purchase that my Icarus Wing has a home in the museum.

On the first floor we were delighted by the work of Richard Jesse Watson. His exhibit is titled INNER ZOO : OUTER ORBIT. He is a children's book author and illustrator of the highest order. I loved his obvious imagination ...his found object sculptures ... and especially his industrial looking easel that is on display complete with goggles hanging from several rear view mirrors attached to the easel. I am a goggles girl all the way and I am pro almost anything with an industrial vibe ... so getting to see where he actually creates was a high point for me. Beyond his exhibit were the works of many more artists ... some new to me and some I have the pleasure of calling them my friend. Having a piece of my art here among all this incredible talent feels somehow beyond a dream. My work is among sweet company.

After lunch we wandered upstairs to the Sherry Grover Gallery and the newest exhibit called CHAPTER TWO. This space is all about artists made books. Cynthia has a large eclectic collection of artists made books and it is intriguing, to say the least, to get to spend a little time with them. It was fun to see Linda discover that she had two pieces of her art on display. A surprise to us all. And our mutual friend, Donna Snow, had her magnun opus book on display called FIGMENTOSUM OCEANUM. It is a large book with many two sided lose pages and could have been a real challenge to display but , of course, they pulled it off beautifully. My newly acquired photo etched book called A BOOK IS LIKE A GARDEN YOU CARRY IN YOUR POCKET was also on display.

I am newly intrigued with the whole idea of artist made books and to have one of my first attempts in this collection is thrilling. It, too, is in incredibly good company. Many of the books on display I have only previously seen in commercially printed books such as the LARK 500 HANDMADE BOOKS. To have the chance to see these books in person and to get a glimpse of the binding ... the content ... the craftsmanship ....well, all I can say is that it is a rich experience.

Also upstairs were the incredible paintings of landscape artist, Gayle Bard. After walking just a few paces into her exhibit we all realized that we were almost whispering ... there was such a feeling of reverence. Her work is large and meditative and memorable.

So, in the end, a good day was had by all.

Sunday, October 27, 2013



It's been a couple of weeks since the Artist's Sale at GreyBird Barn and it seems like a good time to look back at the event ... dredge up some memories ... look at some fun photos ... and pat ourselves on the back just a little. If you were unable to attend ... and you missed out on the hot cider and homemade cookies ... and you didn't get a chance to visit with each artist ... then maybe these images will help soothe the disappointment. If that's the case, well, we sure did miss you and hope to see you next year if not sooner.

Sue explaining how she carefully harvests the cedar from her property.

So many details to study!!!

Diana hiding in the corner.

Linda Jarvis and friends.

This is me talking with my hand with my friend, Zo.

Part of my display.

Paula listing to the port side.

The motley crew...from left to right... Paula Gill ... Linda Jarvis ... Sue Skelly ... Diana Cronin ... Shane Miller ... Lynn Anju.

We like to call this image MOTHER AND CHILD.


This is a really nice article that was published in our local paper, THE LEADER, prior to the barn sale. Just wanted to share.


Six local artists are featured at the fifth annual artist studio sale at Greybird Barn, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13. (Above) “Fishers” by Shane Miller.

Annual studio sale features six local artists
Greybird Barn, a rustic studio, is transformed into a charming gallery setting for the fifth annual artist studio sale, held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12-13.

With a cup of hot cider and a homemade cookie in hand, there is no better way to visit with the six participating artists, learn about their techniques, celebrate the arrival of fall and watch the barn come alive with energy.

Greybird Barn is the working studio of Shane Miller; it is in this space that she creates photo-etched sterling silver jewelry and narrative wall-hung boxes. Longtime Greybird friends Lynn Anju, Diana Cronin and Linda Jarvis are joined this year by first-time participants Paula Gill and Sue Skelly.

Five years ago, Miller and artist Jarvis dreamed, schemed and gave birth to the idea of having a studio sale with friends. The rustic barn, the Farmall Cub tractor named Bliss and the old ’52 Dodge pickup called Baladeuce all lend their charm to the autumnal setting.

“Beyond our wildest dreams this event has turned into such a celebration and community gathering of like-minded people,” Miller says.

Greybird Barn is located at 11 Carroll Ave., off Highway 20 about three miles outside of Port Townsend. Visitors should watch for signs posted beside the road. A friendly crocodile sculpture welcomes guests with open arms to the property.

Paula Gill

Paula Gill of Red Step Studio in Bremerton creates handmade ceramic art tiles, with each one being an original that is carved by hand. These tiles depict scenes of birds, flowers and bugs in the garden, chickens and orca whales, and images that elicit fond memories of a favorite road trip. With a wire embedded in the back of each tile, they can be hung alone or in groups on an interior wall, or add a bright note of color to your garden fence and patio wall.

Sue Skelly

Sue Skelly of Poulsbo has been a collector of all things unique, eclectic and wonderful since an early age. One thing she simply can’t pass by are vintage buttons of all kinds. Skelly fashions these buttons into unique and charming necklaces and can often pass along some history about the buttons in each creation.

She is also an artist born of the land. Skelly uses cedar in all its forms to create pillows, larger-than-life carved sewing needles, spheres, ornaments for the garden and more. Unique would be an understatement in describing her work.

Lynn Anju

Using techniques such as photo etching and enameling, Lynn Anju creates beautifully crafted jewelry and etched metal items for the home. All of her designs originate as drawings, which are then transferred to the various metals and etched using an electrolytic process that involves saltwater and a charger. Anju’s inspiration comes from the natural world, medieval European tapestries and armor.

Diana Cronin

Diana Cronin of Egg and I Pottery is known for her bright colors and energetic designs.

From her studio, located on historic Egg and I Road in Chimacum, Cronin hand-throws functional porcelain pots on a potter’s wheel and then carefully decorates each piece with food-safe glazes. Her love of color comes from having grown up in Miami, Fla., where she spent most of her free time snorkeling around coral reefs and studying marine specimens.

Her style is one of a kind, and her bright palette has become her signature.

Linda Jarvis

Each year, Linda Jarvis looks forward to this gathering of artists and community. “It has been wonderful to see how it has evolved over the years since its inception,” Jarvis says. “The environment that is created within this setting is fun and energizing.”

Her background in commercial art and her studies in the fine arts have provided her with a broad mix of disciplines and media. Painting animals and working with a collection of reusable found objects, Jarvis juxtaposes them into assemblages and sculpture, often with a hint of humor and a bit of mystery.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



Once again it's time to celebrate the arrival of fall and the making of art. It's hard to believe that almost 5 years ago, Linda Jarvis (my friend and art conspirator) and I decided to organize the first GreyBird Barn Studio Sale. Time has flown by, as time often does, and here we are about to celebrate the 5th year of the ARTIST STUDIO SALE AT GREYBIRD BARN.

There are six artists represented this year with two being new to the sale, Paula Gill and Sue Skelly. Both are dear friends and wonderful artists and it's just going to be a hoot to get to spend a weekend with them. For the rest of us old barn sale veterans ... Linda Jarvis....Lynn Anju...Diana Cronin... and Shane Miller, we say, "bring it on". We are all ready for a grand weekend of visiting with old friends and new ... sneaking a homemade cookie or two ... watching the plethora of apples turning red on the King apple tree ... laughing ... and sharing our art. If you live in the area or just want to spend a sweet day or weekend in Port Townsend, come by and see us. We will be here October 12th and 13th from 10am to 4pm.

Directions: As you head out of town from Port Townsend on HWY 20, watch for our signs. Turn on Fredericks St. and make a left on Otto and wind down to the bottom of the hill. Turn left into the driveway where a silver crocodile (my mailbox holder) welcomes you to GreyBird Barn. Can't wait to see you!!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013



I am participating in a show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts this month titled NEITHER HERE NOR THERE: ARTISTS ON THE ROAD. Blank 4" x 6" postcards were donated by Strathmore Artist Papers and artists, architects, designers, and friends of the gallery were asked to or stitch the cards using any medium. I went to the opening and it was crowded with people trying to see all the cards and purchase the ones that struck their fancy. Because the postcards were all signed on the back, it was sort of like a guessing game trying to decide who had made which card. Each card was priced at $65 (symbolic since the gallery is celebrating it's 65th year).

I made two cards for the event. The one above is titled HARVEST. Honestly, at almost the last minute, I picked up one of my favorite vintage toy trucks that is just under 4" long and picked three ripe sungold cherry tomatoes from my garden to fill up the bed. After sending it through a few filters in photoshop I came up with the above version.

The second postcard is called PERSONAL CLOUD. The foundation for this card is a vintage image of a young boy and girl sitting for a posed studio photograph. Neither of them looks very excited about being there...and they probably had to sit very still for a long time so there would be no blurriness in the exposure. The message I wrote on the back of this card reads, "Have you ever wished you had a personal cloud to hide behind when all the attention is focused on you?" There is just a little personal experience in that statement.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013



WHERE DREAMS ARE STORED is the third piece I made for the SETTING SAIL...ARTIST AT SEA show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in WA state. The base is photo etched nickel and measures 8" x 8" and the entire sculpture is 10.75" tall. The framework of the boat house has a verdigris finish and a mica roof. The fold formed copper boat is suspended by waxed linen cord.

Because some dreams are too big to be contained, the etched and fold formed copper boat extends beyond the boat house perimeter by just a bit. The etched surface of the boat (from a photograph of ripples on water) is meant to be a reflection of the etched nickel below the boat. Small wavelets were pierced and cut into the nickel using a jeweler's saw and then were bent up slightly.

Sometimes we hold on to our dreams for a while until the time is right....or until the need to move forward is so strong we can't put our dreams off anymore. I believe that those dreams that stay with us for a long time or the ones that keep surfacing, even at inconvenient moments, are meant to be explored....excavated....nurtured. This suspended boat seems like the perfect place to store a dream until a breath of life can be given to it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS SALT WATER is my second boat in the SETTING SAIL....ARTISTS AT SEA exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in WA state. This show will run through July 1st. Twenty-two artists participated in this exhibition and if you haven't seen it already, it is definitely worth a visit.

THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS SALT WATER measures 11.5" x 3.5" x 9" overall. The boat is photo etched and fold formed copper and the base is photo etched nickel. There is a quote that wraps around the boat. It is one of my favorites and is by Isak Dinesen ( the woman who wrote OUT OF AFRICA). The entire quote reads, "THE CURE FOR ANYTHING IS SALT WATER....SWEAT, TEARS OR THE SEA." I believe there is much truth in these words.

I have written a little bit about fold forming before and you can read about it here. In the past I have only tried this technique on jewelry sized pieces. After buying a little bit larger cross-peen hammer I decided to try my hand at making a larger boat. I also wanted to see the results of photo etching the metal prior to forming the boat shape. There are a few limitations....the most important one being that I have to use fairly thin metal (26 gauge) to do fold forming and that means the etch can't be as deep as I might like. Still, I was pleased with the results. I doubt I will be making any fold formed boats larger than this one....I've 'guess'timated that this project took about 1600 blows with the hammer. I took photos of the whole process and in a few days I will post them along with details about fold forming.

I was pleased with the results of the etching on the nickel base. Nickel has a tendency to erode a bit....sometimes that is a problem....but in this case it seemed perfect for an underwater scene.

Thursday, June 20, 2013



For the month of June, I am part of a group show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts (on Bainbridge Island in Washington state) entitled SETTING SAIL....ARTISTS AT SEA. The exhibit opens on June 7th and runs through July 1st. Participating artists include: Harry Ableman, Sam Garriott Antonacci, Cameron Bahnson, Morgan Brig, Ken Brookner, Tom Case, Deb Casso, Damon Edwards, Sandy Hurd, Linda Jarvis, Leigh Knowles, Colleen Meacham, Shane Miller, Chandler O'Leary, Gregg Onewein, Donna Snow, Jessica Spring, Luke Tornatzky, Diane Walker, and Kay Walsh. The opening was very well attended and just generally a lot of fun.

I have really looked forward to this show because I have always been drawn to boat shapes and the metaphor that boats offer. As a child my family always had a boat ....or the backyard and many Sunday afternoons found us on the lake floating .... swimming .... fishing .... or eating KFC from the island of our boat. I've written about boats before in past posts and you can read that here. And just for fun, here is an image from my childhood of another way us kids enjoyed boats....

FISHERS is one of three pieces I have in the exhibit. The boat, itself, is woven copper wire and is approximately 8.25" long. The birds: crowned night heron...pelican....heron...and cormorant are all photo etched nickel and stand on a leg of copper tubing. The wooden base is 8.75" by a little over 4" wide. It is made from wiggle's used under a corrugated metal roofing to match the shape of the corrugations and seal the ends of the roof. I split the board down the middle 3 times to get the narrow wavelets. The base was then painted with a special paint that has copper in suspension....then I patina-ed that copper surface with a blue patina....instead of the verdigris green patina that is so popular. The evening before I had the boat and birds attached to the base, I sat on my couch with a flashlight and entertained myself, for longer than I care to admit, by casting long shadows on the opposite wall. Shadows of boat and birds on an adventure at sea. I could make the shadow be crisp and sharp and small or I could settle for the shadow being a little fuzzy and cast it across an entire wall. While I played with my newest creation, my imagination kept getting ahead of me and I was thinking of these birds as characters in a children's book. Something about these 5 friends who think they don't have much in common except that they all like to eat fish. On their adventure they realize that they all also like to be near water....and that they all have feathers....that they all jump a little when it thunders....etc....etc....

I'm happy to report that FISHERS found a wonderful home during the opening. This is a piece that is a little bit hard for me to let go of. I think that soon I will have a version of FISHERS in my home....and then I can entertain myself anytime I want with a flashlight and shadows.

Thursday, May 23, 2013



My niece, Jessica, is graduating from high school....actually, I think graduation is tonight. My sister, Mary, asked me to make a special bracelet for Jessica as a graduation gift. So here it is....a cool new and bold pattern, photo etched on a 1" sterling silver cuff bracelet. I chose this pattern because it is so alive and bold and has a Jessica. There is nothing timid about her....I mean that in the best possible way. Jessica is not afraid of new adventures or exploring new territory....and believe me, the girls got style. As I was shaping the bracelet around the mandrel, I tried, with every stroke of my hammer, to imbue the metal with some qualities that I know will come in handy for Jessica as she enters this new chapter of her life. Qualities like: perseverance when all seems lost...patience when everyone around you is losing theirs... confidence that the answer lies deep within and that with some solitude and quietness it will usually rise to the surface....loyalty...the ability to laugh at one's self ...compassion...and a sense of the awe and wonder at how the universe supports us on our journey. What a grand and wonderful adventure lies ahead! Good luck, Jessica....we are all waving our pom-poms for you.

Thursday, May 9, 2013



TOOLS is another one of the books I had in the COMING UNBOUND: BOOKS AS SCULPTURE show at Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend, WA. This book is photo etched copper with a miniature piano hinge and vintage c-clamps used as a binding. It's a ledger more pages can be added. TOOLS measures approximately 9" x 5.75" x 2.75".

I am someone who really appreciates tools....I use them....I own them....I gravitate toward them. I especially love tools that have been used over a long period of time....a worn handle on a hammer....a wrench with a beautiful patina....etc. A tool with any plastic parts does nothing for me. It won't be around in 20....50....or 100 years. The saying, They don't make them like they used to," definitely applies to tools.

If you are familiar with my blog at all, you know that I am also interested in photography. Inside the TOOLS book are some of my macro images of tools processed through a blueprint filter. I own most of these tools and my hands, tools in themselves, are the most recent ones to use them. I trust that when I am gone, many more pairs of hands will find pleasure and satisfaction as they grip a well worn handle.

My dad had a basement work shop that held all his tools. It always had a great smell that was part damp earth...oil....and freshly cut wood. He hid the key under a brick just beside the door. Just inside on the left was an ancient ban saw....and there was a large red vise clamped on the work bench....and jars full of mismatched screws and nails. It was never a tidy space but practically anything you needed was there....somewhere....and dad could always find it. Later in his life he got interested in radio control airplanes. He was a pilot during the war and I think that flying the small planes was a fun challenge for there were also bits and pieces of planes and wings and props scattered around. There was a bit of magic in that shop mixed in with the screwdrivers and wrenches and dusty photos of his kids on a shelf. A few of his tools have made their way to me. One that I think of often is still stored at my sister's house in Tn....just waiting until I can get it to it's new home in WA....the big red vise. I think dad would be happy about that.

Here are a few images from the book called TOOLS.

Friday, April 26, 2013



This is another book I had in the COMING UNBOUND: BOOK AS SCULPTURE show at Northwind Gallery in Port Townsend, WA. It is a small book of haikus. As you probably know, a haiku is a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables in three lines of five, seven and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. I love this form of poetry and the natural restraints that come with the parameters. This style definitely keeps one from getting too wordy. You are forced to examine each word....really, each syllable.... and get rid of frills and fluff and distill your intention down to the basics. I have written haikus for years...often tapping out syllables on my thigh while mowing with my tractor, Bliss. I usually jot the haikus down in my sketchbook before I forget them but sometimes I find the requisite three lines written on the back of an envelope....or on a corner of a paper towel....or occasionally written on the wall. Making this book was a good excuse to gather all my haikus from hither and yon and get them rounded up in one location. This HAIKU book is photo etched copper and is approximately 5.5" x 4".



Here are just a few of my haikus....written throughout the four seasons.

Wrapped in wood stove warmth
the steaming water escapes
like small birds singing

coyote prances
like a dancer on tip-toes
along the fence row

I awoke to song
one high note and four lower
birds welcoming dawn

Is heaven above
beyond the constellations
or below our feet?

thwack and dry ripping
the sound of firewood splitting
music for cold hearts

backlit by the sun
three hawks waltz across my sky
their tails glowing red

droplets perch like jewels
an early solomon seal
an uncommon crown

Under my gas cap
a most succulent spider
takes up residence

Three baby chipmunks
surprise me in the woodpile
all of us wide-eyed

Sunday, April 14, 2013



The Chinese proverb ..."A BOOK IS LIKE A GARDEN YOU CARRY IN YOUR POCKET"... seemed like the perfect spring board for launching myself into my first book for a book show here in Port Townsend. When I was asked by Jean-Marie Tarascio to be part of the COMING UNBOUND-BOOK AS SCULPTURE show at Northwind Gallery, I saw it as an opportunity... and as a brightly shining carrot dangled in front of me... to follow up with some ideas I have had for a long time. I have always thought that etched metals could be a perfect marriage with book arts.....the ability to etch front and back with pattern or words or imagery....rigid and permanent covers....a welcome heft when picked up....the ability to cut (with a jeweler's saw) beyond the natural border of the book...getting to use miniature piano hinges (they are so perfectly proportioned and beautiful and can be cut to any length)... and that glow of metal and patina that cannot be duplicated with paper or hardboard. The GARDEN BOOK was my first attempt for this show. There was a bit of a learning curve and everything did seem to take much longer than it should have but I am happy with the result. The GARDEN BOOK MEASURES 7.5" x 6" and is photo etched it a rich look.

I realized while making books for this show that content is as important to me as the etched covers. It wasn't going to be ok with me to just make a blank journal style book. A year or two ago I bought a plug-in program called Topaz Lab to go along with photoshop elements. With this program I can take any of my own photos and send them through multiple filters to get a look that is just different enough to stand out from a regular photo. That difference might be about the texture....the detail....or the color....or all three. The filters just 'art' things up a bit. The images in the GARDEN BOOK are all my own....mostly shot in my yard over the last several years. Here are a few images from the book...all are ink jet printed on Japanese Gampi paper and are attached to Arches Cover paper with vellum pages inserted between.

The other 10 artists participating in this book show are: Renee Bush, Mary-Ellen Campbell, Linda Jarvis, Gloria Lamson, Counsel Langley, Carolyn Law, Jean-Marie Tarascio, Rebecca Welti, Joan Wenske, Helga Winter.