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.