Friday, December 11, 2015
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I've been working on a few new designs for the KEEPER BOXES ... here they are. You can read the original post here.
WALKING EACH OTHER HOME
Thursday, December 10, 2015
I've been making a few beads for the holiday season. Each sterling silver bead is photo etched and reverses to a different pattern. Just wanted to share.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
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Long before I made my living as an artist, I was caught up in the world of biology. In college, along with familiar course names like chemistry, physics and english, I attended classes in dendrology, ornithology and ichthyology. While I floundered a little with chemistry and physics, I excelled in all my 'ology' courses ... eventually getting a degree as a Fisheries Biologist. The 'ology' language just made sense to me. So here I am, over 40 years later, and I am still thinking of 'ology' ... in an art context.
The ‘OLOGIST’ SERIES is comprised of photo etched metal hands that hold various species for study. For example, a Dendrologist studies trees and wooded plants…a Cetologist studies whales, dolphins and porpoise…and a Conchologist studies mollusk shells. My two sculptures represent ORNITHOLOGY ... the study of birds, and ICHTHYOLOGY ... the study of fish. While the hand represents the environment of each species, the red cord is a symbol of man’s interference with nature. As hard as we try, even in the name of science and scientific study, we have a tendency to create a tangle even as we search for balance.
The hands are photo etched copper and the bird and fish are photo etched brass. The ORNITHOLOGIST measures 10" x 9" x .5" and the ICHTHYOLOGIST measures 10" x 9.5" x .5"... the tangle is red waxed cotton cord.
THE ORNITHOLOGIST and THE ICHTHYOLOGIST are both showing at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts ON Bainbridge Island in Washington state through the month of December in a show titled RED.
In the coming year I hope to make more hands for the 'OLOGIST' SERIES. There are so many more that I am drawn to ...
the ophiologist ...the acridologist ...the dinosaurologist ...the neossologist ...to name a few. Stay tuned.
Thursday, September 3, 2015
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I hinted in the previous post about what I was going to make from a beautiful 3' x 8' sheet of copper. Well, here's the answer....KEEPER BOXES. These boxes are solid copper and made using a shear...a notch cutter...and a metal brake. The images on the lids are photo etched using a salt water technique. KEEPER BOXES come in two sizes...(rectangular) 4.5" x 6.5" x 1.25" and (square) 4.5" x 4.5" x 1.75". There is a pad of velvet in the bottom of each box...to keep your things from rattling around too much.
I just delivered the boxes shown in this post to Bainbridge Arts and Crafts yesterday. The opening for the BOX SHOW is tomorrow night, September 4th. This exhibit, along with paintings by Sharon Carr and Susan Walker and photographs by several local photographers that share their perspectives on iconic Bainbridge landmarks, can be viewed through September 28th.
A place to keep the found button … a hummingbird feather … the note your mom left in your lunch sack when you
were seven … your rings and jewelry things … your father’s pocket knife … a photo of your childhood dog …
a letter of love … a found piece of blue sea glass along with a limpet shell … a toy plastic green soldier that
was dug up in the garden … an orange marble … an acorn from your grandparent’s property … your wish list …
a moon rock (or what you think might be a moon rock) … a dried poppy pod … a lost first tooth … a coin
from Australia … a Pez dispenser … a vial of gold flecks suspended in water … the key to the front door
of your first home … a tiny bird skull … a bead from Africa … and anything else your heart desires.
POPPIES IN MOONLIGHT
DRINK THE WILD AIR
It's a little hard to tell in this photo but my truck has a 3' x 8' sheet of 32 oz. copper in the back ... spiffy ... new ... no scratches ... no fingerprints ... breathtaking ... absolutely a thing of beauty. Stay tuned for the next post to see what becomes of this piece of metal. Here's a hint....it involves a shear...a notch cutter...and a brake
Friday, August 14, 2015
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HEAD IN THE CLOUDS airbnb is my third piece showing at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts through August as part of the ROAD TRIP show. This was a fun piece to make...a healthy stretch of my imagination. This mixed media sculpture measures 12" x 15.5" x 1.5". The image is a compilation of 3 photographs that have been seriously photoshopped and messed with until I could come up with something that resembled a hybrid between photography and an illustration. The final result is ink jet printed using archival pigment inks and finished with a cold wax treatment. The edges are photo etched brass depicting the 4 directions...NORTH...SOUTH...EAST...WEST. Three small articulated inspection mirrors are mounted to the top of the cradle board.
This is the ad that is printed and included with the piece in a library envelope pasted to the back.
HEAD IN THE CLOUDS
Disconnect for a while and come stay in this unique
and charming airbnb...where the air is clear and
the stars are unobstructed. We are currently
This floating trailer has one bedroom that can
accommodate two and a small but cozy kitchen.
Pets are allowed but only those with wings are
recommended. The view varies but is always lovely.
Power is provided by the sun and GPS is available.
CHECK IN is at 1pm. CHECK OUT IS AT 11 AM BYOP
(bring your own parachute).
SIGNAL MIRRORS ARE AVAILABLE IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
A great night sky...felt like I was with the stars. -Jane
Watch that first step...it's a doozy!!! -Eugene
Best sleep ever...I dreamed I was floating. -Zo
Be sure to bring your binoculars and sunscreen. -Tim
A view to die for!!! -Amelia
My friend and I stayed at HEAD IN THE CLOUDS airbnb during
a lunar eclipse. The experience is on my list of most
memorable times ever. -Liz
My cockatiel, Betty, and I had a wonderful time...thank
Monday, August 10, 2015
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A CHANGE OF PLANS is the second piece of art I am exhibiting at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts during the month of August for the ROAD TRIP show. This piece measures 12" x 14" x 1.5". Photo etched copper wraps the sides and the surface is finished with a cold wax treatment. A nicely worn piece of driftwood crowns the cradleboard, acting as a finial. The image is a compilation of several photos. I like to mess around in photoshop sending various photos through filters, etc., until I come up with an image that is somewhere between a photograph and an illustration.
In July of last year I traveled to Vermont to meet up with my sisters on Lake Champlain. My youngest sister, Lisa, and her partner, Greg, have a wonderful lake house right on the water complete with an osprey nest. Putting up a platform for the ospreys to build on was one of the first things Lisa and Greg did once they owned the property. They were rewarded almost immediately when a pair of osprey started bringing sticks to the platform and constructing their nest. That osprey nest is the center of attention of the property. With a spotting scope you can watch all the intimate details of osprey life...the day in and day out of sitting on eggs...ripping pieces of fish to feed the chicks...a little R&R for mom to just get to stretch her wings...and eventually watching the young ospreys practice flying by flapping their wings and lifting off the nest just a few inches. For the days we got to spend at the lake, we were enthralled by the ospreys. We were also enthralled by a small red-winged blackbird that just liked to hang out near the nest. Every morning we could hardly wait to look through the spotting scope to see if the red-winged blackbird was still there...and every morning, it was. We began calling this little bird, the mascot. Lisa emailed us this spring to say that the ospreys were back...and yes...the mascot was back, too. I just love that.
Perched on a branch that extended beyond the circle
of the nest, the red-winged black bird stayed ever so
close to the osprey pair, earning the nickname, the
mascot. On many occasions the mascot would fly out
to meet the male osprey as he returned to the nest, a
fish tight in his talons.
Like a vigilant shadow, the dot-of-a-bird would watch,
the feeding of the chicks...the change in the weather...
the stars as they disappeared into morning. Through
the whole summer, in what could only be called
adoration, the little mascot seemed content to only
watch and wait, a mysterious witness.
A year has gone by and the ospreys have returned.
As they shore up their nest, a small blackish bird can
be seen perched on one of the branches...it looks a
lot like a red-winged blackbird. Yes...yes...the mascot
is back...and we watch and wait in what can only be
This is the osprey platform and nest on Lisa and Greg's property. If you look closely you can see the red-winged blackbird sitting to the right of the nest.
This is my little sister, Lisa. We sometimes call her, bird. It must be because of those skinny legs.
My sister, Mary, on the left and me, Shane, on the right.
Another favorite thing to do at the lake was to wait until dark and take flashlights down near the water and touch huge frogs that were mesmerized by the light....so fun.
Several pieces of steel sculpture are dotted around on the property. This is my favorite, a large rusted steel arrow that has become the symbol of Lisa and Greg's property.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
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Friday evening, August 7th, is the opening of a new group show at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts titled ROAD TRIP. I am so excited to be part of this show....the theme is right up my alley. No one likes a road trip more than I do and if you throw a vintage trailer into the mix...well...let's just say I am over the moon. One day I hope to have a sweet little vintage camping trailer of my very own...maybe I need two...one for the road and one to plant on my property as an airbnb.
THE COAST BY NOON is one of three pieces I have made especially for this show. It measures 10" x 10" x 1.5 inches. The image is one of my photos sent through a few filters and photoshopped to look like the result of a marriage between photography and illustration...a look I am quite drawn to. The image is printed with archival pigment inks and is then attached to a cradleboard...messed with a little...and finally sealed with varnish and cold wax. The sides are photo etched nickel and depict symbols that we have all learned to associate with campgrounds. A sweet little piece of driftwood from a favorite local beach acts as a finial.
The model for this piece is my very own vintage toy truck and trailer that live on the windowsill in my living room. These little trailers make me smile every time I see them.
I think the idea of a road trip is somehow built into my DNA. My mom and dad took a major road trip for their honeymoon, traveling from Hot Springs, AR to Sequoia National Park by car. I think there were several breakdowns along the way. One was captured by my mom...it is one of my all-time favorite photos.
That spirit of adventure must have stayed with my mom and dad even after they had a passel of children. In hindsight, I think they were so brave to load 5 kids in a car pulling a pop-up camper, or better yet, a converted school bus complete with 4 bunkbeds and a little kitchen. I remember many trips to Padre Island, TX and eating pancakes in the morning with just a little sandy grit in them...we didn't seem to mind. Another memorable trip was going to Estes Park, CO, and later driving up Pikes Peak in the bus as it overheated again and again. I also remember that each of us kids got car sick, one after another, as we slowly made our way up the mountain. I am so grateful for the memories...for the time spent with my family...and especially for my brave mom and dad.
Monday, May 4, 2015
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I WOULD GIVE TO YOU THE MOON AND STARS is a book I made for the exhibition called CARPE LIBRUM: THE ART OF THE BOOK. This exhibition was at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in Washington state for the month of April 2015. Thirty three pacific northwest book artists were invited to be in this show and I was so pleased to be included. My little 'hand' book' is photo etched brass....the pages are inkjet printed with archival inks on BFK Rives paper and the overall measurements, with the book closed, are 4" x 7".
This is the back of the book.
I often dream up ideas for my art at night while I am sleeping ... and sometimes I dream of a particular gallery that I like to visit. I don't have a clue if this gallery actually exists ... all I know, is that in my dream, it is at the top of an outdoor escalator and that when you get off of the escalator you turn left and there is the gallery. I have been there many times while I sleep and would so love to visit this place in a waking state. Sometimes, just after I wake, I am visited by my word muse ... phrases or individual words or whole poems spill out of me. This doesn't happen nearly as often as I wish it would ... but a few months ago my word muse did visit and this poem is the result. These words are the basis for my little illustrated book, I WOULD GIVE TO YOU THE MOON AND STARS.
I WOULD GIVE TO YOU THE MOON AND STARS
by shane miller
i would give to you the moon and stars
and all the planets, too,
the comets and the asteroids
i would gladly give to you
the black holes and the nebulae
to hold as long as you live ...
i would give them all to you
if they were mine to give
and yet, i know the space required
to hold a galaxy ... is HUGE ...
... and problems might arise
like star dust and gravity
with that in mind i have to say,
though my options now seem few,
the galaxy must stay aloft
and this book will have to do
Here are a few of the illustrations I created for the book ... CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
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FLOATING is one of the books I currently have on exhibit at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts on Bainbridge Island in Washington state. It is part of the show titled CARPE LIBRUM: THE ART OF THE BOOK, curated by Cynthia Sears and Hidde Van Duym. You can read more about this exhibit in the previous post. You can view this work at the gallery through April 26th.
inside front cover
The metal covers for FLOATING are photo etched brass and the images are inkjet printed with archival inks on BFK Rives paper. The book measures 7" x 11" when closed.
Recently one morning I was thinking about dreams and how sometimes in my dreams I have the ability to fly. Upon closer examination of this I realized that I am not so much flying as I am floating. With that thought, words immediately filled my head and I went scrambling for pencil and paper to capture them before they were gone. Those captured words make up the text of this book.
I've heard people say that when they dream, they can fly like a bird ... by constant flapping of their arm-like wings or by coasting in circles like the red tail hawk over my pasture.
I try to picture this and the wondrous feeling of the wind in my face and my hair blowing out behind me, but it is a difficult image for me to conjure. I think this is because I know I am more of a floater than a flyer.
In my dreams I hover where the wall meets the ceiling ... just where the near invisible spider webs hide.
I float just at the top of the trees that act as sentinels on either side of the dirt road.
The sky is my ocean as I drift with a school of fish just above the water.
I am like low lying clouds content with slow movement and the ability to cast fuzzy edged shadows on the earth below.
Floating gives one time to contemplate the surroundings ... to notice the smallest detail ... to acclimate to the new terrain.
In my dreams, as I float, I am often aware that this is miraculous somehow ... that I need to remember this technique so that I can try it in my awake state.
I drop a breadcrumb right here so I can remember how to do this ...
... how to hold my mouth just right ... the proper arrangement of my arms and legs ... the attitude of my mind ... I drop more breadcrumbs.
The 'know how' stays with me for a while ...
... even as I start to stir ...
... even as my exploring spirit re-enters my body ...
... but the string attached to my fluttering eyelids tips the bowl and the 'knowing how" spills out and evaporates like water on a hot sidewalk.
I turn to find ravenous sparrows eating my dropped breadcrumbs ...
... perhaps tonight they will dream they can float.
This image in on the inside of the back cover.
All the images in FLOATING are photo based. I often like to use vintage photos in my art and I searched and searched through thousands of images looking for women who looked like they were floating or who I could manipulate in a way to make them appear as though they were floating. The couple of images I found, and tried to use, looked more like the women were falling from the sky instead of peacefully floating. After much hand wringing, I decided to take my own photos and have more control over body placement. This is where my friend, Zo, comes into the picture ... literally. I borrowed a night shirt from my good friend, Lynn Anju, and invited Zo over for a photo shoot. The night shirt was a little short so I had to stretch it out via photoshop in every image. The photo shoot was so much fun....figuring out ways to make Zo appear as though she was floating. Here is an image showing some of the high tech floating techniques we used ... Zo stretched out on a galvanized tub with a saw horse under her feet for support.
Zo was enthusiastic and charming through the whole ordeal and would have been more than willing to put on a harness and get strung up between the douglas firs ... if only I had a harness.
I definitely wanted the floating figures to be women and I pictured them with long flowing hair ... dream like. Zo's hair is about 1 1/2 inches long and is not exactly the look I was going for. I ended up making my life quite a bit more difficult by photoshopping my hair onto Zo. The process of working with the photographic images over the days and weeks got a little confusing for me and occasionally the lines between Zo and myself would blur and I would lose track as to which one of us it was that I was working on in the photo ... a very odd feeling.
Here are some of the images ... photoshopped and sent through many filters to get the look I wanted ... somewhere between a photograph and an illustration. Be sure to click on an image to see it larger.
This is am example of the font and page layout for the text.
I turn to find ravenous sparrows eating my dropped breadcrumbs ... perhaps tonight they will dream they can float.