Thursday, December 18, 2008


oooooo! can't wait!
Wish I'd taken the job offered me to work on King Kong in the 80's... I'd be doing stuff like this now! oh well....

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Marlene True's Object & Memory

Recently went to Marlene True's thesis exhibition
Object & Memory

Beautiful work in steel and tin as well as precious metals

Robert Smith

Bob Ebendorf and Feather Phillips

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Wisdom Project

My internet acquaintance Dan Anderson has done it again. He sends me the coolest stuff!

For example this sampling of the film called the Wisdom Project, by filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman. It includes words of wisdom from 51 luminaries over 65 years of age.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Quentin Warshauer!

Quentin and I shared a studio briefly in 2007 (I think?) I found her paintings riveting but her new assemblage work... WOW!!!! I saw her booth at a recent local show during the set up time the night before. I made a bee line for the table of haunting assemblage sculpture to see who's it was. Low and behold her card lay there,
Quentin Warshauer... I was bowled over. I had no idea. I realized how much we barely know each other, she and I.... all of us. And yet we fear the same stuff, weep over the same stuff, desire the same stuff and we feel so alone.
Her work will grip you.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Art in the Round

Hey! This piece recently won first place for metals in the Art in the Round contest sponsored by
Pretty exciting! and I owe a big thank you to Sara Westermark for turning me onto the contest!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Copper Confections

I have a sweet tooth, how about you?

These are my new pieces, charms made of pipe. I have had a blast making variations. I applied to Art and Soul Portland to teach these next year and am anxiously awaiting reply. Cross your fingers!

Fall Flowers

So I have been in the studio a lot, and to break up the day I go walk in Dan's garden outside my door. He's brought over his chicken. Meet Nevi:

She's a very good listener. I sit on a fruit crate outside her cage drinking my flower tea and we talk. I feed her bugs I get from under rocks. I am too squimish to pick them up so I use tweezers. She loves the tweezers now! She laid three eggs last week.

Not far from her house are beds of vegetables and flowers. This anemone sprang up last week.


What is it that's fascinating about other artists workspaces???? One of my private students graciously gave me Charles Lewton-Brain's new book the Jeweler's Bench Book (If you scroll down its in my Amazon recommendations). I devoured every page. Fun book! There's so much information on storage and organization of tools. And I do love tools.
So I thought I'd share images of my workspace. It was so lovely last week. A cold bright fall light streamed in through the window over my bench. I do love my studio. It has too drawback which cause its days to be numbered, it is expensive, and its far away from my house. But it's fantastic...


So its Black Friday and its the first one I haven't had to work at the gallery in years. I will go in tonight for the reception. But I slept late and wouldn't have gotten up at all if I didn't feel guilty for being a slug. Robert says its hiding. Maybe he's right though,I am not sure what I am hiding from. This week has been heaven in the studio. Sad but all I want to do is be in my studio by myeslf making things. Or if I had a yard of my own I'd be there. Raking, weeding planning beds. Somehow I desperately need solitude these days. So unlike the younger me. Thought I'd share photos from earlier. Last week I spent as much time as possible getting ready for Art for the Masses. Meredith was with her dad so ever spare minute was spent in the studio.
These are copper pieces that were then enameled and made into jewelry:

Sunday, November 16, 2008


funny, the number on the door of the video below is 44, my age. This, and each progressive year, I feel I am moving out of dark, painful and turbulent times in my past making lots of karma, into a glowing, soft time of peace and healing and teaching. What a nice coincidence.


I went to church today... as a present. Not something I normally do. I am a spiritual person and once was religious. I was filled with the spirit in my 36th year and publically accepted Christ as my savior. It was a profound year for me. But now... I have been on an amazing journey through life thus far, and while I find truth in the teachings of Christ I am no longer a Christian. I have moved past that onto other deeper truths. But my former sister in law and I are still close, and her request for her 60th birthday was for her family to join her in church today. While I don't adhere to most Christian ritual and belief it is beautiful to watch the sincerity of others in worship. I have realized that I must build a spiritual foundation for my daughter, to not leave her floundering... So she and I discussed what I personally believe.
I believe earth is a boarding school for the soul. We all are here to do, and go through it all with each other. We must, like the Bonnie Raitt song, "get on into it, down where its tangled and dark". I enjoy reflection and discussion as much as I enjoy action. So in that sense its been a fruitful Sunday.
Once home, I went to my buddy Bee Shay's blog for a quick look and discovered a luscious morsel! Lior!!!!
You must go check out the video either on Bee's site or Youtube of Lior's
"I'll Forget You".
I leave you with Heal Me:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


OH YES WE CAN! There are few days I can remember feeling this good about my fellow countrymen. It is evidence that not all people are swayed by ugly fear tactics and underhanded lies. What a beautiful morning for America.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Opinions of Others

Okay, so normally I avoid political conversation. I am terrible at remembering important political information to buttress my views. But I every now and then develop an opinion and get riled up. And I spend my life now with a vocal man with a poli/sci degree. Robert, the poli/sci dude, says its because I am actually from "Faeire" and they don't have a need for politics there, they have wands. And well... I am Queen there so....
However, here in the real world, it appears that alot of others have become more vocal this election as well, people who possibly are as non-confrontational as I!
Here's a blog I visit often and really enjoy. I thought I would share:

Cabinet of Wonders
The name alone is fab... and you may enjoy plundering the treasures of other posts there, but the Oct 16th post is of interest. Go check it out!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Wow, do I ever want one of these?!! This company is amazing!
Fletcher and Myburgh
My absolute favorite is this one, the Lily. Perfect for a faerie....
I had better get started then....

Friday, October 10, 2008

New Obsession

I helped a student make and anticlastic bracelet and it was so much fun I can't stop!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

We BAILED these guys out???

Check out MSN's Money report on the CEO's who cashed in
yeah, somebody needs to go to jail.....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


So here's a quote for today

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." -Joseph Campbell

And I would like to introduce you to a mysterious and amazing young woman that I have had the privilege of sharing many a hour with. Mysterious because she's one of those people that doesn't need to talk. Exactly what's going on in her head is sometimes up to speculation. Which intrigues me as I am an open book, and leave nothing to chance. Which isn't always a good thing....
There is beauty in an unopened book, possibility.... and amazing because well, she is! I have never seen anyone hammer metal like she does. She is a marvel. Check out her website.
Marion Sak

Sunday, October 5, 2008


So the weather here is finally bearable. I have grown to hate the heat. If you are at the beach no problem, but if you are sitting in your non airconditioned, sweltering 90 degree metal box of a studio is SUCKS! I lose all inspiration. I end up staring at my bench, melting...dripping.
Staying inspired and productive is hard enough without just dissolving into the chair.... in October no less!

I envy those in the mountains or in cooler climes.
Even today I had to turn on the fan to work after 2pm, then at 4 I just plain left. Screw it, I'll find something to do at home.

On a side note Robert and I went to Masonoboro island a couple of weeks ago and there were SCADS of large scallop shells. I went mad trying to carry them back to the kayaks.
Also a bracelet I made from a spoon.

I have worked with tableware for years, but got inspired by Stephanie Lee's new book. Luscious book BTW!

The bracelet is now at the Woods Gallery on Bald Head Island.
It seemed too perfect with the image of Bald Head at the mouth of the Cape Fear.
I was in a pirate mood earlier this summer.....

Little Reminders

Sometimes your gut instincts are off.
Take Wolfgang for instance.

When his mother called me to ask if I’d give her 10 yr old son private lessons, I could feel the cringe in my gut. I heard “10 yr old” and thought of past, less than desirable situations. Kids- they get bored, I get irritated….
I was going to have to disappoint this mother and say no. Somehow I didn’t. I said sure. I’d give it a try, one hour with Wolfgang. “But,” I said, “Remember, very few kids that age have the patience to really make any jewelry.”
She said, much to my relief, “OH! I don’t care if he makes anything! Just show him your studio, your tools. Talk to him about what you do. That’d be great! He just loves working with wire and little things he finds.” Sounded like me at a young age.

So in walked Wolfgang.
It has been a revelation.
Because of him, I now have permission for an hour every other week, to melt stuff, squish stuff, hammer it back out, melt it again, pour it into water, and discover all over again the magic of the words “what if”.

Wolfgang each time says, “I don’t want to leave.”
He makes me laugh and knows so much geeky cool stuff. He tells me about TV shows I have never seen like Myth Busters and how to make a “Bagdad Battery” out of an oil jar, lemon juice, metal and such. One day he was sifting through my box of old coins. He suddenly exclaimed, “This is a guinea!” I thought, it is?! What’s a guinea look like and what’s it doing in there? As I was coming over to see he said, “Oh its just a copy.” I thought how’d he know that?! I picked it up. It was stamped COPY… duh!

The other day Wolfgang told me with complete sincerity, “You have the greatest job, ever!”
You know that is a very good thing to hear. In this time when money is so tight, the gas pump is painful, galleries aren't selling anything, I may have to give up my studio and downsize…
I spend too many precious moments in a day just trying to hang on to hope and not fear the future.
I almost got tears in my eyes.
I do Wolfgang. I have the coolest job ever. And I forget it way too much.
I get to melt stuff and squish stuff and hammer stuff and melt it again…
I just gotta remember that. Wolfgang came just in the nick of time to remind me.

Friday, September 19, 2008


The presidential candidates educational records:

McCain graduated from the Naval Academy in June 1958; he was fifth from the bottom in class rank, 894th out of 899.

from the Associated Press
Published: September 4th, 2008 01:20 PM
Last Modified: September 4th, 2008 01:20 PM
SPOKANE, Wash. - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin attended five colleges in six years before graduating from the University of Idaho in 1987.
Federal privacy laws prohibit the schools from disclosing her grades, and none of the schools contacted by The Associated Press could say why she transferred. There was no indication any of them were contacted as part of the background investigation of Palin by presidential candidate John McCain's campaign."
Her degree was in journalism.

He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988 and at the end of his first year was selected as an editor of the law review based on his grades and a writing competition. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago

Joe Biden:
Biden attended the University of Delaware in Newark,[10] where by his own later description he was a lazy student.[11] He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in history and political science in 1965,[2] ranked 506th of 688 in his class. He went on to receive his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law in 1968.

So who's qualified to run our country????

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Women multiply things

My uncle sent me this I thought it was wonderful!

Quote of the day:

'Whatever you give a woman, she's going to multiply it. If you give her a house, she'll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she'll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she'll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So - if you give her any crap, you will receive a ton of......

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jamie's journal

Jamie Sells and I have been emailing. She liked the Camp Creed I wrote and used it on her first page in her visual journal. I thought it was wonderful!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Great Loss?

Will we, the national art community, suffer a devastating loss?
From their site:
"The Latest News:
Statement of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts Board of Governors
September 7, 2008

For Immediate Release:
Members of the Board of Governors were unaware of the plan for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity to sell the property on which Arrowmont is located until late July 2008. In mid-August, the Board of Governors engaged an attorney to investigate every possibility related to the sale of the land, which is currently leased to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts through 2011.

The Arrowmont Board of Governors is fully committed to the ongoing success of Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. However, the sale of the land on which the school is located represents a major threat to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. While Arrowmont could be relocated and rebuilt elsewhere, the cost of doing so would greatly exceed the amount of money that Pi Beta Phi Fraternity has suggested it might offer. The Arrowmont Board of Governors believes that losing the historic campus and the professional craft studio facilities and dormitories would be devastating to the school, not only in the short term, but also because it would sever its long-lasting ties to the early heritage of Pi Beta Phi in Gatlinburg. Of additional concern is the fact that the immediate loss of revenue and constituents (both local and national students and conference attendees) while the new facilities are being built could prove catastrophic. "

My grandmother arrived in 1932 (?) to Arrowmont as a teacher. She was called by the Pi Beta Phi's from the dustbowls of Oklahoma to come to the mountains of Tennessee and teach children. She and my mother took me to Arrowmont after it had become an art school when I was in 3rd grade. My other grandparents lived around the corner and my grandfathers church where he officiated for 35 years was across the street from the Arrowcraft Gallery. To me Arrowmont became a symbol of what artists do. It was an icon for me my entire life. My life's dream was to eventually teach workshops there. I have taken two workshops and a conference there. Recieved a scholarship for one, attended auctions and assisted two workshops there, and underwent one of the most transformative experiences of my art career there. I have sat on the patio until 3am with Keith LoBue there, talking and sharing and watching the stars. Arrowmont is my artistic womb manifested as a place.
When I heard this news I cried so hard my eyes swelled for the next day. Robert didn't speak. He didn't know what to say.
My only hope is that somehow someway Arrowmont can morph and change and be reborn just a special in another place.
Maybe even a better place. Were I a millionaire....

The porch of Teacher's Cottage.

metals studio

The picnic tables outside the cafeteria.

The fountain outside metals. I have soaked my tired feet in this many times!


I was searching for just the right thing this summer for my daughter to do. You know, she's at that weird age... old enough for some things, too young for others. Back when I was in middle school the world was a different place. There was less worry about leaving us home all day in the summer. We'd explore the woods, ride bikes clear across town, spend the day at the beach or in the pool, just us kids! Now people are spreadout in urban sprawl. She might be killed on a bike on our roads! There are child molesters and creepazoids everywhere... so anyway, kids camps seemed to young for her but I work and she gets bored at my studio space... sigh, what to do. I asked one of my students, a cool, smart, well adjusted but delightfully eccentric girl,"what would you say if you had to pick something that made a huge, positive difference in your life at 13? Was it a activity, a hobby, a person?" She said, "Horses! hands down" She went to a barn near her house and it changed her life. Then I asked a friend whose raised three fantastic girls what she thought really gave them self confidence and joy. She said,"horseback riding!" Odd they both, in the same week, said the same thing. So I signed her up at a barn for horseback riding camp. She went everyday from 8:30 to 2 for weeks this sumer. We all got hooked. She goes for lessons on Wednesday evenings. Her very first competitive show was yesterday.

Here she is with her trainer. She entered one division. And in the very first class of that division they called her name for first place. I missed seeing her jaw drop in shock as I was on the opposite side of the ring. The trainer and other mothers said it was priceless! She went on to get division champion. I could not be happier for her.
I bet she'll not take that medal off for days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Teaching, Learning, John Cage and LEAF!

Wow a new friend sent me this:

John Cage's "Rules for Students and Teachers." Here they are:

1 Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.
2 General duties of a student--pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.
3 General duties of a teacher--pull everything out of your students.
4 Consider everything an experiment.
5 Be self-disciplined--this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.
6 Nothing is a mistake. There's no win and no fail, there's only make.
7 The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It's the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.
8 Don't try to create and analyze at the same time. They're different processes.
9 Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It's lighter than you think.
10 Break rules. Even your own rules. Leave plenty of room for X quantities.

John Cage (1912-1992) was a composer, print maker, performance artist, writer, philosopher, editor, teacher, mushroom expert, collaborator and poet. Fact is, John Cage had a lot of fun in his factory. Considered one of the most influential composers of the twentieth century, he produced works with one note, no notes, notes by chance, and a noted organ composition that takes 639 years to play.
"Life," he said, "is a workshop."

So wonderful! Thank you Dan! This is especially great as LEAF is soon upon us! Lake Eden Arts Festival in October is on the former grounds of Black Mountain College where John Cage spent alot of time as faculty beginning in 1948. He staged his first happening there. And oddly I am listening to Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour on NPR on which Michael Franti is playing live, and Robert and I saw him at LEAF last year! weird circles.....
(oh and sorry for the typos in the previous post. I can't seem to edit them!)

I know what you're thinking...

Yeah, at first I thought who cares what Matt Damon thinks, but wait! I mean I loke Matt Damon and all, but honestly he says what I am thinking about Sarah Palin!

Oh you Arfesters! Get a load o this!

It's on Etsy!! I love it! The user name is Postdesigner.

Horsey Talk

“And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” -Marianne Williamson

So I haven't posted in bit, thought I'd start anew. In fact, since Artfest packets are hatching in people's mailboxes I would endeavor to make the blog more "arty"! Thought this quote was lovely, and exactly what Artfest is all about.
I have three new activities that have been hugely stimulating to me. One is a collaborative I am in with 12 other women, the next is a little collage class I am doing on wednesday nights at my studio with four local women. I call it "Collage Camp for Grown Up Girls". We began with a "Camp Creed" that I wrote:

"Tonight, I will give my inner critic the night off!
I will let go, play, maybe even dance.
I will open a window to let in Possibility.
I will be kind to myself, using only nurturing, encouraging
mental words.
I will allow Imperfection to visit and have tea, maybe I will learn
from her.
I will allow Uniqueness in as well.
Finally, I will fill with gratitude for whatever happens tonight!"

And thirdly, I started Cape Fear Metalsmiths, a local club for people who've caught the metal bug. I had three of them in my studio last night for a lesson on rivets. Thursday is my LONG day. It starts at 5:45. I teach metals at 8am for three hours at CFCC. Then I hang in my little shared office, chat with coworkers, grade, answer emails, tweek the school/class website, do paperwork, eat soup, fix broken equipment and then teach metals again until 5pm. Then I chase students out (there's always some who don't want to leave) lock up and drive to my studio and eat soup while I tidy up for the night metals class there. I finish up around 9:30 and drive home...gasp, gasp. Last night I laid in the floor,nay I collapsed!

Meredith rides in her first competitive equestrian show on Saturday. I am so excited! She is nervous! She will ride one of the stable's horses, Tobey. I told her we would all consider a horse when she is 16. Then she can drive to wherever it's boarded, herself! And she can have a job to pay for it! I confess I would love having a horse and small farm but alas, for now its our little brick ranch on a little suburban lot. Robert and I do dream of a bit of land, a house with a porch and rocking chairs, a garden, herbs, brick paths, angora goats, making soap, I would set up my loom and weave, I would have a pottery shed and he a boat and kayak building shed, and of course the metals/collage studio!
We love little outbuildings and point them out to each other on roadtrips. Oh well, someday....

Meredith making the horsey talk...

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pretty in Pink

You know for me its good to have a lunatic in my life.
Robert found this little girl's Roxy rash gaurd at the dock at work. Being the silly man he is, he squeezed into in and drove home to show us!!! He could barely breathe and was turning purple when I arrived! Of course he required help getting out of it. Silly silly....

Thursday, August 28, 2008


If you live in southeastern NC I hope you are aware (you may have been in a cave I don't know, I spend alot of time in one) that negotiations have been made behind closed doors with county government officials to entice Titan Cement company to build a factory to make cement right in my back yard. I am pissed. I really don't want to breathe arsenic and lord knows what else. I really don't want mercury leaching into our waters and fish. the bad thing I use portland cement. I use it quite a bit right now. So here I sit in a hypocritical position. It is hard to not take a "not in my back yard" stance. I guess I just wish industry could conduct its business in an honest, open and caring way. But the truth is they will hide, lie and pollute just as much as they can get away with. And if wishes were horses beggars would ride. Still until there are better ways to police industries like Titan, I will be sporting my very stylish Stoptitan tote bag...or maybe I shall get the T-shirt.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's rollin'! new etsy shop!

Mariko Kusumoto

I may have mentioned before my love of the work of Mariko Kusumoto? I thought I'd share again.
She says this in Metalsmith's Exhibition in Print 2004:
"Growing up in a 4OO year old temple, I was always surrounded by ancient things like tansu (Japanese chests of drawers), faded paint on wood, Buddhas and their ornaments, etc.

I was especially fascinated by the tansu. When I opened the drawers, I could never anticipate what would appear from the darkness. I had mixed feelings of excitement and fear whenever I opened it. It was a great wonder box to me. The darkness inside the tansu stirred up my imagination.

Inside the darkness of the temple, the gleam of the Buddhas and the golden ornaments would emerge. I could sense the spiritual world and its eternal silence. In my work, I am striving to create a world of Shadows, light, silence, spirituality, and my personal memories."
I just can't get enough and now you can view works of hers at Mobilia Gallery.
I highly recommend checking this link. Her works are sumptuous!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Oktapodi -- Funny Animation

I 'm soooo all about sea creatures these days...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

AOT Artisans on Taylor

In Port Townsend, WA (one of my favorite places) is one of my favorite galleries, Artisans on Taylor
They will be carrying some of my work! Check them out!
Teresa is fantastic, has an amazing eye and fabulous style. LOVE IT!

The Dunes Offerings

At the north end of our beach there are steps that drifted up after a hurricane. Years ago. Someone decided to rebuild them where they stood as a resting place to reflect. They added this little copper mailbox and residents keep it stocked with pencils, pens and a small notebook. This year people started leaving these bundled offerings. I adore them! They are like ocean talismans little energy filled trinkets. Like the shorelines jewelry. I am so inspired by them and have visited them numerous times. I have yet to add my own to the mix. They seem so precious as they are.