Summer Copper Weather

Here we are in the thick of summer and across the nation, the weather is powerful and unusual.

Summer Storms
Summer Storms

In the Southwest, where we live and work, the skies are overcast and violet with the moisture high in the atmosphere-the ground still parched.

Copper Sky
Copper Sky

Then the evening skies are on fire with rust, crimson and gold. The iron oxide in the red rocks creates a glow in the intense summer sun.

These are the colors of copper in its unique transformation by fire.

Solar Flare Copper Art
Solar Flare Copper Art
Recycled Copper Art
Recycled Copper Art

These are the properties that draw us in and continue to intrigue us . . . that make copper art so enticing.

Copper Abstract
Copper Abstract

Do you see copper art in a neutral setting; linen walls and black accents? Or would you pair it with bold turquoise and coral? Let us know in the comments below.

Thank you.


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The Nightmares of Repairs

Part of being a maker is being asked to “Make this work again”. Repairing broken artwork is scary, whether it’s glass, metal or wood. Undoing is always risky, and there is the pressing chance that the repair will not be successful. Then what? Start from scratch? Well sometimes that would be the easier way.

There is the essence of the art to preserve, the uniqueness to keep in perspective. Usually there is a measure of strengthening; shoring up to work into the project. And it is especially difficult if it is someone else’s art we’ve been asked to repair.

Sometimes a customer believes that since the repair is only a small part of the project- it should go quickly and therefore, cost should be minimal. As anyone knows who has taken something apart and put it back together, the time factor is huge and should be considered. If it really was as easy as pie, “you wouldn’t be bringing it to us for repair, would you?

Fused Glass Compass Star
Fused Glass Compass Star

Most people really are aware of the difficulty and are patient, and willing to pay for the time involved. I recreated a piece for some friends that gave me new motivation when it was finished. They had purchased a beautiful gemstone inlaid globe in a copper stand. It was damaged in shipping and they asked if I could reproduce the shattered compass point. It was a huge challenge but one that lifted my confidence when it was done. They were happy and I learned some new math skills in the process- a win for both of us.

Stained Glass Rooster Needing Repair
Stained Glass Rooster “Lieutenant Dan”

My workbench is full, right now, of pieces I’ve been asked to repair, and that seems to be the time my mind soars with new ideas I would like to undertake. But nevertheless; I must get to those restorations. They can be the test of a persevering spirit, a resolute challenge.

My Own Work to Repair
My Own Work to Repair

And when they are finished . . . Oh the sigh of relief.

Do you have repair projects of your own that you have been putting off? How do you motivate yourself to get crackin’? Tell us about them in the comments below.

Thank you.

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Public Art Collections

The two pieces of art I wrote about recently; Copper Elephant Curiosity and Copper Solar Flare were part of a collection bound for a business in Sacramento. Thank you to The Ambiance Group for sharing photos with me of the artwork commissioned for their client’s office.

Copper Art for Ambiance Group
Copper Art Commissioned by The Ambiance Group
Copper Art for The Ambiance Group
Copper Art Commissioned by The Ambiance Group
Horizontal Copper Art
Horizontal Copper Art

These pieces of copper art all have a different process of development, from design to finish. Some are created using separate pieces of copper with different textures, and some are single pieces with a unique story of their own to convey.

Copper Art in Production
Copper Art in Production

Collectively, they make up a vibrant and intriguing accent to the area. This is also the case with much of the art I have been noticing in our Health Care facility while I wait for a family member being treated there.

Blue Resin Art
Blue Resin Art at Health and Performance Center

This resin sculpture was created by local artists 3form, Darin Harker, and PMI. It is calming and mesmerizing. The other end of the space has an orange sculpture of similar structure that is vivid and invigorating.

Glass and Amber Onyx Triptych
Glass and Amber Onyx Triptych

At the elevator entrance there is a triptych of glass and Amber Onyx. This work reflects the desert canyons around us with its simplicity and natural wonder.

Whitaker's Wind Sculptures
Whitaker’s Wind Sculptures

Outside the window where I write as I wait, giant wind-sculptures by Whitaker Studios move ever so subtly in the almost nonexistent breeze. The beauty of these sculptures captures my attention each time I encounter one of them.

Numerous photos of slot canyons, wildlife and nature hang on many walls in our public places, but I believe it is the sculptural art that is beginning to catch my eye.

Seeing the collections Mike creates for our clients has made me more aware of the public art I experience in my everyday life. Who created it? Does it calm me or energize me? Would I like to see it hanging in my home?

How do you feel about the art you encounter in your world? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Thank you.

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One Woman’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Barnwood Treasure
And I believe we have found a pot of gold, or rust or maybe the spoils of a bygone era.
I was privileged to spend some time with friends helping to clean up their summer property. The piles of metal that can’t be used to maintain their outbuildings will make perfect additions to Mike’s artwork.
Scrap Metal
And throwing them in the dump would be so wasteful.
Rusty Gold
Rusty Gold
I breathed in the dust and pulled stickers from my shoes, I rubbed my sore muscles in the afternoon sun and knew I had found something that would make Mike smile. 
Old Sled
I told my friends of the quirky lighting Mike has created from sleds and wheels, and knew their cast off pieces would find new life in his creative hands. I told them how I used to complain about the piles in the yard, until I saw the beautiful art work he creates from those time warped- weather stained pieces. I’m much more patient now.
Relaxin' by the firepit.
Relaxin’ Time
And here I am enjoying the hunt and savoring the reveal I’ll share with him when I get home in the morning.
Do you have treasures you plan to make into something beautiful? What does it take to get you motivated to create with them? Please let us know in the comments below. . . Thanks.
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It’s a Perfect Square

For all of our math loving family and friends out there (you know who you are . . .) we’ve had several orders and inquiries this past week for our Perfect Little Square steel light sconces. They’re lighting up homes across the country with their simplicity and uniquely versatile design.

 Square Steel Light Sconce
Perfect Little Square Steel Light Sconce

Mike makes them with a plain-rustic patina to add a touch of simple to walls and accent areas . . .

Horizontal Corrugated Steel Light Sconce
Horizontal-Corrugated Steel Light Sconce

He makes them corrugated in either a horizontal or vertical direction-reminiscent of a beautiful old tin roof . . .

Vertical Corrugated Steel Light Sconce
Vertical-Corrugated Steel Square Light Sconce

And he even makes them with a hand cut moon or stars and silver mica insets, for a touch of whimsy.

Silver Moon Square Light Sconce
Silver Moon Square Light Sconce

Simple is often better, and the versatility of these lights makes them easy to decorate with. One client combined the lights on their fireplace wall for a punch of character and style.

Silver Stars Square Light Sconce
Silver Stars Square Light Sconce

These lights are also beautiful in copper with its warmth and appeal.

Copper Square Light Sconce
Copper Square Light Sconce

Steel or copper, texture or pattern, there’s a charm to these lights that is causing them to fly off the workbench. (Hmmmm . . . maybe wings would make an interesting motif!?)

What would you like to see customized in the little squares? Please tell us in the comments below.


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Copper Designs at Western Design Conference

We’re excited to be heading to The Western Design Conference, in Jackson Hole Wyoming, in September. We applied this Spring, and were notified recently that our application was accepted. This means the creative juices can flow freely this summer. We love to be free to create something that is new and distinctly ours.

WDC Sourcebook 2008
Western Design Conference Sourcebook 2008

The last time we participated in the Design Conference was in 2008.

The Conference is a great place to meet other creatives and begin to think outside the box. There are diverse styles represented in medium from glass to stone, metal to wood, fabric to fine gems, and more.

We will connect with old friends and make new ones, and enjoy an experience that celebrates the artists with respect and appreciation for the work involved in honing our skills. There will be tributes to founders and long time participants now gone, as well as spotlights on the up and coming.

There will be the usual figiting and fumbling most artists experience when they are called on to explain and describe their work, but the commraderi and support will outweigh the discomfort.

Quilting with Flicka
Quilting with Flicka

We are blessed to have friends of many years to stay with in Jackson, and that makes our travels so enjoyable. We reconnect, breathe deep, and plan for their return to the desert for the winter, and enjoy a real working vacation for four or five days.

Old Barn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Ahhhhhhh . . . the Tetons are calling, and Mike has me well equipped for watercolor this time!

Do you have a special gathering you enjoy and look forward to in your work? How does it feed your muse for the months ahead?

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Copper Solar Flare

Copper Solar Flare
Copper Solar Flare

Another of the collection sent, recently, to Sacramento; this copper wall art reminds me of a solar flare. I wish you could see it up close and personal. It really has more of a three dimensional character. Each of those little folds at the top is moving and molten! And the colors are incredible. They move from deep magenta to green, and on to subtle lilac, and the gleaming copper that carries the eye into infinity.

Copper Solar
Copper Solar

A friend said it reminded them of a forest with the trees on the horizon. Maybe the layers are reminiscent of our curious Bryce Canyon National Park and its hoodoos!

As I questioned Mike about how he got the effect, it was just as intriguing. I could share that with you but then . . .  well you know. Some things are better left to the imagination.

I wonder what the display wall, on the site in Sacramento, looks like. This would be beautiful on a deep rich maroon or brown wall. And just as captivating on a light background.

Would you hang a piece of art like this in your home or business, and what would your display look like? Would it be lighted, textural, mixed media? I’m interested to know.


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Copper Elephant Curiosity

Copper Elephant on the Move
Copper Elephant on the Move

Curiouser and curiouser; this magic that copper produces when Mike puts his hand to it. He’s always telling me that my glass “mistakes” are not mistakes, but opportunities.

This was an art piece that began on the other side. That’s right . . . this is the back side- the unintentional beautiful side of an otherwise noncohesive attempt to blend finishes. It didn’t turn out how he had planned, so Mike turned it over, and this extraordinary image was revealed. With a skillful hand he finished the piece and turned it into this mesmerizing image; part of a collection of artwork sent recently, to Sacramento, California.

Copper Elephant Abstract
Elephant Image

I can feel the texture of the hide, smell the dust as he thunders across the desert, or imagine him slipping quietly into the rainforest. He almost looks like a prehistoric painting on an ancient stone wall somewhere in a cave in Africa.

Can you see him? Do you imagine a different image? Do you love to stare at clouds too, and ponder the reveals?

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A Bump in the Road

I love traveling and the perspective it brings to my senses. Last month, I was on my way to California to visit my brother, and found I would have a two hour layover in Seattle, so I brought my usual reading materials and knitting to pass the time.

Glass Exhibit
Seattle Airport Glass Exhibit

As I headed for the gate to settle down for a long morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see an exhibit of cast and blown glass vessels created by local artist, Preston Singletary. What an unexpected privilege to find this interesting form of art in the airport. And how exciting to have the time to really study its beauty. Singletary represents traditional forms and symbols, uniquely, in the medium of glass; casting, blowing and sandblasting the glass to create his incredible sculptures.

Glass by Preston Singletary
Cast and Sandblasted Glass by Preston Singletary

For many years, I have been intrigued by the art of the Indigenous people of the Northwest. The sea and the land creatures are so beautifully depicted in their work, from paintings to totems, and the stories that go into them are captivating.

Singletary’s work was an inspiring detour in what could have been seen as an inconvenience. (Who wants to spend 2 hours in an airport?) And that’s just one more assurance for me that stepping outside of my comfort zone is good for the soul.

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Copper Art


Copper Art Outdoors
Copper Art Outdoors

What goes into a piece of art? Is it magic or intuition- imagination or intricate design? Or is it just plain hard work and determination? It may just be a little of all of the above (disregard the magic, that’s just another word for perspective)

Copper Triptych 3pc
Copper Triptych Art

The maker of the artwork uses skill and imagination to release their itch to communicate the vision living in the mind’s eye; that idea that keeps them awake at night. And sometimes it takes more conviction than insight.

Textured Copper Wall Art
Textured Copper Wall Art

But together the grit, perseverance and creativity result in satisfaction and an opening up for new ideas to sprout.

Glass Dreamer
Fused Glass Dreamer

Our world is better for the dreams and resolve of creatives and those of us who look on their work with awe. How did that color emerge, that note blend with the others- that image move my soul?

How have you fed your creative hunger recently? Are you a maker or a receiver? We both make a difference.

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