Thursday, April 22

feeling like the white rabbit...or maybe the march hair?

geez, april is almost over already. for local artists april and may are probably the busiest months of the year, with two major art shows: the Kodiak Whale Fest Art Show opens tomorrow evening at The Next Page bookstore and features ocean and whale-themed pieces from artists of all ages, and the Kodiak Crab Festival Art Show, held in may, which traditionally showcases work from local and village artists.
i encourage you to click on each link & visit the sites. the whale fest is held every year as a welcome home party for the migrating grey whales returning to kodiak waters, and the site includes a link showing the latest whale sightings & photos. can you tell we take our sea life serious here?

here are two of the pieces i've entered on the whale fest show:
the piece above is called "water wheel" it measures 10.5" square. i hand dyed and painted the top, machine quilted it and threw some beads in for sparkle. i ended up liking the "feel" of this, kind of calming. i'm considering a sister piece for it in the fall, during the spawn. it probably won't have the calm feel to it - the poor gals.

this piece is called "time and tide" two things that are a very big part of our life on the island. the base wood i found on our beach at ugak bay, it cleaned up just right for its day in the spotlight. i put down a piece of muslin i rusted by wrapping it over an old wrench i found on the beach & left outside for a few days - i love the way it turned out. i stitched a bit of embroidery to keep the mermaid happy. the paper layer is covered with old local navigation charts, pages from tide tables, some teabags, a mermaid and her fishy friend. this layer is held down with wonderful metal bits i found on the beach, all aged to beautiful patinas, and old brass screws. i added a piece of rusty screen which i sewed some pearls & crystals on (for the mermaid) and there it is.

between whale fest and crab fest is the opportunity for twelve artists to create halibut tails for the Kodiak Island Visitor and Convention Bureau's annual Chocolate Lovers' Fling and Halibut Tail Auction. (phew that was a mouthful) some of you may remember clarice, the halibut tail i created last year for this event. i am currently working on her sister tail now. the event was a huge success last year, and i'm tickled to be able to participate again. you can see photos of all the tails from last year on Kodiak Island's facebook page.

here's the beginnings of my halibut tail for this year. we all get a fiberglass taxidermy form of a halibut tail to build on - you can see it in it's naked glory on the back of the table. it's a pretty intimidating blank canvas, and i have been "dragging my tail" getting started...

on top of these events i'm working on a super secret project i can't wait to spill the beans about. but i have to.

i've recently had the great opportunity to take a class on PMC- precious metal clay, taught by martha biggar. we so rarely get teachers here to the island, so this was such a treat. i'd never worked with this medium before, and was a bit apprehensive of it being like polymer clay, but this was not the case. i still don't comprehend the whole alchemy thing of it, but here's what i got - you start out with a lump of clay (expensive clay) you make something out of it, it gets fired in a kiln, and when it comes out, it's .999 fine silver. amazing. mind-boggling. and super duper fun. i'm hooked. martha was a wonderful teacher, she's a certified PMC instructor, and was a lot of fun to get to know. she was generous in sharing her experiences with the processes, her tips & shortcuts. her jewelry is stunning, check out her website here!

above are some of the pieces i made after they came out of the kiln, before they were burnished. they come out of the kiln looking chalky. after burnishing they sparkle & shine like nobody's business. it's an amazing process.

here they are after burnishing. i haven't put any of the pieces together yet, i want to patina them first. i'll show you again once that's done.

i will leave you now with one last photo. this may be my last post for a bit as i finish up my top secret projects. i'd like to introduce you to my new friend, della. della arrived on my doorstep last week with quite a bit of baggage...from Mad Housewife Wine. three cases of wine!!! my prizes from the cork slogan contest i won! i have to say never pass up an opportunity to enter a mad housewife contest gals. they have showered me with gifts: t shirts to share with my pals, 100 corks with my slogan printed on them (go get yourself a bottle and see for yourself!) pretty pink spatulas, fun matches...etc. but i have to say, della tops it all. ever hear the story of flat stanley? he was a little boy who folded himself into an envelope and mailed himself all over the world. in grade school my kids used to make flat stanleys & send them to relatives or friends in the states, who would take stanley around & photo him , then send him back with the pictures. that's what della and i are going to do, around kodiak. i can't wait to introduce her to everyone!!

my pal duffy does not like della. at all. look at his face! he snarls every time he sees her. ha!


  1. Wow... beautiful quilt.!!! I can not wait to get home and finish reading your post today... is that a Mad house wife dog?? didn't know they had a dog... love reading your post. Deb

  2. What a fabulous and exciting post Deb ... eye candy to beat the band! You are VERY talented,
    your 'water wheel' quilt piece is gorgeous, those shades of blue and the cycle of life feeling is wonderful!
    Amazing what you created with that found piece of wood, it started something really special AND your PMC pieces are each wonderful too! I Love that stuff, took a class and then decided I'd better stay away from about addicting. Who knew it would be so easy to work with. I came home from the class with a finished stamped pendant, we even put the cord on at the bead shoppe and everything. I could easily get into that stuff!
    Thanks for a really great post, so much to enjoy and learn about!
    Happy Weekend and Happy Art Shows to you!

  3. OH and I can't wait to see flat Della's adventures in Kodiak! Congrats, must check out all of your links too!

  4. deb,
    1. i am so honored you wanted to buy something of mine, because your art work is drop-dead gorgeous.
    2. love della. love that gal. I bet she is going to have a lot of fun.
    3. can't wait to hear your surprise.
    4 can't wait to see how the whale tail comes out!!!

  5. Your water wheel piece is amazing! Love those colors, it's so ethereal.

    Thanks for your visits as usual, Deb #18! ;-)


  6. Congratulations Deb! That's so exciting and not surprising since you are so talented! Just checking to see if your box arrived yet. I sure hope it has! Let me know, and have a fabulous weekend! Marcia in Cali

  7. Cannot wait to see your finished pieces. I have always wanted to work in that medium. Your comment about your son seeing his first bikini on the beach had me laugh out loud. thankfully, I did not get hot tea all over my monitor screen while I read it. I will keep your son in my prayers as he serves this nation. I am waiting to hear that my son is returning from Afganaistan any day now. Much happiness I send your way. Sea Witch


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