Monday, April 28, 2008




Last weekend, I did a demo with my screening sculptures alongside two men who worked in stone and clay. This weekend, I did a demo showing my copper repousse' technique alongside two women working in steel and mixed metal sculpture. All at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon.

It was an interesting and educational experience for me in many ways.

Bonnie Meltzer (, a metal and fiber artist uses electrical wire as yarn and crochets sculptures that include aluminum cable, telephone wires and various parts of recycled electronics including computers and telephones. I love to crochet with yarn, but I've never thought of buying spools of electrical wire. It was inspiring to watch Bonnie crochet this thin, shiny, red and green metallic wire in and around aluminum cable. The resulting spiral took on an undulating, organic shape that looked almost Seussical to me.

I showed various copper repousse' pieces including my oak leaf mask, animal angels and fantasy landscapes. I told interested museum goers about the history of repousse' and showed them how I created the landscape in the copper from the backside using a variety of tools that I've collected from around my home. As well as explaining how I 'paint' the piece using chemicals and heat to create the colors and textures.

Alisa Looney,, a steel sculptor, had a wonderful collection of amazing macques of her large scale pieces. To demonstrate her technique, she had a book of photo illustrations showing her process step by step from cutting the steel into her unique figurative shapes to welding it all together.

It was inspiring and educational for me to learn more about these other artists and their techniques. And I learned from the museum goers, who were generous in sharing their art experiences and techniques, too.

We were representing the Pacific Northwest Sculptors Guild, a wonderful organization that includes many talented artist. To learn more visit the website at

Monday, April 21, 2008



On Saturday, I worked alongside two other sculptors from the Pacific Northwest Sculptors Guild at Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft. The three of us took our solitary studio work and process out to the public. I wasn't sure how it would go or whether I would enjoy this experience of demonstrating my sculpting technique in metal screening. Or how it would be to work in the same space as two artists I did not know who worked in completely different media.

It went very well. It was refreshing and invorgating to have the company of two experienced and professional artists.

Joseph Highfill, a figurative clay/bronze artist, was working on a 4 foot high sculpture of a man in plasteline clay. He showed other plaster faces and busts that he does as portrait commissions. His work is graceful, precise and beautiful. Jonas Blant, a stone sculptor, worked on soapstone. He showed other stone sculptures of cats. His stone pieces were smooth and glowing. I worked on aluminum mesh sculpting a male woodland fairy and a female fairy face. I showed other finished mesh sculptures including a macaw, cheetah and an old wise woman.

It was an interesting three hours working side by side Joseph and Jonas while answering questions about our work and chatting with curious museum goers. My conclusion: I liked having the comradier of coworkers for a change. I was even able to problem solve with them on a project I was working on and although I didn't come up with my exact solution then and there, the conversation and sharing led me to an idea that I hadn't even thought about before.

Friday, April 11, 2008


This week, I got a letter of congratulations. I was selected to participate in Portland Open Studios 2008 tour. That means I'll be opening my studio, my process and my work to people in my community.

I've participated in the tour before as a visitor, not an artist. I've known other artists who've participated in years past. I've always wanted to do this but was a little shy about opening up my art space to others. I guess I've grown since then, because I'm excited to share what I do and how I do it. The tour dates are in the fall, so check back here and I'll keep you posted.


Friday, April 04, 2008


"You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll find, you get what you need." (The Rolling Stones)

Let's face it, rejection hurts. It's hard, upsetting and ego-blasting. All the little whispers that I keep so tightly locked into their little closets start shouting out loud. And I don't like what I hear, things like 'your work's not good enough, you should work harder, better, or stop altogether'. I feel like a failure. I feel sad. I feel like hiding away. I feel alone.

But I know I'm not alone. This week on one of my artist groups, a member shared her story of rejection. Tapestry crochet artist, Carol Ventura ( sent out her art packet and got a rejection letter. Because she's a well known fiber artist with years of experience, she took it in stride. Oh, she wasn't happy but as she pointed out it's part of the process. Sometimes you get accepted and sometimes you get rejected. One feels good, the other doesn't.

As another fiber artist, Bonnie Meltzer ( put it, no one likes to get a rejection letter. It's hard. It hurts. But the important thing is to get back up on that horse again and keep moving. Because the only way to get your work out there is, well, to keep putting your work out there.

Another artist, Julie Goodenough ( wrote in to say that she's going to be teaching a course in how to get your work into juried shows. The funny thing is, both she and her teaching partner had been recently rejected from not one but three separate shows. They wondered if they were qualified to teach this class. And, of course, they are. They have experience with acceptance and rejection. They can pass along the fact that as an artist, you do the best possible presentation you can and then, you wait. Sometimes you get accepted and sometimes you get rejected. The biggest lesson they can teach is that you are not the only one. You are not alone.

Sometimes I can't get into the show that I wanted. But I got back on the horse, stayed open to new opportunities and what'd you know? Yes, just like the song quoted above, I tried and sometimes I find I get what I need.

How has it worked out for you?