News November 2009 Issue 12

Hello Everybody

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the earth, or dug a hole and climbed in.  I am still here, things are going well.  Actually, for the last five months I have had a bad case of “Outdoor In North Idaho”.  I can't help it.  It is so beautiful here and there are so many things I want to get done on this place, and just do on this place, well, I do come inside to sleep and occasionally eat.  Though with the garden this year, a lot of our eating was done outside directly from the plants.

It was a very good year for the vegetable garden.  I have a freezer full and still have baskets and bowls of fresh tomatoes, even if the hard frost in late October ended production.  We were able to introduce quite a few more friends to our gardening in tires and “great tomato machines”, and the food bank got much of our surplus.  All this after a really slow start in Spring.  Each year we learn more about gardening up here, each year things grow differently.  However, I have finally said enough enlarging the garden!  At last count we had 118 tire planters in production, two double curved wire stock panel bean houses, and one stock panel tomato house.  And in my spare time I work on the floral sculpture garden. 

After our losses last fall to our horse herd, and Missy Mouse the pony finding a new crop of little children to raise, the barn seemed empty.  The two mules didn't know what to do with themselves.  But as you know, nothing is more dangerous than an empty stall.  Gretchen has joined this outfit.  We finally found the right little Fjord mare, one that can be ridden and driven, and is just a sweetheart.  We had located a harness that fit, and a pretty rough little cart that did work, (but wasn't much for comfort.)  Then at the North Idaho Draft Horse Show we were able to add an antique but very usable Doctor's Buggy to our rolling stock.  The shafts had to be readjusted, they were for a light horse and fit Gretchen rather like a clothespin.  We wouldn't have even needed the harness for her to pull the buggy but it didn't seem like a very safe arrangement. 

Driving is so much fun.  We had taken a Clinic this Spring put on by the Draft Horse Association.  It wasn't new to Emmette, he grew up farming with teams, but I had never driven the big horses and mules.  Not the same as driving a little POA, at all!  At the Draft Horse Show, one of the marvelous people who had generously loaned his horses for student use at the clinic gave me the opportunity to enjoy them again.  Last year I got my first ride on a wagon behind a big team at the show...this year I got to drive!  Okay, Gretchen is a true pony beside the big guys, but she is easier to feed and  especially to harness,  those draft horse harnesses weigh a flat ton, and you have to lift them WAY up there. 

We all know this has been a bit of a slow year for sales for many artists. (And many other businesses as well.)  Shows and galleries have closed all over the country.  But bless you all, attendance at the shows that are still open has been great.  At least the artists are supported in spirit by all of you, and better days are coming.  I have sold all the smaller paintings I completed last winter, and quite a few of the bigger ones.  The newer sculptures are still available at the precast prices, except for the little fountain.  She is cast and turned out great.  I did cast one of the two remaining buffalo, Prairie Wind, it sold last weekend, so there is only one left in the edition.  

Back to Fjords.  I had planned to start a Fjord bronze last year, but obviously I lost heart when we lost our beloved Olaf.  Gretchen has given me new motivation, and a new model.  Yes, I do research when I do a new breed, and it is lovely when my research takes me to my own barn...even if horse and mule noses do smudge the camera lens.  So, today I introduce “A BIG Little Horse” the Fjord original.  It is a gelding, not a mare, and perhaps a bit more perfect type than Gretchen...artistic license you know.  We will patina Fjord colors, and if you have photos of your preference we will be as close as we can.  Even to the stripes on the legs. (No, it won't be marked like the original wax/clay, that is just the nature of the media used.)  Oh, yes, I could turn your sculpture into a mare if you wish, too.  Take a look at the photo under work in progress, it will be offered at a precast of $1500 with an issue price of $1925 in a limited edition of only 20.  I can't promise Christmas delivery unless the order gets to me immediately, getting the mold done for the first casting takes longer.  But if you do order for a Christmas present, I will send you a special certificate with a photo to put under the tree. 


How is that for an announcement?  Many of you have asked over the years about my teaching workshops again.  Since I am no longer doing as many art shows, I now have time to start offering sculpture workshops.  We have space here for six to eight students at a time.  Small classes will mean lots of one-on-one attention to your progress, whether you are an experienced sculptor or just getting started.  I will need a minimum of four students to schedule a class.  I can schedule one a month except for May and August.  I will have available all the materials you need to complete a wax/clay about 12” tall suitable for lost wax casting in bronze.  (If you aren't sure that you will want to have your work cast immediately, I have kept originals for years in the studio without problems.) 

I plan on two and a half day workshops, Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday.  If anyone is interested in midweek classes while children are in school, we could arrange that if we get at least four people.  And yes, if you wish for follow-up, of course you can keep contacting me if you have questions or problems or just want me to see how your work progresses.  I am always interested. 

Here's the schedule:

February 5,6, and 7th
February 26, 27, and 28th
March 12,13,and 14th
April 9,10, and 11th
April 23,24, and 25th

Call to reserve your place in the workshop of your choice (208-265 9613). Class size limited to no more than eight students.

Email me or give me a call and I will send you more complete information about the workshops.  No, the subject does NOT have to be horses, honest.  I will help you with the subject that you want to do.  Sculpture is great fun, no one expects a first piece to be perfect, (mine certainly weren't and I was a full time professional artist when I started,) and if you have always wanted  to try, now is a great time to do it.  Questions, call me. 

Now, I have even MORE firewood to stack.  Have a wonderful Fall. 

Walk in beauty.....