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Spring, Bird Fest, Ceramic Engineering and Steam Punk Art

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Well, its spring and gorgeous outside and so it is a great time to take photos in and out of town, of flowers and trees and the mountains afar.

And, so out on my trusty stead I have ridden near and far to get photos and take in both nature as it is and 'modified' a bit, as well as enjoying the art of fellow artist and photographers celebrating spring all along the way.

This week, it was fun to get a variety of shots of Saddle Rock and to play with some of those photos a bit as well, and the same for our beautiful snow capped peaks as they still are at this time of year.

But the real adventure was today. Some of you may recall from an earlier blog, that I met Terry Porlier recently at one of the art opening receptions at the Icicle Arts Gallery in Leavenworth. And, that I have been planning ever since to get up to his studio and see what magic this ‘ceramic engineer’ is up to there in his scenic mountain studio tucked away in one of the canyons off of the Chumstick highway outside of Leavenworth. Well, I finally got up there and I was not disappointed. Terry is a great and fun guy to listen to and very knowledgeable on everything from ceramics (of course) to metal work, architecture and aircraft engineering (he was an engineer with Boeing for I don’t know how long).

He was more than happy to let me look around at his studio where he creates his own molds for decorative pieces he makes and sells from his studio and the variety of bowls, vases and unique items of all sorts. I really liked his Happy Buddha. He was more than happy to tell me about how he gets some of his local clay for certain pieces from various areas from Wenatchee to the Sleeping Lady area.

And, speaking of Sleeping Lady, he and some of his cohorts are working on a wonderful sounding project for Harriet Bullitt’s Sleeping Lady Resort. While there, I was able to look at the design plans for this large outdoor ceramic project that will be something like 12 feet high by 24 feet wide and will adorn the outside of a large barnlike building at the resort. This project will be built with a multitude of hexagonal ceramic plates that will each be from 12 to 15 inches wide and together will form a picture of the Sleeping Lady mountain in all four seasons. What a great idea.

The project is still in its early but not earliest stages and, so, although I saw the artwork for it and the schematics of both the sculpture and the building… I can’t show that to you under penalty of death. Well, not death, but out of professional courtesy I didn’t take photos of the design. Hopefully, at some point down the line when it’s all been finalized and in the works, I can return for photos of the ongoing project. Now, that would be fun. And it would be great to meet the other artists involved with this project. One, I already know. That being Phil Yenney a great guy and a retired art teacher from Eastmont. The other two involved in this project are Tim Lynch a ceramicist and high school art teacher in Eastmont and Lowel Rainey who is a biologist and a ceramicist who I’m told has a wonderful ceramic salmon on display at the Rocky Reach Damn. These guys sound like a fun bunch of creative geniuses. They find and dig up their own local clay, mix and match various forms of clay, and make some really great glazes and designs.

And, I should add that he and Phill Yenney have been greatly involved in the 'Empty Bowls' project for the last four years running. while there I also, got essentially a free consult on my Steel Eagle and a variety of ways to take it to the next level which would be to creat metal feathers for it. Yet another artform he already knew somthing about.

I think I would have enjoyed hanging out with Terry for a way long time, but, on I had to go to visit other galleries, write this blog and then ahhh… on to some real work. And, so, my next stop was at the studio/gallery of Reed Carlson at 11734 Suite C on Highway 2 near the eastern edge of town in Leavenworth. Reed is such a good guy. Even though I hadn’t called in advance for an appointment, he made a point of coming in to show me the Spring Bird Fest Art show which he volunteered to host for the 10th Annual Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest. He had sent me some really great photos (da, he is one of the best professional photographers in Central Washington) of the show. But, I hadn’t actually seen the show myself as it is hung at the gallery. And, before I could write this blog on the show, I really wanted to see it up close and personal. So, as I said, Reed being a really good sport and all, came in special, though he was on his way out on a project, to let me in and show me around. The show is well worth seeing and anyone who has the chance would do well to get on up to Leavenworth for any number of the great Bird Fest events going on from the 17th to the 20th and take in the bird themed art while you’re, there at Reed Carlson’s studio. There are a whole variety of bird themed events from birding classes to free bird photography going on in Leavenworth… too many to list here; so go to: http://www.leavenworthspringbirdfest.com/2005DetailedEvents.htm to learn more.

In the gallery/studio there was a whole variety of artwork from the joyfully surreal oils of Martha Flores to the lovely paintings of Dan Tuttle to the unique mosaic birdbath of Debbie Wegeleben and much more. And, of course there is some lovely photography by Reed himself in the gallery.

I couldn’t keep Reed too long and I was very appreciative of his letting me intrude upon his schedule, and so after a brief but pleasant visit, I was off to my next stop on this world wind art tour. Before leaving, I was able to convince him to let me take one more photo.

So; on to that next stop at the Cashmere Arts and Activities Center in Lovely Cashmere I did go. I have to say I have been a bit remiss of late in getting out the CAAC and so; I was pleased that I was able to take in the show there which is all about the kids. On displaythere is the poster art of the local 4th graders and the ‘Steam Punk’, yes I said ‘Steam Punk’, art and Coil Baskets of the High School Seniors from Cashmere. That was fun and great to see that the gallery makes the space there available for the kids to show their art at this time of the year. Last year as readers may recall the high school seniors presented their excellent rusted automobile themed art.

Well, I suppose all good things must come to an end, and it is about time I got onto that infamous ‘real work’ I keep referring to. And, so adieu I must say, and of course have a very artful day.

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