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It has been a long time between updates. I have been busy this summer. Here is what I have been up to. First, three friends and I went on a fishing trip on the Current River in southern Missouri. It is nearly heaven on earth. The landscape below is outstanding. We paddled, fished and drank beer all day long. Yes, we did catch a lot of fish the biggest being a 17" bass. It was all catch and release. We set up camp on a gravel bar around 5PM, bathed in the river, cooked dinner and then sat around a camp fire till bedtime. Pictured below is, I believe, "Big Bluff". It is indeed big and it is spectacular.
This is "Donk", my canoe companion. We had great fun. This the first time I went with Donk. He goes twice a year, every year. He is going to see a lot more of me!
We ate really well.
I spent a week at summer camp with the scouts at S-F Scout camp near Farmington, Missouri. Again, it was great fun- even though it was a week with 100+ temperatures every day. Fortunately the humidity was low and the whole camp is in shade. It is a great bunch of boys and adult leaders. Once again I was fishing- I am the fishing merit badge counselor- and we did catch lots of fish.
This is Carson. Carson is smart and gregareous and he had the best tent of the week. This picture is at the start of the week and by the end of the week he really had the tent decked out with every option his creative mind could think of. We called his tent, the "Taj".
Another wonderful adventure for me and wife, Kathy, was an Alaskan cruise. There were six of us- three couples- and it was wonderful. We flew to Anchorage and caught the Princess Diamond heading south down the "inside passage" to Vancouver. Pictured is the Hubbard Glacier, one of many glaciers we saw upclose and personal. That glacier is 400 feet high. Our ship was 16 stories tall.
Cruising is very luxurious and relaxing.
We took a number of side trips and pictured here is the town of Haines, Alaska. It is a small town of 2500 is beautiful, beautiful and very, very friendly and personal. I would love to spend a summer in Haines. Bucket list addition!
Being a sculpture kind-of-guy, I never passed up a chance to see native arts and crafts. We took another side trip to Toten Bight state park.
Man do I love those poles! I was looking at one for 8000 bucks! No way.
Let me tell you a bit about the cruise. It was great fun. Cost was about 500 per person, per day. Endless food and entertainment. The ship itself was a spare-no-expense construction. Top of the line materials and workmanship. The service was outstanding. Everything except alcohol was paid for in the tab and beers were 5 bucks. Not bad. There were 1040 people working on the ship and 2500 paying guests. The staff was young, international and "genuine" folk that were always tending to your wants. All in all, "Two Thumbs Up."
Pictured below is one piece of airport sculpture that caught my eye. It is made of 1/2" glass cut and laminted side by side. It had a great effect in the sunlight. Salmon are a big part of Alaskan culture. Another is gold.
On a more local note, I will show you a few things happening in my own backyard. This is mostly Kathy's handiwork. The iris were special.
The Red Hot Pokers were dramatic.
The clematis were subtle.
The succulents love being outdoors again and they are thriving.
And the tomatoes are rolling in. What is on top of the bucket was one day's take. I would give you a bag full if you stop by!
You probably have already seen pictures of my Greek Temple garden folly. Well, I had a piece of blue rock glass and decided to hang it up somewhere so the sun would hit it. Soon, I was buying different colored rock glass from around the country. I bought a couple spools of stainless wire and away I was carried!
I have been buying a few paintings on ebay. This one is by Simon Shawn Andrews. I admire his work. I have been cruising the "painting a day" category on ebay looking for great painters. They are there and if you find them first, the work is very reasonable- if not actually cheap.
Let me show you a few Japanese prints that were recently taken out of drawers, framed and added to the walls. I don't know anything about this one.
This is Toshi Yoshida's "Kilimangaro, Morning"
The three on top are by Koitsu and the bottom ones are by Paul Binnie.
I saw this killer print on ebay, but I was broke at the time and it got away. Not however, before I took a picture of it so I can steal the visual use of water depicted by the artist. That will shortly show up on a pot.
Since I had this photo sitting in my "Update" folder, I figure I should show you this Mexican "Tree of Life" created by Tiburcio Soteno that I bought down in Mexico in 1986.
Same goes for this photo. I lent this neon beauty out for show in a St. Louis gallery called Ars Poluli.
Now here is a project that has been eating up a lot of my time. I have a small commercial building with two store fronts that needed attention, so I decided to cover them in galvanized sheet metal. I intend to cover all the wood on the front of this building with steel. It will be a two year off-and-on project. But you know how quickly two years pass.
Ok. Pots. Glazing and refiring this pot.
And here is a refire that vastly improved- "Roadside Sumac".
I wish I had a "before" picture to show you.
I refired this commemorative pot from my Zanesville Art Museum show. I love the runny, yet readable text that turns into decoration.
Here is only the second Oak Tree Pot I am truly happy with.
These will all be refired. I confused my glaze ingredients and 18 of the glazes I was using on these pots did not melt. I switched lids on buckets and did not notice my mistake. Now only the buckets themselves have notation. No more labelling lids. That confusion cost me dearly and I may have ruined the four most intensely decorated pots I have made to date. Yet, I hold out hope and I will reglaze and refire. We will see if I am a glaze master or not.
It took me two weeks solid to glaze these four pots and now they are in limbo. I will reglaze and refire and let you know what happens.
On the figuratve sculpture front, I made this oil clay sculpture of my wife, the teacher. I was thinking of casting her in metal.
When I got a price of 4 grand, I decided to do her in ceramic clay instead.
Here she is being painted.
I wanted her standing on a base of three books. Pictured is my inspiration...
and the results.
The hollow base houses the electonics that allows my wife to talk to you as you pass the motion sensor.
Here is the completed sound module that sits in the base.
That is all for now...