Thursday, October 16, 2014

a new home for the landscape in a box?

The piece I made for the Beyond the Bricks exhibit is now home.
I'm considering re-homing and I know someone said they were interested in it but I can't remember who...

If you would like to make an offer, please email me at

9" x 6.25" x 4"
wood and wool


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Empty Bowls in Brainerd MN Oct 18, 2014

One of the things I've been working on at my day job at The Crossing Arts Alliance has been putting together our very first Empty Bowls project.  For someone who is slightly obsessed with handmade pottery, I have pretty much been like a kid in a candy store this week while the bowls are rolling in.

For those that aren't familiar, Empty Bowls is a national project that works to raise awareness of food insecurity and provides a grass-roots way to earn money for those groups who are combatting said food insecurity.

So here's how it works.  Our potters, including some from two area high schools, have donated their time to make 500 bowls.  We've solicited donations of soup and bread from area restaurants and food vendors.  For a $20 donation at the door, attendees are treated to a simple meal of soup and bread and get to take home a handmade bowl of their choosing, as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

Coolest part...because of our generous supporters, we are able to donate ALL of the proceeds to our local soup kitchen, Sharing Bread.  If we sell all 500 bowls, we will raise $10,000!  That translates to 5,000 meals for hungry community members.  Our soup kitchen serves roughly 65-85 people daily so that will make a big difference. (have I mentioned that I love my job?)

bowls by Haddie Hadachek of Black Bear Pottery

detail of bowl by Midori Marcum

bowls by Midori Marcum

bowls by Cyrus Swann

bowls by Tim Nelson

platter by Haddie Hadachek

As a thank you to our generous potters we're also having a clay exhibit, The Language of Clay, featuring their work.  The show opens this Friday. I can hardly wait. Though I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a day (or two) of rest after all of this is over.

If you find yourself in the area, Empty Bowls is this Saturday from 11am to 2pm in the lower gym at the Franklin Arts Center, 1001 Kingwood St, Brainerd, MN 56401.
First come, first served.
$20 per person

Oh, and did I mention the soups?  Chicken Artichoke Brie, Garlic Basil Tomato, Chicken Dumpling... yes indeed, this will be a good day.

Hope to see my local friends there!

Monday, October 13, 2014

wow! Thanks!

A huge thank you to all of you who shopped with me yesterday, spread the word, or just had a look.  All of the new stones are on their way to new homes.
They're all boxed up and ready to go but since today is a mail holiday they won't fly off until tomorrow.

To those of you who have waited so patiently but haven't yet gotten a stone, I'm working on something just for you.
The next two weeks are going to be beyond busy with work and family but after that I hope to have some stones just for those that haven't gotten one yet.

Sincere thanks to all of you for appreciating what I do.
It means so much.

Have a lovely Monday.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

shop update today at noon

These stones, and plenty more, will be available in my shop today at noon, Central time.
I'd be so thankful if you would have a look or spread the word.

Thanks! Have a lovely Sunday.

Friday, October 10, 2014

a big batch o' stones

All set for this Sunday's shop update. I hope to get them loaded into the shop for a preview on Saturday night and then they'll "go live" Sunday at noon, central time.

Hope you have a great weekend, all.  Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 09, 2014

mushrooms in a tree

Those of you who have read my blog for a while may remember that I felted a mushroom into a tree a few years back.  I was thinking of that mushroom when I was out walking this morning. The empty knot in that tree seemed lonely.  Then I remembered that I had a few mushrooms in my workspace that weren't doing anything so when I got back to the house I gathered my things and headed out.

And here we are, a cozy trio tucked in the knot along with a maple leaf with a heart in it.  
It will be interesting to see how long they last.
I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

the ducks picked and the winner is...

Congrats, Melissa! I'll get the Behind the Bricks book out to you shortly.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this very important project.

Monday, October 06, 2014

almost there

I added a few new stones to the growing pile on my worktable.
I'm planning on putting these in my shop next weekend, Sunday Oct. 12 at noon, Central Time.
There will be stones in many sizes and it's my hope that everyone who has wanted one will be able to get one.

Thank you to all of you who "get" and appreciate my work.  Your kind words and support have meant so much.

Have a great start to the week.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Friday, October 03, 2014

more from Beyond the Bricks and a giveaway

A few more images from the Beyond the Bricks exhibit.  Each of the visual art pieces here are made by the jail artists with literary work by community artists.  Something we noticed was that the visual art tended to be a little more uplifting whereas the jail writing pieces were a little more raw.

Since sharp tools like scissors or wire or even pencils with attached erasers are not allowed in the jail  our instructors had to pre-cut pieces for collage and weaving.  Inmates drew will small golf pencils and occasionally erased using the bottoms of their shoes.  Necessity is the mother of invention, no?

You can click on the photos below to get a closer look.

This companion artist took a different approach.  She made an art collage that complimented her companion artist's collage rather than create a literary piece. Inmate artist piece is on the right.

As I mentioned in my other post, we had a book published that contains the work of the inmate artists.  I have one I'd like to offer as a giveaway.  All you need to do is leave a comment below, with a thought about this project.

This giveaway is now closed.

A winner will be drawn at random by one of the ducks next Tuesday, Oct. 7th and announced on Wed.

If you'd like a copy of your own they are for sale on Amazon, HERE.

Thank you all!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

a mushroom...cap

My friend Joanie who owns the yarn shop in the building I work in asked me to do a little decoration for one of the hats she had knitted and felted.  I picked out this lovely heather grey/brown derby, knowing just what I'd put on it. 

A mushroom cap it became with two little needle-felted toadstools, leaves, and sprouts sewn securely on.

It's a touch too small for me otherwise I might be tempted to keep it, but I think it will either end up in her shop or mine soon.

I might have to ask her to make one in my size...

Happy day, everyone.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beyond the Bricks opening reception

Last night we had the opening reception for the Beyond the Bricks exhibit at the non-profit for which I work. You may remember me sharing a little bit about the Behind the Bricks project, where volunteers went into the Crow Wing County jail and taught art and writing to the inmates.  We asked community members to create companion pieces in response to those pieces, the result of which was the Beyond the Bricks exhibit.  

I created this boxed landscape in response to my companion artist's writing about a small brown leaf he had found in the jail. At the reception last night I had an opportunity to meet my companion artist in person. He told me the whole story about that leaf, and he explained to me how difficult it was in jail to be utterly separated from the outside world. We talked about my piece and what it meant to me and how I tried to imagine how I might feel in his situation, both of us knowing that I couldn't fully appreciate that kind of pain without having lived it. As he read his own words aloud, he was visibly moved, I think by the memories his words brought back, by this event celebrating him not as an inmate but as an artist.... as a human being, and by this community reaching out and embracing him. We're all deeply flawed, and last night was not about passing judgement, but about acceptance.

My words can't convey how moving this was for me. I walked away with tears in my eyes, but not before thanking him for being open to this project, shaking his hand, and giving him a hug. Later in the evening he came up to me and told me that he planned to keep on with his art, and that this project had changed him.
The arts matter, people. The arts matter.

Below are images of companion works from the exhibit. Several of you had asked if I would share images so here are a few. The visual art in each of these was created by a community member and the writing by an inmate artist. Next week I'll share some of the visual art created by inmates with companion writings by community artists.  If you're a softy like me you might want to grab the tissues.  

You Could Be Anywhere

A glimpse at the exhibit as a whole. If you are in the area, please stop by and see it. The show is here until October 11th and then will travel to a few local churches. It's extraordinary, you won't want to miss it.

Beyond the Bricks
at The Crossing Arts Alliance's Q Gallery
2nd floor, the Franklin Arts Center
Brainerd, MN 56401

Tues - Fri 10-4
thru Oct 11

As part of this project a book was published featuring the art and writing of the inmates. The companion pieces are not included in the book but believe me, the book is incredible in its own right.  It is available in the Crossing's Sales and Gift Gallery or on Amazon.  I hope you'll give it a look, and if you would consider spreading the word, I'd be so grateful. I'm so proud to be a part of this important work and would encourage other communities to consider a similar program as well.

Long-windedly yours,


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