Wednesday, April 30, 2014

"I am an artisan. I only became an artist when people watch what I do. That is when it becomes art." ~ Rhys Ifans

I have used my blog several times over these past few years to promote upcoming episodes of Craft in Americaand I am taking the opportunity once again. This Friday, May 2nd, Episode XII, "Industry" will air on your local PBS station. 

I love, love, love this series. When I think of some of my travels this winter and of all of the beautifully handcrafted works that I have seen, I am reminded anew of the creativity and energy of the crafts-people of our country. If you are new to the series, you can view any of the previous episodes online. You will also find additional footage and information beyond what is seen on TV.

Enjoy the preview of "Industry":

Saturday, April 26, 2014

"Sit in reverie and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind" ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Originally, I had planned to show you several pictures that I took of our time on Perdido Key in Florida's panhandle.  I have decided that this one sums it up nicely! I don't think that I really even need to use words to describe the rest and relaxation that we enjoyed during our week and a half there.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

“The Guide says there is an art to flying", said Ford, "or rather a knack. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” ~ Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

In the latter part of our Florida winter this year, we stayed at the condo of friends, located in Perdido Key, in Florida's panhandle. Endless miles of beautiful beaches; falling asleep to the sound of waves every night; good food, and good company.  On Saturday I will bring you a few shots from where we stayed. Today however, I bring you The Blue Angels. I had heard of the Blue Angels before, but have to admit that I didn't have much interest. The fact that they are housed, and practice at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, not 10 minutes from where we were, had us feeling that we really ought to take advantage of our proximity, and go see a practice. I'm so glad that we did - it was thrilling! We were among hundreds of people, of all ages - all enthusiastic.

"A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members.
The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. Boss must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 jet.
Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.
Career-oriented officers specializing in maintenance, administration, aviation medicine, public affairs and supply fill support positions. The Blue Angels base their selection of officers on professional ability, military bearing and communication skills. Blue Angels officers are well-rounded representatives of their fleet counterparts.
Demonstration pilots, the Events Coordinator, Maintenance Officer and Flight Surgeon serve two years with the squadron. The other officers typically serve three years with the team. Blue Angels officers return to the fleet after their tours of duty." 

Notice that two are upside down!

Quite spectacular!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"It is better to create than to learn! Creating is the essence of life." ~ Julius Caesar

Several years ago, while returning home from my niece's graduation from Middlebury College in Vermont, I drove past the sight pictured below. I pulled over, immediately enchanted.

"So Inclined" has embellished the Route 30 entrance to Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts - See more at:
When I drove past similar structures in Sarasota, Florida, I knew that they had to have been created by the same person. Upon further investigation, I discovered that I was right.

"Internationally renowned sculptor Patrick Dougherty weaves large-scale architectural forms from trees, twigs, vines, and other natural materials. In January 2013, the artist spent three weeks in Sarasota creating one of his unique sculptures on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School and future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA. 
His imaginative monumental sculptures made of trees, twigs, vines, and other natural materials can be seen around the world. During his three-week Sarasota project, the artist built a site-specific installation on the grounds of the historic Sarasota High School, which will become the future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art/ SMOA. The community had many opportunities to view the artist at work—and watch his creation unfold and evolve. Surkis encourages people to stop by the high school to experience the piece for themselves."
To read more and to view a wonderful video showing these structures being created, please go to this site.
And now for my up close and personal visit with these gorgeous and enchanting structures!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

“You must not ever stop being whimsical." ~ Mary Oliver

Not long ago, a couple of friends steered us in the direction of the Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy, located in Sarasota, Florida. We are so glad that they did!

"Art", the security guard at the entrance, was created by Marc Sijan in 2009. He is made of resin, acrylic and oil paint. The detail is incredible.

Check out Bruce's muse behind him!

Even the restrooms are fun!

A wonderful way to spend an afternoon!