Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Brattleboro Show and New Ribbons

I am the featured artist at A Candle in the Night, a home furnishing store, in Brattleboro, VT for the month of August and will be at the opening during the Brattleboro Gallery Walk from 5:30 to 8:30 this Friday, August 5. Although a small town, as all Vermont towns are, Brattleboro has a very lively gallery walk with 36 venues in close proximity. The Burlington Art Walk is technically bigger but because its venues are so far apart, it doesn't have nearly the same impact. Brattleboro is also a very cool town so even if you can't make it for this show or a gallery walk, I recommend checking it out if you're in the vicinity.

I haven't had a lot of time recently to make art but in the last month I got in the studio to play around with my ribbon series on a couple of nice thick boards of curly birch that I picked up on my latest trip to the lumber yard. I'll take a few of them down with me to the Brattleboro show but will be looking for other venues to sell them in as well.

I'm excited about using this design to make candle holders and think they should sell well. My personal opinion is that they look great but I have yet to hear what the general public thinks.

I had roughed out eight different ribbon pieces before I realized I needed a mental break so I took this very nice board of curly birch (it has a lot of white spots all around it which I think is an indication of early spalting) and made something linear. One of the nice things about it is it can be viewed from both sides so it can be placed in the middle of a dining room table or other such location (where as the ribbon pieces are really designed for a mantle, shelf, or table/desk along a wall).
I made a number of new ribbon vases at the same time. Although they sell well enough, I know I could sell ten times as many if I figured out a way to make them hold live flowers. Unfortunately, I haven't yet been able to figure out a way to do what I want sculpturally and also be able to put water in them, so, for now, to appreciate them, you have to appreciate dry flowers. They all can hang on a wall and some of them can also rest on a shelf/table/etc.

These last two vases are for sale at Artisans Hand Craft Gallery here in Montpelier, VT.

I also made a few purely sculptural pieces that I think of as therapeutic in that they are designed to be touched and, by touching them, the view will feel better regardless of ones previous mental state.

Making them got me thinking that it would be nice to do a "Please Touch" show where the public would be invited to touch all the art. I believe people have a strong, innate desire to touch art but that gallery, museum, and artist restrictions (and I'm certainly one to have raised levels of anxiety when I see people touching my shellac work) of not being able to touch it causes feelings of alienation at times. I just think it would be real interesting to do something that played into that natural tendency, maybe even creating pieces that would intentionally change (and improve) the more they were touched. It would be fun.


  1. Hi Rob,

    I have a possible solution to your live flower problem - test tubes. Have you considered these?

    I get mine from a floristry suppliers, they come in all sorts of lengths and widths. I'm sure you'll find some to fit in with your sculptural designs.

    I have made some very basic designs to test things out and the flowers survive really well in them.

    Hope this helps :o)


  2. Thanks for the tip, Jutta. I've picked up one of those plastic tubes that florists stick in foam (I think) before and it didn't work well but I didn't realize they have different sizes. I'll check with a few more places and see what I can find.

  3. Hi Rob,

    Look out for the glass ones, the plastic ones are limited in size.

    If you have any trouble let me know I may be able to help somehow!