Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Jingling All The Way~

Hello, hello! Greetings from the post-surgery stupor! There's nothing quite like the buzz of painkillers and candy cane hot chocolate!

Now I would have posted sooner, but when I'm unable to assume postures that would allow me to type easily, all of a sudden this everyday task has taken on Mt. Everest proportions. "Just...hit...the CAPS button....must hit CAPS....button! No!...NOT TAB! Ahhhhhhh....."

But I'm doing well and back on the road to recovery. But golly--sitting here, unable to do much of anything is a bit of a, well...torture chamber. How I want sculpt and play in the studio! ARGH! And...of course...I've had a billion inspirations in the past five days, yet I'm completely unable to materialize them. Why is it that when we're unable to create, life decides to make our brain work 100 times faster, giving us the motivation, but denying us the means? I call no fair! And poor Hubby--it hasn't even been a week and I'm already a bat in my belfry. However, his diabolical plan of placating this monster with a steady stream of chocolate and movies seems to be working so far.

But I shouldn't complain. And perhaps there's a lesson to be learned here. Truly, I have much to celebrate, and so much to look forward to, as well. And as I heal, I'll work on other things and perhaps I'll crack open that ol' sketchbook again and rediscover that long-ignored diversion I utilized so adeptly in school.

So I'm sending you heartfelt thanks and best wishes during this splendid holiday! Celebrate and make merry! And until next time, I leave you with this:

"I have had just about all I can take of myself." ~S. N. Behrman


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Glad Tidings to You!

Out of nowhere, the holidaze has descended upon us like a frenzied whirligig. Gadzooks!...Duck, man...DUCK! It's truly amazing how much we can cram into one week, isn't it? So congratulations to each of you who has so efficiency (or not so efficiency) wrapped up your holiday preparations and are now coasting, like a gleeful tot in a new sled, down the mad hill of December and smack-dab into the Season's festivities.

I, on the other hand, have pretty much accomplished nothing.

Yes, a couple of outstanding tasks and projects got done (and came out a lot better than I'd hoped!), but everything "holiday" will be about a month late from MinkieMundo. This back surgery, which is tomorrow morning--finally, has shook my sensibilities like a dimestore snowglobe, being the cause of The Great Disruption that has festered on my nerves like a bad case of D'OH. I'll be so glad when it's all over and I wake up. I truly dread anesthesia. Truly.

But it's been a very good day today. A brilliant day. Hubby and I spent the day together, which is always awesome! And he bought me two CDs by The Clash (I'm upgrading my old tape collection to CD) and we went out to our favorite sushi place for dinner and totally porked out. And best of all...he bought me a new Charmkin!

Say hello! He is such a little character and so very sweet! We were actually getting supplies and new fish for Hubby's fish tank on a spontaneous errand, but I wandered over to the rodent kiosk and there he was...all alone. I peered at him, and he peered at me, and he just had to come home with us--and so he did. I'm so lucky to have a husband who understands and indulges me on these matters. And ZeeBee and Beasley have welcomed him like a lost little brother! It's so fascinating to watch them parent him, and how so very patiently and gently keep his playfulness and boisterousness within acceptable boundaries. They're all asleep now, cozied up into one big blobby lovepile. Oh, to be that size to snuggle up into that warm, fuzzy goo! And speaking of goo -- a place where large, friendly rats roam around is my idea of Heaven on Earth.

But though he hasn't told me his name yet, it was meant to be. Some things just are. I mean--get this: Some blankety-blank jerks had bought this little guy as a White Elephant Gift for some holiday party. What kind of person buys an animal as a White Elephant Gift?! No one who would survive two seconds with me. And get this, the recipient apparently debated for a week what to do with him, while he was stuck in his cardboard petstore box the whole time. And thankfully rather than killing him (which apparently was a viable option-???), they returned him to the pet store. And that's when I found him. He was very timid at first, but has tamed almost instantly and is so excited to be here, he can barely sit still. He's enthusiastic about everything. The mere fact this little guy can bear any goodwill towards a person after what he's been through testifies to his graciousness and willingness to try again. Truly, the perfect lesson as we end the year--To always be willing to hope! So we now have much more to celebrate this Christmas--a new sparkly light on our family tree!

And though I can't eat or drink anything now since my surgery is at 11am, earlier I scarfed chocolate, drank some hot chocolate and watched Totoro (Thank you, Elaine! I LOVED it!). Hubby is going to show me how to transfer some materials from my iMac to my iBook, so I have some projects to work on while trapped in his Lazy Boy, like some confused Iron Maiden. "You shall sit in the COMFY CHAIR!" Ugh. But thank God.

So while our Christmas and New Years will be sedate, it will most definitely be filled with gratitude and cheer!

And so may your Holidays been shiny and bright, too! Celebrate! Sing with gusto! Don't skimp on the tinsel! I wish you and yours all the joy, laughter and love this season brings, and most of all, to carry that through 2008, too! And, in true ratty nature, of course, I wish you piles of sinfully delicious food and treats! May you be warm and content, and may your bellies be full this Holiday Season!

Joy and Best Wishes to you! ~Sarah

"Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow" ~ Helen Keller


Friday, December 7, 2007

Lean, Mean, Mold-Making Machine

No, it's not a fancy bar of Neutrogena soap! No, it's not a wiggly block of orange Jell-O! And, no, it's not a giant fancy piece of tangerine Jolly Rancher!

It's mold rubber--a big wiggly-jiggly-squiggly rubber version of my new Jumper plaque that Joan of Pour Horse Pottery cast for me, making it the new master from which production plaster molds can be poured, ad infinitum. Now you may be wondering what those black lines are, around his chest and neck areas, and those are the mold lines she drew in to guide me since this will be my first multi-part plaster mold I make on my own (in this case, a three part mold, with a floating inner bit). Hey--it's high time to give that learning curve a good jolt. If you don't use it, you lose it! And I have chisel at hand just in case I entomb it in the white stuff--it's like a rite of passage with plaster molding.

And this piece is big, measuring about 9.5 inches long and 6.75 inches at the widest parts, which offers a lot of space to play with glaze and technique. Joan has already glazed one, beautifully, as usual--Wow Joan! I'm positively enthralled with sculpting relief work of various kinds because I can infuse the challenges of graphic design and new ways of interpreting the equine subject that I just can't exploit with a conventional sculpture. And with my new tile press, I'm excited to dive into that aspect of sculpture. Who said playing in the mud was for kids?

And in case you're interested, feast heartily on Joan's new rosegrey Dafydd. Ay chihuahua! What a looker! I am so very fortunate to have so many talented and fabulous people in my life. It's hard to tell where the inspiration from the work, and the inspiration from those involved, begins and ends!

This shores me up as I contemplate my impending spinal surgery this month. To say I'm anxious about it would be a Godzilla-sized understatement (with jumping around and glowing spines and all--and is that Mechagodzilla and Rodan in there, too?). But necessity dictates this course of action. The only way around it, is through it. The recuperation will take six long weeks, where I can only sit upright for 20 minutes at a time, so finding new and bizarre ways to work will be an interesting exercise in new kinds of creativity. And this right when I'm to receive my new tile press!

But my wonderful hubby bought me the widescreen DVD of Ratatouille the day it came out, so I'll have ample, rotund rodents to cheer me up, well, besides the two blobular pygmy landsharks here who keep me busy enough! I think I shall fall under the ether with the image of Emile, stuffed full of grapes in all his lumpy, bumpy, blobby glory.

So Christmas here will be somber and sedate, but I'll truly have much to be thankful for and feel it more deeply this time I suspect. So many good things and exciting possibilities still to come! And gingerbread cookies--lots of them. This time of year usually leaves me with mixed emotions and an eagerness to get back to the routine, but I believe this year I shall wallow in a new, and perhaps better, sense of it. Life is like art, in a way, with each new experience, like each new creation, is a learning opportunity, and with a bit of reflection and auspicious grace, we become better for it.

So with that, I leave you with this: "Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others." ~Cicero


Saturday, November 17, 2007


In this modern age, when so many things can be distilled down into a concise scientific explanation, the persistent mystery and magnetism of the ritual still drives our daily lives. I believe this behavior goes beyond mere routine because these rituals create a transcendence of our acts, and by extension, our lives. As humans, we somehow crave this transformation. Even with our iPods, plasma screens and Mars landings, we remain elemental creatures of magic and faith. Amen! It can be so easy to lose our humanity amidst all the information and technology bombarding us, trying to strip it away, layer by layer. We need existence beyond our explanations to remain ourselves.

And so it is with my Martian Cup.

My morning ritual is to cook and share breakfast with my rats (otherwise known as the Well Wells or Charmkins). It's the same breakfast every day--scrambled eggs and a wheat bagel with cream cheese. The crowning glory of this daily intake is a good, strong hot cup o' joe. A day simply cannot be started properly without that one crucial ingredient. But little did I know how important is the container for this elixir!

I found this magic martian mug jammed to the back of a shelf in a 50% off sale in a gift shop about twelve years ago. I had to have it. I mean look at that guy. And over the years, it has strangely become my herald of good fortune, of miraculously potent good juju in the studio. For some inexplicable reason, I do my very best work the day I grab that mug from the front of the line in our jam-packed mug shelf, eager to douse my appetite with ritual coffee. Whether it's the power of suggestion or if there actually is some supernatural energy imbued in those buggy eyes, the result is the same -- a good day. A very good day.

And speaking of a good day, which today certainly is as you'll soon see, my breakfast these past two days has been abnormally decadent! We celebrated my husband's birthday by trying out a new steakhouse here in town, and upon ordering their chocolate cake for dessert, we were shocked to be served a slab the size of an 8 x 11 sheet of paper and 3 inches thick, doused in icing and chocolate indulgence. Oy! What's better than chocolate cake? More chocolate cake!

And so instead of a bagel with cream cheese, a hefty slice of this sinful extravagance has complimented my steaming joe--and what a magical combination! Really, the eggs are simply a flimsy excuse to call this meal "nutritious". But there's my Martian cup, the one thing that could outshine chocolate cake for breakfast.

So I ask you--what's more nourishing?--Food for the body, or food for the soul?

And so today will be a truly remarkable day in the studio, between my Martian magic and chocolate intoxication. Already, the Haflinger foal I'm sculpting is flowing from my fingers, without thought or effort. Perhaps I should procure more chocolate cake for when I sculpt his dam? Hmmm.....

And so I leave you with this: "That's the thing with magic. You've got to know it's still here, all around us, or it just stays invisible for you." ~ Charles de Lint


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Of Frogs and MRIs...

Shame on me! It's been far too long since my last post--my apologies. But boy, things have sure been crazy here this past month! Most of them with good things, such as completing my final duties as Parliamentarian for RESS, working on the new version of its newsletter The Boat for February publication and wrapping up two long-standing sculptures of a mare and foal that have been inexplicably troublesome for me these past nine months--If you heard a lot of cursing and arghs! from the general northwest vicinity, it was probably me as I broke off yet another leg for the fourth time! But they're just about done now, and I'm very pleased with how they turned out. Everything works out for the best really, and had I not been delayed all this time with them, I don't think they would have come out as cool as they have. Time puts you in fresher places, which often is an advantage for art work.

And the biggie good thing is the enthusiastic and overwhelming response to my sculpture Stormwatch (pictured above in resin, cast from my original in epoxy clay). I am so grateful and totally taken by surprise by the response--I'm still in shock. Hey, I thought he'd be a hard sell! Who knew that this funny little gelding would take the world by storm! (wink) And I'm happy to report he's going to be my first bronze, and I hope to have him in metal by the end of next year. I just need to sculpt a base for him, which is something I'm really looking forward to cuz I have some fun ideas for it. But the even greater thing with Stormy was that with him, I was able to help just a little bit with the Blessed Broodmare Project, to rescue dozens of pregnant PMU mares from slaughter! What a great way to kick off an edition! Check out the YouTube story on how these mares were rescued! Oh boy--does it get me verklempt. These dear people, the Bucklers, are also the same people who do many of my resin castings, including Stormy! The best things in life are those that come full circle in good ways.

So to celebrate his successful release in resin, I treated myself to something fun--an excruciatingly cute frog hat at a crafts bizarre in a local high school (above). LOOK at that smiley frog! The whole cap is rimmed with them! And there's a fly on the top! Is that not the cutest cap ever? It's wool lined with angora, so it's warm and soft at the same time--two good things that go better together! The lady who made this hat, and other assorted angora knitware, is there every year with one of her angora bunnies that you can pet, which of course is the highlight of the whole day for me. This year, she had "Mo" there--a big fluffy white beachball with ears. I about died. So c'mon cold weather! Bring your worst--my frog cap will protect me! The flower on each earflap gives me incredible power!

Speaking of which, my back. Ah yes...the spine--the great humbler of upright bipeds. My nemesis. My Achilles Heel. In my long, sordid battle against the best attempts of my spine to keep me bedridden, I have my first MRI this weekend. I'm not necessarily looking forward to it, but it's gotta be done to see what's going on. But I am so grateful that we live in a day and age of such technology and it makes me wonder what the next fifty years will bring us in ways of medical breakthroughs and discoveries! In the meantime, I asked my neurologist if I could sign up for a bionic spine, with the "sch-sch-sch" sound and all, and her reply--"We're not that cool...yet". I love it.

So with that thought, I leave you to ponder this: "
Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." ~Lewis Carroll


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Oh What a Difference a Base Makes...

Some of you might remember "Beane", that Chaney "Chasing Rainbows" I offered on my mailing list a couple of weeks ago...welperoo, his new owner was gracious and allowed me to make him two brand new bases, this rock wall (shown) and a more basic one (not shown). I thought he needed something with a bit more stability, but now I realize he also needed "oomphf". Good thing that dawned on me before he leaped his way home! But I've come to an uneasy understanding with my aging brain: Better late, than never! But, thinking about it, if a piece needs a base, that base becomes an integral part of the whole. It must complement and further the design, rather than simply serve a purpose. And besides, it's so very refreshing to sculpt and paint something other than a horse-shaped-object! Grass-whooo hooo! Rocks--yes! And this project did force me to find a terrific supply for local Plexiglas rods,, and perhaps they ship.

But things have been good, though it's been a crazy couple of weeks--Hubby is home and I'm thrilled! So much more content and happy. And productivity has gone through the roof...when I'm happy, I create. But it's strange--with all my years of being single and independent, I would have thought myself a bit more tolerant of his absence. But golly, when you have a soulmate, and he's gone, there's a tangible, painful hole that cannot find solace. I'm rather shocked at how forlorn I was, but then again, what a blessing, too. To realize this now, rather than live oblivious to the good stuff in one's life. And speaking of good stuff--he also brought home piles of Wisconsin cheese and sausages! Hazzah!

And thank you all for your well-wishes about my surly spine! They are very much appreciated! And I'm glad to report that my back is doing a bit better, well, it's at least allowing me to be more active and agile, but that's not saying much. It sure would be nice to feel my left foot again, so I'm hoping the neurologist can give my disc a stern talking to. A good ol' Come-to-Jesus meeting. At least give it the stink-eye--I'm simply not that flexible!

But on another front, Christmas came a bit early for me, thanks to a certain sombrero-wearin' guy--I got the new PJ Harvey album "White Chalk" and the new Siouxsie album "Mantaray". If they aren't playing on my iPod in a mantic loop, they're buzzing in my head. Music--the gift that keeps on giving!

And speaking of buzzing--I had a good time with the dremel this week. Aaah...the acrid smell of burning plastic and the fierce whirrrr of the dremel, as bits of hot white pumice bounce off my glasses. Some ask why I still customize plastics when I can create my own originals. And that's a good question! Really, why bother?

To be honest, I enjoy this sort of "collaboration". I always learn something new from each sculpture, or rather, from each artist. And having to blend with the work of another is a very good exercise that helps me see things from another point of view, which feeds back and improves my own original work. I also use customs as maquettes, as studies for my own originals, since I'm able to work out designs or approaches in smaller bites, with less invested. I believe one of the most important things for an artist is to continue growing and exploring, and these "quick" collaborative studies are very useful to me for that purpose. And really, in the ever-rising sea of castings, creating something singular is still a kick! "Choppers" do still have their appeal to me!

But you can see how much I change, even on what I consider "minor" or "moderate" alterations. One of my hang-ups are legs--I like to see crisp, clean legs, which usually means the legs on plastics need to be redone since the plastic-injection molding process doesn't allow a whole lot of detail. I also have a hang-up on symmetry--the piece has to be bilaterally symmetrical, otherwise I want to pull my brain out. Yet, again, this is something the plastic-injection process seems to hose up, sometimes alarmingly. So something seemingly simple becomes quite a production. But lots of learning is won, so it's all worth it.

However, I do have to admit that perhaps the fumes went to my head on this fellow (above). He used to be a Stone Standing Arabian, but clearly in another life! In order to transform it into a Pintabian mare, a lot had to go. OK...everything had to go! This piece is actually a very old commission I've taken up and restarted again (yes, KM--this is your girl!), and the unceasing patience of her owner shall be rewarded with a far better piece than I could ever have created years ago. And I haven't done a show-type in ages, so this will be a fun piece to create. An ironic challenge. A nice rattling of my cage. Plus, I finally got to use the font "Aliens ate my mum"!

So on that note, I leave you with this: "Let's you and I conjure together. You watch me and I'll watch you and I will show you how to show me how to show you how to do our marvelous human tricks together." ~Courtney Milne


Friday, October 5, 2007

Willy Wonka for Your Cones n' Rods!

Or in other words--eye candy galore!

You may recall that I created ten claybody customs on the Collier and Limerick mini molds, then sent five to Lesli and five to Joan, to glaze at their whim. Welp...Joan has completed two more of these fellows, #5 and #10, which you can see as bisques in the photo album of my yahoo mailing list (you'll have to login first).

And as you can plainly see...she's done it again! I'm frankly continually amazed at how much wonderful "stuff" and precision she can pack onto such tiny pieces with glaze. From one who knows (and who is still struggling), underglaze isn't the most obliging medium, especially for such tiny things. Yet somehow Joan can coax this tricky substance into luscious shiny confections, while at the same time, make it seem so effortless. If I can achieve just half of her ability with this medium in my lifetime, I'll be thrilled!

So indulge yourself with a good heaping gander at what she just whipped up!


And #10:
Both of these pieces will go on eBay soon, so stay tuned on my mailing list and Joan's mailing list for the auction announcements and links.

And I gotta tell you that it's been such a treat to see what Lesli and Joan do with these wee ones! The creative synergy between us is always inspiring, and new ideas spring into my head when we're together. The possibilities and challenges seem endless and exciting! And I so enjoy sculpting in the earthenware clay. It feels like nothing I've ever used before--like soft butter that begs to be cajoled and crooned into new delicious shapes! And when dried and hard, it can hold the tiniest of details, yet smooths to a silken finish with a damp brush. It's been such a pleasure to create these ten pieces, I'll most definitely be creating more!

And then after all this, to see them finished by such skilled hands...well, it's a thrill! Seeing how another artist interprets your piece can put such a fresh spin on your own perceptions, that it creates a kind of positive feedback loop that compels you to leap forward.

So after this ocular feast, I leave you with this thought: "Be out of your cell. There are infinite possibilities, infinite ideas, infinite approaches." ~Alev Oguz


Monday, October 1, 2007

It's odd how life works. Just when you're dizzy on a creative high, it forces you to switch gears...sometimes grinding them as you swerve down the road of life. And I guess it's my turn for Toad's Wild Ride!

About two weeks ago, I pulled my back out, but this time it looks like I've actually herniated a disk. I wish Nature would figure out this business of walking upright! A tail would help--yes, a tail would be nice. Something with a tuft on the end, perhaps.

So I've been stumbling about, like some cheesy B-movie Igor. But, I'm doing a lot better and should be working full bore soon. And I've been keeping busy working on the Winter edition of The Boat, for RESS (, and I do enjoy writing and fiddling about with editorial nit-picking. But I need to make a date with a neurologist, though. Ugh.

Yet to compound my insufferable self-pity party, my hubby is out of town and I miss him! So this oh-so-lovely buggy-eyed toad pretty well depicts me, at this point.

I actually made this handsome amphibian for Laurie. I mean...who else would appreciate such a thing!? I found it, dusty and forgotten, on one of the bazillions of greenware shelves in this wonderful, crazy ceramics mecca referred to in hushed tones, Treasure Valley Ceramics, located in Wilder, Idaho ( Family run from what seems like the last ice age, this place is like the Winchester Mystery House of ceramics stores, full of assorted kitsch and curiosities in clay. I love it.

But anyway, as I wait for my hubby's return, I shall keep this image of him close to my heart....OLE!

So how can I possibly stay whiney and wretched with this image burned into my retinas?

A sense of humor can get anyone through just about anything, I think. And so I shall pop in some MST, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Monty Python and SouthPark and have myself a good snort and cackle!

And so, giggle with me at this:

"Artists ought to walk a mile in someone else's pants. That way you're a mile away and you have their pants." ~Joseph P. Blodgett

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sneeky Peeks!

Phew! I've been busy in the studio, playing catch-up and starting new projects, in what can easily be described as an unabashed wallowing in a creativity hot tub. Jump in! Oooo it feels good! And just like hot water loosens the muscles, serenity loosens the artistic impulses for all I need is another pair of arms! So I thought I'd post a few sneek peeks of some pieces that will be available for sale as customs or as castings.

So first, here's a peek at V.2's neat row of teensy little braids along her neck (right). I would have finished her some time ago, but I wanted to redo her eyes. Something about them wasn't quite right, so I put her away for a couple of months to refresh my eye (oh the irony!). Actually, it's always a good idea to put a sculpture away for awhile, and return to it later before considering it "done". It's amazing how this trick can illuminate what you previously overlooked. And learning is a continuum, which this practice also exploits to an artist's advantage. So I'll be popping new eyes on her soon, then off she gallops to the caster!

The next peek is "Sebastian's Muse", or "Bastian" for short, that customized MOW I mentioned on my list. Here's his hinder and tail (left).

I'm nearly done sculpting him, with only one eye to go, plus some shoe details. Then it's sand, sand, sand....and more sanding. Did I mention sanding? Ugh. But I really like how he turned out and I'm so excited to paint him! He's going to be a light dapple fleabit grey, and I'm looking forward to using some new painting techniques I learned from other artists. And Corinne Ensor's fabulous new snaffle bridle for him arrived today and looks awesome on him! I can't believe the tiiiny working buckles! To check out her fabulous tack, ooogle her website at

Next, here's a peek at Vixen's hindquarter (right). Vixen is about 3 inches tall, being Taboo's lady friend, and she's full of the same pugnacious spunk, too. Birds of a feather, flock together! And as you can see, her tail is curled over, and I've given her quite the expression, too, but you'll have to wait to see her mug when she's completed. She has a bit more work to go on her legs, head and her mane and tail, but she's pretty close to done.

And I gotta tell ya...that's a marvelous thing! I was having such a bear of a time with her and her foal because, for some inexplicable reason, I kept breaking their dang little legs! I'd get a leg exactly how I wanted, then snap! I somehow managed to demolish it. So I decided to put them away until whatever gremlins were lurking about would grow bored and leave. Begone! I picked them up again, about two weeks ago, and things have been moving smoothly on them, finally. But good golly!...each of their legs has been resculpted at least twice, with some three or four times! Good practice I guess.

Which gets us to, Imp! Vixen's and Taboo's feisty little kidlet! Here's a photo of his hinder and flippy little tail (left). This wee one is only about 2 inches tall, and he's gadding about, like ol' Dad. As you can see, he has a foal coat like Pixie, only teensy tiiinier. He's been a lot of fun to create, but boy...sometimes my eyes start crossing working on his little details!

And finally, here's a sneek peek at a repainted mini, Donna Chaney's Chasing Rainbows (the landing jumper), that will be up for sale soon (below right). I've named him "Beane"...and yes, the pun is intended! And what an elegant sculpture! He's been a lot of fun to paint, with those lovely muscles and crisp head. I still have a bit more work on him to go, like his hoofies and some small details, but he's close to done. And you can probably tell that he's a chestnut sabino, and, boy, does he looks sharp in those "clothes"!

Anyhoo...back to work for me! It feels great to have my mojo back. I sure missed it! Having a "still" mind is essential for me to ease into the creative groove, and stay there. Ironically, I gotta be still to move forward.

"The monotony of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind." ~Albert Einstein


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ahoy Me Bucko Bilge Rats!

Today be Talk Like A Pirate Day!

We here sailin' the addled waves at Minkiewicz Studios have gone on account to pillage booty and grog with those fierce pygmy landsharks, The piRATS! These scurvy wee sea dogs are eager to give chase and keelhaul the poor soul who dare hoard ye grub fer yerselves!

SQUEEEEEK! (translation: "ARRRRR!")

Avast me hearties! These blobbie buccaneers have outright mutinied and are running amok o'er the seas in their jollyboat! So beware ye good souls! Use yer deadlights an' watch out! They be after the contents of ye ice box! Ye brethren o' the Coast! Gangway! Or suffer a drink in Davy' Jones locker!

Two blobby bilge rats and a sack o' grub
Yo ho ho and a gooey belly!
Scamperin' and snatchin' it all in a hubbub
Yo ho ho and a gooey belly!
Yo ho ho, Yo ho ho, Yo ho ho...and a gooey belly!


So I bid me farewell to thee with this here reckonin': "Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates." ~ Mark Twain


Friday, September 14, 2007

Dafydd is SHINY!

Ta-da!! Here he is...the big secret I was waiting to spring on you....Dafydd is now clinky!! "Beloved" is now in beloved baked mud!

Many thanks to the ever-talented Joan Berkwitz for bringing him to fiery life! This luscious bay here was glazed by her--check out those dapples! And landsakes...I gotta tell ya....his mold is quite the IQ test! What that lady can do with plaster and mud boggles the mind. For some eye candy, spoil yourself with a visit to her website at
Joanie is finishing up a satin fleabit dapple grey Dafydd and Lesli Kathman will also be finishing up her Dafydd (with shoes!) soon, and I'll post pix of them here when I get them, along with some fun pix of his plaster mold for kicks.

Clinky Dafydd will be available as glazed and bisque pieces, but I haven't hammered out sales information on that yet, so just keep yer eyes peeled on my mailing list.
Anyhoo, we were madly working on these guys, along with the clinky Pixies during "Mayhem" here in May 2007, but oddly enough, Pixie is far easier to mold and clean. Heck, applying the shoes to Dafydd alone was enough to drive a person screaming into the hills. But baked Dayfdd is well worth the effort, I think.

So feast your orbs on Joanie's gorgeous work! More to come soon!

"We're all filled with naturally recurring patterns that make us unique – they're called talents. And our charge is to bloody well use them." ~Marcus Buckingham


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Descent--To where?--WHO KNOWS! And why don't we care??

There is a rare and pugnacious critter that you may have encountered, called a Laurie Jo Jensen. These creatures require a steady diet of uncontrolled laughter to maintain their vibrant colors and have been known to spontaneously erupt into that unique one-eyed spin-laugh so characteristic of this species. "Ahh-Ahhh....Ahh-Ahhhh!", like some exotic bird calling to its kind in a remote Amazon tributary, echoed throughout our halls. Truly, there's nothing quite like a Laurie Jensen in her natural environment... "Shhhhh....don't disturb it...they're so beautiful in the wild"....

And so Laurie visited over the weekend, and I got my much needed dose of her special brand of mayhem. We porked out on Mystery Science Theater (it was a "good and beautiful thing to do"), Extreme Elimination Challenge, Borat ("Good tiiiiimes!"...tho I'm still traumatized by that movie), Brak songs and assorted fits of craziness. We had lunch with my Mom, visited the minis (Noah is getting huge!) and puttered about a bit, before venturing home for a solid night of cackling and craziness. On Saturday, we managed to venture down to Art in the Park and meet my friend, Tina, for wine and Pronto Pups (What a combo! Bon yer heart out) and enjoyed Boise's largest art fair.

We ate, drank and were merry until our faces hurt, and we both lost our voices within the first day. Sounding like Lauren Bacall can be fun for a few hours, until you start to squeak like spaztic squeeze toys over certain vowels! In the photo, Laurie brandishes the sacrifice we made to the grill gods, in the form of a carbonized skewer of pineapple and shrimp, though I'm happy to report that no eyebrows or bangs were sacrificed in kind...which has been known to happen.

Now I must reveal that my dear hubby had just switched from nightshift to dayshift the very day that Laurie descended, which I'm sure was just the dose of manic chaos he needed...if a 48 hr fever dream is the prescribed jolt the circadian rhythms need! I think the pure shock-factor alone equaled about 2 billion cups of expresso. My poor rats didn't know what to make of all of this, and simply hunkered down in their houses to ride out the storm.

But ahhhh....the weekend was a wonderful dose of the spazzy giddiness I needed, and Laurie certainly needed a quick break from her hectic world, too. Sometimes, pure unabashed insanity is just the ticket to shock neurons back into life which had fizzled into gnarled, charred stumps. Plus, one of the boons of weekend guests is that the house and studio must be cleaned thoroughly to maintain the grand illusion of an organized and spotless abode, in that eternal cat-n-mouse game between hosts and guests. And so my studios are spotless, and ready to be decimated in the new flurry of crazed creativity only Laurie can inspire. Life is good.

Indeed, I'm so bloated on the heady lunacy of her visit that I've actually started to realistically glaze a couple of my new WB plaques, over which, previously, I had been so timid to touch that I'd actually whipped myself into an frothy meringue of insecurity, quivering in a corner. But now..."Why doesn't Sarah care?" There's a certain cackling critter to credit!

Good friends are a treasure. When you least expect it, they remind your spirit of what it believed to have forgotten and makes everything new again. "Give me room....I'm about to spaz!" is my new motto.

And so, I leave you with this quote: "No my friends, darkness is not everywhere – for here and there I find a few faces illuminated from within. Paper lanterns swaying among the dark trees." ~Carole Ann Borges


Monday, September 3, 2007

A Day in McCall, Idaho

These last few years, it's been hard justifying breaking up studio work with day or weekend jaunts with my hubby (See -- He's not imaginary!) when I was trying to keep up with work while also taking care of my Dar, too. But now we're playing catch-up and it's been wonderful "rediscovering" what it's like to just be again, to turn my brain off to worry and frantic studio work and contemplate the beauty of nature around us and those we love. I'm finding this so important for re-charging my batteries.

Now ordinarily, you'd see the beautiful Payette Lake in the background, but because of some wildfires in the region, the place smelled faintly like a campfire, and the smoke caused just enough haze in the air to confuse the camera. Oh well. But in typical Idahoan fashion, that didn't stop anyone from enjoying the wonderful mountains!

Plus, every once and a while, a wonderful piece of artwork sneaks into the trip, like this endearing bear sculpture by Dan Ostermiller, situated by Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho. I'm a big fan of public art (especially when it's so charming!) and I find it inspires me in different ways, being art for the people. I'd like to think that my artwork speaks a language you enjoy because in this way it draws us together and reaffirms what's important in life.

Anyway, don't let hubby fool you...he may look scary all decked out in his biker clothes, and his enthusiastic bear-hugs certainly aren't to be reckoned with, but he's really a big happy guy who's quick to laugh, with a sparkle in his eye!

And so I leave you with this quote: "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song" --Maya Angelou


Thursday, August 30, 2007

Behold the chaos that is my painting station!

Hello everyone! I still can't believe I was able to figure all this out -- I only just figured out how to make banners in Photoshop! Goes to show you what a bit of coffee and perseverance can do.

I decided to start a blog because I'd like to provide a more personal view inside the studio, where I can share things and thoughts with you that don't quite fit on my mailing list. I do hope you enjoy it!

And in ode to my wanton self-indulgent congratulations over my achievement in creating this blog without either taking out the whole eastern seaboard or turning my synapses into charcoal briquettes, I leave you with this thought:

"The secret of achievement is to hold a picture of a successful outcome in mind" - Henry David Thoreau

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