Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In Search of Garden Art

A couple of weeks ago I entered a drawing on Karen Chapman's blog Garden Adventures -- For Thumbs of All Colours (which has since migrated to a new platform and is now Le Jardinet), for a free ticket to Best of the Northwest, a juried art and craft show in Seattle. I won one of ten tickets!

These huge metal spheres were outside on the grass.

The show is taking place this weekend, Friday, Saturday (today) and Sunday, and I went today. I was looking particularly for art and decor that can go out in the garden, although the show also features the beautiful work of an array of jewelry, fabric and fiber, pottery and ceramic, and graphic and print artists, as well as dolls, leather, glass and wood. Almost every artist I spoke to gave me permission to take photos of their work, and those who didn't, I obliged by refraining (there was only one).

More unique art outside the show

I was very excited to go to this show, because except for the glass art I have in my garden, made by Barbara Sanderson of Glass Gardens Northwest, everything else is either mass-market or junk that I've cobbled together myself. While I love making creative re-use of stuff I've found at the thrift store, nothing I have ever made could hold a candle to the art and talent I saw on display today.

Please click on the links to go to each artist's website, where you can learn more about them and see more examples of their work. Many of them also have etsy shops.

Kelly Phipps Metalworks

Shovel heads turned into lace from Kelly Phipps Metalworks

Metal camisole and butterfly also from Kelly Phipps Metalworks -- this appealed to my quirky sense of humor

Sage Designs

You wouldn't put this artwork out in the garden, but I can see it appealing greatly to gardeners.
From Sage Designs -- this is not a painting or a print, it's 3-dimensional

I wish I could have gotten a better photo of Michael Sage's work. He uses skeletonized leaves arranged in a shadow box, but because of the lights bouncing off the glass, it was really hard to get a good photo. Just amazing work, so delicate and ethereal.

If you look carefully, you can see me reflected in the glass.

Lauren Osmolski, artist blacksmith

By Lauren Osmolski

Metal "skulls" by Lauren Osmolski

I bought the little one on the right with the cute little antennae, although the turquoise one and the one with the key in its mouth also appealed to me.

August Phoenix  -- Hats and Artwear by Heather Daveno

Every gardener needs a hat, right? I seldom wear hats, but if I did, I'd choose one by this fabulous artist.

I loved the pretty leaf design on this hat made, I think, of felted wool.

The gears on this Steampunk-style straw hat actually interlock and move

Hat detail

There were quite a few makers of unique clothing selling their wares at the show -- some day, when I am no longer a shapeless lump, I might think about wearing something other than T-shirts and stretch pants. I know, dream on...

Shock-N-Awe Metalworks

Isn't this just the cutest bug? From Shock-N-Awe Metalworks

I bought one of these cool bugs, but it was no sooner in the house than it was claimed by my husband, whose job is finding bugs in software. I'll just have to buy another one.

These bugs and dragonflies were also available on garden stakes.

Garden Fairies

These unique sculptures were called Dragon's Eggs.

These pretty chimes were displayed with an explanation that when you hang them in your garden, you can make a wish to invite fairies to visit.

Ian Beyer

Chrysanthemum made of welded forks by Ian Beyer

I went back 3 times to this personable young man's booth. Once to take pictures, again to buy three garden stakes, and then a third time, to buy one of his larger pieces.

Not the best photo, but this bird was amazing!

A closer photo of the bird's wing, made of welded forks

Bird flapping its wings, perhaps "gearing" up to fly

Here's the larger piece I bought to put in my garden. Ian told me I had to name him. I think I'm going to call him Harold.

Black Canyon Restorations

These clever artists use a variety of architectural items, such as tin ceiling panels and vintage hardware to make unique art pieces.

I could definitely see hanging this tile on my fence to dress it up

I've been on the lookout for mirrors to hang in the garden. You can see more of their work reflected in the mirror.

This is the artist whose metal spheres were on display on the grass in front of the show.

I was tempted to buy one of these steel spheres

These giant Alliums were also pretty darn cool!

This ceramic artist makes unique art derived from nature. She told me she currently has a display in  a gallery in the International District in Seattle, Kobo at Higo.

This face reminds me a bit of Max, from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

I should have gone back to get one of these adorable bug pins. But I was getting tired.

This artist creates fantasy characters from resin, epoxy clay, polymer clay, paper-clay or needle sculpted cloth.

This hanging fairy is in fact a birdhouse, but would need to be hung outside in a protected spot such as a porch overhang.

Phew! Are you as exhausted as I am now? I hope not. I hope you enjoyed coming with me to this art fair.