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4″ Raven Tile in Signature Red Oak Frame

Pulled up to the gas pump and spied nearby this raven snacking on a spilt bag of Dorito’s.

I had some custom frames made by a family run wood working business in Ohio. The edge that the tile is resting on is behind the tile. For the smaller sizes, the oak frame costs more than the art tile. The tiles are $42 for the 4″ size, and the frame is $55.

Most of my tiles are online now and should help with sales during the winter. This past year has been the only time where the inventory was in good shape. Usually I can’t keep up with sales. The Anchorage Native Heritage Center will be reopening for the Summer Season on Mother’s Day. The main ingredient in the tile body is the glacial clay from the mudflats next to Anchorage.

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Pendant Ideas

Multiglazed Pendants
Pendant Ideas

Decided to make some pendants with more than one glaze color. These pendants were made with small matte board plates, similar to how I make tiles. Before, pendants were made with clay stamps. Four sets of these will be made with four different background colors. My personal favorite would be the coffee cup.

Finally moved over to an online store format, though the blog posts are still part of the store.

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Tile Backing for Wood Stove

Close-up

This is the tile wall behind a wood stove that an acquaintance installed in his house. I also made the field tiles surrounding the art tiles. It will be featured in the next quarterly issue of Alaska Home magazine. The nice speckled brown field tiles are all the same glaze, so the difference in appearance is due to the placement in the kiln. An enlarged drawing of the entire area was provided so that plate/stencils could easily be made, especially for the odd shaped tiles, near the top. All the tiles are made from the local clay from the Anchorage mud flats, a part of the Boot Legger Clay formation, and they are stamped on the back with “Cook Inlet Glacial Clay”.

WoodStove
Wood Stove Tile Installation

The Fur Rondy sales begin tomorrow at the Dimond Mall (in Anchorage) and I will be heading to the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona for the Indian Art Market on Thursday.

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Two-Inch Pendants

2-inch Pendants
2-inch Pendants
These are recent tests for a two-inch size pendant. None sold at the Colorado Indian Market last month, but I’ll see how they do this summer. If they didn’t have holes, they could be tiles. To be installed with tiles, they would need to be slightly smaller, like 1-7/8″, so they could fit four to the same area as a four-inch tile, plus they would need to be just a tad thicker.

I’m working half time on tiles while I prepare taxes and work on the fish-skin coat that will have some of the buttons from the previous post.

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Portugese Camino

End of the Camino
Santiago, Spain
Walked the Portuguese Camino with my 85 year old Father and two younger sisters, Dorothy in the middle and Karen on the right. Dorothy has a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford and Karen is a civil engineer with the US Forest Service. We’re all engineers, I just switched to art. The ten day hike from Porto, Portugal to Santiago, Spain took us fifteen days. Our pilgrimage was leisurely this time as we sent our backpacks ahead each day and stayed in nicer hotels each night. By nicer, I mean with private bathrooms and sheets on the bed. We usually got two rooms and the price would be about $30-40 per person. Me and my dad roughed it a few years back by staying in the hostels, walking the much longer French route, but this time we spent a little more, and felt totally pampered. Our Dad did have a scare, an ear infection that felt like a possible stroke had our taxi speeding down rural, cobble-stoned lanes to the nearest hospital. The emergency room visit and antibiotics cost around $100 and then the pharmacy store charged another $20 for medication drops.

The tile business is taking up all my time, and this will be the best year, sales-wise, since I started a dozen years ago. I’ve decided to not go to the lower-48 next summer, since customers are coming to me up here at that time. Those trips will have to be in the off season.

I still have three more shows before the end of the year, so I better get back to the studio! The three shows are the Thanksgiving Fare at the Anchorage Museum, November 27-29, The Holiday Bazaar at the Anchorage Native Heritage Center, December 5, and a small group event at the Blue Hollomon Gallery December 12.