Posted on Leave a comment

Three New Four-Inch Tiles

Seal2018
Four-Inch Seal
This is one of several new designs for this summer season.

Four-Inch Otter Tile
This is a four-inch otter tile. Alaska has river and sea otters.
I like the eyes of the otter, so the new seal and fox designs might be reworked to have similar eyes. The x-ray style, common among the Alaskan Coastal peoples, is hinted at with the inclusion of the red ribs

FoxPlate2018
Thick Paper Cut Out of a Fox
This is what the paper cut outs look like before the pieces are separated and glued onto a matte board plate. The plate is impressed into clay to make the tiles.

Posted on Leave a comment

Four of Fox Card Tile

12″ x 9.5″ Card Tile
This tile is one of three card tiles made for an upcoming May show at the Anchorage Humanities Forum. There will also be about twenty 12″ x 12″ tiles, every 12″ tile that I have designed and made, in the show. I’m about 3/4’s done.

It has been over a year since I last added a post to this tile blog/website. I blame Facebook. The Anchorage Native Heritage Center helped a group of us start Etsy stores connected to Facebook, and we all got caught up in the never ending connectedness of Facebook. Nothing is for sell in the Etsy store…yet.

I will be selling at the Denver March Powwow from March 25-26. Then I’m attending a ceramics event in London, the Ceramics Art of London, March 31-April 2. Since I’m there, I’ll throw in a extra few days to sight see.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on 1 Comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

More Buttons and Pendants

Buttons
Buttons

These buttons are made out of clay from the Anchorage mud flats (Cook Inlet glacial clay), the same clay that is used in my tiles, and the images are from the stamps that I have created to decorate the back of the tiles. They are approximately one-inch in size and destined for a coat that I will make soon. Last year, I had bought wool and silk, and processed my own fish skins for the purpose of making a coat for the 2015 Anchorage Object Runway event, an art/fashion show, but it was cancelled. The coat will be patterned after a paper coat that I made a few years back that had won people’s choice award in the same Anchorage Object Runway event.

I’ve been busy since Christmas making tiles, inventory was down to three tiles. So everything I made last year sold! I hired a temporary part-time artist to help with waxing, while I did everything else.

I participated in the Colorado Indian Art Market, Jan 22-24, and did well. My favorite customers were the interesting couple that bought two twelve-inch tiles plus a few other tiles of various sizes.

My next two events will be the Anchorage Fur Rondy sale at the Dimond mall, March 2-6, and the Heard Museum Indian Arts & Crafts Show in Phoenix, Arizona March 5, 6. There is an overlap, so someone will cover for me at the Fur Rondy.

Posted on Leave a comment

New Fisherman Plate

Fisherman Plate
Cutting the Fisherman Plate
The old plate is in the upper left above and overlapped by the new plate that is being cut out of 300-lb cotton rag etching paper. The cut pieces that will be glued to a matte board are visible in the upper and lower right, under wax-paper, to keep an unexpected sneeze from scattering them about. My preferred glue is actually gesso and over the gesso will be brushed acrylic medium. This design is popular and probably has the most cut pieces, maybe two hundred or so. The triangular shape of the netted salmon gives the composition a stable and pleasing aspect. I will post a finished, glazed tile next.

I will be selling tiles at the Colorado Indian Market, January 23-25 in Denver.

Posted on Leave a comment

Object Runway Coat

Object Runway Coat
Object Runway Coat
This is what I made for Object Runway 2014, an International Gallery of Contemporary Art sponsored event in Anchorage, Alaska each January. It is pseudo lambs wool with salmon and halibut fish skins sewn on plus Cook Inlet clay pendant buttons. The diagonal zipper actually works, so bully for my new found sewing skills. Sixty-seven pieces walked the runway and mine was one of twenty to make the second round but it did not get in the top five. Bummer. I will gather up other pictures and post them next. Moriah Walker was my model and she also wore my previous entry three years ago, she did an excellent job.

Posted on 2 Comments

Nephew’s Tile and a Poem

Nephew Mark's Tile
Six-inch tile unfired, designed by nephew Mark
My Nephew Mark in Chicago designed this toucan bird tile. It’s his third design, the previous two were a cheeta and an american bison. During my arts and crafts shows he draws something and I make a tile from it. My next post will be of the glazed version.

I wrote a poem in response to Emily Dickenson’s “Slant of Light”. My dad was born in Amhearst Massachusetts and my aunt use to walk by Dickenson’s house. I didn’t know it, but after reading my grandfather’s family history, I found out I have some puritan blood mixed in with my native Alaskan blood. I’ll give her poem first than mine below it:

There’s a certain Slant of light
Winter Afternoons–
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes–

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us–
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are–

None may teach it–Any–
‘Tis the Seal Despair–
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the Air–

When it comes, the Landscape listens–
Shadows–hold their breath–
When it goes, ’tis like the Distance
on the look of Death–

Now my version (reaction?)

When Emily spoke of light
of Amherst Winters
Our oppression would be twice
a New Englanders

Frontier frownies, we paste on–
With yes, frost bite black
By third degree down in depth,
Whence our undies, back–

Molly Hootch says teach it–
That our seals have hair–
And a bad sea food addiction
Stenching up the Air–

Only then, White Alice listened–
In shrouds of Moose breath–
Only now, ’tis the NSA
And we look like Meth–

Ok, I’m back in 4th grade, wanting to make people laugh. Anyway, for clarification, Molly Hootch brought a lawsuit against the state so that indigenous students wouldn’t have to leave their villages to go to school out of state. And “White Alice” was the name for the old northern radar stations that were part of the cold war.

Posted on 2 Comments

Latest Kiln Load

Plaquette Glyph
Loon and Pendant Glyphs
Getting ready for the Anchorage Museum Thanksgiving Crafts Fare. The loon is a four-by-four square inch tile and the necklace pendants are maybe 1-1/4″ squarish pieces. The glyph stamps are fishes, fox, stars, eagle, letters, seal, owl, and the crazy swan turning into a salmon creature. The pendant pieces will be strung with simulated sinew singly and in groups up to five pieces. It has been a while since I have sold something other than tiles, long ago I use to sell fine art prints but the market was soft, or it could have been the timing, given that the economy went through the wringer at that time. All the pendants will be made from the Cook Inlet glacier clay with various slip colors and glazes applied to the front side.

Last Friday, I went to see my necklace mentioned in my last post, at the Native Alaskan fashion show, Wear Art Thou, hosted by the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, and I was really impressed by some of the pieces. I plan to make something for the show next year. Anyway, my necklace was worn lower than I envisioned but still looked good.