By the skin of its finny-fin-fin

One of the “Aha!” artsy discoveries I made in Boston was Fish Leather. Now maybe you knew all about it, but I didn’t. And it’s beautiful! It looks like suede on one side and has a glossy.scale-like pattern on the other side. Here’s a piece that I purchased from Bead+Fiber.

fl1_edited-1 There’s a shop called The Fish Leather Co in the UK that’s specializing in this material, and you can find out from their site how it’s made. It’s apparently a long process and different species of fish have different kinds of leathers. Definitely interesting to read about! Fish Leather is eco-friendly and taken from non-endangered fish (unless you’re the fish that gets turned into leather, I guess).fl2

I found a shop on Etsy that has hand-crafted Fish Leather jewelry – it’s called ModernNaturals19 and the artisan does nice work – see the cuff bracelet below. You’d have to sew a bunch of these together to make a garment of any kind, but the material itself is beautiful and I can see it being used for small adornments and decorative objects. Dang. Fish leather. Who woulda thought?




Boston’s SoWa Sunday Market

OK, I confess to playing hooky from Trinity on Thursday to take a quick trip to Boston – and one of the highlights was today’s South End Market, particularly a shop called Bead + Fiber. Today was the last Market of the season (and also the Market of the Living Dead, sorta a Yankee version of Dia de los Muertos.) Besides produce, there is a vintage market and a fleet of food trucks. The place was rife with hot dogs, real dogs in Zombie costumes, Zombies eating burgers, Zombies in drag – sometimes it was hard to tell what was a costume and what was not, and one surely didn’t want to ask. Here are some pictures from the SoWa Market. Home tomorrow to dear ol’ San Antonio where the only good Zombie is a dead Zombie – hmmmm. Wait, aren’t Zombies already dead? So all Zombies are good? Oh, never mind – enjoy the pics.


Bonus post!! Thanks to Delta, we present Samurai!

So I got one of those dreaded notices early this morning that my 9:00 Delta Airlines flight from Boston to San Antonio had changed to 11:30 for no apparent reason, which messed up connections, etc – but now that I’ve re-booked everything, there’s time to post some pics from the amazing, stupendous Samurai Exhibit at the Boston Museum of Art which I visited yesterday. Here’s the info for you to read regarding the special exhibit, and here are the pics – weird to think of battle garb as extraordinarily beautiful, but there it is.


No adequate words for these cool fireworks . .

Fireworks in Boston on the 4th of July? Too amazing to describe – too bad they weren’t broadcast nationally for the first time in a zillion years,. Here’s a short video shot from a rooftop above the Charles River. At about the two-and-a-half minute mark, some of the bursts turn in to actual stars. It really was an astonishing kinetic art show in lights and sound. Wow. OK, time to go back home to the Studio, all inspired 🙂

Meanwhile, back at the Studio

Back at last from Boston with lots of inspiration and good memories! Look what was waiting for me on Facebook yesterday, just in time for Eileen Achorn’s beading workshop this Saturday at the Studio – two fabulous examples of cabochon beading using my face shards. These were done by Kathy Cosgrove from Round Lake Beach, Illinois. She wrote, “I purchased a few of your shards a few months ago and I wanted to share with you the outcome of my projects.” All I can say is, “WOW.”

This is an extension of the same technique that Eileen will be teaching, although she will (blessedly) start us off with the basics – if you’re in San Antonio, I hope you’ll consider joining us from 11-2 next Saturday the 15th at the Studio. Here’s the sign-up link. I had no idea that the little clay faces could be elevated to the kid of art that Eileen and Kathy do! And Eileen promises that even I, with little patience and no beading experience to speak of, can do this. We’ll see. I’ll send a report and pics after the workshop if you can be there in person.

Now, repeat after me . . . there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home . . . . .:)

Beacon Hill Art Walk – ups and downs


aw3Hooray! There were many more Ups that Downs yesterday. The only little downs were the really strong winds that spontaneously rearranged the artwork every fifteen minutes, and the high temperatures. But hundreds of people turned out for the eighty or ninety artists who showed on the streets and in the courtyards of Beacon Hill.


Among the highlights – I saw an old friend from Chicago, Sharon Bostick. She lived on Beacon Hill for many years and happened to be in town for the show, looked me up, and voila! Sharon and her husband purchased several pieces. Thanks, Sharon! An unexpected highlight came from the Art Walk committee who visited my spot and awarded me with yellow ribbon for third place in show – wow! Not bad for this first-time non-Boston newbie. Thanks, Committee!


I could not have done the show without friends Pat Semmes and Danny Sanchez who helped haul the stuff (including tables) up and down the brick sidewalks. I think after all was said and done I sold ten pieces, got a very nice award,  met some super artists (who said that it was more of a looking day than buying day, but still . . .) and will definitely apply for next year. I’ll be back, jurors willing and the creek don’t rise.  Here are some more photos:

Setting out to set up . . .

Today is the Beacon Hill Art Walk and my friend Pat Semmes and I are making preparations to get the artwork and setup stuff from Here to There, which is about half a mile up Beacon Hill. Another friend, Danny, will be the muscleman on the team and help us get the carts up the cobblestone sidewalks. Yay. Our location, which we will share with two other artists, is just off Revere Street in Bellingham Place, a shady courtyard – well, more like an alley :). This is gonna be fun! At least we’re pretty close to the Gelato shop.

Here’s the artwork semi-packed upbasket

Here are the art supplies, semi-cleaned up:


And here is some additional Paper Cut-out Art from my Boston kitty who evidently thought I could use a bit more variety:

Onward and (quite literally) UPWARD! Report to follow!

Hamburger Transformed

Sorry,  I’m probably “over-blogging” from Boston, but rarely do I have such a stretch of time to experiment with art and write about the weirdness of the process. For example, my Taos teacher Gwen Fox always says, “Start with a thumbnail from an existing picture.” So I found this hamburger in a magazine (fig. 1) – it looked interesting through the paper window (or maybe I was hungry). I turned it sideways and sketched in the shapes which started morphing into abstract figures. (fig.2). I tried to make the two figures balance and relate, but it became obvious that the figure on the left was dominant, so . . .whack! Off went the second figure to be used elsewhere. (fig. 3) I put a very few finishing tweaks on the left figure and, when matted, it is intriguing and colorful. (fig. 4). I think I will name it “McDonald.” Or maybe “Hunger and Evolution.” Isn’t art fun??

Pins R FUN

Dunno why I don’t make more of these cool little magnetic collage pins – they are really fun to put together, they come together quickly, make unique gifts,and you get to try different embellishment techniques. For example, on these I used a non-fire ceramic finish from Duncan glazes called Red Granite that I found at my earthenware supplier, Clay World. You can brush it on heavy watercolor paper and it looks all granite-y. Nice!

pinone pintwo

Anybody interested in a  pin-making workshop when I get back from Boston? We could do it some weekday evening at the Studio. Email me if you’re up for it. Speaking of Boston, the link is up for the Beacon Hill Art Walk’s participating artists, including me – betcha I’m the only one from Texas.  I sorta fudged and said I had a “summer home” there so I could get in. Gulp. But I guess it counts if I visit the kids in Boston in the summer. OK, go forth, Y’all, and be creative.

Blogging from Boston

What a glorious weekend to be in Boston – I’m staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood just across from the Boston Public Garden where I went walking this morning. The trees are a zillion different colors – I expect that some of these images will show up in my work soon. Plans are to see the Boston Museum of Art before we leave on Tuesday – I could get used to visiting here often.