Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008 - In Memorium

In the early 70's I was in high school. A young couple came to our church and took on the task of leading our youth group. They were committed, open minded, creative, and fun. Just what we needed. As it happened 4 of us became quite close to them. One summer we met at their home in the evening once a week and talked about everything and anything. And they listened like no one else had. All this while raising 3 kids of their own. In fact Cheri was born during our time with them. Over the next 10 years of so we remained close friends and enjoyed reunions with them whenever the opportunity came. They were truly a big brother and sister, family. 

Phil Rieman (64) and Louise Baldwin Rieman (63) went on to become pastors in the Church of the Brethren, not to mention mission workers in the Sudan from 1992-1996, pastors at churches in Iowa and Indiana, and peace witnesses and war tax resisters for decades. They gave 60 percent of their taxes to civil rights and peace programs, despite internal Revenue Service threats of liens against bank accounts, wage garnishments, and seizure of the family van. In an article in the New York Times on the subject, Phil was quoted saying "We will look back on war someday like we did on slavery." 

Phil and Louie were most recently pastors at the Northview Church of the Brethren in Indianapolis. They were killed on December 26th in a car accident on a highway north of Indianapolis on their way to a family gathering. They are survived by their 3 children. 

We did not see much of each other over way too many years but I still heard word of them and their kids and I still considered them very close friends. They will always have a very special place in my heart. A funeral service is available for viewing on the Northview Church of the Brethren web site. 

And those 3 friends who grew up with me on those summer nights are some of my dearest friends. We don't get together often but they live in my heart and it has been a joy to connect with them during this sad time. Happy New Year everyone! Live life to it's fullest.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

December 30, 2008 - Joy and sadness

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I spent the last week with some of my family amidst much turbulent weather—ice, snow, fog, rain, cold and winds. But all in all we stayed safe and happy, ate too much, and enjoyed each other's company. Another Christmas past.

Madison is breaking records with snow fall this December. We're not jumping for joy but at least we've had less ice and a lot of the snow has melted. But there's much more on the way and we're all bracing for a long winter. I'll keep you posted.

Over the past years movie watching has been a big part of the Christmas holiday for me and family. Lots of leisure time means lots of time to enjoy movies. I have no idea how many movies we watched but here's a few. First there was "Wanted". A totally bizarre fantasy about a group of assassins with extraordinary and totally unbelievable skill sets. It didn't do much for me. We also saw "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and I liked it a lot. I had seen a review that didn't recommend it so I was hesitant. But it was a really nice story about love, growing old and growing young. It's very long but it held my attention and it kept me guessing as to where it was all going. And my sister finally talked me into watching "Mama Mia." Although I resisted you can't help but get into it if only for the catchy songs. There were more including marathons of "A Christmas Story" which has been a part of our family Christmas for many years.

The hit of the holiday was experiencing the Wii game machine. My brother-in-law  got one for father's day and my niece got her husband one for Christmas. I was curious having seen all the buzz about it over the last year. And it is fun. We played tennis, golf, archery, figure skating, volleyball, snowboarding, go-cart racing, bowling, billiards, and the silliest of all, cow racing. I have to say it was as entertaining to watch as it was to play. I get it now. It's great entertainment for small and large groups as well as on your own. Worth the price? I'm still deciding. And as far as the exercise benefits go, you do get a great work out for one of your arms. But be careful. I came home with a sore wrist from all the twisting and erratic movements. It does get you off the couch and laughing at the very least but it's hardly a substitute for the real thing.

And now the sadness. I came home to an email from a long time friend. It said that two friends of ours were killed in a car accident on their way to a family Christmas in Indiana, not far from where I was. I'll leave the details for my next post but it was a shock and terribly sad. So with joy comes sadness. And that's life.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008 - Tales of Chi-town

Spent a bit of time in Chicago recently. Some friends and I decided it would be great to see a live taping of one of our favorite radio shows on NPR—Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. Each week on the radio you can test your knowledge against some of the best and brightest in the news and entertainment world while figuring out what's real news and what's made up. It's a great show and very funny. The show is taped in the Chicago Chase Auditorium right next to Daly Plaza in the Loop. We had a blast. It takes about two hours to tape the show. There are 3 celebrity panelists, an MC, Peter Sagal, and Carl Kasell, a legendary newscaster who's been doing NPR's Morning Edition since 1979, and you've never heard him like this. In fact the main prize for the call-in contestants is Carl recording a greeting for your home answering machine. Every week they have a celebrity guest who plays a game called "It's not my job", a series of questions that have absolutely nothing to do with the guest's background, just to make it interesting. In the past they've had Tom Hanks, Tom Brokaw, and Michael Hayden, Director of the CIA. Sometimes the guests are on the phone but we were lucky to have a live appearance by Denise Leary, a very irreverent comedian who is currently starring in the FX channel's Rescue Me. Check out Wait Wait Don't Tell Me on the weekends if you ever get the chance. And even better get to a live taping. I haven't laughed that much in a very long time. Below is my mug in front of the stage before the taping courtesy of Kristin. She also took a photo during the show, and after they warned us not to take any flash pictures her flash accidently went off. No one was more shocked than Kristin. Ed and I would have denied knowing her at that point if it meant missing the rest of the show. We also saw Jersey Boys, a musical about the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, had some great food and went to the One-of-a-Kind Show at the Merchandise Mart, one of the best art fairs in the Midwest. 
The shot above is out our hotel window and shows the progress of the newest skyscraper, The Trump Tower. Below is the Famous "Bean" sculpture in Millennium Park. The last time I was in Chicago, almost 3 years ago, they had it covered up for repairs. I guess they also had to add some texture to the top of it as it was blasting intense sunlight into quite a few office buildings. 
And one more little tidbit leftover from Thanksgiving. I made a few deserts for the big dinner—a Pumpkin/Orange Bread Pudding, a Maple Pecan Pie, and a Pear Cranberry and Pecan Pie. All on my stove top ready to go. The bread pudding was supposed to have a rich whip cream topping with white pepper but I'll save that for another time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26, 2008 - Thanksgiving

This is to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. My life is full and content and all of you have made it so. It's a tough year for many. I feel truly blessed that I have so much and hope to give much back over the next year. I'll be spending the day with a great group of friends and I'm sure the food will be amazing. 

We had our first snow of the season this week. So I went outside and took a few pics near my house. Tonight I'm making a few pies and of course one of them has to be pumpkin. I like to try something new every year so I found a recipe for a pumpkin/orange bread pudding and a great pie that combines pears, cranberries and pecans. I'd better get to work.

For each new morning with its light.
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
--Ralf Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

November 20, 2008 - I'm bad.

I'm bad for not blogging for the last two months. Sometimes you just run dry. And nobody reads this anyway. Especially when I don't put anything new in here. So I'm back. Next week is Thanksgiving. The best thing about a holiday like this is sleeping late and really not feeling compelled to do anything. Working at home the temptation to do work is pretty powerful. You're in the office so why not get something done. But on holidays…nothin. Don't want to lift a finger. 

So I start the day with a big leisurely breakfast. It's just one of my favorite comforts. So I'm going to share. Here's one of my favorite recipes:

Corn Meal Pancakes

Put one cup of white or yellow cornmeal in a bowl and add
1 teaspoon of salt
1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
Stir in 1 cup of boiling water, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
In another bowl beat
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons of melted butter
Add these to the cornmeal along with
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and
2 tablespoons of double-acting baking powder.
Give a few good strokes and fry em up on a cast iron skillet.
Cover with hot maple syrup.
A few sausage links on the side make it great. And coffee.
And lay around in your robe and stocking feet near a sunny window. 
Enjoy. m

Friday, October 3, 2008

October 4, 2008 - Recycled Beauty

I think this is a beautiful chandelier and an amazing piece of art. This piece was created by Stuart Haygarth in 2004. The original Tide Chandelier is part of a larger body of work based on the collection of 'man made' debris washed up on a specific stretch of Kent coastline. The sphere is an analogy for the moon which effects the tides which in turn wash up the debris. More amazing and creative lighting to come. m

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sept 17, 2008 - Island Getaway

These are some of the unique plant life found on a very secluded island off the coast of Africa called Socotra. It's an almost alien world that has been geographically isolated from the mainland for 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island has 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, one third of which are found nowhere else on earth.

The Island has been declared a World Heritage Site and has around 40,000 inhabitants. If you're looking for a little getaway the island is geared toward eco-tourism—trekking, camel riding, cave exploration, snorkeling, and diving on shipwrecks—no beachfront hotels and restaurants. But it could be a place you'll never forget. What is unfortunate is that Socotra is located off the coast of Yemen, one of the hot spots for violence in our world as evidenced by the attempted bombing of the US Embassy just yesterday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept 14, 2008 - Open Art Studios

Time goes by too fast. There are times when I seem to have lots to tell you about and then it slips away and suddenly a whole month has gone by. August was great, slow and a bit lazy. The weather was amazing too. Mild and comfortable, a rare thing in my memory. You just need some time to be lazy every once in awhile. September is definitely accelerating my days. I'm working on a few freelance projects and I have a good stream of lamp orders to get done, including some custom work which isn't that common for me. I'll show you the results when they're done.

I wanted to take some time to promote the Open Art Studios tour here in the Madison area. It's coming up on the weekend of Oct 4-5. Around 150 artists open up their studios to the public for one weekend only. For a lot of these artists it's the only time during the year when you can actually see an artist's true working environment. And I think it's kind of fascinating. Unfortunately, for the last 4 years I've been one of the artists showing and I haven't been able to take the tour myself. But I'd really like to. There's something about seeing behind-the-scenes. It tells much more of the story behind an artist's unique vision. That's kind of what I'm trying to do with this blog but being in the environment is much different than seeing pictures of it.

Here's how it works. We are fortunate to have a preview exhibit at the wonderful Overture Center in downtown Madison. The exhibit is in the Community Galleries from Sept. 22 to Oct. 10. The galleries are located on 3 floors of the center located off the main rotunda entrance. The exhibit features one work from every artist participating in the event. The idea being that you can pick the artists you want to visit based on the work you see in the exhibit. Printed maps of all the artist's studio locations are available at the galleries and at local library branches and community centers. There's also an opening for this exhibit on Sept. 26 from 6 pm-9 pm. There will be a cash bar and a great silent auction. 

Go to the official Open Art Studios web site for more information. The site features a listing of all the artists, their work, and an interactive map of the studio locations. There are also a few locations where a group of artists are showing. These are artists who don't have studios near by or whose studios just aren't able to handle the public coming through. Take this very rare opportunity to visit some studios including mine, pictured below. Have a great day. It's very dark and rainy here but it makes me feel better about staying in and making lamps. Ciao. m

Monday, August 25, 2008

August 27, 2008 - Who can top that!

The critics are saying "the best closing ceremonies ever". I didn't love them. There were highlights but the images of all the people going up and down the tower was a little disturbing to me, although I can't tell you exactly why. There was something very robotic about it all. And that singing by the reigning rock stars of China was grating at best. It felt like each of them was trying to outdo the other with vocal gymnastics. 

The Olympics are a fascinating spectacle. It's not supposed to be political but it is so very political—which country got the most metals; US criticizes China for not allowing more protests; Bush visits and games and takes care of international business; Russia invades Georgia on the first day of the Olympics (coincidence? They've done this before). It's interesting that China wants to be a world leader and yet they aren't too hot on playing by anyone's rules but their own. Control is everything to them. Rather than focus on the money spent and the human toll, they want us only to see the spectacle, the glitter. But how can we not take notice of the mechanizations that went into it all and frown.

But I loved watching the athletes and the challenges they faced. That ultimately was what it was all about and it didn't feel political when you're rooting for an underdog or watching a simply amazing talent. I enjoyed it and looked forward to watching everyday.

So now we move on to local politics. The DNC is well under way and the RNC is soon to follow. It should be interesting.

Friday, August 22, 2008

August 24, 2008 - It looks blue, but it's green.

What's the Greenest building at the Beijing Olympics? It's the Water Cube. The cube is covered with 100,000 square meters of Teflon-like translucent plastic ETFE bubble cladding which allows in more solar heat than glass, making it easier to heat the building, and resulting in a 30 percent reduction in energy costs. This energy savings is equivalent to covering the roof in solar panels. The bubbles are air-tight, and LED-lit. They're only .008 of an inch thick and can hold up to 300 times it's weight and span greater distances than glass. It also costs 70 percent less to install.

A rainwater collection system gathers 10,000 cubic meters each year, while a recycling system reuses 80% of the building's water, crucial in Beijing's drought-plagued landscape. And the building will have a good afterlife. The building will be converted into a recreation facility for residents who not only can swim, but can take advantage of tennis, a waterslide and a cafe. Unlike the nearby "Bird's Nest" stadium which some see as a "white elephant" once the games are done. And no one was killed during construction, unlike the stadium which claimed at least 10 lives.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

August 22, 2008 - Anything for a Great Show

By any standard the opening ceremony for the China Olympics were brilliant, amazing, and unprecedented. But at what real cost. The Chinese government has long been known to use it's massive population as a seemingly expendable natural resource. As much as we were dazzled, what reaction should we have to find out about the harsh conditions the performers endured. An article at gives a hint of what the performers went through. 

The performers stayed in army barracks outside the city and were not allowed to leave. Performers were injured, fainted from heatstroke and some were forced to use adult diapers so breaks weren't necessary. The ceremony's director wanted the world to know of the suffering and sacrifice of the nearly 15,000 members of the cast and crew. He said "Only the North Koreans could have done better." I'm not sure how he meant this statement.

The participants of the synchronized tai-chi routine rehearsed an average of 16 hours a day, every day, for three months. A young 26-year-old dancer fell from a 10-foot stage and may be permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Despite the sacrifices, the student performers were grateful for the opportunity to participate in the historic event and view it as an honor.

As a comparison, the director pointed out that in the West frequent coffee breaks were necessary and they could only work 4 and a half days per week, with no overtime. I don't think he was happy with that situation either.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

August 21, 2008 - The Mysterious Cauldron Appearance

Perhaps you're as curious as I am, but how could a 10-story, 45-ton structure get to the top of the Bird's Nest during the opening ceremonies without a hint of where it came from. Here's what I've learned.

The secrecy of the cauldron became a top priority. Look at the photo above and you'll see a 30-meter, air-cushioned tunnel set on top of the roof that kept the cauldron under wraps for almost two months. A rail system was created to move the giant cauldron to the edge of the stadium and down into position. So while you and I and everyone else were watching the parade of athletes, a button was pushed and it took about 16 minutes for the cauldron to move into position surprising everyone. The inflatable tunnel disappeared and no one was the wiser. The whole system and Cauldron weighed about 405 tons and cost about $1.5 million dollars.

This photos shows the day when the cauldron was inserted into the inflatable tunnel. Now you know. :-)

August 20, 2008 - The China Syndrome

How can I help but be impressed by the China Olympics. So, while they're still going you're going to see a series of posts centered on the spectacle, the architecture, the tricks and even some of the controversy.

First a few spectacular photos of the opening ceremony from the Big Picture.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August 17, 2008 - A weekend away

Last weekend I felt the need to get away. The creative brain needs new input every once in awhile. I headed west to the big river then up to Viroqua, Wisconsin. Viroqua is a typical Wisconsin town with a progressive bent and it seemed like a good home base for the weekend. A friend had recommended Lanesboro, MN as a great place for biking and escape. Lanesboro is about an hour west of La Crosse and the photo above shows the hilltop with the old school and church that look out over downtown Lanesboro. The school is currently being converted into coop condos and I envy the amazing views of the Root River Valley. 

Lanesboro is a mecca for family and group biking, canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. This is the center of the 60 mile long Root River Bike Trail that follows the Root River through the valley. The trails  are converted railroad tracks and features many bridges and great views. And if you're in the mood there's a great pie shop about 5 miles east of Lanesboro where just about everyone stops for a treat. You can't help but notice the mass of bikes parked outside the shop.
The photo above was taken on the deck of a restaurant where I had a Cajun Catfish sandwich. I had a great view of bikers on the bridge and tubers on the river below. Below is a typical bridge crossing along the Root trail. The trail is very gradual so you can take your time and not worry about big hills. And did I mention the weather was perfect. I highly recommend Lanesboro. Their web site boasts many awards like "Best small town in America" if that gives you a hint. I also noticed many restaurants and even a theater company. "Harvey" was the latest production but I had to get back home. Next time.
On my way home I took a trip to a little town called Ontario and the home of Wildcat Mountain State Park. At the top of a steep ridge the park offers an unprecedented view of the Kickapoo River Valley where many a canoe enthusiast has enjoyed a leisurely ride on the winding river. Sorry to sound so much like a travel agent but what can I say. It was a great little trip. Ciao.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 29, 2008 - The Calm Before the Storm

It's been over 2 weeks since the Madison Art Fair and I'm just now getting around to writing about it. It wasn't the experience I was hoping for. In fact it was kind of a nightmare. It all started the night before the fair when artists set up their tents. I worked from 7:00 to 10:00 pm that hot night getting my tent, shelves, and curtains up so I could be ready to go early Saturday morning. I decided not to put my lamps in the booth because the night previous Madison experienced strong winds. The news reported downed tree limbs and even damage to a large tent that was set up for a festival nearby. We were expecting storms again early Friday morning. It was just too big of a chance.

When I arrived early Saturday morning things looked very wrong. My tent sides had been blown off. The tent has been moved about 3 feet toward the center of the street. The metal shelves were all on the sidewalk haphazardly behind the tent. All my containers holding tools, receipts, paperwork, and supplies were scattered around the back of the booth. The curtain rods were badly bent. And everything was soaked with water. There was standing water in many of my containers. My heart sank. I started looking around and several tents nearby were damaged. It looked as though someone had dragged all my stuff over to the sidewalk. However, the tent on the other side of me had moved but it looked fine. It seemed the wind was very focused on a small section of the street and mine was one of the unlucky ones. I was in a wind tunnel.

I would have taken some photos but my camera was wet and I was intent of assessing the damage. My mind was going back and forth trying to decide if I should pack up and leave. But I slowly worked through the mess, drying what I could and realized that on the whole things were okay. I got the booth into shape. When I was done I was surprised that it looked so good. You really wouldn't have known. 

The woman next door had to leave. She had a much heavier and well made booth but one of the legs had bent and she couldn't repair it. I also heard that maybe 20 other booths around the square had been damaged during the night. In fact one group of tents were all pushed together in a big pile. Some people had their art in the booth and it was a terrible mess. Artists were very upset and a lot of them left. This information was all via the grapevine and I never really got the whole story. Our local news didn't mention the incident at all.

The wind gusted all day. It was very stressful for me and many others. On the whole my tent held and my lamps did not fall over. I had a few sales but it was a fairly slow day. The people attending the fair loved it. In past years it's been over 90 degrees and sweltering. This year it was cool and very breezy. They had no knowledge of the small disasters that happened the night before. They did notice many empty booth spaces.

I packed up my lamps that night thinking I just couldn't take a chance. I had high hopes that Sunday would be a much better day. The photos here are taken early Sunday morning. All the tents were bundled up and the sun hadn't gotten high enough to illuminate the square. The wind kept gusting. And the gusts got stronger and stronger. At times I was literally holding down my tent. My neighbors decided to take their tent down and were much better off. They sold heavier ceramics and didn't have to worry about the wind blowing them over. We heard crashes every once in awhile and cringed. I was a nervous wreck. I was talking to my neighbor about the wind when a big gust hit and two of his pieces crashed to the ground. Around two in the afternoon I got hit with a huge gust and all my lamps and shelves tipped over. Luckily people in the booth grabbed the lamps while I held the tent down. Within five minutes another gust hit. Again all the shelves and lamps tipped over. This time I wasn't so lucky and at least two lamps broke. 

It was time to pack up. On top of the erratic winds—which, by the way, were hardly effecting the people across the street from me—my sales were very low and it just wasn't worth the stress. So I packed up while people tramped through my booth to get to the sidewalk behind me, tripping over my tent poles, oblivious of what I'd been through. I finished around five, just when the fair closed down. I was defeated and grumpy. When I got home my neighbors were happily curious as to how well I did  and all I could do was tell them that it was a long sad story and I'd have to tell them later. 

Looking back I was pretty lucky. Only two lamps were damaged. I'm guessing that some other artists suffered much worse. I doubt that I'll do the Madison fair again. It's hard for me to do outdoor fairs because of the unpredictable winds and rain. Also it's rare for fairs to offer electricity and my lamps look so much better when lit. It was also interesting being on the selling side of things. The public was ignorant of what many of the artists were going through. They were there to have a good time, eat some food, buy some art, and enjoy the breezy summer day. On my side I was totally stressed out thinking my lamps were all going to be blown away at any moment.

I'll leave it at that. It was an experience I could have lived without but it's not an unusual experience for artists on the art fair circuit. I'm just not a seasoned participant and have had it pretty lucky, until now.

Here's a few more "calm" photos. I also want to wish a big Happy Birthday to Kristin on her 51st! 

Friday, July 11, 2008

July 11, 2008 - Getting ready for the fair

Well, I'm all packed for the Madison Art Fair on the Square this Saturday and Sunday. Got the old rental van stuffed and now I have to wait 4 hours before they allow you to start setting up on the square. In other words after 8 pm this evening. I guess it's better than setting up at the hottest time of the day. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating this year, at least for set up. They are expecting storms to come through tonight and go into the morning. If it's anything like last night I'm a little worried that my tent will still be standing tomorrow morning. Trees were down and streets were flooded. It's one of those nights where the thunder makes you shudder in your bed.

I'm going to try and take a lot of photos this weekend so I can take you through the process of doing an art fair. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

July 8, 2008 - A day at the zoo

On July 4th Amy and Jeff invited me to lunch and a walk at the Vilas Zoo. I needed a break from all the lampmaking and it was one of those days where the weather is perfect and the sky is dotted with cottonball clouds on a blue blue sky that are indigenous to Wisconsin summers. I don't always love zoos. I can't help but sense that the animals are bored and caged in a very unnatural way. But they do offer joy on some level, and there are many animals who seems perfectly content and even happy. Below are a few of the critters who inhabit the place along with a particularly happy monkey in the upper right corner who goes by the name of Mia (actually Amy and Jeff's daughter).
And Dubai continues to entertain us with completely absurd architectural gymnastics, now offering a rotating skyscraper. It seems each floor can turn on a central axis allowing the building to change shape continually. The building is 80 stories high and powers itself with 79 wind turbines located between each floor. The building boasts the feature of offering it's residents the ability to change views at will, but I wonder if your neighbors will all cooperate and all want the same view. Living in a continually rotating environment might get a little disorienting. The building was designed by David Fisher.

Friday, July 4, 2008

July 4th, 2008 - Alternative Motivational Posters

On this July 4th take a look at the beautiful, well-designed and inspired pieces of art offered by Right Brain Terrain. The posters are printed on post-consumer recycled, FSC certified papers, chlorine-free soy/vegetable inks—in other words about as green as you can get in printing. There are 17, 18"x24" posters as well as a set of note cards.

The Art Fair on the Square in Madison is coming up next weekend and I'm ramping up by making more lamps. Unfortunately I won't have electricity to display the lamps the way I like but that's life. It's hard to pass up a local and high-quality fair like this one. Please come by booth 458 if you can. The hours are Saturday July 12th, 9 am to 6 pm; and Sunday July 13th, 10 am to 5 pm. Of course it will be one of the hottest weekends of the year, it's just tradition. And if a storm comes up just pray I don't blow away with all my very kite-like lamps.

Have a happy and safe 4th of July. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

July 1, 2008 - Back from the LFOA

It's been a week since I've gotten back from the Lakefront Festival of the Arts in Milwuakee. I had a wonderful fair selling more lamps than at any other show I've done. My booth is shown below. The weather was perfect except for a few thunderstorms on Sunday at the end of the fair. But as luck would have it the rain stopped right at 5:00 when everyone started packing up. I should also say that the entire 172 artists are housed under a huge tent structure so the rain wasn't a big deal. The festival learned a hard lesson many years ago when their art fair turned into a mud fest. They've been under a tent every since. When they designed the new addition to the museum I'm sure they planned a space for the art fair. 

If you haven't been to the Milwaukee Art Museum it is a wonderful piece of architecture. The building was designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The main hall features a 90-foot-high glass ceiling and a Brise Soleil, a moveable sunscreen that unfolds every morning to form a 217-foot wingspan.

Friday, June 13, 2008

June 14, 2008 - New Lamps

The Bo lamp is one of my favorites but it's quite wide and people don't seem to have a lot of space to fit one in. I decided to make a smaller version. The large Bo is 22" wide. The new ones are 15". Both are the same height and use a similar base. There are two versions of the small Bo, one with straight sides and the other with a slight angle which I have come to like. I also like the square-ish shape. I've come up with some new compositions and have also made smaller versions of some popular Bo styles, like the one below. You can see these this coming weekend at the Milwaukee Lakeshore Festival of the Arts in front of the Milwaukee Art Museum, June 20-22. I'm in booth 36. See you there.