Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Cactus Wreath Class

 Our botanical garden is offering a class to make this fascinating wreath. I’m wondering how large the cacti could become and if I could manage to keep them alive! Someone I know who loves cacti could probably do it :)

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Glass Company

Clara Driscoll worked at the Tiffany Glass Company in New York City for 20 years and won a bronze medal at the 1900 Paris World's Fair for her dragonfly lamp design. She also designed and oversaw the production of many more works of glass. She wasn't publicly acknowledged at the time but historians have changed that after later finding letters about the work she did at the the company. This book tells the story of her design process, struggles at the company and relationships there. A very interesting read!

Our wonderful museum in Norfolk, Virginia, the Chrysler Museum, has a great glass collection and I learned that some of her most popular designs are there. I had to go check it out! 
Wouldn't you enjoy having one of these on a table? Pretty fancy.

Dragonfly Library Lamp by Clara

Wisteria Lamp, one of her most popular, by Clara

Tiffany vases, opalescent glass

Monday, April 10, 2023

Owen B. Pickett U.S. Custom House - Solarplate Etching

The US Customs Service was established in 1789 and is the oldest federal agency. This customs house is located in downtown Norfolk, Va near the waterfront which makes sense since one of its purposes is to control carriers of imports and exports. The architecture is an example of the Classical Revival style. The construction was completed in 1858. Historians at the time expected it to be "one of the most imposing and showy buildings in the city."  I'm sure they weren't disappointed! It underwent rehabilitation and restoration from 1996-1999 and still serves as a customs house. It certainly is an unusual building for the area.

Another addition to my Norfolk series of solarplate etchings. 


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Ocean View Fishing Pier - Solarplate Etching

The Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk, Virginia is the longest free-standing fishing pier in North America at 1,690 feet. It was built on the site of the former Harrison's Pier which was a very popular fishing spot until it was destroyed by Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003.  It was a good subject for my next solarplate etching of historic Norfolk places. I love that there are great views of the Chesapeake Bay from there!

Monday, October 24, 2022

Chrystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas

This museum was founded in 2006 by Alice Walton, daughter of the founder of Walmart, Sam Walton. Her love of art started as a child when she painted watercolors with her mother on camping and hiking trips. I really enjoyed its architecture and the grounds are superb! 120 acres of Ozark forest and 5 miles of trails. So lucky that it was a beautiful October day. The spider is a sculpture called "Maman" by a famous French artist Louise Bourgeois.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Elmwood Cemetery Solarplate Etching

Another in my Norfolk series isn't a building but an angel at Elmwood Cemetery that I couldn't resist drawing. The cemetery is an historic municipal one that was officially established in 1853. It's listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The tombstones have much Victorian funerary including shells, lambs, wreathes, lilies and anchors. And there are quite a few angels, this one being my favorite. I drew it on glass and then exposed it in the sun on a solarplate that is light sensitive. It needs to be near noon and a bright sunny day. (Panic can set in when clouds suddenly appear!) It only took 30 seconds! That's so amazing to me. Then after a couple of other steps, I was ready to make some handmade prints from the exposed plates. 

Elmwood Cemetery Angel