Just like the members of a family all bear some resemblance to one another, all of the animals in my menagerie end up looking like I made them. So while each of my animals is a unique, one of a kind creation, I do think of them all as ‘cousins’ in my animal family. This gives me the freedom to create a sculpture related to one I’ve made before but still have it be new and different. As an artist this is an important part of my creative process. Having one piece inspire the next lets the work continue to flow and me continue to grow artistically.
Growing up my family had a cabin with a pleasant little creek running behind it. We could hear the babbling call of the water from our front porch and my brother, cousin and I used to answer the call and play in it for hours.
Chester and Winston certainly cut dashing figures in their Halloween costumes as Batman and Robin. They tickle my heart every time I see them in the studio. A nice thing about the shelter in place has been that I’ve gotten to keep commissioned pieces around for a while and enjoy
Many years ago I worked for a flooring contractor. He had a favorite mug and a favorite pen and you’d better not touch either one if you knew what was good for you. One day when I arrived at work things were unusually quiet - everyone was in their office with the door closed. I went into the break room to check out the donut situation and there on the counter
So what is in a name?
I find that when I hit on the right name for my sculptures the name just seems to fit - it sits right. While building this dog I was calling him ‘Big Head Dog’ because no matter how many times I trimmed clay away from his head it was too big. I even cut the whole head off once and started over only to end up with a big head again!
Joyful children's shouts coming from carnival rides, the sweet, greasy smell of funnel cakes, milling crowds of friends and neighbors are all part of our local county fair. It’s a classic small town fair with a carnival arcade, a hall of flowers, antique farm equipment, junk food and of course farm animals. I love the goats; they have a humor about them that I find irresistible, especially the cute little Nubian goats. There are pigs with all manner of stripes, spots and general largeness, fluffy rabbits, enormous cows
I remember being a little girl, sitting on our stairway with our fox terrier under my legs, like she was under a bridge. I would sit like this when I was upset. I’d tell her my troubles and she would make me feel better. I can’t remember what any of my ‘troubles’ were but I will always remember the comfort I got from my dog. Each of my pets has touched me in a special and unique way
I thought I’d mix things up a bit this week and share a recipe with you and plate it on some of my pottery. Let me know which one is your favorite.
I considered making a video of me making the salsa and sending it to the Food Network to pitch a new show where I’d not only make the food but I’d also make the dishes it’s served on. What do you think? I
Have you ever noticed how accidents seem to happen in slow motion? Once I lost control of my car and it spun around and slammed into a muddy hillside – no one hurt, not even the car – and even though it all happened in a split second I remember spinning slowly for a long time before the crash.
The other day I was putting the finishing glaze touches on a rabbit
I don’t remember eating very much candy growing up. Of course there was the big Halloween binge that all us kids had and a basket of chocolate eggs at Easter but the rest of the time I remember chocolate as being an occasional treat and not a regular thing at our house. Then my mom entered a baking contest where she had to invent a recipe and she came up with Chocolado Pie. Yummm! It was rich and smooth and fluffy and oh so chocolaty. It replaced birthday cake as our family tradition and every time
I love making frogs and I’ve made a lot of them! The bigger ones, like Hugo here, are bursting with personality. It’s funny to think that a sculpture of a frog could have so much character but each time I finish one it’s totally different from all of the others that came before. I take a lot of liberties in the design of the frog’s face and body but I try to stay true to their markings, which are inspired by frogs from the South American rain forest.
One of the first Saturday Stories I told was, Confessions of a Packrat. It was about the start of this wonderful totem pole I was making for Karla with her special animal friends. The Shelter in Place had just started and I was full of optimism that after a short break to ‘flatten the curve’ my studio
For many years I taught pottery at a group home for boys. It had both challenges and rewards - mostly challenges. My goal was to give the boys a way to express their creativity and hopefully have a little fun along the way and I think we usually got that done.
One of my students wanted to ‘do something’ with hand-dug clay.
When my daughter was little she desperately wanted a dog but we didn’t feel it was the right time to bring a dog into our family so we suggested she volunteer to be a dog walker at our local humane society.
Every once in a while I get a bug to clean out the studio. I try to keep it pretty orderly because I have visitors passing through all the time, plus it makes it easier for me to work if things are where they belong. Still every so often I look around and think, “it’s time for a clean out!”
For a while now I have been thinking about taking the animals in my totem poles outside the central pole - freeing them up to move around the center instead. The owl and hawk totems I built over the past year were my first experiments with this idea and I really like the birds on the outriggers in those two totems.
It was a gorgeous day at the Art Fair when I met Tuco's family for the first time. They were enjoying a totem pole I had made about my dog, Charlotte, and her many moods and they started telling me about their Goldendoodle, Tuco. She was currently
One of the best times of my life was just after college when I backpacked through Italy and Greece with my mom. I remember riding on the ferry and thinking ‘I’ve got the coolest mom’ and feeling so lucky.
My mom has been my #1 fan and supporter for my whole life but she ...
I love doing special commissions, trying to capture that certain personality trait in a pet, so that it warms your heart when you see it.
I just finished ‘Penny and Charlie’ who will be a gift from parents to their daughter.
Cats are interesting. They seem to tolerate us but they don’t show their loyalty the way dogs do. I’m allergic so I’ve never had a close relationship to a cat, so maybe I’m wrong about this, but that’s the way it looks to me. Even so, cats provide hours of entertainment with their silly antics and clever curiosity. Look at how long we can spend watching cat videos. They’re hilarious!
Apple, Peach, Berry?
It’s that time of year when summer fruits start ripening and that means it’s pie time! I LOVE homemade pie and my very favorite is blackberry, followed closely by pineapple, followed by apple, followed by… I think I might be a pie addict.
"I was totally blown away by Alexis' spectacular totem that my wife Renate had commissioned as a surprise gift. All my memories of wonderful pets, as well as current ones were captured in the most realistic sculpture conceivable. Alexis captured not only the physical aspects of our pets but also their spiritual side in the most wonderful way. One can almost think they are going to emerge from their stone like forms back into real life." Gordon