I'm transferring ships. I signed off Carnival Legend this morning at 9am. My flight to Orlando is tonight at 11pm. It's wet and cloudy in Seattle, pretty normal for here, but a perfect day for being inside.
Inside at the Chihuly exhibition at Seattle Centre. Apparently the Glasshouse is closed for a private event so there's a reduced admission. Except the Glasshouse is open. Nice!
Some of my favourite pieces are the Sealife Room. Can you see the starfish, octopus, stingray, snail or conch shell?
The Persian Ceiling. I'd like this in my non existent, gigantic house with pillows on the floor so I can just lay there and stare at the ceiling.
The Ikebana and Float Boat
In the (supposedly closed for a private event) Glasshouse
Looking up at the Space Needle
Looking from the garden into the Glasshouse
The Seattle Space Needle reflected in a glass float
Everywhere you go in Avalon you will see pretty tiles. Everywhere. I'm not kidding... On shop fronts,
On the footpath
Some are single tiles
Some are murals
Some are looking a little worse for wear
and some look brand new.
Catalina tile has a long history. Catalina Clay Products was founded in 1927 as a division of Santa Catalina Island Company by the William Wrigley Jr.
It was established to take advantage of the low cost of local clay and to help reduce the cost of construction on the island.
Originally they used local red clay from the Island to make all the tiles and pottery. But the clay wasn't that great, it crumbled easily so they started importing white clay from the mainland.
Catalina Clay Products made tiles, dinnerware and artware. The tiles were used for interiors and exteriors of buildings on Catalina.
In 1937 everything belonging to Catalina Clay was sold to Gladding McBean. Because the cost of importing the white to the island was so high Gladding McBean moved production to the mainland and eventually stopped production altogether in 1942.
Although rare, you can still find original Catalina Clay tiles and pottery. Pieces occasionally wash up on Pebbly Beach on Catalina Island.
The traditional Catalina colours are Toyon red, Descanso green, Mandarin yellow and a blue, but I forgot the fancy name for the blue.
I've spent hours exploring Avalon and have seen lots of different tiles. I want a tile mural in my house, when I grow up and have a place of my own again!
Last week when I visited the Casino in Avalon one of the things that fascinated me most was the artwork.
At the entrance to the Casino are nine huge panels depicting an undersea world ruled by Regina del Mer (Queen of the Sea).
They are designed by John Gabriel Beckmon who also worked on Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood
Originally planned to be executed in all tile, Beckman and his team of artists worked around the clock painting directly onto the concrete surface completing all 9 panels in an astonishingly short 3 month period in time for the Casino's grand opening.
In 1986 Beckman (then 88) and Richard Thomas Keit of RTK tiles worked together to restore the centrepiece panel and finally complete it in tile as originally designed.
Both Beckman and Keit signed the tile work and donated their labour for the restoration.
Back in October 2012 I grabbed a map and my wallet and visited some of the local artists that were participating in the Sunshine Coast Art Crawl. The art crawl is an annual three day event that allows visitors access to artists and studios along the coast from Langdale to Lund including some that are not always open to the public.
One of the places I stopped at in Roberts Creek was Creek Clayworks. In a cute little workshop in the woods.
The potters behind Creek Clayworks are Elaine Futterman and Mike Allegretti. Their work contains no lead and is dishwasher, microwave and oven safe. I knew I was in trouble the minute I saw all the blues and greens. I was good I didn't buy anything. Not during the Art Crawl anyway.
Not yet glazed:
Elaine Futterman at work:
You can buy from the studio year round, and I think you can sometimes find them at the Sechelt Farmer's Market on Saturdays from April to September.
You know how I said I was good and didn't buy anything during the Art Crawl in October? That didn't last. Can you guess which piece I bought as a Christmas present to myself during their Annual Creek Clayworks Christmas Sale back in December?
20 years ago Jo and I lived in London. One Christmas my parents came to visit and do the touristy thing. I had to work so they took Jo with them to watch the Changing the Guard at Buckingham Palace. It was Christmas, and it was cold. Two things Jo does not like.
Changing the Guard is an iconic London attraction. Off went the three of them to Buckingham Palace. They arrived early to get a good viewing spot. They had quite the wait in the cold. Jo bores easily. By the time Changing the Guard started, Jo had had enough. Not sure what she was expecting, but the actual ceremony did not meet expectations. She saw it once, and does not need to see it again. She did however keep my parents and those around them highly entertained. I wish I had been there.
When I met them after work, my Mum and Dad could not wait to tell me Jo's running commentary throughout the ceremony. They saw and did a bunch of stuff in the three weeks they were in London, but I think listening to Jo at Changing of Guards was the highlight of their trip! 20 years later my Mum still tells the story.
A couple of years back I was in small local gift store in Maple Ridge - The Little Cricket Gallery. I was looking for a gift to send to, I don't actually remember who. One of the first things I saw was this piece of artwork...
It made me a laugh out loud. I bought it one the spot without even thinking about it. I don't remember who I was shopping for, I'm guessing whoever it was never actually received a gift, Jo got this instead.
Fast forward to the summer of 2012, I was hanging out in Gibsons for the day with Andrea and her boys, and I walked past a small gift shop that had a the same artwork as a woodblock in the window. Turns out the window I was looking in was the artist's gallery - Sa Boothroyd. I didn't buy it at the time. But it kept bugging me, so I had to go back a month or two later and buy it. I sent it home to Mum and Dad as part of their Christmas gift.
Jo thought it was hilarious. Mum thought I should have sent it to Jo instead. Mum didn't realise I'd already sent it to Jo years ago.
I keep telling everyone that we have no wall space left to hang anything. But then I see something I really like and I'll move everything round to make room.
Nathalie Parenteau is originally from Quebec but now makes her home in the Yukon. I noticed her work everywhere in Whitehorse when we were there this summer. This is the piece that caught my eye. I must have gone back to the North End Gallery half a dozen times to look at. Why I didn't buy it, I have no idea. Sea Otter and Volcano, 2006, Limited Edition of 750, $100.
Another Yukon artist whose work I really like is Jim Robb.
"Jim Robb has called the Yukon his home for over 30 years. He specializes in recording by camera, ink or watercolour and pastels the "Colourful Five Per Cent", a phrase he coined to describe the colourful and unusual characters and historical buildings of the north. He defines his drawings as the "exaggerated truth" where shapes, angles, colours and features of his subjects are emphasized and embellished to express their inner strengths and character. "
The piece I looked at over and over again at the Midnight Sun Gallery is At Home in the Klondike, Limited Edition, $86.00. I can't find a photo of it, and it's not on their website, but they do have it in stock. Here's a couple of other Jim Robb pieces to give you an idea of the style.
Next is a series of three prints that I would hang above our bed. Appropriate as they are titled 'A Very Tired Wombat', by Renee Treml. Aren't they adorable.
Here's something that's a little bit unusual for you. Olympic Rings floating in the Fraser River. Olympic Rings made of cranberries. I think it's fairly safe to say that this is a first. It would be fun to fly over and see it from the plane, but by the time the cranberry rings are installed, the airspace restrictions will mean hubby won't be allowed to fly over that area.
The cranberry installation is part of the Richmond Revealed program by the City of Richmond, showcasing Richmond industries to the world. It also includes:
a 7-storey Inukshuk to be built out of shipping containers
a room sized model of the Canada Arm, Canada's contribution to the International Space Station
a double dragon dance performance on February 14th, Chinese New Year. The dragons are 150 metres and 75 metres long.
image City of Richmond
Depicts the Canadian Olympic Committee's Logo - maple leaf, flame and Olympic Rings
62 metres x 70 metres or for those who measure in imperial 200 x 300 feet
13,600 kilos (30,000 punds) of cranberries - about 13 million cranberries
All cranberries will come from Richmond farms
There are approximately 60 family owned cranberry farms in Richmond
I can't explain it. So, straight from the press release:
"Starting at dusk on February 4, 2010, 20 robotic searchlights will create a quiet canopy of light in the night sky above and on the sparkling surface of English Bay below with designs created by people around the world and delivered via the Internet. Called Vectorial Elevation, it is the first time the internationally celebrated work of art will be displayed in Canada and over a body of water.
The 10,000-watt lights will move and create patterns silently from locations in Vanier Park and Sunset Beach that cover an area of 100,000 square metres and be visible within 15 kilometres of the city’s downtown core, stretching to Richmond, the peaks of Cypress and Grouse mountains and freighters and boats on the water."
And guess what?
You get to design the show! And you don't need to be in Vancouver.
Again, from the press release:
"Visitors to www.vectorialvancouver.net can design how the lights will move, their angles and how they are clustered in timed sequences to create their own patterns for the world to see. A personalized webpage will be automatically created for each participant to document their design. Organizers estimate 130,000 different patterns will be created in the 24 days the project operates from dusk to dawn.
A real-time video stream of the work from four cameras placed around English Bay can be accessed on the Internet. Those who opt to create patterns can also send a personal dedication to friends or a sweetheart anywhere in the world at www.vectorialvancouver.net. The project was developed in consultation with the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation"
Vectorial Elevation is the work of Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer . The installation has previously been staged in Mexico, Spain, Ireland, and France.
This is a photo by Martin Vegas of the installation at the Zocalo in Mexico City, 2000.