Category Archives: art hero

Toys from Lindsborg: Lester Raymer

I’ve written a bit about Lester Raymer before. Though his bread and butter was painting, he also had a tradition of making a toy — usually animated — for his wife Ramona every Christmas.

Lester Raymer, Roster on Cart with Wheels. 1980.
from Lester Raymer: A Collection of Essays. Published by Red Barn Studio and The Raymer Society, 1998.

Courage from Verdun’s lion

The last few days I have become rather obsessed on exactly how I plan to put the final finish on the Idle Angels. Which abrasive? On a wheel or by hand? How fine? Perhaps a buffing wheel?

Before this I have obsessed over getting the illustrations “perfect” and laying out the resists perfectly and organizing the studio. I know my self well enough to realize that all these little obsessions and productive procrastinations are really manifestations of fear. Some of this fear is justified in that the materials are expensive and my time is extremely limited. I also know that I’ve reached the limit of what I can plan for without taking some risks.

But returning to the question of finish, today I received courage from two master craftsmen.

The first is Tim McCreight’s simple advice from The Complete Metalsmith: An Illustrated Handbook:

“Keep in mind that there is no universal “right” finish. You can stop at any point that complements the piece.”

The second dose of courage came from Nicholas of Verdun and a close-up image from his famous altar. Seeing the directional scratches in this masterwork (there is no work of art that I regard more highly) gave me the fortitude to stop planning and start making.

A lion’s head. Close-up from the panel &Noah’s Ark of the Verdun Altar. The full plaque can be seen at the Lessing Photo Archive.

Eric Gill (again)

Another Eric Gill from The King James Bible: Its History and Influence. How could I not love this?

HRC King James Bible exhibit: Eirc Gill

I’ve been to the Harry Ransom Center’s exhibition, The King James Bible: Its History and Influence half a dozen times already but I keep going back. Sadly, it closes at the end of the month.

John 1:1-5 from The Four Gospels, designed by The Golden Cockerel Press with engravings by Eric Gill, 1931.

Initial proof by Eric Gill from John 8:6-7, “But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Quotation: M.C. Escher (1898 – 1972)

“Wonder is the salt of the earth.”

Edward Bond interview

In 1995 I did a semester abroad in England and was assigned several Edward Bond plays to read. I have never been the same.

 

Cappy Thompson

My new art hero. Now when do I get to Sea-Tac to see this thing?

Also, here is a great excerpt from the film “Dreaming of Spirit Animals: The Glass Art of Cappy Thompson” by Sally Cloninger at Cappy Thompson’s website.

Cappy Thompson, I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals, 2003. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Vitreous enamels on float glass with reverse laminated stained glass, Seattle Tacoma International Airport Collection, Photo by Russell Johnson

Cappy Thompson, I Was Dreaming of Spirit Animals, 2003. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Vitreous enamels on float glass with reverse laminated stained glass, Seattle Tacoma International Airport Collection, Photo by Russell Johnson