Sunday, June 26, 2016

come meet the herd!

I will be riding off to Bluerock to join sculptor Kindrie Grove, painter Jennifer Mack, metal artist Simon Wroot, and equine jewellery maker Simone Schlichting to present “Meet The Herd!” at Bluerock Gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta. We will be presenting equine art and artist demos over the weekend of July 16 and 17, 2016. Full details here:

I love making equine-inspired art but it is usually a fairly private obsession as I mainly create commissions in clay - I will have new clay horse pieces, and chased metal pictures available.

There will also be new ceramic work for Bluerock - large porcelain platters, small vases and covered jars, some porcelain sculpture, and a few bright bowls to gladden hearts and tables. Pieces are all hand-built and finished by me at my home studio—it takes a long time to make and fire the work, and I am now starting to build an inventory of my favourite forms alongside my vases at Bluerock.

I won’t be popular for saying this in July, but fingers crossed for cooler weather to get lots more fired in time! Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

thanks for all the fish

It already feels like ages ago but Rainbow Trout has only been up since June 1, and the “Making Of…” video is now ready to share - hope you enjoy it.

I think it is fair to state that all makers will understand the challenges of the average day in the studio: we design/make/fix/modify tools all the time—and we learn to accept that is really the entry level of committing to a life of making original work—it’s all about problem solving. And the bigger the work, the bigger and more costly the problems!

But that’s where a talented team really shines - I was second camera on this project and it was a privilege to watch the many highly skilled professionals who contributed to building Rainbow Trout. As Jeff notes in the video, we won’t always be able to say what we mean clearly to someone else, and there will inevitably be different solutions to the same problem… It’s how we remedy our problems, in this case with humour and grace, that really sets the tone for success.

Thank you to everyone who allowed us to point cameras at them - without you there would be no video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

everyday heirlooms

I like to think - hope - that the work I make will last. Certainly metal and clay have a habit of being highly durable, but what I really mean is that I hope that when someone commissions a piece of hand-made work they are creating something for themselves, for life. 

I recently had the pleasure of making this new 14k wedding band for a 30th anniversary—updating a slim traditional band to become a commemorative token in the client’s preferred personal style. The band is engraved with her wedding date, and my chop. My client commissioned her very own everyday heirloom.

Ladies 14k yellow gold textured wedding band, engraved with date and artist's chop. Christine Pedersen. 2016.

And what of future generations? Original artwork is likely to live on with them. That feels good.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

how to make an entrance

Jeff de Boer’s latest public art sculpture, “Rainbow Trout”, was officially launched to the media June 1, 2016. However, if you’re 21 feet tall, made of glowing stainless steel, and have brightly coloured body segments that light up at night you’re more than likely to get noticed as soon as you join the neighbourhood!

Jeff de Boer introduces "Rainbow Trout" at the media launch, June 1, 2016. Enmax Park, Calgary.

Rainbow Trout is prominently sited above the banks of the lovely Elbow River at Calgary Foundation Crossing. This is the entrance to the new Enmax public park in Ramsay, Calgary, where, to quote Calgary Foundation Board Member Patti Pon, “the beauty of art, nature, and the spirit of our people intersect”. The sculpture greets park and path users, and they can wander through the bright steel pipes bursting from the sidewalk.

Nathan and Lora Armstrong inspect the finished sculpture - Nathan was part of the design team.

Jeff stressed that “I can’t build this, we can” in honouring his highly skilled Calgary team who built the project with him, and that it takes “a very special sequence of events to allow a project like this to happen” because of everything that is needed. “First you need a beautiful site” and with tongue in cheek “an enlightened jury!” to select the project. Jeff noted the Calgary Stampede Public Art Committee’s vision for the location—they encouraged him to augment his original design for a Rainbow Trout sculpture, a much older design that he had submitted as part of his portfolio—rather than build the newer idea that got him short-listed for the job. Jeff noted that most importantly it needed the project-appropriate budget to give him the opportunity to fully realize his design, because it allowed him to build the sculpture in a better way than he had ever hoped it could be.

It has been fabulous to be part of this project, documenting the building of this sculpture—back-stage in Jeff’s studio as he built the trout body, and then at the amazing—read HUGE—fabrication shop needed to build the stainless steel waves. So many talented people needed to make a Beautiful Meaningful Thing… Much more to come on that idea, and a feature length “making of” video to follow.

Meet the artist - join Jeff at the site on Saturday June 4, 2016, 1-4pm. North entrance to Stampede Park, Enmax Park, by the MacDonald Bridge on the east side of the Elbow river. Everyone welcome.

See links for news stories about Rainbow Trout:
TV interview for CBC
Radio interview with Jenny Howe for CBC
Calgary Herald story
A quick glimpse behind the scenes - building the sculpture
Posts by the Calgary Stampede Public Art Committee on their facebook page