Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A visit with John and Patti Hill - part II

Saturday, July 5, 2008.

John and Patti took me to Asheville to gallery hop for the day. We started at the Grovewood Gallery, near the Groveport Inn. I stayed at the Groveport Inn several years ago and was really impressed with the place. I didn't know about the Grovewood Gallery at that time, so I'm very glad I had a chance to see it during this visit.

There is a lovely sculpture garden, studio space, and a gift gallery inside, plus the furniture society gallery space. That's quite a package deal.

We walked through the sculpture garden first. It was slightly drizzling at the time, but not enough to be a bother.

This garden panel is by Grace Cathay.

Patti looks like a pixie sitting on this butterfly bench by Cricket Forge.

What a pretty water garden.

Gretchen Lothrop - "Frolicsome Fountain"

Wind garden sculptures by Lymon Whitaker. John and Patti have one of these near their patio.

"Ballerina" by Stefan Bonitz. This is a huge sculpture!

I think this is another Stefan Bonitz sculpture.

"Buoy" by Ralph Berger. This is from a steel buoy that has been pierced - probably using some cutting torch. I really was drawn to this one.

The loop for the anchor makes this sculpture look like a huge Christmas tree ornament.

"Contemplation" by Tinka Jordy - this is a ceramic sculpture.

This aluminum sculpture is by Scott Strader and is called "Anulus"

"Wild horses" by Cricket Forge

I didn't catch the name of the maker on this or the next one, but I really enjoyed how whimsical they were. Both brought a smile to my face.

"Duet" by Dale Rogers

This was a lucky break.

The artist is Carl Powell and it was really great to meet him and see the work in progress, plus a lot of finished pieces on display.

Laminated glass and stained glass panels were the primary work on display.

I loved how the light from the windows played off the sculptures - it was eye candy, for sure!

Woodturners often have a shop dog that hangs around the studio. Carl has a studio dog who took up a lot of floor space and had no reaction what-so-ever to all the foot traffic in the studio.

Detail images of some of Carl's installations

Tools and sculptures

Concrete, steel and glass - cool combo.

The cover of a book showing Carl's work.

You can tell from looking at the studio that this is an active place when tours aren't being given.

The stained glass work was really interesting.

Glass pieces waiting to be placed.

This one was pretty different than th others in that it didn't have concrete or steel as part of the sculpture. It has an entirely different feel than the other ones in the studio.

This a a good example of a contrast between the glass base and some other medium.

Carl is pretty comfortable with explaining his work and the process of making. I enjoyed hearing about his installations and sculptural pieces.

I always enjoy seeing the sketches that go with a finished or planned piece.

I think this is a polishing or grinding wheel for shaping the bevels and finishing off edges.

Here are some of the diamond polishing wheels that go with that piece of equipment.

I really liked this body of work. If I had a larger home and no kids or pets, I'd be very tempted to buy one of these sculptures for my collection.

A panel that's either finished or nearly so.

Detail of the last one, showing some of the interesting graphic design.

After touring through Carl Powell's glass studio, we walked through the gift and furniture gallery. I bought some dangling earrings here.

An example of how some of these craft items are presented.

The furniture gallery is upstairs and I really enjoyed seeing the variety of pieces on display.

This is the kind of art you can live with and use.

The wall sculptures and panels were also very interesting. This one was woven metal that had different kinds of patina.

More eye candy.


This cabinet was particularly interesting with the carved surface.

A detail of the top.

Next gallery was the Blue Spiral - a wonderful place to visit.

First, though, Patti wanted to go look for a Tilley hat like the one I've been wearing for the past year. This one was cute on her, but wasn't a hemp hat like mine.

After all that gallery hopping, we had dinner and then went to "Shindig on the Green," which is a weekly event during the summer. Musicians gather to jam and then share tunes on stage. There are a lot of bands that play, formal and pick-up ones seemed to be in equal measure.

The music was bluegrass and old-time. No Celtic music at all - bummer!

The placed was jammed full of people who were enjoying the music.

The music was generally pretty good. I'm not as familiar with bluegrass and old-time music as I am with Celtic, but you can hear some similarities for sure. The big difference seems to be in how the melody is passed around from one instrument to another - it's more similar to jazz in that regard.

The Asheville skyline as seen from the park.

There were several opportunities for learning dances. I'll draw your attention to the very large woman in the hot pink top - she and her family were sitting in front of us during the concert. They were big time chain smokers who made it nearly impossible for us to breath. We finally had to pick up and move away from them. I was kind of shocked by how many smokers I saw there. Given the known health issues with smoking, I'm surprised that people don't kick that habit. Not to mention the wasted money and "ick" factor.

Oh well - to each his own, I suppose. I certainly enjoyed the day despite the local air pollution. To top it off, we spotted a bear on our way back to Weaverville. John took the back road and the bear was on the side of the road, and then crossed over in front of us. It was a pretty impressive sight to see.

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