Lotus flower in glass, watercolor, ink, mirror, and paint


Matthew Arnold’s poem, “The Future” serves as the text for my Lotus on display now at Salmon Pottery Gallery. I will post a photo soon… what do you think of the poem?

A wanderer is man from his birth.
He was born in a ship
On the breast of the river of Time;
Brimming with wonder and joy
He spreads out his arms to the light,
Rivets his gaze on the banks of the stream.

As what he sees is, so have his thoughts been.
Whether he wakes,
Where the snowy mountainous pass,
Echoing the screams of the eagles,
Hems in its gorges the bed
Of the new-born clear-flowing stream;
Whether he first sees light
Where the river in gleaming rings
Sluggishly winds through the plain;
Whether in sound of the swallowing sea –
As is the world on the banks,
So is the mind of the man.

Vainly does each, as he glides,
Fable and dream
Of the lands which the river of Time
Had left ere he woke on its breast,
Or shall reach when his eyes have been closed.
Only the tract where he sails
He wots of; only the thoughts,
Raised by the objects he passes, are his.

Who can see the green earth any more
As she was by the sources of Time?
Who imagines her fields as they lay
In the sunshine, unworn by the plough?
Who thinks as they thought,
The tribes who then roam’d on her breast,
Her vigorous, primitive sons?

What girl
Now reads in her bosom as clear
As Rebekah read, when she sate
At eve by the palm-shaded well?
Who guards in her breast
As deep, as pellucid a spring
Of feeling, as tranquil, as sure?

What bard,
At the height of his vision, can deem
Of God, of the world, of the soul,
With a plainness as near,
As flashing as Moses felt
When he lay in the night by his flock
On the starlit Arabian waste?
Can rise and obey
The beck of the Spirit like him?

This tract which the river of Time
Now flows through with us, is the plain.
Gone is the calm of its earlier shore.
Border’d by cities and hoarse
With a thousand cries is its stream.
And we on its breast, our minds
Are confused as the cries which we hear,
Changing and shot as the sights which we see.

And we say that repose has fled
For ever the course of the river of Time.
That cities will crowd to its edge
In a blacker, incessanter line;
That the din will be more on its banks,
Denser the trade on its stream,
Flatter the plain where it flows,
Fiercer the sun overhead.
That never will those on its breast
See an ennobling sight,
Drink of the feeling of quiet again.

But what was before us we know not,
And we know not what shall succeed.

Haply, the river of Time –
As it grows, as the towns on its marge
Fling their wavering lights
On a wider, statelier stream –
May acquire, if not the calm
Of its early mountainous shore,
Yet a solemn peace of its own.

And the width of the waters, the hush
Of the grey expanse where he floats,
Freshening its current and spotted with foam
As it draws to the Ocean, may strike
Peace to the soul of the man on its breast –
As the pale waste widens around him,
As the banks fade dimmer away,
As the stars come out, and the night-wind
Brings up the stream
Murmurs and scents of the infinite sea.


(photo of piece to follow)


Trying out my new etching tool at tomorrow’s Open Studio.



August 4, First Saturday Open House

I’m ready to try out my new etching tool and diamond bits.  I’m so excited to get back into it after my wrist surgery.  All this time has been spent dreaming and molding some new ideas into (somewhat) formal plans for new pieces… now it’s time to get going.  The shadow poems have been flying off the shelves – Mary Ellen at Salmon Pottery just sold another one today, even before I had a chance to take a picture of it.  I need to get that new drill GOING!!!!



Annual Artists Market downtown on the waterfront!  I will be sharing a booth with Mary Ellen Salmon of Salmon Pottery (www.salmonpottery.com).  Please come!  Music, food, wine, sweets, and, of course, artwork from many of the best of Ithaca’s artists.



Show this Friday, 7/27 in Ithaca


Annual Artists Market downtown on the waterfront!  I will be sharing a booth with Mary Ellen Salmon of Salmon Pottery (www.salmonpottery.com).  Please come!  Music, food, wine, sweets, and, of course, artwork from many of the best of Ithaca’s artists.



Time to heal and just breathe the colors


About six months now since I started developing wrist pain… right wrist pain. And I can’t quite recall, but I am now thinking that it was around that time that I started really getting excited about creating the shadow poems. Writing poems into glass with a Dremel tool so that the shadows can be read against a painted background under direct light. Fine lines etched into clear glass using a high-speed, somewhat unwieldy rotary tool. With my right hand.

Also around that time, I experienced right wrist strain after chopping kindling, which I also love to do. It wasn’t a sudden pain – just more of an ache. But it never really healed, despite ice and immobilization. Well, not complete immobilization, because I had to keep working on new pieces. I stopped using the Dremel, but continued pottery and micrography and painting. Still didn’t get better. Then I stopped throwing pots, but contined micrography and painting. Saw a wrist specialist and told him I thought I injured it originally chopping kindling; he looked at the inconclusive MRI and agreed that what he did see – inflammation – was consistent with that type of injury and that there was likely a cartilage tear that was just not showing up.

Ah, denial. I asked if it could have been caused by my art – he didn’t think what I was doing could’ve caused a tear.

Surgery went better than expected, according to the doc – no tear. Just old injury or injuries that never healed, with adhesions that he cleaned up. Put a gigantic nonremovable splint on me with instructions to come back in 3 weeks. But for me, the news is actually bad, meaning that it’s still very possible that the damage was done from repeated strain. I tried to explain exactly what kind of strain I had been putting on my hand, but got the sense he wasn’t really getting it.

So here I am. Waiting and wondering. I was so hoping that it really was a tear that would point directly to trauma; instead I’ve got to wait and see if I will be able to safely pick up that Dremel again. Or throw plates. Or write my ittybittywriting.

The art of the sale, or the sale of the art?


Despite my best efforts to sabotage myself as a successful artist, I sold another piece of my artwork today.


Today was the second of the First Saturdays, a new venture to spread the joy of the Greater Ithaca Art Trail to the rest of the year. Because I’m technically “off the map” I don’t get a lot of visitors to my studio; hence I show most of my work at Salmon Pottery in Trumansburg the majority of the year. Last month I had no visitors, but that was OK… nobody had really heard of First Saturday Open Studio yet.  It was a good time to work quietly, or not-so-quietly, in the studio, working on a number of pieces in various stages of completion.  The studio was pretty much a disaster, and it was a good excuse to straighten up a bit.


For today, I pulled a few pieces off the shelves at Salmon to show in my studio; I realized that my walls are looking rather bare.  My new exploration into shadow art — etching poems into glass so that you can read the shadows in direct light — has been so successful that I’m having a bit of a hard time keeping things on the wall!  So, I needed more finished examples in the studio.

Two visitors came in on this bright and blustery day, and we had a lovely time (well, I did… I guess I shouldn’t speak for them) talking about art and travel and birds… I introduced them to my and Gordon’s artwork, and we kept talking while they looked around.  When the woman asked about pieces that are not for sale, I commented on the fact that there are a couple of pieces in the studio that do have NFS on the label… not at all thinking that what she was asking was “why don’t these have price tags?” and “how much are these pieces?”

Um, duh? The Art of the Sale class offered by the Ithaca Community Arts Partnership has been something I’ve been intending on taking, but for the same reason I hadn’t thought about putting my own price tags on my art or printing out the text for all of the pieces on the wall, I haven’t gotten organized enough to sign up.

Then, despite my complete inability to sell myself or my work, I sold Bronte’s Tree, a central image with the writing on the treetrunk on the back side of the glass so that the poem How Still, How Happy was written backwards.  I remembered where the sales book is, and miracle of miracles I remembered the password to my Square account so that I could accept a credit card.  I was hoping with all my will she would not ask what poem was written into the piece because I kept drawing a blank, and I had left the display text at Salmon Pottery.  She didn’t ask, but I promised to mail them the text.

She even granted me visitation rights, although I think that’s going a little over the edge… maybe a bit.



Greater Ithaca Art Trail Open Studio Artists


First Saturdays Open Studio, March 3 from 10-2


The Greater Ithaca Art Trail is holding its second of the new First Saturdays!  Come this Saturday, March 3, to any and all of the artists opening their studios to the public.

Come visit me at my studio, 5851 State Route 227 in Trumansburg, NY from 10-2.  This weekend, 10% all glass pendants by Nathan Bonnet.

Click here for pdf with list of artists: First Saturday Flyer March

Other types of Type (exploring micrography)


(image from Micrography exhibit site, Jewish Theological Seminary)

Kind of an old post from an old blog, but interesting to see other approaches to micrography.  Looks like all of these use text for filler or texture:


Check out The Godfather one… mindblowing.

Not much that looks hand written, though, except for the most traditional ones which are the Hebrew illustrations:

http://www.jtsa.edu/prebuilt/exhib/microg/index.shtml.   Again, mostly block filler or uniform line sizes.

(Image from Jewish Theological Seminary micrography exhibit site)


What the heck is an angwangtibo?  Here’s my take on the lemur-ish critter, using Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “Morning Song in the Jungle” as the text.  My second of two pieces so far using markers for the coloring.  Just for kicks. Text below.


“Morning Song in the Jungle”

One moment past our bodies cast
  No shadow on the plain;
Now clear and black they stride our track,
  And we run home again.
In morning-hush, each rock and bush
  Stands hard, and high, and raw:
Then give the Call:  "Good rest to all That keep the Jungle Law!"

Now horn and pelt our peoples melt
  In covert to abide;
Now, crouched and still, to cave and hill
  Our  Jungle Barons glide.
Now, stark and plain, Man's oxen strain,
  That draw the new-yoked plough;
Now, stripped and dread, the dawn is red
  Above the lit talao.

Ho! Get to lair! The sun's aflare
  Behind the breathing grass:
And creaking through the young bamboo
  The warning whispers pass.
By day made strange, the woods we range
  With blinking eyes we scan;
While down the skies the wild duck cries:
  "The Day--the Day to Man!"

The dew is dried that drenched our hide,
  Or washed about our way;
And where we drank, the puddled bank
  Is crisping into clay.
The traitor Dark gives up each mark
  Of stretched or hooded claw:
Then hear the Call:  "Good rest to all That keep the Jungle Law!"

– Rudyard Kipling

Kipling’s Angwangtibo