Posts Tagged ‘loveland sculpture show’

Our Africa Adventure

July 19, 2019

We recently traveled to Tanzania with some of my family (11 of us total). It was an absolutely amazing trip and we’ll always remember it. We got to have quality time with family and see some incredible animals and scenery. Tanzania is just gorgeous and was much greener than expected and the people were the friendliest we had ever encountered.  Since we went during their winter, the weather was very nice and actually cool at night.

Women carrying baskets on their heads in very colorful clothes.

We started our trip with over 20 hours of flying, where we met up with most of the family in Amsterdam about half way through. It was heartwarming seeing everyone. Some of us hadn’t seen each other in quite some time.

 

Our last morning we took a photo of all of us, our guides and some of the camp workers.

We stayed at several locations throughout our stay, but our favorite was our first camp, where we saw an Elephant and a Cape Buffalo and heard many other animals. These were permanent tent structures with nice little porches and ample room inside with a full working bathroom. That night everyone sat by a fire, had a few beers, talked and laughed.

The first two days we spent in Tarangire National park and Lake Manyara National Park. The animals were incredible and everywhere we turned there was something to see.

Upside down tree with elephant. Of course we’d be drawn to the unique trees.

Our first Elephant sighting was very exciting. Little did we know that we’d be seeing quite a few on our entire trip. They were my favorite.

Zebra cooling off. We also saw a lot of them on the trip.

Giraffe watching us watching him. These graceful and curious creatures were fun to watch.

Newborn Empala. We were lucky to come upon this just minutes after it was born.

We saw lots of monkeys our first few days.

A very large Baboon Troupe of around 100.

Leopard cub looking for its momma.

We moved on to the Ngorongoro Crater, which was one of my favorite days. The wildlife was so abundant down in the crater and we also saw our first lions.

Cape Bufallo

Some family in the other jeep. Roofs raise up for easy viewing.

Our first lion sighting was two young males lounging.

View from the top of the Crater of a large salt lake. It was actually cold and foggy up there at the top.

View down in the bottom of the crater. The crater had grass lands and jungle to explore.

A cute Jackel seemed to pose for the camera

One of the best hippo sightings was this big guy out of the water. But we saw 100’s of them in the water.

Warthog family. So ugly they’re cute.

We then moved on to the Serengeti. On the way we stopped by a Maasai village to see how they lived and buy some of their handmade trinkets. It was amazing how welcoming they were and to see how they lived.

Large family performing for us

Inside of a school for the youngsters.

Balloons over the Serengeti

Our next lion sighting on the way to our camp was these two females in a tree.

Not to far after those two females was a large pride laying on the rocks and then another in the grass.

Our first camp site on the Serengeti. This was more like Glamping with a full bathroom. But it was a bucket shower where someone stands outside your tent while you shower and they fill a tank till you’re done. It was quite interesting. These camps have a good working staff and a chef with some wonderful food.

While on the Serengeti, we saw quite a few of the same animals. But there was one in particular that we were all wanting to see. That was the illusive Rhino. We had been lucky enough to see all the Big Five, Elephant, Leopard (cub), Cape Buffalo and Lion, but the Rhino was the only one we hadn’t. It wasn’t easy, but with some help from other guides we finally saw him or her.

Rhino in distance

We may not have seen the very large migration that you see on tv, due to them being later than normal because of all the green grass. But we did see some of it. Off in the distance there they were. At first it looked like a bunch of shrubs, but upon closer inspection with binoculars you could see them. It was amazing. We were also lucky enough to have some cross right in front of us and run down the road. That went on for about a mile with us trailing behind.

Large Wildabeast Migration

African traffic jam with Wildabeast

Our last morning before flying out was packed with driving to the Tanzania and Kenya border where we took a lot of family photos.

My sister and I reinacting playing monkey when we were kids and my brother being goofy in the background.

Our two guides Arron and Clemence posing. They were absolutely awesome and a lot of fun.

After this, on our way back to the airstrip, we were lucky enough to see our final lion pride (3 males and two females). We sat watching them nap and then slowly rise. However, just before leaving, something made a noise (possibly zebra fighting) off in the distance and they all got up and started walking towards the sound. Amazing how they all seem to come to attention at the same time.

Love this shot of her looking at us through the grass

One of the large males following her

We took our first bush plane out of the serengeti to the Killimanjaro airport. I was excited about it. Scott not so much. But we made it and can say we did it.

Now that our adventure of a lifetime is over, we’ve arrived safely home, gotten over the jetlag and spent time with our puppies, it’s time to get back to work. The trip inspired Scott to make some unusual creations like this one he’s working on.

It’s carved from a long narrow Claro Walnut log, which is already revealing some gorgeous grain. He carved out the flower shapes that curve around the log and will continue them all the way to the bottom. He will then add hash marks to the inner part of the log and Ebonize it, leaving the flower opening for me to sand. It will then stand on a stone base, making it around 4ft tall. For a little whimsy we’ll be adding some gold leaf balls that can fit in some of the flower shapes. I can’t wait till it’s done and can get photos of it posted on Instagram and Facebook. So be sure to check back in a couple of weeks.

Also in the works is the last of the very large Eucalyptus logs that we got in Phoenix. As you can see it’s still in progress, but you can see that it has very large waves and folds started on the inside. Next he’ll move to the outside, continuing the design by following the waves and folds. The last one he made was very popular and sold pretty quickly, but was a little smaller than this one. This one will be approximately 3ft diameter. These pieces along with many others will be at our upcoming shows in August, Crested Butte Arts Festival in CO and Sculpture in the Park in Loveland CO. To see our full schedule visit our website. http://www.shangrilawoodworks.com

 

 

Amazing New Carvings

July 11, 2018

We have been busy creating new carved sculptures for our upcoming summer shows. This weekend is Art on the Rockies in Edwards (Vail) Co. Scott has really outdone himself with these new pieces. Here are just a few of those.

“STITCH OF GOLD” was carved from a Eucalyptus log and features gold jewelers wire in a crisscross pattern, stitched through the piece in a few places.

“GONDOLA” was also carved from a Eucalyptus log into this boat shaped vessel with turquoise inlay.

“STRIKE 3” is three tunnels carved into a Mesquite log with the outside textured.

“SUNRISE CANYON” is a Eucalyptus canyon shaped vessel that has slight waves carved into it and turquoise inlay.

“COSMOS” is a tunnel design carved out of Eucalyptus with Red Opal inlay, gold leafing and texturing.

“FLOURISHING” is an incredible sculpture. The wood is Alligator Juniper Burl that is approximately 700 years old. The design resembles a large flower with two small buds. It has waves and folds carved into it, along with Chrysocolla inlay. The base is black granite with carved peach alabaster.

Inside look at “FLOURISHING”

“OLD SOUL” is one of those sculptures that only comes around once. It was carved from an approximately 900 year old Alligator Juniper. The size of the burl is a rare find. Several tunnels were carved into it that join in the middle. It features waves and folds at the openings and much of the natural aspects of the burl were left in place adding to the beauty.

The Art of Creativity

June 29, 2015

CREATIVITY. Some are born with it, some work very hard to try and achieve it. Scott was blessed with a very creative mind and works hard to constantly improve his skills and keep the creativity flowing. Being creative and thinking of new designs and ideas seems to come easy for some, like Scott. That is why he enjoys carving the sculptures. He is always thinking and talking sculpture. It definitely consumes our lives. But we are glad we chose this lifestyle for a living. Not many can do it. It is definitely not easy. But nothing worthwhile in life is easy. You have to work hard for it. Mold it. Feed it. Sacrifice for it. That is what it’s like being an artist.

scott working resize

So how does Scott’s creative process start? From a LOG. He can look at a log and have an idea in mind of what that log will soon become. He very rarely sketches his ideas. He just thinks of it and starts working. He then picks up a chainsaw and sets out creating that design. When the rough process is done, he switches over to grinders. The above picture is a 6ft tall sculpture that is currently in the carving stage. It was a very large mesquite log that Scott picked up from a woodturner friend in Scottsdale. The log was so large and heavy, he had to rough carve it there, before loading it on the trailer and transporting it back home. The sculpture will have several tunnels with large wavy openings carved into it and will stand on a cement base. It will be completed in time for the Sculpture in the Park show, in Loveland CO, August 8-9. It is sure to be a real spectacular piece.

Vision resize

Even though some artists are born with the creative bug, it doesn’t mean they don’t have to work hard for it from time to time. It does take practice, patience and discipline to keep those creative juices going. That is why we have so many logs on hand, that range in the type of wood and size. Sometimes the design jumps out at you like when Scott saw the Ironwood log that would soon become “Vision” (Pictured above), he knew instantly what he wanted to do with it. He carved down the branches that were coming out to create tunnels and carefully incorporated the yellow sap wood to make it wrap around the tunnels. It turned out spectacular. But there are other times when he can stare at a log and not have any idea what he wants to do with it. So it sits till one day that vision finally forms. And we have quite a few of those waiting logs. Yet other times he has an idea in mind and sets out hunting for that perfect log to create that idea.

SS_20150324_53_e

“NESTLED” above is one of those, “I have an idea, let me find the right logs”. It consisted of several pieces that are specially carved to nestle into each other. The main pieces are made from mesquite. Then there is a small juniper and ironwood piece that snuggle in small openings. Multi stones were inlayed to add a lot of color and two gold leaf balls add some whimsy. Scott has plans to do several of these out of different woods and in various sizes. He also wants to do wall sculptures that are similar in design. We are always striving to improve and stay one step ahead.

So being creative does take work and constant practice to perfect your skills. Even if you are born with the creative bug. It can also be very satisfying and rewarding and we wouldn’t trade the life for anything.

New Babies and Chair Delivery

July 25, 2013

It’s been a busy few months. We just completed a large chair order and delivered it to Midland. It consisted of 12 Greek God chairs and 2 Shangrila II Rockers. All made from Oregon Black Walnut. The delivery went smoothly, even though it rained my whole drive there. The rain stopped just long enough to unload and then it started right up. Couldn’t have timed it better. We are now getting ready for our three summer shows. The first takes place in Park City UT August 3-4. Then the next weekend is the Sculpture Show in Loveland CO August 10-11. The last show will be Sausalito Art Fest in Sausalito CA over Labor Day weekend. We are scrambling to create more unique and new pieces for these shows.

Not only are we busy with all this, but we just got two 9 week old Merle great dane puppies. The brothers names are Apollo and Perseus. They are a handful, but so much fun as well. Their training is underway and they are catching on real quick. Now if I can just get them to quit chewing on any piece of wood they can find. Lord knows we have a lot of that around here. Hopefully once the teething stage is done. Traveling will be more of a challenge. So Scott will have to go to some shows by himself. But hopefully as they get older we can take them to more places with us and get them used to it. Below are some pictures of them.

Boys in vehicle 3

The boys sleeping on the car ride home. They were so good and slept most of the way.

Boys at home 2

Here they are sleeping at home. They already have quite a few toys. Perseus is suckling on a squeakie toy.

Apollo sleeping

This is Apollo sleeping. He is a lighter grey with black markings.

Perseus sleeping

This is Perseus sleeping. He’s dark grey with black markings.

Seems like they do nothing but sleep, eat and poop right now. There is some rough housing in between. They are going to grow like weeds though. It’s quite amazing. Lukly their parents are not real big danes, so these guys won’t be giants. We are so enjoying them and glad we got them. They make us laugh all the time.

Here is the chair delivery to Midland TX. Their house isn’t quite finished, but when it is I will post more pictures. I can’t wait to see everything in their place and how beautiful the house is.

Matt Johnson carrying chair

Here Is Matt carrying in one of the Greek God chairs

johnson chairs delivered

This is all 12 chairs

johnson rockers in home

The 2 Rockers

Matt Johnson sitting in rocker

Matt trying out a rocker

This was a big order and we have to admit took a little longer than we had planned. But seeing them all complete is well worth it. And it is especially satisfying to know the customer is happy.

“Entangled” 6ft tall Sculpture and other new pieces

August 24, 2012

“ENTANGLED” was made from a 7ft Elm Log that Scott picked up in Ruidoso. The diameter was about 22″ round and it was quite a piece to work on. It was still green and that enabled Scott to be able to leave the bark on. He had to be very careful carving it to make sure the bark was left intact and to not go through the piece. Lots of super glue was used on the bark to secure it as well. The sculpture resembles two entities that are entangled or entwined together. You can see the two round parts that are at either end and the bodies encircle the piece. The color contrast that goes between the bark, the blonde sap wood and the brown tones of the inner log are a beautiful combination. The base was made from apple.

This picture shows how the bodies curve around the piece. This truly is a magnificent piece and would look great in a front entry of an office or home. It definately gets the attention.

“IRON DANCER” is made from Ironwood. This wood definately earns its name. It’s very hard to work with. We go through chains, grinder wheels and sandpaper like crazy when we work with this wood. But it is magnificent. The color variations are just incredible. This piece was carved from a root section and Scott incorporated that into the design. Since it had so many voids and cracks, I just loaded it with large chunks of turquoise all over it. This sculpture has a very dramatic appearance and would make a statement no matter where it is placed.

This side shows a large portion of turquoise that was inlayed.

This is the inside of “Iron Dancer”.  Lots of turquoise there as well.

“CANYON ARCHES” is my favorite. Scott carved three tunnels into this Juniper log and got this interesting design. Every side has a different view into the middle. It was quite hard to sand and apply finish because of this design, but WOW did it turn out beautiful. The old growth juniper really took on a deep orange color and is so rich.

This pictures shows another view inside the piece and a bit more turquoise inlay.

“VAN GOUGHS EAR”. Ok the name is funny, but it realy does look like an ear. Now if I had a little Jack Russel to place next to it, looking inside, I’d have a whole different look. This whimsical sculpture is made from mesquite. The log was odd shaped and Scott was unsure what to do with it. So, whala, it’s now an ear.  It perches on a tiger maple base and has turquoise inlay.

“FLAMINGO DANCER” is made from Alligator Juniper Burl. I love the dramatic effect of the skirt part that flows down. I was able to load that area with turquoise, and it really pops against the burl. There are three feet carved into this sculpture and the carved ruffles of the skirt are quite striking.

This photo shows off all the turquoise and carving in what I call “the skirt”. Look at the beautiful burl.

“SATIN SHEETS” is a wall piece made from gorgeous Maple Burl and well, it looks like satin sheets. Scott carved gentle waves and folds on this piece to show off the burl. It’s really incredible to see up close and would look great on a wall.

This wall piece was also made from a Maple Burl. Scott carved slight ridges into the piece and we then inlayed some petrified wood and turquoise into it. The picture doesn’t show how pretty this piece is. The petrified wood is a nice touch and adds more character to the wall sculpture.

Last but not least for this blog is this incredible giant platter made from old growth black walnut burl. The figure in this platter is so beautiful and is set off even more with the turquoise that was inlayed in about ever crack and crevice I could find. This is the last part of a large walnut burl that we had and I wish we had more. The figure is just like not other. I just might have to talk Scott into keeping this one, since we can’t get more.

Curly Maple Rocker

July 17, 2012

I promised that I’d post the professional photos of the Curly Maple with Ebony rocker and here they are. I normally go for the darker woods, but this is just gorgeous and one of our favorites. It just might be a keeper.

We just found out that we were accepted into the Celebration of Fine Art Scottsdale. This is the original 10 week show, being it’s 23rd year, that takes place Jan-March each year. This show is very hard to get into, so we feel very privileged to be a part of the Celebration family. We will miss some of our new friends that will be at the other show, but we can visit them when we all have time over the 10 week period. We are looking forward to the show and are already making plans for some spectacular pieces. We will also be having a gallery showing at Mystique Gallery in downtown Scottsdale while we are there and this should be very exciting.

Currently we are gearing up for two upcoming shows in Park City UT and Loveland CO. Scott leaves in two weeks and we’ve been busy creating new sculptures. While he is gone, I will post some of these pieces on the blog for all to see.

This photo shows how pretty the grain is.

Here you can see the contrast between the black of the Ebony and the light of the Maple.

We also had the Bentwood rocker that was made from Cherry and Ash photographed. This picture is much better than ours and really shows off this rocker.