Posts Tagged ‘sculpture’

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

 

 

RIPPLES IN TIME

January 17, 2019

“RIPPLES IN TIME”



Carved from a very large Eucalyptus log to create this beautiful wavy bowl. Scott first used the chainsaw to rough out the waves and folds. Then he used several different grinders to finish up the design and smooth it out. He wanted to show the age of the tree by carving into the ends of the log, showing all the growth rings. He was also careful to incorporate a branch that was protruding out of the log to add to the overall uniqueness of the sculpture.





Eucalyptus is a very hard wood and takes more time to carve and sand. From start to finish this piece took about two weeks to complete. When the finish is finally applied it shows the incredible beauty of both the wood and Scott’s carving ability to bring that beauty out.

“RIPPLES IN TIME” and many other carved vessels and sculptures will be on exhibit this weekend, January 18-20 at the Carefree Fine Art and Wine Festival in Carefree AZ. If you’re in the area, stop by and see Scott and our booth and possibly take one home with you.

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.

Wall Sculptures take on a new meaning

March 2, 2015

Our creative process is always evolving and improving. Recently we created new wall sculptures to add to the carved vessels and sculptures. The ideas keep flowing from Scott’s creative mind and he never ceases to surprise me. He recently changed out the wood backers on the wall sculptures with aluminum. A grinder was used to add lines and swirls to the aluminum to give it texture. The contrast between the wood and the aluminum really makes them pop and gives a more contemporary look. Already they are getting a lot of attention, in just one day. Currently they are on display at the 10 week show, Celebration of Fine Art, in Scottsdale, AZ. The show has four more weeks and ends on March 29th.

Bubinga wall piece 2

This wall sculpture features Bubinga wood

zebra wood wall piece

This wall sculpture features Zebra wood

Other wall sculptures that we recently created have patina copper backers. They are also very unique in that they also include other materials. This first one was carved from Apple wood. It features an Onyx ball that sends ripples out from the splash it created. Gentle ripples in various sizes were carved to create this sculpture and achieve the look. The green in the patina copper brings out the green in the onyx ball and the apple wood and makes it pop.

“RIPPLES”
Ripples

This next wall sculpture was carved from cherry wood. Abalone shell, along with other sea shells and rocks were added to the piece. Waves were carved around these pieces, creating a tide pool effect. The blue patina copper makes the colors in the abalone shell stand out and adds color to the sculpture.

“TIDE POOL”
Tide Pool

This next wall piece is a unique collaboration between Scott and another artist, Kathleen Hope. Her work in mixed media, mostly cement adds a completely different element to our carved wood. The vibrant blue and the white parchment are a beautiful contrast with the carved walnut.

collaboration wall piece

Another collaboration Scott did was with artist, Whitney Peckman. Her incredible embellished guard art was a great fit with our work. Scott carved on a piece of Osage Orange wood and Whitney created beautiful yellow Iris’s and leaves on it. This piece has a 3D look, giving the wall sculpture life.

Iris sculpture

To see more of our wall sculptures or other work, please visit our website. http://www.shangrilawoodworks.com
To see information on Celebration of Fine Art in Scottsdale, visit http://www.celebrateart.com

Carving Alabaster

July 3, 2014

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The Alabaster Stone in large 90# blocks, ready for something creative to take place and reveal the beauty within.

Recently we started carving Alabaster stone. We’ve been wanting to try it out for some time.  Although it can be carved and sanded with the same tools, it has proven to be more challenging and quite a bit messier. Just like “Pig Pen” from the Peanuts cartoon, a white cloud follows us when we work with it. Scott has found that he unfortunately can’t use the chainsaw on it, due to the aggressive nature of it because the stone will break apart much easier. So it takes longer to use the grinders to carve intricate designs. And due to the hairline cracks that may exist in the stone, he has to be careful during the carving process or the whole piece will just crack wide open. We are enjoying the new medium and the different element it allows us to show. Scott’s creative juices can really flow and grow carving the stone.

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The color variations in the Alabaster is incredible. The above bowl was made from the Pink Alabaster and has Ebony wood on the rim. This was one of the first pieces Scott carved. He created some curves and gentle waves to bring out the beautiful colors. The Ebony wood rim adds an incredible contrast between the colors.

grey alabaster vessel

This piece was one of the most recent created. It is a Grey Alabaster. The stone was odd shaped, so this canyon shape was created. The grey stone has a different array of colors going through, like, green, tan, white and grey.

purple heart and alabaster

This was also carved from a small piece of the Grey Alabaster and has Purple Heart on the rim.

three ways through

This beauty was carved from a large block of the Red Alabaster and has Bubinga wood attached to the tunnel openings and used for the base. Three tunnels were carved out of the stone creating this incredible sculpture. The red of the Bubinga shows off all the red tones in the stones. You have to see this piece in person to really appreciate how beautiful it is.