2010 December Archive | Amber Jean

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Monthly Archives: December 2010

Carving to Casting – the launch of a new edition

Sneak peak of a recently completed carving taken just outside the foundry where it was molded and cast into bronze. The new edition titled “Munch” features a momma and baby bunny stuffing themselves with cabbage.














I began the carving in Cody Wyoming while attending the “Women Who Design the West show.” We were asked to bring something to demonstrate…thus a new little piece began in September.  Last month I swept up the little pile of woodchips and delivered a finished carving to the foundry. 

“Munch” will be cast in an edition of 19 – which means only 19 of these cute little buggers will ever be made. Photos of the finished bronze will be posted this week.  Stay tuned…

Taking Shape – 2nd story studio

WOW! Paul has only put eight days into construction and already I can do the “Snoopy Dance” on the 2nd story!!! 
Joy! Joy! The little room in back upstairs will be the painting/drawing studio – free from the sawdust of sculpture building in the main studio. The huge steel beams are part of the hoist system which will allow me to lift and move large objects…er…art…all by myself. Wahoo!!!

I shopped for toilets online early yesterday morning. Here is my dream toilet:

But of course such prettiness is not in the budget and then a brand new toilet was just given to me by a friend who doesn’t need it. Now, what does a studio-less artist do with a free toilet while construction is happening on her new studio? Ah ha!! I just might have to paint my own toilet. We’ll see. Truth is – it took a chunk of yesterday just to catch up on the HUGE bin of mail and bills. I’ve a zillion projects planned without throwing a toilet bowl on the “to do” list but -well…?!


Sculptures Drying – Ladies Trying

Eleven straight days working 12-14 hours each day at the studio and those big o’l mesquite logs have transformed. Almost complete, they are standing under the temporary hoist system drying. Hand hewn chisel marks under umpteen layers of my own concoction of mixed stains – inlayed turquoise and swarovski crystals complete the sculptures. My paws are sore, my neck is creaky and my fingernails are darkly stained. I left the studio yesterday completely fried and hungry for some air.
Today I got up before dawn to join two girlfriends.  We threw our packs in the back of the truck and rolled over icy roads up the narrow canyon to what JoJo has dubbed “The Hyalite House” for the annual women’s clinic at the Bozeman Ice Climbing Festival. Since I fell in love with ice climbing at the festival years ago, I have returned each year as a volunteer eager to share my love of ice with others. Falling in love with ice climbing was easy; finding boots to fit my little feet in a sport dominated by men was the tough part. A year or two after ice climbing entered my life, my friend Supy began an ice climbing clinic just for women despite the fact that many of the local guides and retailers doubted a female audience existed for such a clinic. The turnout of curious brave women willing to push their limits to try something new within a supportive environment was overwhelming. The women’s clinic quickly grew to the largest on-ice-clinic for women in the world. Always sold out, more than 60 women come from all over to paricipate in the one-day clinic taught by some of the best female ice climbers in the world.
I volunteer each year to carry ropes, belay, and help coach the eager group of women. All ages and a variety of backgrounds make up the all female mob. Many of the women aren’t rock climbers or climbers at all. Some have never even tried a winter sport. What joy it is to watch gal after gal transform! Belief, compassion, patience, humor, and a few good tips can make all the difference. Intimidated by the ice, psyched about the “bad ass” feel of an ice ax in their hand, brightened by their accomplishment – what the women take away from this day of camaraderie is a big dose of self confidence, sore muscles, and HUGE grins.
Today was a treat. Crisp air, fresh snow, sculptural ice and the transformation that comes through empowerment make the volunteer day more-than-worthwhile. The sculptures are drying. Tomorrow I will pack up the studio. But tonight I imagine more than one gal is dreaming a few new dreams and perhaps tomorrow many women will awaken with a broadened belief in what is possible.


Bit of a Curve Ball

Post-trip bliss had me beginning to believe that the drama in my world might be simmering down enough to have more of a balanced routine in my life. More time for friends, outdoor excursions, and the exciting conclusion of a large sculpture project done during reasonable hours at the studio…just in time for the holidays with Paul, my mom, and the kids.

Alas – the very morning this thought ambled longingly through my mind, I arrived at the studio and found a nasty eviction notice taped to the door. Long story but the short version is simply that the sweet folks who own the building have given it up in a painful hostage takeover forced by their new son-in-law. He’s an unpleasant 3-time felon thug who has not responded to our reasonable requests to rent the space for a few more months. Seems he would rather have the worn out shell-of-a-building sit vacant just as it did for four years before the three of us gals moved in. Panic. Deep breaths.  None of us want to be in a space with that kind of energy threatening us. So I’ve begun once again to pull double shifts and pop vitamin C to build up for the triple shifts it’ll take to finish the Devil Woman Saloon sculptures, pack and deliver a 5-piece large sculpture exhibition, and gather up all my studio stuff for storage. I have a week and a half. Paul will be gone to Carson City all of next week attending the funeral of his close childhood friend. Yesterday a girlfriend jumped in with lunch, did the grocery shopping for my mom, and took the girls to mom’s for cookie baking to give me more much-needed precious focused studio time. Kirston has found another space. We’re helping Stacey find something affordable. The walls are going up at my very own soon-to-be realized studio on the mountain. I’ve a zillion ideas for spending my studio-less time but right now I am in survival mode, cranking out piles of woodchips and sawdust and eating LOTS of cookies and chocolate.