Sunday, October 12, 2008

An Excellent Adventure.

ON SATURDAY I truly had an excellent adventure on the Art Harvest Studio Tour through Yamhill County in Oregon.
It was perfect weather for driving and since I waited too long to find a fellow adventurer I decided to make the trip alone. That way I could cover as much ground as I wanted, as slowly - or quickly - as I wanted, and have some time to myself in the bargain. So off I went into a perfect, sunshine-filled October day in Oregon. I traveled many familiar roads that were filled with good memories.
I went to Pike first, a town that no longer exists but is now only a name on a map, and visited the studio of Jim and Linda Hayes. They had a warm fire going. Both of them design jewelry and I wanted to buy everything in sight, but I can't do that and still afford access to the Internet ... and eat. That's important too.
I did buy a pair of Jim's earrings in a style I have always admired. (I have a pair of Linda's and I "luv" them.) This necklace is an attempt of mine to capture the beauty of Jim's jewelry.
Up the road a bit I found Annie Witherspoon's studio on the second floor of a barn. Without using all capital letters and exclamation marks, how do I tell you what a marvelous space she has? Hmm. Can't be done. Here are the signs leading to her studio. The house is built on a hillside and the barn is down below with a fantastic view of the valley.
Inside the studio the windows are filled with jewel-colored stained glass pieces. Wonderful "lady faces" and people. Annie is a terrific person, who volunteers her time teaching math skills to the women at Adelante Mujeres, the group I have spoken of before. I had a delightful cup of ginger tea while I talked with her. I do hope our paths cross again.
Back on the road, I headed for McMinnville and passed the Lakeside Grain barn. Don 't tell the Mister, but I was driving curvy roads and shooting photos through the sunroof. Not a good idea when you're told to be careful and drive safely. I love the countryside, however, and couldn't do nearly enough gawking. This is where a fellow adventurer comes in handy to drive and let you look. (Next time maybe.)
I saw one sad thing on my trip: A magnificent oak tree I had always loved had been cut down and the stump was in the process of being burned out. The tree had been in a wheat field next to a house I lived in for a couple of years, and I would see it every morning at sunrise through the kitchen window ... then in the evening I would watch the sun set on it. Sad to see these giants pass.
Well, in McMinnville I looked for a place to eat lunch and found Orchards Bistro. Lovely, lovely place. Smoked turkey sandwich (with grapes and walnuts) and tomato basil soup. The water was infused with cucumber and something else. I thought it tasted like parsley. It was wonderfully refreshing. My waiter was a handsome young man who directed me to my next destination in Sheridan. (I left a little tip of my own.)
Landry Deese is a very well-spoken, well-traveled young man, who is a wood fire ceramist and kiln builder - and wild man, I think. (This is a good thing!) I bought one of his tea bowls and I really like the way it fits my hand. Visit his Web site and explore. He knows a lot about clay and kilns, and also does concrete countertops.
His gallery partner (or maybe it's the other way around, and he's her partner) is Kim Hamblin and her work is tedious, time consuming and ultimately a joy to admire. I got up onto a stool to get an overview of this project she's working on. It's called something like "Playing with the Heart." Sorry if I don't have that totally correct. She cuts out paper, paints it, does this again, and then uses tiny nails to pound it all together. Wonderful stuff! Remember: You can click on any of these photos to make them bigger.
I only had a little while until the Harvest Tour ended for the day and I decided to go back to McMinnville and visit a book artist. This is one of the most wonderful decisions I have ever made. Marilyn Worrix started making books 10 years ago and then it became an obsession. There were wonderful books on display in this "gallery" upstairs. I say "gallery" because it turned out not to be just one little room of handmade books. It turned out to be her home - a former Elks Lodge (I believe) she and her husband bought and refurbished - and the rooms rambled on one into the other. It was a Craftsman's paradise, with skylights, and the ballroom under construction, and could easily hold parties for 300 or more. And everyone would have a place to sit!!! This is the dining room above.
Here is the ballroom, which I understand they are in the midst of renovating.
I took photos, since every single room was open for viewing, but not all the pictures turned out great. : (
Marilyn's name is linked to many Web sites and she is active with the Oregon Cultural Trust and other book groups.
An artist who also exhibited in her home was Doug Roy. When I saw his work in the Art Harvest brochure, I assumed his work was quite large. It turns out his "papercarvings," which is how he terms his work, are quite small. Magnifying glasses were hanging next to the wonderful work. Check his Web site to marvel at the tiny detail.
Now I simply must go because by now you have probably stopped reading and these keys are typing out words only I will read. Art Harvest Tour 2009, can't wait - femminismo


Candace said...

This is just a fabulous post about a fabulous weekend, and I am so glad to read about this... Art Harvest Tour 2009, maybe you will have company along! LOL. Sometimes, though, you're right. Time spent alone can be time well spent. Fantastic fun photos!

Southern Girl said...

Oh, what I would have given to tag along! (:

Jenny Matteson said...

Awesome tour! And amazingly, we were crossing paths with you! W e were looking for a pumpkin patch, and wanted to stop at some of the art harvest locations, but only saw the yellow signs. Without a map or tour guide, we decided to go get pumpkins instead of becoming completely lost(see my post/photo gallery). The kids really needed to run around and the pumpkin patch was a lot of fun.

Is this the only weekend it was running? They usually leave the signed up for a few months. . . and there's no info about times, days, or anything. Just little arrows that lead. . . somewhere cool.

I;ll see what I can find out- if there 's another weekend it's happening I'll give you a call. Peter guesses he knew that tree too and shares your sadness.
Love, us. ;)