Monthly Archives: April 2015

Artist, Artisan, Owner: Carey Hosterman Revels in Bronze at Rocky Mountain Bronze Shop

Buffalo in Bronze by Carey Hosterman

These buffalo in bronze created by Carey Hosterman are small enough to sit on a desk or bookshelf.

Carey Hosterman has been helping sculptors turn their clay art into bronze for over 30 years. At the same time, he has been developing his own skill as a sculptor. The buffalo pictured here, small enough to sit on a bookshelf, are currently his bestselling creation at Rocky Mountain Bronze Shop, the Loveland business he started 21 years ago.

Loveland, where Carey has lived since boyhood, has long been a center for producing bronze sculpture. Bronze shops sprouted up specializing in various phases of the long, involved process. Each step in turning a clay form into bronze requires unique skills and great care to ensure that the final bronze sculpture replicates every fine detail that the artist put into clay. Continue reading

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Carrie Lambert Taps into Her Inner Artist with Wire and Beads

Necklace by Carrie Lambert of Loveland, Colorado

Carrie Lambert of Loveland, Colorado, created this necklace by crocheting and weaving wire strung with beads.

When Carrie Lambert started crocheting with wire and beads in 2006, she had no plans for going into business. She started on a whim, teaching herself from a book that caught her eye in a craft store.

Two months later she and her husband were eating breakfast at a B&B in Utah when the hostess told her she loved Carrie’s necklace and asked if she could possibly buy it from her. Carrie agreed to sell it to her. On discovering that Carrie had made it, the hostess asked her if she would provide a dozen more for the B&B to sell in its small gift shop. Two weeks after the hostess received the necklaces, she called Carrie and ordered a dozen more because the others had all sold.

Nine years later, Carrie’s jewelry matches the trendiest styles of 2015 and sells in stores in Fort Collins and Loveland. Continue reading

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Springtime in Kansas Means Redbud Trees, Tulips, and Elk Falls Pottery

Redbud tree in bloom south of Wichita, Kansas

Redbud trees bloom in Kansas early in April in the wild and in towns. This photo was taken in a suburb of Wichita.

Even bloggers have to go on vacation sometime. Last week my husband and I traveled to Kansas to visit family and to enjoy southeastern Kansas in its springtime glory. The tulip displays at Wichita’s Bontanica are phenomenal, and redbud trees – a favorite of mine – bloom in the wild and in towns early in April.

In the midst of roaming country roads to view redbud trees growing wild, we dropped by Elk Falls. This quiet town of about 100 residents, almost 70 miles southeast of Wichita, has been the home of Elk Falls Pottery for 39 years. Founders Steve and Jane Fry turn out thousands of mugs and other pottery items every year from high-quality clay Steve digs out of Kansas earth.

I had seen pictures of their work on Facebook and wondered how they produce mugs with all types of logos and letters. Steve and Jane showed me not only how they make them but also how Steve makes the clay from which they are thrown. Continue reading

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Art and Function Meet in Mike Wilkinson Woodworking

Cutting board by Mike Wilkinson

Mike Wilkinson creates artful cutting boards by cutting different kinds of wood in curved designs.

At the end of last year I shared the picture of the cutting board shown here and said one of my goals for 2015 is to find out how you can make curved pieces of wood fit perfectly together with a smooth finished surface. Last week Mike Wilkinson, who made the cutting board in the picture, graciously helped me meet that goal by showing me all the steps at his home workshop in Fort Collins.

Mike begins by drawing a design on a board about ¾-inch thick and longer and wider than the cutting board will be. Marking a number on each shape to represent its order in the design prevents confusion later. He slowly guides the marked wood through his band saw along his pencil lines, much like I guide fabric through my sewing machine. The newly cut pieces of wood become the pattern he will draw on maple, cherry, and walnut boards. Continue reading

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