Recently, while I was participating in a Road Scholar hiking program ( www.RoadScholar.org ) in Sedona, Arizona, our local guide ( Peter ) mentioned that his wife was participating in an "Open Studios" event during the coming weekend. Because I had enjoyed a similar event that was held in my home state of Arkansas ( www.theartodyssey.com ) several months earlier, I determined that I would make an effort to visit the studios of artists of the Southwestern USA.
The first studio I visited was that of Peter's wife, Dee, who does Fiber Vessels and Paper. The right side of the collage shows her demonstrating to me the composition of her fiber vessels, and the left side shows some of the outstanding photographic works of her husband Peter, who had been our hiking guide.
In addition to the Fiber Vessels, Dee told about how she creates the beautiful colored papers shown in this collage.
Although I had the official studio map with me, I found my GPS to be an invaluable tool, to help me navigate the neighborhoods of Sedona, to find the studios located there. In addition, each studio had a sign (shown on left side of collage) to indicate the visitor had found the correct location. Even before I entered the studio here, I could see the work of the artist who carefully did the rockwork on the side of their house, to reflect the geological strata that ones sees in the bluffs surrounding Sedona.
Susan does glass fusing, and in the photo on the left, she demonstrated to me how she layers the different glass forms to make her one-of-a-king glass masterpieces. The piece of equipment shown on the right is what she uses for fusing the larger pieces of glass that she works with.
With Susan's extensive inventory of various colored glass pieces, she is able to "custom create" a piece of glass art to the buyers preferences.
Susan and Steve had their front porch well-stocked with refreshments and beverages, for those who wanted them. In fact, many of the studios were offering refreshments.
My next stop was the studio of Wendy the Weaver ( www.WendyTheWeaver.com ). Since my great-grandmother had made rugs and pillows for her family (which are now family heirlooms), using a loom similar to the one shown in this photograph, I was particularly intrigued by studio for weaving.
My next stop was a studio where baskets were the specialty ( www.redrockbaskets.com ), and one can also take classes at this artist's studio.
I especially enjoyed visiting with this photographer named Grazina. She told me stories behind how she captured some of the scenes from the Southwest, that adorn the greeting cards and wall hangings that she sells.
There were two artists at this beautiful home on the edge of Sedona. Besides getting to see their art work ( www.rawelementsphotography.com and www.paintingsbycn.com ), it was a treat to get to go out on the deck of the home and photograph "coffee pot rock", shown in the lower right corner of the collage.
At the studio of Jerry, in the Village of Oak Creek, I was treated to a demonstration of how he does his ceramics, including a peek inside his massive kiln.
While in the Village of Oak Creek, I also had the pleasure of visiting with Joan, a retired school teacher, who is now using her many talents to craft one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces.
She also had a type of kiln, but it only took up space on a tabletop, whereas the kiln at Jerry's studio took up an entire storage building!
Although there were several moments of hesitation and doubt as to whether I was on the correct roads, I finally found myself at the mountaintop studio of Skip Fox ( www.skipfox.com ). It was a feast for the eyes, as one walked down the gravel driveway, lined with outdoor sculpture pieces, all by this one very talented artist, who was a retired dentist.
I was encouraged to actually sit down in the metal chairs that the artist had created, which I did. They were surprisingly comfortable!
Since the Skip Fox studio is only open by appointment these days, I felt very fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit there. The large gate, which is usually closed, was swung open wide to welcome Studio Tour visitors on this special weekend. The gate reminded me of the verse from the Bible (Psalm 100:4) that says "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name." You can be sure I was giving praise, being thankful, and blessing the name of Skip Fox for sharing his talents with visitors to his studio! If you would like to learn more about activities in Sedona, click on www.VisitSedona.com for a Calendar of Events. If you would like to learn more about activities of Sedona-area artists, click on www.SedonaArtistsCoalition.org . Visiting an artists' studio is sure to give you "Miles of Smiles"! Tricia