Monday, February 13, 2012

Anniversary Sunflower

I did a post last year about a series of Deluxe Sunflowers I did for a show at the Grosse Pointe Art Association's "Word Play" show. I took a slab of clay and stamped it all over with the word "sunflower" and added some rosettes over where the ascenders ("f" and "l") rose into each line of text and used that to form the centers of three sunflowers - large, extra-large and ginormous - I was going to use to create the piece I called "What kind of flower *is* that?" It ended up being accepted for the show, a wonderful treat in a surprisingly successful year of submissions.

My friend Estela Boudreau sponsored a show of my work at her gallery in Grosse Pointe Woods, Galeria Mariposa, late last year, and we decided to feature those three sunflowers. Instead of hanging them as I had at the GPAA show, we thought it would be cool to display them on stakes, as I had at one of my garden tours. This necessitated the fabrication of a stable display stand to hold the stakes securely with no risk of tilting or any other movement.

I, of course, took this challenge to my very capable handyman, Keith Battjes, my go-to guy for everything from toilet back-ups to fashioning worktables for my studio. I hauled the three pieces and their respective stakes over to his shop and, over a couple of beers, we figured out what we needed to do. The stand was a complete success and Estela eventually purchased the three sunflowers with stakes for her "Wind Rise" retreat center near Metamora. I have the base in storage for the next similar project.

Fast forward to January 2012. My toilet has had a crisis. Keith comes to the rescue. He then asks about a sunflower as a gift for his wife for their upcoming 31st anniversary, recalling the sunflowers he had worked with previously. Luckily, he and his wife have relatively short names ("Diane" and "Keith") and, after ascertaining which name should "go on top" (his wife's of course!), I began the process of creating my first Anniversary Sunflower. Which Keith picked up today and put up in their kitchen this evening. What a wonderful project!

Please send out best wishes to Keith and Diane on their anniversary, this Sunday, February 19.

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