Archive for January, 2011

The topic has been discussed here quite a few times.  My preparations and thoughts (and a rejection) in working for an Indiana Artisan designation.

Here’s the word:


Congratulations on having your work juried into Indiana Artisan!  When the jury sessions were completed, the three panels had selected 27 of 91 art and food applications, or just shy of 30 percent, to be part of the organization’s brand.  Yours was among them.

Best regards,

I am pretty durned excited to earn this designation and to learn more about how I will be working with this organization to showcase and sell Indiana finest handcrafted items!


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A Few New Discoveries

I stopped by Big Hat Books in Broad Ripple last night to discuss an upcoming exhibition of 50 Little Birds (Details next week).  While there I picked up a copy of a calendar, Decoys, edited by C. John Sullivan, Jr.  It’s a beautiful calendar with twelve photos of historic and significant decoys.  Studying these photos helps to clarify painted feather and distress patterns.

Within the photos I also found two birds that are on my carving list, a northern flicker and whip-poor-will.  These are not birds I associate with hunting and decoys.  They were fascinating work with interesting and new (to me) techniques.

These discoveries sent me plying the internet waters looking for other minature bird and decoy cross overs.  Here are a few:

I found this magnificant bluejay here:












Some more are found here:

Unfortunately the two in the foreground are identified as nuthatches.

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50 Little Birds plans to be out and about this spring.  Look for us at the following shows:

Greene County Marsh Madness Festival

Saturday, March 5 and Sunday, March 6

8:00 – 6:00 Saturday and 12:00 – 5:00 Sunday

Humphrey’s Park, Highway 54, Linton, Indiana

Bloomington Handmade Market (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, April 2

10:00 – 4:00

Bloomington Convention Center, 302 S. College Avenue, Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana Artisan Marketplace (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17

Saturday 10:00 – 6:00 and Sunday 10:00 – 5:00

Admission $8

Exposition Building, Indiana State Fair Grounds, Indianapolis, Indiana

INDIEana Handicraft Exchange (Pending Acceptance)

Saturday, June 12

12:00 – 8:00

Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 n. Delaware St., Indianapolis, Indiana

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From the Noblesville Times

Friendly Folk
The Times photos by Steven Furlow
The Times photos by Steven Furlow

By Steven Furlow

Saturday saw the opening of the Bluestone Folk School’s 2011 concert series featuring Cara Jean Whalers, (bottom) who too command of the capacity crowd at Noble Coffee and Tea in downtown Noblesville. Wahlers joined musician Evan Slusher, (top) for a song during his set.


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I love Hoagy Carmichael! He’s the ultimate jazz man, the original singer songwriter and raised 100% Hoosier.

A few weeks ago I learned of someone that was making an effort to record every song the Beatles had recorded. I joked with a friend, on facebook, that I doubt there would be much interest in a similar project focusing on the works of Hoagy.  She agreed that there may not be much interest.  Much to my surprise a number of folks, many of whom I didn’t know, chimed in that they would love to see such a project.


I am announcing the “Everything Hoagy” event planned for Blue Stone Folk School in November (Hoagy’s birthday is November 22).

I will be hosting a concert featuring the great work of Hoagy Carmichael.  I’ve not had an opportunity to perform, in a concert setting, fora very long time and am excited about putting this together.  In addition to myself I will be invited some expected (and unexpected) guests to make the evening interesting.

Other Hoagy themed activities are also in the works including a bus/car/walking tour of Hoagy’s Indianapolis.

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Earlier this week I began drawing chickens.  This is nothing new.  I’ve kept chickens for over 20 yrs. and they often on my mind.

I usually try to simplify bird forms into overlapping and connected circles and curves.  It was soon clear that chickens have a complex (to carve) body shape that can be loosely defined by two lose circles (or spheres in the carving).

I filled a few pages of my sketch book before I stumbled across a piece that was sold at a Wes Cowan Auction last October.  I didn’t examine it closely.  I had a clear idea of what I wanted to do  and had no desire to copy the original. (Unfortunately I cannot share a photo of the auction piece here.  I urge you to look at the link.  It’s a great piece.)

Saturday I spent the morning putting the shop into order.  I had been building bookcases and cabinets.  This kind of work puts me in a mindset quite different than carving.  It’s very difficult to get back to carving without a thorough housecleaning.

I joined my family for lunch and began drawing on the paper table cover.  I was working on increasing the size of the drawings to carving size and keeping the proportions correct.  After lunch I cut a section from the paper and headed back to the shop to begin carving.

Between lunch and the shop I ducked into one of the neighborhood antique stores to find a box that could be adapted to create a nesting box.  I found an oversized cheese box and the ends of an old knocked down Diamond Match crate.  (It’s hard to imagine a time when matches were shipped in crates!)

Saturday afternoon I designed, carved and sanded the first two hens.  I also cut and installed dividers into the cheese box to create three nest spaces.

After a big family Sunday breakfast I got back to work and carved the remaining three birds.  I was able to treat each bird in a different manner to add interest to the piece.  Two birds have their heads turned and another has his neck extended.

After sanded each of their heads were slit and a comb, made from a piece of my business card, was glued and inserted.  Eyes, like all of my recent birds are represented by a copper river with a tiny brass washer around it.

Each bird was painted, in my usual manner, and the piece was assembled.

We had a board meeting tonight.  I was able to work about twenty minutes as folks arrived and I began the distressing process.  Tomorrow night I suspect that I will be able to complete this piece.

If you are interested in purchasing this piece, please contact me at 50littlebirds@gmail.com

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Front Page Etsy

I just got word that my work is featured top and centered on ETSY’s front page.  This is a big deal.  Last time I was featured my ETSY page received close to 1000 hits.

Click for Treasury

Click Here for 50 Little Birds on Etsy








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