Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You're Invited: Holiday Tables!

November's First Friday Artwalk here on Bainbridge Island is coming right up!  Here's what's on tap at The Island Gallery:

Holiday Tables

November 1 - 30, 2013

Opening Reception, First Friday, November 1, 6-8 pm

Featuring Music from Bainbridge Island’s

Peter Spencer and Friends

For your holiday entertaining: wood dining tables, and everything
that goes on and above – dishes, glassware, table linens, wood trays,
bowls, centerpieces, and exquisite lighting –
from The Island Gallery’s talented artists:
Robert Benson III (lighting), David (textiles), Wendy Dunder (lighting)
Aaron Filson (ceramics), Ted Jolda (glassware), Donald Smith (wood tables)
& Dave Thompson (wood bowls).
Introducing Mark Strayer (ceramics).


Also Featuring a Special Presentation:

The Gitana Collection
Fine Silver

Sterling Silver & Black Onyx Bib Necklace
Location:  400 Winslow Way E., #120, Bainbridge Island, Washington

Come downtown and see us for refreshments, beautiful treats, and music!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

October 2013 Gallery Picks Newsletter

Welcome to our October Gallery Picks Newsletter!  We're featuring, once again, some of our current favorite art pieces, though it is always a difficult task to look around the Gallery and, with new items coming in every week, decide which ones to showcase - we love everything!  Still, we must force ourselves to choose, so here we go.  Don't forget to click on the links for each item to visit the online shop for a closer look and further details.


Walnut Benches
Our No-Fail Recipe for Great Seating:

First:  Locate several pieces of gorgeous walnut from Chico, California.
Second:  Smooth and apply an impeccable finish.
Third:  Hand-craft and attach unusual and artistic aluminum legs.
Result:  Two fabulous benches.

These beautiful pieces are a collaboration, with the wood expertly finished
by one of our artists in Seattle.  The aluminum legs were then
created by a Bainbridge Island metalsmith.
They're available singly (see #1 and #2) or as a set.  

Warmth.  Jen Till
Vibrant with color and appropriately titled Warmth, Jen reminds us of something
we will need in the upcoming chilly months!  It's all very well to wrap up in
woolens, but being able to gaze at a blazing log, or a cheery painting like this,
can be equally therapeutic.

As with Jen's other works featured in the Gallery, it is oil on canvas.

Amber Earrings. The Gitana Collection
From the Gitana Collection of fine jewelry we are delighted to showcase
these beautiful earrings of gemmy amber set in sterling silver.  The clarity in these
stones is quite impressive, with their passing dark amber swirls and clouds.
A lovely gift, one imagines, for a special friend!

Saggar-Fired Medium Vase.  Fred Loase
Rich color highlights this lovely vase from Bainbridge Island artist Fred Loase.
Fred is a fairly new artist to the Gallery but, we must say, one of our most
enthusiastic!  He works in wood fire, raku, pit fire, and saggar fire, such as the
glowing example here.

But what the heck is saggar firing?  So glad you asked!
Here's what we know about it:

A saggar is a lidded ceramic container.
It can be used in the firing of pottery for several purposes: to enclose or
protect clayware during a firing from open flame, smoke, gases and kiln debris;
and to create decorative markings on the ceramic pieces.

To accomplish the desired effects, pots are placed into saggars filled
with combustible materials such as sawdust, straw, pine needles,
and/or wood shavings, as well as less combustible organic materials:
salts, copper carbonate, copper sulfate, bismuth (think Pepto-Bismol),
metals like copper or steel wire, and weird but non-toxic materials such as
seaweed, crushed vitamin tablets, banana peels, and dog or cat food!
Once the firing begins and these materials ignite or fume, the saggars
provide a controlled atmosphere which concentrates the effect of the
various materials on the surfaces of the pots.  This can produce dramatic
markings, with colors ranging from distinctive black and white to
flashes of golds, greens and reds, depending on the materials used.

This firing process has been around for thousands of years and,
interestingly, "saggar" is a contraction of the word “safeguard”.

Visit more of Fred's wonderful work here (we'll be putting up new pieces shortly).

Necklace Nuku Hiva, Saffron.  Begona Rentero
Another of Begona Rentero's extraordinary pieces of jewelry.
In this piece and several of her new ones she has used an onionskin paper
that is very crisp (like autumn leaves) and extraordinarily lightweight.
The earrings for this design are definitely something to behold and
will be included online shortly (or ask us for a photo).
(They're glorious in Raspberry, by the way.)

What can we say about this amazing artist that hasn't already been said?

Well, how about a quick mention of the great honor recently given her:
Begona was selected to participate as one of the fifty best emerging
and acclaimed jewelry artists in the world by the Museum of Art and Design
in New York City.  Her work was included in the LOOT 2013: Mad About Jewelry
show and sale, which ran October 1-5 this month.

...Wait, did we mention that before, too...?

Oh, that's right... right here.

Walnut Salad Bowl.  Dave Thompson
How do we love these salad bowls?  Let us count the ways:

They're beautiful.
They're functional.
They're gorgeously and artfully made.
Their finish is food safe.
They come with their own salad servers.
Everyone loves them.
Dave's prices are amazing.
They're beautiful.
And they make GREAT gifts.
(Though we highly suspect some of you keep them for yourselves... naughty!)
(But we understand...)

All of that adds up to perfection in a bowl, shall we say!

More of Dave's magnificent bowls can be seen here; and there
are more on the way, so keep an eye out for them in the web shop.

(P.S.: They're really beautiful...)

Love Sails Tee-Shirt.  Mary Jaeger
Fashioned from the softest cotton one can imagine, with sparkling Love Sails motif, these
pretty Tees come from one of our newest textile artists, Mary Jaeger. They come in all sizes
and several different colors; we have primarily black on hand at the moment, in
differing motifs, and some long-sleeved varieties; also some VERY special shibori-dyed
Tees, in long and short sleeves.  Great for layering.

Mary also creates other stunning shawls, scarves, shirts, neckwraps and capes,
in some of the loveliest textiles we've seen.

Gold Delphic Sybil.  Curt Labitzke
Last but not least, an example of Curt Labitzke's amazing artistry
in this intaglio print inspired by ancient Greek, Etruscan and Roman art.

For a discussion of Professor Labitzke's fascinating work, scroll back
one blog post, or click here.

That's it for October.  Stay tuned as we ramp up for holiday shopping in November, beginning with the exhibit opening on First Friday, November 1st:  Holiday Tables.

More about that very soon!

In the meantime, if you'd like to sign up to have notices of this and other events, sales and shows, send your e-mail address to sr@theislandgallery.net and we'll deliver notices right to your inbox!

Oh, and on October 31st, please, please watch out for those little (and not so little) goblins and ghouls...

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Intaglio Prints: Curt Labitzke

The Island Gallery has been pleased to represent printmaker Curt Labitzke for the last several years.  We are showing a new group of his prints here in the Gallery and at our Realogics Sotheby's International Realty Annex (271 Madison Avenue S., Suite 102, Bainbridge Island).  He is also currently participating in a printmaking exhibition with our good neighbor down the street, Roby King Gallery (176 Winslow Way E., Bainbridge Island).  If you're in the area, we encourage you to visit all three locations for in-person viewing.  On top of that Curt will be featured in our upcoming October Gallery Picks Newsletter, and so it is high time to introduce him here.

A Woman, After Picasso.  Curt Labitzke

Curt Labitzke was born in New York in 1958; his father was an illustrator and his mother was a quilt-maker. He received his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame in 1984 with a concentration in Painting, Printmaking and Drawing.

Upon completion of his degree he joined the Studio Art faculty at the University of WashingtonSeattle. Curt is currently the Chair of the Printmaking and Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Programs and regularly teaches in the School of Art’s study abroad program in Rome and FlorenceItaly.  He encourages students to cross-pollinate their intellectual interests with creative energy to form a studio practice based in rigor and research. Through seminars and critiques, he engages students in lively, thought-provoking discussions about contemporary art, issues in printmaking, and the art world as a whole. Curt actively supports the sharing of concepts and applications between printmaking and tangent disciplines. He has taught at the University since 1984.

Curt's work is influenced by his extensive travels and reflects a passion for the sensuous quality of Etruscan art, the beauty of the Renaissance, the poetic storytelling of the Greeks and the brut directness of the German Expressionists.  The iconic figures appearing in his intaglio prints, inspired by those times and their people as found in ancient architecture, tombs, temples, and masks, peer from their ambiguous space seeking empathy as they passionately engage the viewer, conjuring up images of worship and celebration. They are constructed of heavily layered and incised archival paper, acrylic paint and a variety of powder pigments vigorously worked to create an active and engaging surface, reminiscent of an ancient fresco or a weathered stone carving.

Blue Delphic Sybil.  Curt Labitzke

A little about intaglio techniques:

Intaglio is one of the four major classes of printmaking techniques, distinguished from the other three methods (relief printing, stenciling, and lithography) by the fact that the ink forming the design is printed only from recessed areas of the plate. The design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface or plate (copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, or even coated paper). The printing ink is rubbed into the incisions or grooves, and the surface is wiped clean. Unlike surface printing, intaglio printing requires considerable pressure.

Virtually all intaglio plates are printed by similar means, using a roller press. A viscous ink is forced into the incisions of the intaglio plate with a roller, and the excess ink is wiped away.  The inked plate is laid face up, a sheet of wet printing paper is laid over it, and a blanket (to ensure even pressure) is draped over them both. Then the upper roller of the press is turned and the bed is drawn through; a pressure of several tons transmitted through the blanket presses the wet paper into the ink-filled crevices of the plate, thus producing the printed image.

Intaglio processes are probably the most versatile of the printmaking methods, as various techniques can produce a wide range of effects.

Intaglio artists over the centuries include Albrecht Dürer, Goya, Picasso, and Rembrandt.

And now, of course, Curt Labitzke (above, at work on a print at the University of Washington).

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You're Invited! First Friday, October 4th

October's First Friday Artwalk is coming right up!  Stroll down to Winslow and visit us for music, refreshments, and fabulous art.  Here's what's up:


(A little of this, a dash of that…)
Textiles ~ Ceramics ~ Prints & Paintings ~ Furniture

October 4 – 27, 2013

Introducing new textile artists
Bryan Johnson and Mary Jaeger

Opening Reception, First Friday, October 4, 6-8 pm

Featuring Music from Bainbridge Island’s

Peter Spencer and Friends:
Blues Quartet

 Scarves and Shirt by Bryan Johnson

 Wraps and Scarves by Mary Jaeger