Life, Studio, and Gallery: 82, What is the Cost for Beauty?

How are you?  In the midwest, we are having gorgeous autumn days blue skies and lovely fall colors.  I am grateful for these blue sky days.  Do you have something or things that you do every day that help you feel grounded?  For you, does it help your day run more smoothly?  I start my morning with freshly ground clean-crafted coffee.  I always use a handmade ceramic mug.  I can tell you who made the selected piece and I always enjoy holding that warm cup.  I believe that the fact that it was made with human hands helps keep the coffee warm just a bit longer.  Of course, that could be my imagination too.  😊. Please tell me how you start your day.  Is it a walk?  Reading?  Talking with your children or a best friend?

soweto gospel choir


Life sure can be hard can’t it?  Then, we get these gifts.  For me, live music always touches my soul.  This past week, my parents treated me to a South African Gospel Choir concert at a local college.  It was so uplifting and filled with positive energy.  The newly released album is entitled “Hope”.  Later in the week, my girlfriend invited me to join her for a concert at St. Cecelia’s to hear Steve Poltz and The Wood Brothers.  Wow!  The talent and energy by all four of these men.  I left both concerts humming.  The thousands of hours musicians have practiced to deliver these shows always impresses me. In our small community, we are losing a wonderful music venue, Seven Steps Up.  The energy it took to run it could have cost one of its founders his life.  Michelle and Gary Hanks started this business more than 12 years ago.  They have been generous with their time and venue.  I will miss their listening room.  This week we will celebrate Gary’s life.  He was one of the good ones on this planet.  Somehow, Michelle is going to have to find the strength to move forward on her own.  I know she can do it but it will be hard.


I was listening to the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast earlier this week while working in the studio.  I heard an interesting comment.  The person being interviewed said that she believes that craft is an affordable way to bring art into your daily life.  I agree completely.  As a matter of fact, “art for your daily life” has been my tag line since 2011. A handmade mug, bowl or plate is a piece of art.  It took a ceramic artist (potter) more than 10,000 hours of practicing just that one form.  When, I had the brick and mortar gallery, we only represented artists had remained dedicated to their craft and had attained a high level of skill in their art-making.

lochlin smith jewelry craftsman

Wearing handmade jewelry allows you to adorn yourself with art.  You get to move through your day being “you” showing your uniqueness by choosing to wear handmade earrings, necklaces, or bracelets.  Have a look at Lochlin’s jewelry and see if you need a new piece to wear.  Have a I told you about Lochlin?

Lochlin Smith grew up in New York City.  Both of his parents were artists.  By growing up in their home, he knew that he could be a full time artist and support himself.  He fell in love with the Vermont Green Mountains.  His art was originally abstract paintings.  Over time, he became a welder creating both metal sculpture and jewelry.  His jewelry has supported his family for more than 50 years.  I met Lochlin while living in Vermont.  He is a truly nice man with a gentle soul.  He loves to ride his mountain bike, spend time with his wife and children.

So, how much are you willing to pay for beauty?

handmade ceramic gift tags


I am spending full days in the studio.  I have a bisque kiln firing now with new one of a kind ceramic beach vessels.  If they fire successfully, I will be delivering them to the Ox-Bow School of Art Gallery located in Douglas, Michigan.  Did I mention that in the last three shows, I have sold all of these pieces?  Patrons and new art buyers are loving them.  This brings me joy thinking that friends are loving my new artwork.

Speaking of Joy.  My word for 2023 is going to be hope.  We need hope for our world.  I have faith in our communities to do what is right for their families.  Please read about the people running for public offices.  Form your own opinion so that you can vote intelligently.  Ignore social media and all of the noise.  Just do your homework and then go vote.  By doing that task, you will be doing the best that you can.  It’s all we can do.

Take good care, Cyndi

P.S. "Be Nice. Be Patient. Be Kind." Quote by Steve Poltz, musician.

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