The Art of …

… Netsuke, a small carved object made to wear with traditional Japanese kimono.

A netsuke is a small sculptural object which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. Netsuke(singular and plural) initially served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The traditional form of Japanese dress, the kimono, had no pockets. Women would tuck small personal items into their sleeves, but men suspended their tobacco pouches, pipes, purses, writing implements, and other items of daily use on a silk cord passed behind their obi (sash). These hanging objects are called sagemono. The netsuke was attached to the other end of the cord preventing the cord from slipping through the obi. A sliding bead (ojime) was strung on the cord between the netsuke and the sagemono to allow the opening and closing of the sagemono. Source – World of Netsuke.

19th Century Netsuki, artist unknown. Image from

Netsuke of Mice with Corn, Meiji period (1868-1912). Image from Carter’s Auctions.

19th Century netsuke, artist unknown. Image from Picryl Public Domain Source.

Netsuke, Autumn grasses with praying mantis.Image from Asian Antiques.


Jack’s Walk – Jack Comes Home and Marcus Makes Fine Art

That’s My Buoy. Jack is home ©voyager, all rights reserved.

As you can see above, Jack is home. We had him cremated, and he now lives above our fireplace with my other dog, Lucy. This photo is a special outing to the backyard for a final few pictures beside his favourite buoy toy, which he found and proudly carried home all by himself.
This will also be the final time I post a Jack’s Walk, and that’s been difficult to wrap my head around, but I have one last Jack story to share. That, of course, is the completion of Project Bubbapaw (Jack’s Walk) (Stderr)(Stderr), an artistic endeavour of Marcus’ to make a resin copy of Jack’s foot.

Lovely, custom made felt protectors. Such attention to detail! ©voyager, all rights reserved.

Well, about a month after Jack died, I received a package from Marcus with the resulting sculpture. And It’s an incredible work of art that has quickly become very precious to me. I apologize for taking so long to show all of you, but I wanted to keep it private for a while. Now, I’m ready to share, and so, Ta-Da, here is the polished, resin-bronze foot created by Marcus from Jack’s pawprint.

Oh My! It’s Bubba in Bronze. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

It’s very detailed, although my photos don’t really show it, but it’s remarkable. It looks just like bronzed baby shoes, only better because this is my baby’s actual footprint. Every nub, scar, crook and crevice are there, and it feels comfortably familiar when I rub my thumb across it.

Sorry about the harsh lighting, but I wanted you to see the detail. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

When we talked about making this sculpture, Marcus suggested he might use a bit of sand and sea glass, so I sent a bit of both along with the molded print that Jack and I made at home. I was a bit disappointed not to see them. Then, I opened the second envelope, and my heart stopped for a moment. Marcus had used the sand and glass to make a second pawprint in clear resin.

This is genuinely my Jack. Happily roaming at the beach. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.

This piece is even more beautiful than the first. It’s a memory capsule with Jack’s footprint in the sand from his favourite Perce beach (which I keep in a jar on my desk), along with bits of sea glass and shells that I’d found while walking with him.

Together on North Beach, Perce. Sand, shells, glass and Jack. Art by Marcus Ranum.  ©voyager, all rights reserved.

These photos don’t do it justice. I couldn’t capture the shine in the sand nor the subtle colours in the glass. I do have one photograph of it, though, that isn’t perfect, but is my favourite way to view it, and that’s through my window in the morning when I rise.

That’s my Boy. Jack is home. Art by Marcus Ranum. ©voyager, all rights reserved.



Marcus, my friend, thank you. I know you understand how precious these pieces are to me. Thine Art is Great, and so are you. Fabulous, in fact.


The Art of …

… trash, by Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo

I recently discovered an artist who is bringing attention to the problem of environmental waste and, in the process, making treasure out of trash.

Big Trash Animals’ by Artur Bordalo is a series of artworks that aim to draw attention to one of the world’s most pressing problems: Waste production. The overproduction of things like plastics and metals, a general lack of recycling and the ensuing pollution that it causes has a devastating effect on the planet, and we shouldn’t just learn to accept it as a necessary evil.

The full story, along with more photos, is at Bored Panda.

Trash Cat, by Artur Bordalo. Image from Bored Panda.

Trash Bird, by Artur Bordalo. Image from Bored Panda.

The Art of …

… glass, by Dale Chihuly

These photos were taken at the artist’s Seattle Gallery called Garden and Glass. Photos are by Mike Heller Photography. and there is much more to see from the gallery at his site. I’ve chosen a few of my favourites and they can be seen below the fold.

From the exhibit Garden and Glass by Dale Chihuly. Photo by Mike Heller.

[Read more…]

The Art of …

… sculpture, by David Govedare

About a month ago, The Art of… posted The Mustangs of Las Colinas, and a commenter by the name of Nifty sent me to look at this installation. I think it’s fabulous and wanted to make sure that as many people as possible get to see it. It is one of the most viewed art installations in Washington State, with an estimated 100 million cars passing by between 1990 and 2008. According to Wikipedia,

Although it can be seen for miles in all directions, the sculpture itself can be accessed via a rough footpath which leads from the east-bound side of the I-90 freeway near Vantage to the top of the ridge. According to the guide book Washington Curiosities, the best viewing point from a distance is Wanapum Vista on I-90 three miles east of Vantage.

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies (The Wild Horse Monument), 1986 – 1990, by David Govedare. Image from Wikipedia.

Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies (The Wild Horse Monument), 1986 – 1990, by David Govedare. Image from Wikipedia.