Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Floridays Two

It's a little after 7:00 AM and I'm sitting in the back yard in my new wooden rocking chair my wife bought me last weekend. Mackie and I like to have coffee back here before we begin our day. It's a tradition that we started years ago and found that it's that moment in time that brings us close together. We talk about the previous day, things that bother us, or just to listen to the birds. Every morning there is a chorous of countless birds of different species chirpping away. I've seen numerous kinds, but the Cardinal is the only one I recognize.

The sky is a blue like I don't ever recall seeing. It's a brilliant blue that lacks a brown haze I was used to on the west coast. It's 65 degrees at 7 AM, and the weatherman predicted a high of 75 for this afternoon.It's been a real challenge finding supplies and materials here, but Mackie and I are finally starting to figure it out and can focus on creating art.

I've got my first show in less than two weeks, and I need to get crack-a-lack-in to get things ready.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How About Some New Work!

This new guy was created from recycled steel plate, round bar, a saw blade, some copper wire, a mowing machine guard, and some special cable to make the eyes light up. He's about 18 inches tall and is mounted to a heavy 1/4 inch plate.

Being in Florida has benefits but finding recycled metals here has proven a real challenge. It never occured to me coming here over the years that there's no manufacturing base here; therefore, there's not much waste by-product. Fortunately, I've found a scrap yard about 30 miles south of here with a sympathetic owner. He likes what I'm doing and enjoys searching for objects with me.

I've updated our website with our show schedule - www.cliftonmetalworks.com (click on the show schedule link on page left). I'll be doing the shows this year while Mackie is focusing on her glass work. March 20 and 21, 2010, I'll be at the Peace River National Festival in Punta Gorda, Florida. Then I'll be hitting several other shows before I head back to the Pacific Northwest for our summer exhibits.


Crossing the bridge from Port Charlotte to Punta Gorda

So I've been away from writing for awhile, but I feel like I can get back to it with a vengeance now.

Mackie and I have been in Florida for just over two months taking a bit-of-a-break from our real world. We've bought a second home in Port Charlotte where we've been coming for about 10 years. Our plan is to live here during the winter months and head west for our annual foray into our art shows. I guess one could say that we're going to be bi-coastal.

Port Charlotte is approximately 90 miles south of Tampa on the Florida gulf coast. It's a smaller hamlet that's missing the high rises of Florida's other tourist areas. Normally, the temperatures average 75-79 this time of year, but this has been an exceptionally cold winter. I arrived on January 1st and had ice on the windshield every morning for the first week. Unfortunately, that's been the common story this year.

I've finally set up a shop here, and Mackie is starting full bore on her glass work. We're going to do three of four shows over the next four months, and then I'm going to head west to get ready for the summer shows throughout the Pacific Northwest and California - I'm excited to be building again! Our show schedule is posted on our website at www.cliftonmetalworks.com . My biggest challenge here is finding recycled metal. There's no real industrial base here, and the recession has really taken it's tole on what's left, but I've finally found a place in Fort Myers and one in Tampa to get items. Time to head to the shop!