Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Apatchablue Home

The first home my wife, JoAnn and I designed together and had built was in Wenatchee, Washington, high in the foothills overlooking the Columbia River as it made it's way past town.  A prominent rock formation called Saddle Rock, located immediately behind us, was a landmark seen from all over the valley.

We had just been married and it was an exciting time for us as we became thoroughly involved in the home building process, collecting materials and making decisions.  Much of our shopping was done in the Seattle area,Spokane and Portland, Oregon.  As the basic construction was progressing, we were locating unique item in these shopping markets and hauling our finds home to store in our little rented house until needed on the construction site.

We found a beautiful irregular cut floor tile in Seattle that had blues and greens in various hues,  mixed in a high glazed surface.  This is how it looked on our bathroom floor.

We found and ordered a truck load of flat blue cement tile for our roof.  When the builder was ready the tile arrived and was unloaded on to the roof.  It gave a finished look and provided a lasting surface.

A substantial change in elevation occurred at the back of the pad which required an eight foot high retaining  wall.  The builder cast a cement wall in place, giving it a pleated pattern to provide strength.  He exposed the aggregate on one surface and left the apposing surface smooth with several recessed
grooves.  The notches this wall design created were ideal spots for planting dwarf fruit trees.

In this scene several features can be seen in addition to the fact that it snows a lot in Wenatchee.  The exterior of the home was covered with vertical fir siding as were many of the interior walls.  Secondly, a cupola had been designed to snuggle into the roof over the second story bunk house, so named because it had extra beds for visitors.  The cupola had padded seats all around for comfortable viewing from this highest vantage point.  Several large pillows were available if one wished to stretch out and relax.

This house wasn't designed for the mobility challenged individual because of its many floor levels.

 Starting in the sunken living room ...

it is several step up into the music area.

Two more steps up reaches the ground floor.  From there a curved staircase leads to a balcony and entrance to the bunk house.              

To enter the cupola it is necessary to scamper up a padded ladder and you are at the top of the house.

Did you notice that deep blue rug in the living room and music area?  On the way up the curved             staircase, a close look is provided of our art collection, hung on the tall sloping wall.

There were many special features in our home such as this carved door at our front entry.  A local artist had a business established in town, producing a variety of patterns that were mechanically carved in the door. The leaded glass window on the far right of the door is shown in detail below.  It is a wisteria pattern and is located in the corner of the master bath.

The bank of clear story windows across the front of the living room and music area gives a tremendous view of the Columbia River.  The fog along the river as shown below, gives the sensation of floating in the clouds.  We decided to give this special home and studio a name and chose "Apatchablue."  I guess it is't too difficult to identify the rational for that choice.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Little Red Pot

I have been making smaller vessels primarily because of limited shop space in our down-sized new home and my physical limitations won't allow wrestling the six foot plus, 150 to 300  pound vessels around as was my former creative style.  I have also started a new line of vessels that use cast-off containers for the internal cavity.  This method which I have dubbed, Empty/Promises or E/P for short has been explained in previous posts and in detail in the last section of my book, "Unique Vessels: How Do You Make These Things?  It can be accessed on my web page at Apatchablue. com.

This post is focused on one of these E/P vessels, just completed this past week.  The Empty container used is an olive jar as shown here.

 The exterior shape of the jar was modified with the addition of Styrofoam rings.  I chose a unique wood I had in my collection that had a smooth gray bark and a natural red colored wood.  I'm not sure what type of tree these limbs came from, but by asking around and showing the leaf and seed structure to the experts their diagnosis was a unique Eucalyptus tree.

When all parts came together and an oil/wax finish was applied the results are as shown below.