Friday, October 17, 2014

A tiny steel sculpture

Just a quick share; tiny sculpture (for me) made for at thank-you gift.  7" tall made from steel with an antique crystal that I purchased in Italy from an antique chandelier supplier : )  
Pretty cute; I hope the recipient likes it  : )

Amber 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A lovely Fall Road-Trip to Challis

Last week, we made the drive to Challis. Although it was for a family funeral, we made the best of it & took some time to do a bit of sight-seeing.  The weather was perfect; as beautiful as the fall colors.
 

We took my parent's camper & stayed 2 nights: I haven't "camped" like that since I was a kid...
Both J. & I were surprised how much we enjoyed it, & agreed to do much more "glamping" in the future!  Thanks for the inspiration, Mary Jane ; )  There might even be a camper makeover coming soon...
 
 Our campsite at Challis HotSprings; right next to the river, with amazing views & a friendly welcome.  We enjoyed a soak in the pools after dark & explored the place the next day.

If you are in the area, I would highly recommend a stop here; the campsites were lovely with power & water.  There are the pools for soaking & showers on the grounds as well.  If you are not into "Glamping", they offer a full bed & breakfast service with lovely accommodations at the main house.

It's beyond gorgeous there--we had a great time watching the sunset by our fire, and waking up to the sound of the river was magical. 

Another stop we made along the way was Bayhorse; an old abandoned mining site.  It was built in the late 1800s and once had a population of 300.  Lots of the structures are still standing & there are many walking paths to see everything.

The old mill building is huge & was built on a steep hillside; amazing what they were able to build back then! 

There are quite a few stone structures on the site as well.

From the main town-site, there is a short trail up the creek; we made the walk & saw a deer that was hiding in the bushes to the left; we scared her & she hopped away upstream : )

At the end of the path, are these stone structures; they were actually charcoal kilns made from native stone.  Although they are fenced off now, I remember playing here as a child; it was a bit surreal to be back in the place that I grew up.  It's probably been 10 years since I have been in the area: I'm so glad we took some time to see a few of the sights--we already have plans to come back next summer with camper & 4-wheelers for some awesome hicks in the sticks fun!

On the way back, we made a quick stop at the SunBeam dam & the hot springs just up the road; we didn't have time to really explore,  but would like to come back & do the Yankee Fork loop next year.  I remember driving the loop many times as a kid; & look forward to seeing it again; more ghost towns, an old mining dredge, beautiful country & good company; what more could I ask for?  
 
It was a great trip & we are looking forward to more; next time we might have to take the Skwishy Cat with us, hehehehe.  Or maybe build a small chicken coup on the back of the camper for 3 small chickens, hmmmm.....Glamping with chickens I think would be marvelous!
 
Amber



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Idaho Power Trophies

Trophies of the week: made for Idaho Power for their company picnic : )
 Fun & funky: made from all salvaged Idaho Power parts (mostly)..glass insulators, cable, lots of pieces & parts & leather meter-holders at the top; with the 1, 2, 3  being stickers found on power-poles : )
 
I hope they like them : )  I had a ton of fun making them---so fun to play with lots of random pieces & parts!

-Amber-

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Turkeys : on the way to freezer-camp

The turkeys have an appointment this week...   Along with the extra Roo's that have been in jail for the last 2 weeks....   The Turks have been really fun to have around; they are sweet & curious & hilarious; all at the same time : )

 They are convinced that they are ducks: since we raised them with the boy-duckies this spring.
They like the sprinkler, the irrigation ditch, & the duck-pool--I think because they like to hang out with the boy ducky that was raised with them...so cute!

We ended up with 4 male turkeys: they are the broad-breasted bronze; the biggest of the big turkeys; bred to put on lot of weight in a short amount of time.  I would never get this breed again: they are cute, but it's obvious that they can't handle their own weight. They struggle to walk; one can barely get around--I think this sort of breeding for turkeys & meat chickens is cruel: I will never raise this breed again. I feel that it's doing them a favor to put them in the freezer: & that is not what I want...

 We are hoping to find some heritage breeds to keep next year: a breeding pair that can stay with us---we can sell the eggs/and/or poults  in the spring.  But we do not want to see another set of birds suffer: if these turkeys were not obviously suffering we would keep them around, but  they can hardly walk---even though it's hard to admit: I think they need to go: I think it is the right thing to do---they are just going to get worse....

 I know that they had a very good Turkey life, but it's still hard: they have been a part of our everyday urban farm life & I'm sorry to see then go...I have hated to see them suffer & will never choose that breed again.   Turkeys or chickens that have been bred for nothing than meat production: it's  cruel,  & I  do not wish to be a part of it any more.

 Amber 


Friday, September 12, 2014

Boise's World Trade Center Memorial

Today, we finished up the Boise World Trade Center Memorial; a project that was started over 2 years ago.  There were some last minute changes, things that went wrong, & a lot of hours of hand drilling stainless steel, but it is finished...and I'm so grateful.
I was so honored to be a part of this project: I was invited to join a design team by Jensen Belts to submit a concept for this project over 2 years ago...our design was selected from a group of other firms who applied for the contract.
We had more than a few late nights this week, but it was worth it to see this project completed on 9/11.
As we were working today, we had more than a few visitors stop by the park to see the progress & share their memories of that day 13 years ago.   From the beginning, this project was a bit surreal; but today was humbling--we met some that personally knew those listed on the First Responders' names wall.  Some brought flowers in silence & some wanted to share their personal experience of that day.

 Our wall lists over 400 first responders: 343 Fire Fighters, as well as EMTs, Police, and others who gave their lives in hopes of helping others.

I am grateful to have been part of this project: one of the most significant in my career as an artist.

The Memorial is located off Shoreline Drive in downtown Boise; near Shoreline & Americana Blvd.  in River Side Park.  The sculptural element is an actual piece of structural steel beam from the WTC Ground Zero.  It is displayed in a series of stainless steel rings; at eye level, with recycled concrete paths leading up to it for close viewing.  There is also a steel wall with over 400 of the First Responders listed in polished stainless steel.

Thanks so much to everyone involved; those who dedicated funds, labor, or services to see this project in place: we could not have done it without you!  


Thursday, July 3, 2014

StarCraft WSC America 2014 Trophy

Another build share; this one for the StarCraft World Champion Series American finals; the tournament will be happening this weekend; July 5th & 6th in California.
This trophy was made of aluminum, steel, printed acrylic & has LED lighted accents.
It stands about 17 inches tall & features imagery from the game.
 I love the fact that it glows; it plugs into the wall for permanent display for the winner: I want to make one for our own personal game room--too cool!  
We did a little spotlight in the bottom, with 2 smaller ones on the plaque; they illuminate the main plaque perfectly!   I am really liking the contrast of the perforated steel & the rainbow colored steel accents; it was a bit of a departure from the original vision, but I'm glad we went with it : )
The polished aluminum pics up the light nicely; it's a great contrast to the steel & acrylic.
 Another great build for the books; thanks to the whole team; Ray at Rogue Design Syndicate, David Ultis for the wiring, Josh Klinsky for the CAD files & design details, Mark Olson--thanks for the amazing aluminum welding skills, & The Sign Center for printing/cutting on a tight timeline!  I couldn't do it without all the help!
I can't believe that my R & D these days consists of playing games; yes--been making my way through StarCraft 2 for inspiration for the next one---I'm not very good, but it's sure fun!
 
Happy 4th!
 
Tune into Twich TV WCS America Chanel this weekend to watch the live feed; the top 8 will battle it out for the trophy & cash prizes : )  

Amber

Monday, June 16, 2014

StarCraft Trophy for Red Bull E-Sports

Just wanted to share; the latest trophy shipped off today to Santa Monica for Red Bull E-Sports; 
a  20" tall steel, aluminum, & acrylic trophy for a StarCraft tournament : )
It has LED lighting; flashing lights at the base, with glowing lights to illuminate the Red Bull plaque, as well as the lower portion of the "fins."   I think it will look really perfect for a tournament; as the lights are always low for gameplay : )

I'm so loving the lights!  Thanks so much to David Ultis for helping us out with the wiring!  He is also the genius behind lighting the Major League Hacking trophy, as well as the first StarCraft trophy we made last year : )  So much fun!  I'm loving coming up with crazy, over the top concepts for these awards--and they are so much fun to build!

More to come : )

Amber


Sunday, June 8, 2014

Eagle Sculpture Invitational; new "WonderLand" sculpture installed

Just a quick update : )
"WonderLand" a 10' tall steel sculpture was installed in downtown Eagle yesterday as part of the Eagle Sculpture Invitational.
In all honesty; we finished this up at the very last minute--things have been so crazy busy that it got pushed to the back burner.  So, it was a late night to get it done & installed early in the morning on Saturday, but we did it!
This design was inspired by the Caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland; I wanted to create a set of whimsical, industrial wings: maybe what his butterfly wings would look like in my Wonderland : )
I'm loving they way the wing tips came out; I polished the aluminum pieces, then painted them with transparent auto paint in rainbow colors: pretty out there for me, but I'm loving the pop of color.

You can see "WonderLand" in person in Heritage Park; it will be on display for 1 year, along with 12 other large scale sculptures.  I do have another oldy-but-goody right across the street too; so if you happen to be in Eagle, check out all the sculptures.  You can get a map/directions to all location at the Gallery at Finer Frames (also right across the street ;)  
-Amber-

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Trophies, fountains, & chickens

What a week this has been; long days & lots of work....
We shipped trophies out to California today for a motorcycle race; honestly--we barely got them done in time; I was considering buying a plane ticket to get them down there tomorrow!  But, they were done with only 15 minutes to spare at FedEx; thank goodness they were willing to pack them up in a hurry for us : )
 
They looked really good when done; the 1st place is 24" tall, & the sprocket pieces on the top spin on all of them : )  Pretty cool; I hope they like them!

We spent the early part of the week out in Nampa working on a fountain that will be installed next week; I'll get some pics then; it is going to be gorgeous!

In the chicken/duck/turkey department; everyone is growing like weeds--they are all free-ranging now & loving it : ) 
The teen-age chicks in the rain; poor Polish look pretty pathetic, lol : )
 

The 2 mama chickens & 14 babies; they are out & about all day; so cute to see the tiny chicks running around!  We are going to have a surplus of chickies this year though; there are 2 more hens sitting on clutches right now!  Omg; the cuteness is more than I can handle...

Hoping to spend some time in the garden this weekend; tomorrow I have more trophies to get out the door & a few proposals to finish up; no rest for the wicked!

-Amber-

Monday, April 21, 2014

Custom Metal Trophy for CAT

Just finished this one up today; it was commissioned by Peterson CAT/International--a perpetual trophy that will be passed around northwest dealerships : )


Over 22 inches tall, made of steel & polished aluminum, with wood accents.  The winners will get plaques that will go on the wood base.


I hope they like it: they gave me an idea & we just ran with it: got a bit carried away (as usual).  It's definitely unique ; )

This is the back; I love how the cutout patterns look...& the color of the wood : )

This will ship tomorrow for their big event early in May: I'm anxious to hear what they think of it; I just sent pics to them...hope they don't tell me to start over, lol ; )

Things are as busy as ever; we have tons of contracts lined up for this summer, I just committed to making a new large-scale sculpture for an invitational competition in Eagle, and tomorrow we are visiting a local CSA-Peaceful Belly to chat about a custom sign.   Not to mention some new additions to the landmarks at Kleiner Park, a custom fountain we are building right now, & finishing up the WTC Memorial at Riverside Park.   Plus, the new chicks, ducks, & turkeys...and tonight I discovered not one, but two more broody hens sitting on piles of eggs!

Happy Spring!

-Amber-


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Updates--I am a bad blogger....

Well, once again: I can't believe how long it's been since I posted...but I've been busy.
In early March, I couldn't resist making the trip to the hatchery out in Caldwell--it was the 2nd week of the hatch & they were already sold out of the duckies we wanted & turkeys, but  they still had lots of bantam chicks---we looked through the book & ended up bringing home 12!  2 of each variety--some Seabrights, Blue laced Red Wynodettes, a pair of polish, & I cant even remember the rest!  We also put in an order for 3 blue Sweedish ducks to add to the flock of Blacks, & 4 Bronze turkeys: to be picked up in 2 weeks.



Of course, 2 days after we brought home the new chicks, 2 of my little hens decided that they wanted to hatch out their own eggs---Grey chicken & one of the black hens stuffed themselves into one nesting box on a pile of eggs...


A couple weeks later, I brought the new ducks & turkeys home...
omg; is there anything more adorable than baby ducks??


The weather warmed up & the new ducks, turkeys & chickens got a new outside run to play in during the day...


Another week gone by & they are growing like weeds!  Especially the ducks; it's amazing how fast they grow!  They are bigger now than the turkeys and chickens that are 2 weeks older : )

And then yesterday...
I found these to cuties under the 2 broody hens...



This morning:
4 more little puffballs....  The count this evening was 7, with 2 more hatching out: and still at least 10 eggs; we'll see how many hatch out....


We wanted to add some new color to the chicken flock, but this is getting a bit ridiculous...although half of them could be roos.    At the moment, we have about 8 laying hens; all banty (half sized).  We use all the eggs they make & have no extra, so doubling the flock would be fine--I would love to be able to give some away, pickle, & maybe even sell a few...so hopefully it will all work out : )

For the duckies, we have 5 hens at the moment & got 3 babies: hoping for 1 boy so we can hatch a few in the next year or so: ducks don't start laying for a full year, so we will see.  The 5 tuxedo hens would love to have a grey suit boy ducky to chase...  And maybe we would have some little mixed duckies next year : )

Plus the huge heirloom garden we are putting in, & trophy orders that won't quit; it's been a busy spring!  It's all good, though---happily, we are negotiating buying out the property plus the rental house in front!   This was all in the plan, but happening much sooner than I thought was possible : )  But work is so busy & we have contracts lined up for months, with no slowdown in inquiries, so timing is perfect!  I'm so excited about it; this place really is pretty perfect for what we do.

Happy Spring!

Amber



Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Public Art Sculpture Installed tonight in Downtown Boise!

Last summer (when it was still warm, lol), I was asked to submit a proposal for a piece of public art to be a part of a new development in downtown Boise.  Hawkins Co. asked me to come up with something using some of the artifacts that were dug from the site; including old railroad tracks, horseshoes, gears, & misc steel pieces & parts.  Well,,,I came up with 3 designs (small to large) & they chose the middle-sized concept---I was hoping for the bigger one, but still thrilled: I knew this concept would be a good fit for the space : )  We installed the finished piece this evening....pretty cool for about 6 months from start to finish...
The finished piece was over 5000 lbs, 26 feet tall.  I used the railroad tracks as the main structure of the sculpture; cutting & welding them into this giant cup design.
This is part of the original proposal & concept design; we moved the center up a bit for structural integrity, as well increasing the footprint of the base : )

pretty close!

I will admit; I was a bit nervous to tip the whole thing over onto it's side for transport to downtown: but it went really well; we had a bit of stress on some of the longer tracks; the sculpture wanted to turn & rest on the long pieces when on it's side---I was really nervous about the weight pressing down; afraid it might buckle the panels in between the tracks.  But: everything held just fine; no issues & we added supports for transport, just encase.
After the piece was rested on it's side, supporting all the weight; I knew there was nothing to worry about; was biting my nails when they were letting it down, though!

And up it goes to get placed on the trailer; for the ride from Nampa to Boise...

lifting it off the trailer; a site in downtown!

Up & over the buildings: it loos so small up there, lol : )

But, it's not so small...

A little help to guide it into place over the bolts embedded in concrete; it dropped into place on the very first try: thanks to pre-planning & a good bolt/template system : )
A few finishing details had to be welded in place...

We finished within 2 hours of arriving on site; it was dark by the time we were adding the final details...
 I'm really happy with how this one turned out & super exited to have a large scale piece in downtown Boise.  We may be adding lights this summer; maybe solar powered...it would really enhance the look at night; hoping we can make it happen!  

Large scale projects like this are really fun & scary & thrilling & intimidating & crazy, all wrapped into one project.  I'm really grateful to have a team of people who are willing to step in & help make things happen; I couldn't do it without them : )  Honestly; I am good at coming up with concepts, but need help to bring the vision into reality...  I love the large scale of these projects, but I can't do it alone---thankfully, I have an amazing engineer, drafter, fabricators, & crane experts that help me make these crazy ideas live in reality : )
It was a long day; running from 6am until well after dark to make it happen, but well worth it.  Seeing the finished project in place is the best part : )  Check it out if you are in Boise; the corner of 6th & Front Street.  

-Amber-