Winter Newsletter 2024

Sagenite Garden – 14.25”x 13.25”, 2024  (In process)
Lepidolite, stalactitic quartz, marble, amethyst crystals, sagenitic fluorite

In The Studio

Last month when Stu and I were driving back to Denver from the American Mining & Exploration Association meeting in Sparks, Nevada, we came through the Carlin tunnel.  Looking on the north side of I-80, Stu said, “Wow, those are cool!”  “What?” I thought, somewhat confused.  Although I have literally driven that route thousands of times, I had never seen the striking Carlin Hoodoos before.  Sure, I had noticed them out of the corner of my eye, but I had never really “seen” them. And they are pretty cool! Towering hundreds of feet in the air, the conglomeritic towers are reminiscent of erosional structures we often see when we hike in Utah. Stu has a keen eye for rocks despite being an engineer. 😉

But driving past them day after day, week after week, as I did during my fieldwork days in Nevada, I was undoubtedly on autopilot, consumed with thinking about the work I was going to be doing that day and not even vaguely considering the scenery.  But last month on that long drive, I was in vacation mode, not work mode, and the world looked different. Nevada has always been my happy place and there were so many places I wanted to show Stu, but the Hoodoos were not one of them. What else have I missed??

The Carlin Hoodoos

In Gretchen Rubin’s book, “Life in Five Senses,” she talks about how deliberately paying attention to each of your senses at various times can shut down living on autopilot. There is a difference between looking and really seeing. Gretchen offers some suggestions on how to see more of your surroundings to help you live a more engaged life. It is a challenge because our modus operandi is to follow routines and live day to day in somewhat of a blur.

In my quest to go through my inventory and create more meaningful work, I have been using these strategies to look at my materials through new eyes.  Noticing how a chalcopyrite slab was both dull in one view and metallic in another was the inspiration for Striking Fire, Worlds Apart. At first, when I looked at it lying on a tall table at an acute angle, I thought it was a dark yellow-green; but when I stood on a stool, looking straight down, I saw how the interplay with light made it a shimmery golden yellow. … which was a perfect complement to the gold border and barite crystals with pyrite.

Striking Fire, Worlds Apart – 14.25” x 18.75”x 3.0”, 2023
Chalcopyrite, marble, gabbro; barite with pyrite crystals; $3,100

It is easy for me to love my materials so much that they become almost untouchable.  Several years ago I obtained some unusual stalactitic quartz beads and I marveled at their formation.  They were too special for this design and certainly above using in that piece…  But when I took them off their strings I saw that they were irregular and more rustic than I had noticed before.  Plus, laying them side by side without the bead spacers made them lose their exceptional appeal.  They needed a partner to bring out their glory and I found it by interspersing them with purple grape agates. 

Sometimes I start working on a design idea and think, “I don’t have the right color for that.”  I have samples of the hundreds of stone slabs in stock laid out on the studio counters, but it isn’t enough.  Rocks vary so much that when I am considering a certain slab type I have to physically pull out entire boxes and look at every single piece.  It can be hard work!  Recently when working on Beyond Revisited, I had the counters, tables, and even chairs strewn with dozens of potential candidates.  And then I started looking at them more closely.  The usually tan Rojo Alicante had pink and off-white sections that cast it in another light, unexpectedly complimenting the pink in the Autumn jasper which I had not seen before.  Several pieces of Rain Forest marble had some surprising dark blue sections with yellow undertones that pulled the design together.  In addition, I realized quite a few rejected slabs had some colors that could work in ways I had not thought of before.  “Red” onyx graded to maroon in several pieces and Irish “green” marble had a lot of unique grey-speckled pieces.  It was extremely enjoyable to see these materials with new eyes!

Mosaic for Beyond Revisited (in process)
Azurite concretions, quartz drusy, gypsum rosettes, chalcedony concretions, botryoidal calcite

Beyond Revisited – 18.50”x 26” 2024  (In process)
Marble, limestone, dumortiorite quartzite, magnesite, slate, jasper

In The Field

Driving through Colorado to western Nevada can be an iffy proposition in December.  Our well-laid plans got disrupted by a snowstorm virtually closing I-80 on the Wyoming – Utah border, so we left a half day early and went a more southerly route.  Interstate 50 is known as “The Loneliest Highway,” and although that is an apt name, it is not at all a bad thing.  The peace you feel seeing nothing but basins and ranges spread out in front of you, and nary a car in sight, is wonderful.  We even had a little extra time and stopped at the Hickison Petroglyphs Recreation Area near Austin and did a little hiking.


1. Hickison Petroglyphs Rec Area                                 2. View above Hickison

In The Gallery


 The Tucson show is almost upon us!! We are finishing the last of the new artwork and loading the trailer.  We have 13 new pieces since we exhibited in Tucson last year, and will be bringing over 45 artworks, including a new stone geologic map of Vermont!

The show will again be at a collector’s home from February 1st – February 4th.  Artwork will be available for viewing and purchase from 10 am to 6 pm, and there will be an evening reception with food and drink on Friday the 2nd from 5 pm to 8 pm. It will be a bash off the Richter scale!!

Because of the planning required for a catered reception, I would love to know how many of you will be able to attend. If you haven’t let me know already, just reply with a Y.  Also, please email me if you want to see a list of our work in stock before the event.

Private Trunk Show
7501 N. Ellison Dr.
February 1st – February 4th
Reception: Friday Feb 2nd, 5 pm to 8 pm
Show: Thursday Feb 1st, 10 am – 6 pm
Friday, Feb 2nd, 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday, Feb 3rd, 10 am – 6 pm
Sunday, Feb 4th, 10 am – 2 pm

Vermont Geologic Map – 41.375” x 25.75” x 2”, 2023
Slabs: Granite, marble, slate, travertine, serpentinite, rhodonite, biotite gneiss, sodalite syenite
Specimens: Jasper, grossular garnet on diopside, epidote, vesuvianite, microline feldspar with quartz and muscovite, pyrite on phyllite, concretions, chalcopyrite, quartz, muscovite mica schist w/ almandine, talc, magnetite in chlorite schist, pyrite, calcite over dolomite on calcite, chesire quartzite, blue quartz, drusy quartz on serpentinite, drusy quartz on chrysoprase

All the best,

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