Piano Man by Allen Christian

These wonderful creations by Minnesota artist Allen Christian are amazing. I can’t imagine how many pianos he had to take apart to be able to make these. Be assured, I don’t have the patience or inventory to create one of these, but I had to share Allen’s work. There will be no further taking apart of pianos for this artist. Two is enough.

View his studio through this clever video. Yes, assemblage artists are a little wacky, what can I say?

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Deconstructing a piano is no small task

Ever since I saw my fellow assemblage artist, Greg Hanson’s blog posting about finding piano parts in the metro station during his 6-month gleaning program, I was hankering to get my hands on a piano. Recently,  my friend was innocently telling me about cleaning out her house and one of the items she had to get rid of was a piano. What?!  My ears perked up and upon further discussion,  found out that she  had an organ that her housemates were willing to let go of as well. A date was set and off I went, Builder Bob in tow. We disassembled large parts there and then I further deconstructed them at home. It was not a small task. Let me tell you, there are a lot of screws in a well made piano. Now I have more than enough bits and pieces and I think I will share my bounty with some of my fellow assemblage artists.

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Bill Dean and Greg Hanson, assemblage artists at Gallery 6 PDX

My friend, Greg Hanson is showing his marvelous assemblage pieces at Gallery 6 in Portland, along with Bill Dean. The exhibit is there for the month of October and is called “Found Objects: Partners in Assemblage.” I love Greg’s work and if you are fortunate enough to live in the Portland area, go check out the show. You won’t be disappointed.

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Dyeing to Rust with Pam Nichols

I fell in love with Pam Nichols’s work when I saw her corset series as I scrolled through Pinterest boards.


Imagine my surprise at the end of my class with Lisa Pressman this spring, when “Pam” hands me her business card as we are saying good by and I see her last name. I kind of freaked out and told her how much I loved her work. Yes, I had a moment.

I stayed in touch with her hoping to connect again and when I heard that she was going to teach her method of using rust and wax (two of my favs!) at Encausticon, an encaustic conference, I jumped at the chance of asking her to teach locally, thus saving me a trip to Miami. I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. Rust and wax. I will be in heaven for three days.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe – Part Two

My new tribe of wonderful women who created lasting memories with their stories, art and friendships. So thankful that they made this first journey with me.

We saw a lot of art not only in Las Bugambilias, but in the streets, in museums and, of course, the art we made ourselves.

A few more special shots….

The motto of Las Bugambilias is that “we do not receive hosts, we receive friends.” Emilia and her family and their staff truly do make you feel as though their home is yours. Besos to all.

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Paint Oaxaca Tribe

Paint Oaxaca was as memorable for me as it was for our participants. Not only did I get to add remarkable women to my art tribe, but for some, this was a trip of a lifetime and I am so honored that I was able to offer the opportunity. And then, spending 10 days with Katie Kendrick and Judy Wise, well that was just sheer pleasure. And then there is mi amiga, Ana Elena, always a pleasure traveling with her and now she is meeting my art peeps. Just joy all around.

Judy posted twice about the trip and she has such beautiful photographs from our trip, be sure you go here to see them.

There were many parades while we were there…..

The food, well, Ana Elena and I do know how to choose good food, with an assist by Rene Cabrera in identifying Zicanda as a new must visit restaurant. And Orijen was our choice for a farewell dinner and Chef Rodolfo Castellanos did not disappoint. I even received a kiss on the cheek from Katie thanking me for such a wonderful dining experience halfway through the meal.

We visited different artisans, sites and museums…

More in a separate post. Too much to share in one and I haven’t even gotten to the art yet.

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The Time Keeper

This summer I scored a vintage sewing machine from this very nice woman on Mercer Island. She was very excited to tell me that it still worked and I told her how my grandmother was a home economics teacher and had taught me how to sew at a very early age. I didn’t have the heart to tell her what I was really going to do with it. This piece is made with one of the fabulous drawers from the machine. The mannequin hand was one of my birthday gifts last year from my family.

The Time Keeper Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

The Time Keeper Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

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Katie Kendrick in her element

Since last October, when I attended a workshop in San Miguel de Allende, I have worked with Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick in offering artist workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico City, San Miguel and Costa Rica. Can you stand it?! Two of my favorite artists and I am organizing workshops for them. Who would have thunk it? I hadn’t even dreamed it so you can imagine how blessed I feel that they are trusting me to organize these trips for them.

Not only do I get to spend time with them, but I get to spread the word at how incredible both of these artists are. They are warm, generous, interesting women and I am learning not only about art, but also gardening, canning, making tinctures, and eating organic. Judy and Katie, along with their husbands, have great gardens that offer bounty not only for themselves, but for food banks and some of the worker bees who help them.

I went to Katie’s to drop off some of the supplies for our upcoming workshop in Oaxaca. While there, I got to walk the loop along the river and fields where Katie gets a lot of her inspiration. Yes, I saw the Mother tree and swimming hole and marveled at the many beaver homes along the short distance we walked and the telltale signs of their visits along the riverbanks.

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Katie in front of her beloved river with her two companions, Sophie and Daisy.

Katie picked a few supplies for me from her garden while I was there. What a treat.

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Katie Kendrick in her garden

Katie is definitely in her element when she is one with nature. If there was one word I would use to describe Katie, it is organic. This includes her artwork. She readily admits that she is not a realistic painter, instead her pieces evolve as she intuits their many layers.

I can’t wait to see what she paints in Paint Oaxaca next week. There are two more opportunities to paint with Katie, in Costa Rica where she will be teaching with Cat Bennett in February, and Mexico City with Judy in March.

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More waxy goodness from Encausticamp

It’s been a whirlwind since I returned from Encausticamp 2014. It was great catching up with friends that I made from last year, and creating new friendships. There was laughter, drinking wine in the evenings, some crazy antics with bottle openings and dancing to “Oh Mickey.” Beautiful creations were everywhere and Seattle was wax bombed by small pieces that we made while in camp.

Here are a few of my creations from the week.

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Encaustic Shoe Assemblage by Kathie Vezzani

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Mother of the Universe published in Somerset Studio

I am thrilled that my illuminated manuscript Mother of the Universe that I made in Andrea Matus deMeng’s class at Art is You (AIY) Petaluma last year, has been published in the fall issue of Somerset Studio. What’s even more fun is that Andrea is the featured artist and one of her magnificent pieces graces the cover. I adore her and her projects so I am honored to be sharing this issue with her. She’s traveling in Australia so she hasn’t seen the article. She and her husband, Michael deMeng are teaching at the first AIY in Australia and I am enjoying re-living my travels through their pictures on Facebook.  Of course, they are seeing this beautiful country with artists eyes, and I was there just out of college accompanying my husband as he traveled for Alcoa. It was my college graduation hoorah. I loved our time there and it will always hold a special place in my bank of memories and the friends that we made are still friends, thirty years later.

I adored this project and made two. The second, the Good Mother has been selected as a featured Spotlight in the Winter 2014 Issue of Somerset Studio Gallery which will hit newsstands Dec. 1.  

www.kathievezzani.com; book art; assemblage

Mother of the Universe by Kathie Vezzani

Somerset Studio

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