Sunday, July 24, 2016

I Don't Want to Leave This Place (Santa Fe)

Saturday,  several of us went to the Shidoni Foundry, Galleries and Sculpture Garden in Tesuque, NM.  We were early for the 12 o'clock bronze pouring ($10.00), so we went to the Glenn Green Galleries and the Tesuque Glassworks that are on the same grounds.

We were able to see a gentlemen blowing glass while at the Tesuque Glassworks.  The glassworks had a display of beautiful perfume bottles, bowls, glassware.  

There was a gentleman that was carving wax.  A rubber mold will be made from this.  The wax piece is then placed in a wooden form and completely covered with a soft plaster.    Then the mold is left to dry.  It takes 15-25 days depending on the piece.  This time allows the piece to cool slowly and evenly.  After the cooling process is complete, the plaster is removed from around the piece.  The last step is to polish the piece using sanding blocks that have been impregnated with diamond chips.

Kevin and I (a fellow WIN) walked down to the foundry, paid or fee but found we still had some time so we walked around the Shidoni gallery and sculpture garden admiring the beautiful pieces

I was thirsty so we headed to the Tesuque Village Market and Restaurant for refreshments.   Karen and Dan (fellow WINS) joined us.  The restaurant was pricey but had a great atmosphere

Would you believe we still was early for the pouring so Kevin and I drove around the neighborhood.  We happened upon the All Creatures Memorial Park.  We had no idea what it was but I stopped anyway.

You guessed it.  It was a pet cemetery.

I had to take a picture of this sign

We had killed enough time so we headed back to the foundry.  We only had to wait a short time before the doors of the foundry opened.  This was a self guided tour.  $5.00 for the tour and $5.00 for the pouring.  The foundry specializes in Enlargement, Mold Making, Lost Wax Casting, Fabrication and Patina.  The 14,000 square foot facility allows them to pour approximately 9,000 pounds of bronze per month, with a single pour capacity of 1,010 pounds.  The gallery opened in 1973 making it the oldest gallery in the Santa Fe area under the same ownership. 
I lost my head

Rubber mold

The Lost Wax Bronze Casting Process at the Shidoni Foundry takes several weeks from start to finish.  The artist makes an original sculpture in wax or clay. Then a rubber mold is made which captures every detail of the original work. The molds are then used to form wax figures.  Molten wax is poured into the rubber mold making a perfect copy.  Wax rods (gates) are attached to the wax pattern to allow even flow of molten metal and alleviate the trapping of air and gas.  
This process is called Spruing.  

The wax is then coated with an "investment", which is a liquid refractory ceramic .  As many as 20 layers are applied over several days.  Now coated in a ceramic shell, the piece is fired in a kiln.  This bakes the shell and eliminates the wax, leaving a cavity in it's place, thus the term 'Lost Wax'.

The pour was fascinating.  I felt so sorry for the artist in their  fire proof suits.  The gentleman getting the bronze hot enough for the pour had to be mist  with air and water from time to time
Checking temperature of melting bronze

This is a chart of melting temperatures

Now this is were we came in....the Casting (pour).  
The ceramic shell is removed from the kiln and molten bronze is immediately poured  at a temperature of 2100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Kiln was lowered so the piece could be removed

What we did not see is that after cooling for several hours, the ceramic shell is carefully broken away revealing the bronze sculpture.

After the pouring , I went back to get Jean.  We needed to do laundry but first we headed to the Artist Market.  We got waylaid when we arrived because of the music.  The Railyard Performance Center was having a Dundun Dance class from Guinea, West Africa.   We were invited in to watch.   I was told that this class was a fusion of West African drumming and dancing.  If you wanted to drum, they would provide the Dundun and sticks for $20.  I did not find out how much the class was.  If I had gotten there earlier, I would have loved to have tried the dance.

We finally made it to the artisan market but it was closing.  We had to go through it quickly. I got a lot of ideas but did not have time to really look to buy anything.  The tree lined area of the market was beautiful.

That night, a group of us went to a block party that was not exactly a party but we got yogurt and listened to a Midsummer Concert performed by the Santa Fe Concert Band. The band is celebrating 150 years of free public concerts and all of the musicians are volunteers.  The band performs throughout the year, including , national holidays, dedications, public ceremonies, and afternoon concerts.  

I felt so sorry for the musicians because the wind was gusting.  They were using clothes pins and their elbows to hold down the music sheets and their feet to hold down the music stands while not missing a beat.
Rain cut the concert short

Today Monday, a few of us went out to breakfast since we are leaving to head to Colorado tomorrow to join up with the Rocky Mountain High WIN group.

Deannie found this vegan cafe that she wanted to try.  Love Yourself Cafe is part of the Light Vessel Santa Fe Spa.  Off we went to brunch.

How many cafes have you been to with comfy pillows to lean back on.  I thought..the food must be good.

Kevin, me, Jean and Deannie

We all agreed that the pancakes sounded delicious

We were not wrong

Breakfast over, Jean and I headed to JoAnne's Fabric and crafts with our coupons in hand to pick up last minute things.

I have to pack up, will catch up with you soon.



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Still in Santa Fe

Most of the group has decided to stay in Santa Fe until the 26th then we will join the Colorado group.

Yesterday, we went to Yarn And Coffee to say goodbye to the great ladies we knit with on Monday's since we have been here in Santa Fe.  Wednesday, we will go to the yarn store to say goodbye to the Wednesday group.  One of the ladies, Collin, does some amazing work with fabric and found objects.
 I am holding one of her pieces in the picture

Today, we went to Espanola so I could go to the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center
You can just walk in and weave a 26" x 36" rug, take classes, and shop.  Some of the classes offered is Chimayo style weaving on a Rio Grande loom, Colchis embroidery for beginners, pueblo embroidery, spinning with a Navejo spindle and dying with little local natural dyes.  It is my plan to come back next year to take some classes.  I purchased yarn to weave a rug for my bathroom.

I saw these beautiful doors in Espanola.

We headed on to Taos so that we could finish going through the shops.  

I love murals and saw this one.

Finally got my green chili cheeseburger however, it was too hot and I took most of the chili's off. 

We walked around the Taos plaza looking in the shops

This bench  was so out of place however I have found them all over this area of New M

Isn't this courtyard beautiful!!!!!

On Thursday, we went to Chimayo.  This little town is famous for its Catholic  church and the rug weaving families, Ortega and Trujillo.

The church known as, El Santuario de Chimayo, was built by a private individual in 1816.  A preservationist brought it and handed it over to the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1929.  The church has a reputation for its healing site (believers claim that dirt from a back room can heal physical and spiritual ills).  As you walk back to the dirt room, you pass hundreds of crutches hanging on the wall.  The church has become known as the "Lourdes of America."  Over 30,000 visitors come every year.  It has become the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States and is a National Historic Landmark. 

In side the church (no photos allowed) are these beautifully painted wood Reredos

You can buy a plastic bag or a container to get some of the Holy dirt.  I brought a container since it was same price as the plastic bag.  The pamphlet that comes with the container says that suggested ways to use the Holy dirt is:

1.  Bring silence to your heart and mind.
2.  Humbly acknowledge your weaknesses, mistakes, sins and illnesses.
3.  Tell God that you need him, his wisdom, his strength, his guidance,  his forgiveness, his love and healing.
4.  Share with God your wishes but also tell him to show his plan and will for you.
5.  Ask for understanding and courage to face whatever God has planned for you.
5.  Rub the holy dirt over the part of your body in need of healing while you invoke the named Jesus as your Lord and Savior.

The Holy Dirt is not to be eaten or to be drunk.

Jean and I went into a side chapel

Open air chapel

You can buy candles at gift shop to put here and say a prayer for love ones.

Loved this door 

After leaving the church, I wanted to see the weavers.  We went to Ortego weaving shop but they did not have anyone weaving

 So we headed to the Trujillo weaving shop and was in luck.  The weaving shop specializes in hand woven tapestry wool products using natural dyes, custom dyed yarns, handspun yarns, in the traditional Chimayo and Rio Grande weaving styles.
Irvin Trujillo (owner)

That is me in the corner trying my hand at weaving a Chimayo rug.

Back in Santa Fe, the Loretto Chapel stairs are a must see. 
When the chapel was built in1878, there were no way to access the choir loft 22 feet above.  Carpenters looked at the space and said that only a ladder would work because a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small chapel.

The Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters.  On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work.  Months later, the elegant circular stair was completed.  The carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks.

The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible sign of support. The staircase is built without nails, only wooden pegs and there is no visible sign of support.  The staircase appears to have been built with a single piece of wood.  The Navy set its engineers to determine how the staircase was built.  There conclusion was that they did not know.  The wood used is not even indigenous to the region.  The carpenter worked alone .
The rails were added in 1897

Today, Friday, Jean and I went to Madrid, NM, an artist community with galleries lining New Mexico State Road 14,  which is on the Turquoise Trail.  The ending of the film, Wild Hogs (2007) starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, and Martin Lawrence  was set and filmed in Madrid.

On the way to Madrid, there is art galleries and beautiful scenery .

We had lunch at The Hollar.  They have an elevated mix of American comfort foods like, shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes & burgers, amid art.

As we drove through the town, we were not sure if this was artwork in galleries or if it was peoples' homes.  

Jean took a panorama of the street

I love the mailboxes 

Our favorite shop was  Studio 18 Art in Gypsy Plaza.  The owner, Sue, was working on a jacket.  She said she was trying her hand in making clothes.  Her speciality is Art Quilts that she has painted and sculpture mobiles.  You can find her work at

Got to get some sleep so I can have more fun tomorrow.  See y'all