Tag Archives: Morro Bay

Trudi Gilliam: Metal Sculpture

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Trudi Gilliam is an artist who specializes in sculptures and mixed media art. A graduate of James Madison University with a bachelors degree in Fine Art and a concentration in Sculpture, Trudi draws inspiration, for her one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted pieces, from the wild landscapes in which she travels and lives. As an avid fan of the ocean, and to get an even closer perspective of the sea and marine life, Gilliam received her scuba certification while living on St. Croix, where she has spent more than 25 years. Today Trudi shares time between St. Croix, the Central Coast of California, and her home in Montana.

Gilliam makes frequent use of mediums such as copper and sea glass, as well as other metals like brass and silver, using them to create her works of art. Birds, flowers, and nature scenes are often the subject of Gilliam’s creations. One of our favorites is of a local treasure, the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, which has recently reopened after extensive restoration.

The Piedras Blancas Lighthouse is located at Point Piedras Blancas, meaning “white rocks”. The name is inspired by the large white rocks located slightly off the point, which mariners would use as navigational landmarks. In 1875, a lighthouse was built to further take advantage of the white rocks, which glowed bright when hit with the light from the lighthouse. After 10 months of construction, the 100 foot tall lighthouse was complete.

Throughout the rest of the 1800’s and early 1900’s the lighthouse was in full use, although a handful of earthquakes began to shake the foundation of the lighthouse, and a large earthquake in 1949 forced the removal of the top 3 stories. After the top 3 stories were removed, the lighthouse stood at 70 feet tall.

Restoration is currently taking place, with goals to reconstruct the top 3 stories and return the lighthouse to its original height of 100 feet. Some of the completed restoration projects on the sight include the fog horn building, the water tower, and much painting of the original lighthouse.

In addition, the landscaping has been redone to restore it back to how it was at the time of the lighthouse’s construction. The reintroduction of native plants has also lead to the increase in native animals, such as sea otters, elephant seals, gray whales, and many species of birds.

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Morro Rock

Stretching from Morro Bay to San Luis Obispo, a string of nine volcanic plugs sacred to the Chumash and Salinan indigenous peoples of our area, separates the Los Osos and Chorro Valleys and provides incredible views of green hills and beautiful cloud formations. IrishHills_panoramoThe Morros, as the small string of peaks is called, end with Morro Rock in Morro Bay. Seven Sisters Gallery choose it’s name in honor of the seven visible peaks (known as The Seven Sisters) within this string of peaks. Morro Rock, the most sacred of these plugs and the location where countless rituals have taken place over the years, lies just outside our door and is the inspiration for our unique signature line of Morro rock jewelry.

A steadfast refuge to creatures great and small, The Rock symbolizes sanctuary, groundedness, the sense of our empowerment to overcome obstacles and the return of cherished things which might have once seemed lost.

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“El Morro” was first named by the Spanish maritime explorer, Juan Rodriguez Castillo, when he saw it in 1542. But the Chumash and Salinan had been living around the rock since long before the Spanish explorers sited it. Both Native American tribes have been known to perform rituals on Morro Rock, including one prayer ritual by the Salinan that was said to ensure the return of the Sun after it had set.

Morro Rock SS - 14K Bracelet

In 1968 the rock was designated as a State Historical Landmark and since then, climbing the rock has been off limits to the public as it is a designated Peregrine Falcon sanctuary. The majestic raptors have nested on Morro Rock for centuries, and it was at one time one of the last remaining nesting sites in California when extensive use of DDT nearly drove the Falcons to extinction. Rehabilitation efforts since the ban of DDT have been successful in increasing Peregrine population once again, and it is now common to see the fastest animal in the world flying above the bay.

https://sites.coloradocollege.edu/indigenoustraditions/sacred-lands/morro-rock-ca/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morro_Rock

Puppet Alchemy

Despite it’s simplicity, the puppet is one of the most sophisticated transformational tools we can bring to our children’s lives.

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“Puppetry isn’t simply child’s play. While American audiences may be more familiar with hyperactive Sesame Street characters and a “Disneyfied” version of Pinocchio, the puppet in societies across the world has played the role of provocateur, historian, clairvoyant,and keeper of the faith, says Kenneth Gross in a new book, Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life (University of Chicago Press, 2011). From re-enacting sacred texts in Balinese shadow puppetry to mocking authority in England’s raucous Punch and Judy shows, puppets are masters of metamorphosis and often, mirrors of ourselves.”

“That part of us that finds life in objects is an aspect of the child’s imagination and instinct that is later hidden or sometimes let go of in adulthood. It’s something children are indeed more adept at, finding life and voice in objects. Puppets awaken that part of us. They bring a part of us back to play.”

http://www.rochester.edu/pr/Review/V74N5/pdf/0304_inrev_puppets.pdf

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Puppets have been used to help children open up about subjects that are difficult to face directly, by creating a simple scenario based on the child’s experience but set in a different context. Puppet therapy can be used to help children work though issues as simple as hurt feelings over a broken toy to losses as great as those experienced around natural disasters. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4416267.stm

“Puppets are one step away from being human and so there’s distance but at the same time we can identify with them.” –Dr Jones, a child psychiatrist with the International Medical Corps (IMC)

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While children will play without our involvement, there are many ways that we can engage. Thank you to www.gogivers.org for the list of the many ways that puppets can be used to work and play with children.

Puppets can…

· Model behaviors that teachers and parents want to promote

· Bring more reticent children out of their shells, and help everyone become more expressive

· Become ‘ambassadors’ as well as friends, introducing children to new topics

· Become a confidant for younger children – they may respond directly to the puppet when they are unwilling to converse with others directly.

· Encourage children who are learning English as a second language to ‘have a go’ if they feel hesitant because they are unsure of certain pronunciations or of exactly how to express themselves

· Support children with special needs, including those with attention deficits and visual and hearing impairments

· Role play strategies for resolving conflict

· Boost self esteem and to bring a sense of unity to the classroom or group of children.

· Provide an excellent way for children to work through their fears and vocalize their feelings

· Help children to settle into a new school

· Act as powerful communication tools. Talking about their ideas helps children clarify their thinking and develops their reasoning skills

· Access a world of imagination and fun for children

This Holiday season, consider a toy that is guaranteed to carry the spirit of the season and to bring joy and wonder to young and old. Come into Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay and let us help you find the perfect puppet to add to or start your collection.

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The Art of Autism

Autism is gaining increased public attention thanks, in part, to the work of Debra Hosseini and the exhibitions she has designed to bring focus to some of the extraordinary artwork being done by artists challenged with autism and to serve as a resource to assist those artists in pursuing their artistic endeavors. We are happy to host this work at Seven Sisters Gallery in Morro Bay from May 12-April 7.

One of those artists, who will be exhibiting his pieces in the current show, is Jason Cantu. We asked Jason to say a little about one of his marvelous pen and ink drawings, “All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace a Chance.” Here’s what he had to say:

All We Are Saying Is Give Peace A Chance 11x14 by Jason Cantu - printThe original version of the picture that you see here was a pen and ink drawing; the artwork is called “All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace a Chance”, based on the 1969 John Lennon hit song of the same name. My picture is an interpretation of an acrylic painting done by Charlene Chauvaux, who was a good friend of our family. Charlene made a painting of a white dove against a blue sky, to symbolize her feelings of thankfulness that the Vietnam War had ended, and peace had finally come. When Charlene passed away recently, we inherited her painting as a gift from her family. My original interpretation of the painting was made as a birthday gift for my dad; he was having back problems at the time. I made my drawing as my way of giving him a symbol of peaceful healing, protection, and a symbol that would keep him safe.

Although this picture only took me an hour to actually draw it, the picture is actually a culmination of hours of thorough preparation, determination, and good, hard work. The degree of the different areas of darkness in my picture; is achieved by how often and/or how hard I drew the picture, in order to symbolize the feathered texture of the dove.

The areas in which the ink is the heaviest, is where the shadows fell the most heavily on the dove; the areas in which the ink is lighter, is where the sunlight shines the most brightly on the dove.

When I looked at the dove, I was visualizing a bird; frozen in flight as though it had been captured in a photograph at an exact moment in time. I drew motion lines around the bird to simulate that the bird had been moving and/or was going to keep moving even though it was on a drawing.

In all my drawings/paintings that I have made over years of practice, I have made a habit of choosing to make pictures of subjects that interest me. The painting of a dove really interested me, and I wanted to draw what I was seeing. I feel that I have a real talent for making art, and as long as there are people who are interested in what I make, I will continue to make art. I like to make art that other people find interesting; that’s why I’m an artist.

Jason Cantu will be showing his work at Seven Sisters Gallery, from April 12-May 7, as part of our new exhibit, “A Spectrum of Music-Art”, which features the art of artists on the autism spectrum. You can also find his work at SevenSistersGalleryCA.com

Seven Sisters Gallery is located at: 601 Embarcadero # 8, Morro Bay, CA
For more information Call us at: (805) 772-9955

Isha Elafi Nomadic Knotwork

“Each person has their own color scheme and stones which harmonize with their spirit…when a person picks the perfect necklace for their feeling, and coloring, the necklace changes from an inanimate piece of jewelry…It actually comes alive, and the wearer becomes radiant! ” –Isha Elafi

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Artisan, Isha Elafi, elevates the ancient art of micro-macramé to a new level. The influence of the various tribal cultures that she has visited throughout Asia and South America is easy to see. Each piece, impeccably stitched, expresses the passion and skill of a person who has spent her life trusting her intuition, perfecting her gifts and following her bliss.

A spiritual nomad, with a deep love of travel and diverse cultures, Isha began creating micro-macramé in 1978 as a means to honor her passion.

Citrine and Blue Topaz

Creating necklaces, bracelets and earrings to sell in markets from Peru to India, Isha was able to combine travel and work, and all the while encounter cultures that inspired her designs, and materials to incorporate into her art. Isha named her distinctive jewelry Nomadic Knotwork. Combining intricate patterns of hand dyed durable nylon threads, beautiful semiprecious stones and silver, and an intuitive awareness of color, pattern and texture inspired by nature and native cultures, her gifts coalesce to form incredible pieces of wearable art.

You can see more of Isha’s work at SevenSistersGalleryCa.com
or in our store in Morro Bay, California.

From a Tiny Seed…

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Seven Sisters Gallery is proud to carry the work of one of the Central Coasts finest creators of wearable art. Award winning Artisan, Susan Terese, creates off loom seed-bead weaving’s of necklaces and earrings. Susan has a passion for beading, which shows through her work and her generosity toward everyone associated with the art, including fellow beaders, lampwork artists, and all who love and wear her pieces.

Not only is bead weaving her passion, but she is also passionate about the beads themselves. All beads. From the tiny seed beads that form the framework of her pieces, to the incredible focal beads which define each creation.

I asked Susan to say a bit about that love and a bit about her process. In her own words…

“There’s glass, crystal, stone, bone, shell, horn, and many more different kinds of beads. Pretty much if it has a hole it can be used as a bead. While almost all beads are wonderful I do have a favorite. It’s none other than the lowly seed bead. These tiny guys are amazing and so fun to weave with. Seed beads are glass, and range in size, and have many different finishes: transparent, opaque, matte, luster, AB, and silver, copper, color and bronze lined.Can you imagine how they are produced? It boggles my mind. Mostly they come from Czechoslovakia (where they have been making them for 500 years or so) or since World War II, Japan. They are perfect for off loom weaving, which is what I do.

I am also very fond of American artisan lampwork beads. These are incredible one-of-kind glass beads made on a mandrel with a torch. That which starts as a thin glass rod is melted and formed into a beautiful bead. The imagination and skill of these artists is awesome. I enjoy supporting their efforts and buying their beads to use as focal pieces in my necklaces.

So this is my process. I start with a focal bead and let it speak to me. I start going through my stash to see what accent beads and seed beads I have that will compliment the focal. I think about the style of the focal…elegant, whimsical, earthy, geometric, vintage, retro, etc. Then I decide which weaving techniques to use. Then I usually go to the bead shop and spend money! And that’s the start.

Thblue1en it takes time to pick up those tiny seed beads with a needle and weave. Yup, it takes a long time. But that time is peaceful and meditative. It’s very fun to see the finished result. Most often it isn’t what I expected as the work evolves and takes on a life of its own. In a nutshell, seed beads make my world go round!”

Susan will be our guest artist February 13, 2015 during the Morro Bay Art Walk, at Seven Sisters Gallery on the Embarcadero. Come see her collection, talk with her about her work, and learn the many ways to wear her beaded Lariats. We’ll also have refreshments. Seven Sisters Gallery, 601 Embarcadero #8, in Morro Bay.

We look forward to seeing you. And we’d love to hear from you at our new Facebook page. Leave us a message, or just check in now and then to find out what’s new in about our store.

Welcome!

Welcome to the Seven Sisters Gallery of Morro Bay blog. Where we write of artists and art, stones and styles and all things artisan.

Visit us here to learn about our artists, our newest pieces, and how to care for them. Read about our monthly Art Walk, the history of stones, and the many wonderful happenings around our lovely hometown. And while you’re here, leave us a tip or two as well. We’re always learning from our customers and we welcome your input.

If you’re ever able to make it to our wonderful seaside town of Morro Bay, California stop in to our gallery and say “hello”, and check out the work of over 30 different designers and artists. Influenced by the beauty of our location on the central coast of California, Seven Sisters Gallery carries beautiful, and extraordinary one of a kind items of jewelry, art, and gifts, made locally as well as from around the world.

You can find us at Seven Sisters Gallery, 601 Embarcadero # 8, Morro Bay, CA  93442-2281. Call us for store hours at (805) 772-9955.

And we’re now online at www.sevensistersgalleryca.com.

Home of the Morro Rock Bracelet