‘Round Santa Fe: Tumbleweed, etc.

DSC_0931From the speeding bus along 68.

So we start fresh, boarding at 7:30 for parts north. Being in Santa Fe is one thing, but beauty north of it is incredible. I have been north to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, but not to Taos. This one deserves a blog (eventually), both for its beauty in the Pueblo, but certain politics, that made it happen and make it work today. It has been a little overcast, and some rain. Yes, there was actually rain in Santa Fe today, and the Shorty’s house rainwater was captured in a giant pail and a galvanized tub!

Remember these images are raw, and eventually will be photoshopped and corrected.

DSC_0850Most of the gang, outside Taos proper at the Shorty Home. More to come on this one.

We have been working with Pollen Shorty this week. She was kind enough to invite us to her parents, model and potter Bernadette Track and sculptor Robert Shorty, for an open pit firing. So not only did we get great beans, fried bread and cinnamon buns, cooked by Bernadette herself, but we saw recognized artists in their community, and the world as well. Her grandma is a great soul as well, and someone whose work we see her work in books. Later, when the shots are not raw.

DSC_0768This is how it’s done.

DSC_0664Taos doorway

DSC_0754Needs a little less light.

We were lucky enough to go to the Taos pueblo in between. This is another interesting turn in events. The skies went from a little cloudy to that sharp light that produces hard angular shadows. This another one to blog later.

DSC_0968The arresting image of Roxanne Swentzell’s Remote Woman.

DSC_0999Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower, both studio and gallery, is an interesting series of spaces with inteactions of light, texture and materials which enhance her work.

DSC_0063As well as the sculpture garden on the outside.

Roxanne Swentzell’s Tower Gallery was built by her and family from self-made adobe brick and adobe plaster stucco. It is on 84/285 in Pojoaque. It is an interesting structure, considering casinos down the road, and commercial buildings. The place is beautiful with it’s beautiful adobe walls and beamed ceilings. The display is contemporary and interesting. She could teach a lesson to the big boys on how to display sculpture! The cut out windows remind me of Wright. Anyone interesting in original art in New Mexico, needs to know who she is!

DSC_0231Simon Balkey at the close of the set

A long and interesting day, we wind up at the bandstand for part of one performance Simon Balkey & The Honky Tonk Crew (above) and a second terrific one by James “Slim” Hand, and a great band behind him (below). I’m not one for country, but at least if I do it, I love that traditional sound, and a great male voice to go with it.


It is always fun firing pieces, although out of 6, 2 disappeared and 1 was broken apart, but fixable. As we were using micaceous clay and going with a pit firing which led to some reduction, some of the pieces took on an odd patina. One with some smoke, I liked a lot because it didn’t get ridiculously black. This trip made me realize some of the things I love about here, and some of the things I miss about home, Florida.


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