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…more Three Star Owl news…

Deadlines, shows, and orders have been keeping me busy in the studio the past few weeks as the pre-holiday calendar winds up to year’s end.  Not complaining!  But, I have noticed that recently this space has been more full than usual of Three Star Owl news and less full of natural history, birds, and fiction (will Professor Wayfarer ever find out what kind of accent the elusive shirker Dario is sporting?)

In keeping with this trend, here is more Three Star Owl news.  My recently completed piece, The Ossuary: an archæology of resurrection, is part of a show, Death and Rebirth, currently at the May Gallery at Maryville University.  Curated by James Ibur, Death and Rebirth showcases ceramic sculpture by more than 20 artists, including the work of Mark Messenger, Arthur Gonzalez, Adrian Arleo, Susan Bostwick, Kurt Weiser, and more.  Each piece deals with the eternally cyclical nature of mortality and lifeforce, especially resonant during this season of Día de los Muertos, All Soul’s Day, and Halloween.  If you’re in St.Louis, the show will be up until 2 December 2011.

For those of you who are not in St. Louis or are unable to visit the May Gallery, a bit more information about the Ossuary is in order.  It belongs to the same corpus of work as the earlier Owl Hives.  Here are some images (be sure to click to enlarge), and a dose of scholarly commentary thanks to a friend of Three Star Owl, Darius Danneru, PhD, who has generously squandered his ample expertise on — and occasionally even loaned his person to — my creative efforts.

<< Ossuary: an archæology of resurrection (smoke-fired stoneware, 13″, A.Shock 2011)

Notes on “Ossuary: an archæology of resurrection”

… related to these [Owl-hives] is another well-preserved unprovenanced piece from a private collection (fig. 9). With tiny strigids issuing like bees from its interior, this tripod effigy vessel/ossuary is itself owl-like, large-headed and standing on two taloned legs and a tail, shrouded in a torn, priestly cloak of feathers fastened with curiously unknotted twine. Below the cloak the body is textured with bones, above it the form is both lidless vessel and roofless, columbarium-like house with windows.

Owl about to launch (detail, “Ossuary”) >>

This mix of architectural and sepulchral imagery suggests a funerary significance, but the sarcophagal feel is leavened by a swirl of rebirth: the gravid cavity shelters the proto-owls while they await release from the depths of their bone hoard (whether the owls’ conceptual matrix or simply the remains of the last meal hardly matters), and the tomb’s roof and windows are open to allow the owls to launch like souls from the Guf and be restored, winged, to the world.”

– Text excerpted from D. Danneru, “House-Owls and Owl-Houses: do model ‘owl hives’ at Beit Bat Ya’anah offer evidence of ancient strigiculture?” Obscure Histories Quarterly, v. 42:3 (Fall 2010) p. 84.

Darius Danneru, PhD, is the Wayfarer Professor of Crypto-cultural Studies at MacCormack University, a fellow of the Szeringka Institute, a member of ICER, ESSA, and currently a visiting Professor at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

<< peeking through the windows into the heart of the Ossuary.


Posted by Allison on Nov 4th 2011 | Filed in art/clay,artefaux,effigy vessels,Events,three star owl | Comments (6)

Happy Owl Face

The Camelback Studio Tour in the Sherwood Heights neighborhood of southern Scottsdale is over until the next one (that’s March 9, 10, 11, 2012, by the way, so mark your calendars now), and I’m tired but happy.  Thanks to all who came by to visit, shop, or both.  The sale seemed to occupy the last hot days of summer — I can’t recall ever getting a sunburn at an art sale before — and now desert autumn has set in, with sudden refreshing showers, cooler temps, and pranking breezes.

<< content horned owl (detail; A.Shock 2011)

My next event is in less than three weeks: the Audubon Arizona Gifts from Nature benefit art event, Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of November.  More about that soon, when I have more details.  Hope to see you there and, the forces of clay willing, Three Star Owl will have some new work for you to take a look at.  Meanwhile, Happy Diwali!

Posted by Allison on Oct 26th 2011 | Filed in art/clay,effigy vessels,Events,owls,three star owl | Comments (0)

One more day — Camelback Studio Tour

This is the little white booth in the desert.  It’s Three Star Owl‘s show tent, currently set up in the backyard for the Camelback Studio Tour and housing an ever-decreasing number of objects.  It’s great fun to have people drop in and peruse the selection, marvel at E‘s epic number of specimen cactus and succulents, and maybe go home with a rαt-dog or a beastie mug.  And it’s fun to talk to folks, too, friends and strangers alike.  During the last couple of days, I’ve referred people to Mike Cone for cool cactus pots (mysteriously, I don’t have any for sale, currently), recommended the book “Desert Gardening for Beginners” from Native Seed Search, and talked to a man who used to work for the Pomona Tile Company in LA and who said he’d lost track of how many times he’d had lead poisoning — “you wait for the symptoms to go away and drink lots of milk” !!  (Just FYI, most contemporary potters, and certainly anyone making functional ware, don’t use lead in their glazes anymore, but lead compounds make beautiful colors.  They were used in ceramic glazes worldwide for thousands of years, and in the U.S. until the 1970s.)

Lots of pieces have found new homes, but there are still great items left.

<< Here’s one “Neither Fish Nor Fowl Tentacle Bottle”.

Also, this, a frog skeleton beastie creamer, about 4″ tall  >>

You can drop by Sunday, 10 – 5. Admission is free.  The open studios are artists’ homes in the Sherwood Heights subdivision of southern Scottsdale, between 56th Street and 60th, and Thomas and Oak.  More info here.

Also, we’ve got a 5.5 lb container of Red Vine licorice that needs desperately to be shared!

Posted by Allison on Oct 22nd 2011 | Filed in art/clay,Events,three star owl | Comments (2)

Come visit the Ossuary

Next Friday Saturday and Sunday Oct 21, 22, 23,  is the Camelback Studio Tour, and Three Star Owl will have wares available for you to peruse and perhaps purchase. Other artists’ studios nearby in the neighborhood will be open as well, with more than 20 artists offering their art for pre-holiday shopping. Support local artists and artisans and stop by: 10-5, free to enter all the studios.  Click here for details.

<< sneak peak of a piece that’s about to fly across the country

During the event, a new piece called “Ossuary, An Archæology of Resurrection (<< detail left) will be lurking in the corner, awaiting shipping to St.Louis for an upcoming show, “Death and Rebirth” at Maryville University, curated by James Ibur.  St. Louis artists Ruth Reese, Ron Fondaw, Eric Hoefer, Lili Bruer, Renee Deall, Tim Eberhardt, Mary Ann Swaine, Matt Wilt, Susan Bostwick, Jimmy Liu as well as national artists Amanda Jaffe, Chris Berti, Russell Wrankle, Kurt Weiser, Adrian Arleo, Arthur Gonzalez, Ben Ahlvers, Mark Messenger, Pete Halladay, Paula Smith, and Allison Shock will have work displayed from Nov 2, 2011  through  Friday, Dec 2, 2011.

Posted by Allison on Oct 18th 2011 | Filed in archaeology,art/clay,artefaux,close in,effigy vessels,Events,three star owl | Comments (0)

Upcoming Three Star Owl manifestations

A couple of Three Star Owl events you should know about are coming right up — these are your only two chances for pre-holiday shopping for Beastieware, Wazzoware and the like.  Both are Phoenix-area events:

The first is the Camelback Studio Tour, Fri Sat and Sun October 21 22 23, from 10am to 5pm.  My yard and tiny, cluttered studio space will be open to all, along with several other artists’ home studios in our neighborhood, pretty much within walking distance.  The work of 17 artists in a wide variety of media will be on display and for sale.  Details here, just click on the brochure or map links on the page for specifics.  As usual, come early for best selection!  Parking is a breeze, and the event is free.

In November, Audubon Arizona has revived its Gifts from Nature art/fundraiser, and I’m very excited that Three Star Owl has been invited to be part of this juried event, which features the nature-related work of Arizona artists in many media.  This year it will be on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13 at the Nina Mason Pulliam Rio Salado Audubon Center, 3131 South Central Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona.  Keep an eye on this spot for more details.  A percent of all sales go to benefit Audubon Arizona.

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Allison on Oct 8th 2011 | Filed in art/clay,Events,three star owl | Comments (2)

Are you aware of vultures?

They’re aware of you!!  It’s International Vulture Awareness Day, so look alive…

<< Turkey vulture, Cathartes aura.  (Photo A.Shock)

Please to note the Pervious Nostril! Click here for more information.

Posted by Allison on Sep 3rd 2011 | Filed in birds,close in,Events | Comments (2)

Tucson in the rearview mirror: and…

I rolled back into Phoenix from Tucson earlier today — the drive seemed nearly instantaneous and was marvelously uneventful, although I did miss the bumper crop of towering dust devils swirling in the dry creosote flats on the Gila River reservation that I’d seen on the way down but was unable to photograph safely from the driver’s seat.  And the windshield made the trip intact, unlike last time.  And once again I failed to stop at the ostrich farm to take pictures as intended, but it was smack in the middle of the day as I zipped by, and it was so damn hot…

Emma the (real live) Desert Box Turtle nose to nose with a clay coati >>

So now I’m at home being given Stink Back by the felines, coddling the pool back to cleanliness after a dust storm that hit after I left, and rounding up moribund insect life that had made indoor sport for the same felines in my absence, and the email is working again as inexplicably as it wasn’t working earlier, and things may return to normal soon.  The Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival was a good show, sales-wise, and I got a chance to meet new folks, visit with bird festival friends, and send Three Star Owl pieces off to new homes, which is always a good thing.  If you missed the Festival, be sure to look into it next year. Thanks, Tucson Audubon Society, for a great effort and a well-organized and graciously hosted first-time event!

Even better, I had some fun with friends — I stayed with Kate, and she and Dustin and I talked and ate good food, and I met JoJo and Dave and saw Bri’s fine octopus (oh, if I’d only gotten a picture: my sub-theme here seems to be missed shots), and netflixstreamed Jim Jarmusch’s film Dead Man, and went to Copper Country resale emporium (see swell carved boxes scored there >>), and ogled their current beading frenzy.  As usual I left her home feeling that I’d taken away more than I’d left behind, which was physically true because Kate sent me away with many excellent things like harlequin boxes and an articulated silver manpart charm (with a chain to pull to make it either alert or waggle), and more.  I can’t show you the very special thing that came home with me, because I have to check with Dustin first, and show it to E (for whom it’s intended) but I will later, maybe.  And we saw the Gargoyle House >>

And now I’ve got to be ready to hit the ground running, because there is a lot to do, like get the owls to their people…

Postcard from Tucson

Three Star Owl is at the Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival, at the Riverpark Inn just west of I-10 at the Congress Ave exit. I’ll be here from 8 to 5 today and tomorrow (Friday and Saturday 19-20 Aug). Come by soon, things are finding new homes at a fast clip!

Posted by Allison on Aug 19th 2011 | Filed in art/clay,effigy vessels,Events,three star owl | Comments (0)

Blue moon month for Three Star Owl!

Well, it’s never happened before, but Three Star Owl has two sales events in southern Arizona in less than two weeks!

Frog skeleton creamer (approx 4″ ht) >>

Close on the heels of the Southwest Wings Festival, Three Star Owl will be at the first ever Tucson Audubon Society’s Tucson Bird and Wildlife Festival this week.  The Festival is at the Riverpark Inn just off I-10 in Tucson.  On Friday and Saturday from 8am to 5pm I’ll be set up in the Marketplace with other vendors, in the main ballroom right off the lobby of the hotel. For more info about the Festival in general, click here.

As usual for birding festivals, there’s no entrance fee for the vending area, so drop in and say hello to Cranky Owlet and check out the wares!

Posted by Allison on Aug 17th 2011 | Filed in art/clay,Events,three star owl | Comments (0)

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