A Book Pin Odyssey

They say books take you places. But this story of a book pin came as quite a surprise. Last month we got an e-mail asking for a new book pin:

Please let me have another one. My earlier beloved one was lost during a fall down a cliff in France.

To say the least this piqued my interest.

Of course we can get you another book pin. That sounds like quite a story, and I hope that losing the book pin was the worst of it.

I asked for more information on the color and let her know how to order the book pin online.

She replied (complete with paragraph indents):

         Thank you, Reed. I ordered one today — brown, a beautiful rich brown, hopefully with a warm undertone of orange.

         A playwright gave me your pin for Christmas 2015. There has never been a gift I loved more and I wore it everywhere, including a cliff in France last May. There was something at the bottom I wanted to see and did, though a lot faster than intended. The other climbing ladies at the top said the scree broke loose and I cartwheeled twice, bounced four times, then rolled, fetching up against a bush at the final drop-off. The pin, my glasses and two bottles of rose continued on.

         By the time a couple of the ladies rappelled down to assess breakage, I was sitting up considering the future, whether there would be one. They roped me on down, summoned an ambulance, which was red and loud and tremendously exciting, and we sped to Aix for repairs. French hospital food is so good (starting to slobber slightly here) that when the nurse came with discharge papers after two days I swore I was still far too injured to leave but they did not buy it and gave me the boot. The view out the window was of palm trees and Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cezanne’s mountain.

         The ladies searched the foot of the cliff the next day and the day after but recovered nothing. Without the glasses, France for the rest of my first trip looked like an Impressionist painting, not a bad thing though there was a little annoyance with curbs, but helpfully, one of my 22 French words was “merde.”

         You would be amazed at how an arm broken in five places and a pitiful expression puts you on the fast track through airport security. In fact, the only down side of this whole trip was loss of the pin, and you have remedied that. Please pick out one that seems to be flying.

         It’s what books do.

         Thank you again,

You don’t get stories like that every day. When I let her know I could ship soon, she was happy:

         Your pin will arrive by May which is wonderful, because in May it and I will be back in France, in the Luberon.

         We have a date with a cliff.

Postscript, a few weeks later:

It should come as no surprise that a book lover like this should also recall and practice the art of the beautiful hand-written note (click the image for clarity).

It is a sheer joy to make things that evoke such responses and will be so treasured.

Bold Botanicals show at ACCI Gallery

This month at ACCI Gallery we are participating in their annual garden and garden-related show titled Bold Botanicals. We have contributed a wallpiece and our Sun Temple fountain to the outdoor display in the gallery’s garden.

Sun Temple

But after seeing other artists’ contributions to the indoor portion of the show I had to bring in a table I originally made for a gallery in Florida. The match was just too perfect, especially with the two large paintings by watercolorist Gina Papen.

Reception Saturday 2-4 at Manna Gallery in Oakland

We announced the beginning of our show at Manna Gallery in Oakland a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you have even had a chance to stop by the gallery already. The opening reception is scheduled for this Saturday, 4 March, 2-4pm. We will be there to meet you all, and we hope you have the time to drop by and see us and our work in this lovely gallery space at the heart of Oakland’s 25th Street arts district.

Manna Gallery is located at 473 25th Street in Oakland, between Telegraph and Broadway. It is an artist-owned gallery featuring work by local artists working in all media, primarily doing abstract work. The gallery is open Fridays and Saturdays noon to 5, plus First Fridays 5-9pm for Art Murmur, and Third Thursdays 6-8pm for the 25th Street Art Walk. They are also open by appointment, and can be reached at (510) 282-2335, or via their facebook page or their website, mannagallery.com

Our show is titled “Balance in Asymmetry,” which is one of the bases of David’s design philosophy. The pieces presented are mostly our wall sculptures – some David’s, some Reed’s, and one collaborative design, as well as some free-standing sculptures, representing several aspects of our larger work over the past ten years. All the work is made of brass and copper, colored with sculptural patinas. If most of what you have seen of our work has been smaller items such as vases and jewelry, you really should come to see this more extensive display of our larger artwork. The event’s facebook page is here.

If you’re looking for artwork for a particular space, come down and see what we’re showing, but also talk to us! We’re always happy to design new pieces to fit in particular spaces. We’ll be at the gallery for the reception on Saturday, but you can also reach us at this email address or at (510) 845-1072, or through our extensive website, davidmbowman.com. You can also follow us on our facebook page.

We hope you can take the time to come see us at our reception Saturday afternoon! Come down, and bring friends, or send them along, whether to the reception or the gallery’s ordinary open hours.

ACC Baltimore show this weekend!

This year we have a grand booth at the American Craft Council’s premier fine craft market in the Baltimore Convention Center. If you’re in the area, please stop by and see us in Booth 813 this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday! (If not, tell your friends and send them by!)

This year we are showing our work in all scales from jewelry to vases and candlesticks, to end tables and art for the wall. We don’t show our jewelry on the east coast very often, so come see it while you can.

The show is open from 10-8 Friday, 10-6 Saturday, and 11-5 Sunday. We hope to see you!

Manna Gallery: Balance in Asymmetry

In its previous format, this blog was called “Balance in Asymmetry,” because that is one of the main elements of David’s design philosophy. When we were invited to show our wallpieces and sculpture at Manna Gallery this month, this name came to mind as a title for our show.

Manna Gallery is located at 473 25th Street, at the heart of Oakland Art Murmur territory. They are a small, artist-owned gallery specializing in local abstract artists in all media. The gallery is open 12-5 Fridays and Saturdays, plus 5-9pm First Fridays for Art Murmur, and 6-8pm Third Thursdays for the 25th Street Art Walk, as well as by appointment.

Our show will run from Thursday the 16th of February to Saturday the 25th of March, with a reception on Saturday the 4th, from 2-4pm. We will be back from ACC Baltimore and in attendance on the 4th, and we hope to see you!

You can see a preview of the wallpieces showing at Manna Gallery (and all our other wallpieces) on our website, davidmbowman.com.

Wallpiece of the new year

Just completed our first wallpiece commission of the year, wallpiece 17.01:

ALL the clocks


To round out the year we had a nice surprise order for a very large set of desk clocks, to be given out to all the employees of a small company based nearby (but employing people around the country). The clients were a pleasure to deal with, and it turns out they found out about us because of the recent feature in Diablo Magazine. We hurried to get out such a large order before Christmas, all neatly packaged, ready to add to gift boxes with goodies from another small company, but still took the time to photograph them. Since they were gifts primarily for employees, we asked if they would like to have every clock different, and they were happy with the idea. This gave us the chance to create clocks of every single one of our ordinary patinas, plus iterate through virtually every reasonable version of the square-in-square patinas, and have them all available at once for photography.

The next step will be to make an online ordering system for these like the one we recently launched for round vases. But that may take a while, especially with continued construction on the studio, and preparation for a big year at ACC Baltimore in February.


Diablo Magazine feature

David’s classic – and still best-selling – Round Vase design was chosen by the editors of Diablo Magazine to feature in their December issue’s showcase of local East Bay artists.

Handmade round vases in patinaed brass

Round vases – very large (12″) white ochre, sorta large (9″) silver brown, large (6.5″) dark green, medium (5.5″) mottle, extra-small (3.5″) distressed black ochre. Photo: James Carrière

We have just made it possible to order Round Vases direct from us via the website. Click here to order! The page still needs work, and we’d be happy to hear feedback on it, but it does function!

Farmers Market Saturday!

Tomorrow, Saturday the 12th we’ll be out at the Grand Lake Farmers Market showing our jewelry, vases, and candlesticks.

We’re scheduled for just two appearances this November and none in December (so far), but tomorrow promises to be a pleasant day out; our later appearances might always be cancelled by rain, so come see us sooner rather than later, and buy local for the holidays!

The Farmers Market runs from 9am-2pm across the street from Oakland’s Grand Lake Theatre, and features ten or twelve artisans on a rotating basis, along with dozens of produce stalls and booths of great prepared food. It’s one of the best Farmers Markets around.

We hope to see you there!

Grand Lake Farmers Market