Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Baulines Craft Guild at the Contemporary Craft Market

Back in the 1970s, I journeyed up to Bolinas to attend one of the most memorable craft shows I've ever attended. It was a small gathering of woodworkers, potters, jewelers, fabric and glass artists in a forest glen on the north side of Bodega Bay. I saw musical instruments of all types by Steve Klein and others. I saw some of the most unique furniture designs I'd ever seen at the time. My eyes were wide with excitement seeing all the wonderful craft creations. This was one of the first Master shows put on by the Baulines Craft Guild.

I envied all those craft artists. At the time I was a blue-collar worker, who had left the minimum/minimal pay job as a professional musician, to go to the steady, well-paying labor of a union carpenter. I had art in my soul. Since grade school, I always drew, wrote, and created "things" that I thought of as art. Fortunately, my parents were supportive of anything I attempted, and always told me that I should learn from my mistakes or failures so I'd be better next time. In the 1970s, I was still trying to bring out the art or craft that I knew was inside me. Shortly after seeing the beautiful works of those early Baulines Craft Guild members, I did find my craft: stringed musical instruments.

Jump ahead around 30 years or so. In October of 2006 I was voted into the Baulines Craft Guild as a Master Member. This was due to an exhibit of one of my instruments in a gallery show in Walnut Creek, California. It was a juried exhibition of crafts that artists from all over the country had pieces accepted, including a few Baulines members. The director of the Baulines attended and was intrigued by my rebec with a hand-carved head and body of a gargoyle figure I called "Quasimodo." She asked for me to apply, with her as my sponsor. I did, and soon became a member of the Baulines, a guild I wanted to be part of for over 30 years.

Being part of the Baulines Craft Guild is not just meetings and the occasional member show, it is also about teaching what you know through education and apprenticeship and also taking part in group events. One such group event is coming up this weekend at Fort Mason, San Francisco. It is the Contemporary Craft Market and runs Saturday and Sunday, March 8 and 9, from 10 to 5. A booth was made available for the Baulines Craft Guild and several members will be showing pieces as well as spending time there to answer questions and talk about their works. I will be there Sunday, from 2 to 5.

And, if you want to see more of my work, you can always go to my web site at So, 'til next time, onward and upward.

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