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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Butterfly Madness

The Monarch butterflies have gone crazy over DesignWorks Garage’s butterfly bushes or rather, I should say, our species (Buddleia davidii)! Rarely do these little guys stop moving, so it was challenging to snap a picture worth showing. Fortunately, this one seemed to capture the amazing wings and colorfulness of these small creatures even though it’s slightly blurred. Look at that fuzzy body! What is up with that?

Friday, August 17, 2007

An Inspiring Artist’s Studio and Home


Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was a wood-working genius. He has been hailed the "Dean of American Craftsmen" by the national art and design community. I had no idea there was a national art and design community but nevermind that. Thankfully he left behind an amazing studio which is now a National Historic Landmark for Architecture. It’s filled with over 200 works of art—paintings, woodcuts, sculpture, furniture, and utensils.

Anyone can visit and tour this beautiful studio/museum in Paoli, PA by calling in advance and making a reservation. It’s well worth the trip for a very intimate look at this artist’s life and personal vision.

He created every detail of this studio/house (from the walls down to a fork in his kitchen) with help from neighbors, friends, artists, and family. Remember friends, this was before powertools, so everything is made with hand tools similar to those used by eastern Pennsylvania's original pioneer builders.

The house also contains an original self-portrait painting, many original sculptures and original woodblock prints by the artist. Restrike prints, notecards from Esherick’s woodcut images, and interesting books and periodicals about the artist are available for sale in the Museum shop which is located in what was once Wharton’s garage! Sounds like another DesignWorks Garage to me!