THE ART OF CEMENT, METAL & STONE
Wendy Hightshoe – “Jazzy Junque”
Wendy’s fiber art is created from tiny pieces of fiber which she then uses a free motion technique that enhances the design of the piece. She draws the design idea first, then starts laying it out on the fabric. For over 40 years she has enjoyed creating her own patterns for quilts and wall hangings for family and friends. She has enjoyed making wall hangings that are unique to a person’s hobbies and life, and uses a play on words to make them personal and unique.
Wendy’s jewelry art is a new item this year which started when she created pictures from jewelry for Christmas gifts for her family. She loves the challenge of finding jewelry pieces to use for her creations and turning those pieces into pictures. Her biggest challenge was the picture she created for her nephew, of his dog “Riggz”.
Doug LaBorde, DL Smithing
Doug LaBorde is a blacksmith that hand forges items out of steel or iron. He makes a wide variety of items like home fixtures, decorative and gardens and other tools for grilling and fire place pieces.
He uses a coal forge at his shop at home and also for demonstrating to heat the steel for forging on the anvil or other appropriate tools (vise, cone mandrel, swages, punches, drifts). Doug does electric welding on some pieces, forge welding for others. He tries to stay with the older methods of fabrication but there are places where electric welding is far more cost effective but it is still a hand process, just a little more modern. His demonstration smithy uses no electricity, just coal and hand power and he has made many tools he uses himself.
Julie Beal – Earth, Wick & Fire
Earth, Wick & Fire is a small, family-based business located in Excelsior, Minnesota. The hand-crafted stone oil candles are made out of natural slate that varies in beautiful mineral colors and textures. During the creation of each candle, the characteristics and design are controlled by the composition of the slate and the artist.
With the use of a small rock hammer and the controlled pressure of the strike to the slate, the design simply starts with that first strike to see how it will fracture. The break inspires them to continue to move around the piece, in a fashion of interest and inspiration, allowing the slate to come alive. There are never two candles exactly alike.
Earth, Wick & Fire has created a maintenance free, low profile candle that you will enjoy for years, just add oil. The fiberglass wicks do not burn away and each copper wick holder is hand crafted by them. The reservoir holds 1 oz. of lamp oil and will burn for approximately 5 hours before putting itself out. The addition of essential oils to the reservoir will add a wonderful aroma to your space. Citronella oil may be used outdoors.
It brings them much joy in creating their candles and they hope that you will enjoy your hand-crafted candle for years to come and share them with your family and friends as a unique gift that will hold memories.
Kevin & Deb Pietrzak – Kevin’s Candle Creations
Kevin and Deb Pietrzak dba Kevin’s Candle Creations, have been creating beautiful handmade firestone candles for six years. The candles are made from a natural slate stone. There is no shellac or any other finish on the stone because Kevin feels (as do his customers) that the natural slate stone is beautiful just the way it is.
He creates one to four-wick firestone candles. Each candle comes with a wick, a glass insert, and a funnel. The candles can be filled with either lamp oil, or if you prefer, tiki oil to enjoy outside and help keep the bugs away. Each candle has its own unique character. Kevin and Deb enjoy creating the candles. “It is a true pleasure for us when we meet new people everywhere we go, and they come up and inquire about the candles and remark how beautiful they are.”
Luke & Elizabeth Jepson
Luke Jepson was born and raised in Longville MN. He has a passion for making and creating and been making things from an early age and has continued to do so either out of metal, wood or leather. He makes hand forged ironwork, hardware, tools and knives. As well as spoons carved by hand with axe and knife. He is joined by his wife, Elizabeth, who makes earrings out of wood and leather, and also makes painted wooden signs. “Jack of all trades, master of none, oftentimes better than master of one.”
Tim enjoys creating his unique one-of-a-kind sculptures by using old automotive, motorcycle, farm equipment, and scrap metal. He enjoys the challenge of fabricating some pieces to make them easy for transporting and storing.
Tim’s creations include indoor/outdoor tables and garden decor. He enjoys adding details such as solar lights to his flowers and working headlights to the motorcycles with a lone wolf or a hog rider.
Larry & Paula Jensen – Earth Eagle Forge LLC
As many artists will say, “creating art has always been my passion, even as a child”. Paula Jensen can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating something.
She and Larry were married in 1991 and moved to Larry’s childhood home in rural Northern Minnesota. Larry supported Paula’s artistic endeavors while he worked as a welder. She continued to paint and sketch trying to sell her work locally, all the while being a parent and keeping house.
Larry began to ‘dabble’ in forge work in their garage, and tried convincing Paula to try blacksmithing as well. It took him 5 years of encouragement to finally convince her. She stated, “The man was right and I wish I would have listened sooner.”
As Jensen children got older, more income was needed. Paula got a welding job at a local manufacturing company. She learned more about fabrication and welding techniques. During that time, their daughter started an artist website for her mother that had Paula’s paintings and metal work displayed. The website led to inquiries about custom-made metal art. It was enough work that In 2001, Larry and Paula decided to start the business Earth Eagle Forge LLC. Larry continued to work as a welder/millwright mechanic while Paula would design and create commissioned metal art.
When there were no orders and kids were in school, Paula would use the time to develop new ideas. If the pieces were public-worthy, she would post them on the website or Etsy shop. Soon it became clear that when she created something unique, there would be inquiries for similar work. They started getting emails/phone calls from people all over the U.S.
In 2008 Larry was laid-off from his millwright position due to the plant closing. He had more time to collaborate with his wife in the shop.
Earth Eagle Forge LLC has grown over the years. They believe there was no “plan” per se, other than to create artwork and follow their hearts. They found if they create unique metal art, people find them. The Jensen’s continue to experiment and find new ways of creating, which in turn attracts clients that are looking for something different than a mass-produced item. Designing and creating one-of-a-kind metal art has been the backbone of their business. Their latest endeavor has been to cast in bronze using the lost wax casting method. They are now able to create wrought iron with bronze elements