Fine Woodworking by Wayne Walma--Art Quilts by Pam J. Beal in Mass City, Michigan.

Owner-member Artistree Gallery Cooperative, Land O' Lakes WI

Also represented by the Downtown Art Place, Ironwood MI

About Art

Our work is a celebration of the complimentary relationship of wood and soft fiber. We celebrate the challenge and excitement that we experience creating these pieces. We have taken turns with design lead, whether the "quilt" or the frame-stand-sculpture came first. An appreciation of nature is a strong influence in our work, and the manipulation of fiber is accomplished hand in hand with what nature provided. There is interplay of grain and texture. Color adds punch. Our work uses found or re purposed items as primary design materials or as embellishments, and results from respect of a philosophy of using it up and wearing it out.

The woodwork exhibits the range of fine furniture in the arts and crafts tradition to rustic work. The soft fiber includes cotton, silk, mohair and wool. The pieced foundation is enhanced by applique and the quilted line.

Creating art involves many animated conversations and brainstorming sessions over dinner. Completion of each piece is marked with a small party.

Our pieces are contained in private collections internationally.

Pam and Wayne live "back of Mass", Mass City in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Our 40 acre homestead is approximately one mile up the bank of the East Branch of the Ontonagon river. We were raised in lower Michigan and we are both graduates of Western Michigan University.

About Wayne

Wayne Walma, Woodworker: Wood is constantly in motion. Over the course of its existence it seems to invite various ways of blending with human wants and needs. I approach all my woodwork from a traditional cabinetmaker point of view. Joints are tight and strong and at times, the method of construction becomes a design element. I prefer finishing with nontoxic material such as milk paint and polymerized linseed oil. In my commission work I attend to what the commissioner wishes the piece to say, function or just for pretty, perhaps both. My shop is a contemporary woodworking shop with modern power tools and a good selection of hand tools.

My work has seen a progression to more independent work as woodworker/artist. This progression is related to collaborative work with my partner, Pam Beal, and her movement from traditional quilting to an increasingly recognized art quilter. I have become intrigued with piecing and applique of wood fiber looking at it as a quilter would look at cloth fiber. Taking into account the movement of the wood fiber in design is the struggle.

A notion suggested to me by an artist friend/mentor moves me to consider Wabi-Sabi: the beauty of things imperfect, impermanent and incomplete; the beauty of things modest and humble; the beauty of things unconventional.

I reflect on materials I use:

Hand planed white pine floor boards from Pennala log home

Yellow birch log from neighbor Robert’s wood that “doesn’t look like a normal Birch.” It was Flame Yellow Birch.

Hollow logs diverted from use as culverts

Recovered 100 year submerged hemlock log from Flintsteel River

Apple wood from trees that have succumbed from too many years being climbed and broken by bear and raccoon

Roofing tin; ubiquitous in the U. P.

About Pam

Pam J. Beal, Quilter:

Playing the French Horn was my path to art. The ability to develop original pieces and improvise on tradition is a freedom that arose with needle art. I learned to be adventurous with art quilts.

My approach to making art is borrowed from the large textile tradition. Abstract Design in American Quilts, the 1971 exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City served as a new chapter in the evolution of the quilt. Quilts were selected for a visual aesthetic and displayed on the wall. Abstract design excites my imagination.

Using needle and thread to piece cloth and hold layers of fiber together has been practiced through the ages. I’m proud to contribute to the preservation of an ancient skill. I find pleasure in quilting by hand using an old fashioned floor frame. The hand quilting develops design and texture on the surface of the work, and directly reveals the hand of the artist in the art.

Inspiration comes from music, nature, study, life experiences and concerns. Collaboration with my husband Wayne Walma, Woodworker, expands creativity. The imaginative wood frames embellish and interact with the art quilts. Making and sharing art enhances our simple lifestyle.

1st. Place Award, Fabrications III: Art Quilts of the U.P., Bonifas Fine Arts Center

Woodland Equinox, 14" x 10"  Awarded First Place in Fabrications III.  This abstract impression of a stand of birch trees with cotton, silk, hand quilting and oak hanger is now contained in a private collection in Houghton, MI.      http://www.bonifasarts.org

Porcupine Aplenty-Published!

It was an exciting day when Liberated Medallion Quilts by Gwen Marston arrived, complete with autograph by Gwen.  The Porcupine Aplenty quilt is published on page 85 with a detail on page 84.  The photography by Charles R. Lynch clearly shows the hand quilting.  Additionally, the American Quilter's Society at it's Grand Rapids, MI show August 22-25, 2012: De Vos Place Convention Center, will feature a special exhibit of many of the medallion quilts pictured in Gwen's book.  Porcupine Aplenty will be there!  I could not be more pleased.  http://www.gwenmarston.com/    http://www.americanquilter.com/

Great Lakes Trading Company

The Great Lakes Trading Company of the Porcupine Mountains is located in Silver City, MI on beautiful Lake Superior.  Formerly an abandoned house, transformed into an artisans gallery featuring artists from the great lakes region.  Our work is available in the gallery, and Pam will be greeting & assisting visitors again in the 2013 season.  http://www.greatlakestradingcompany.com

Compositions in Wood and Cloth

We hung a show at the Sweet Water Cafe in Marquette, MI http://www.sweetwatercafe.org/

The Sweet Water is named for the sap from the Maple tree that is boiled down to make delicious local maple syrup. "Compositions in Wood and Cloth" is a series of small pieces displayed to surprise and entertain. This is our second show at the Sweet Water and the first formal display of our small compositions.