Mary Alice Sterling
A self taught artist, Mary Alice came to the art world after a career as a registered nurse in the US Air Force. She creates her baskets, weaving complex textures with both visual and tactile appeal.
Her work is most often executed in natural materials, sometimes richly colored and figured hardwoods, with occasional mother of pearl or fossil ivory accents. Each work is a closely orchestrated marriage of texture, form and color. Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, she naturally takes much of her inspiration from what she sees all around. The natural world, Native American legends, or pure whimsy are all fair game.
Where others strive for esoteric meaning, she seeks the means to appeal to the eye and the sense of touch. This is art that says “Pick me up — Please Touch.”
Internationally known sculptor began a unique and award winning career in wood art by carving Japanese netsuke (pronounced net-skeh) as a mechanism for coping with the extreme stresses of an Air Force career flying F-111 fighter bombers (the “switchblade Edsel”). Netsuke is a unique form of small sculpture which developed as an art form in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years, serving both functional and aesthetic purposes. After retiring from the Air Force, he began carving netsuke professionally, becoming well known in the international circles of netsuke collectors.
Now, branching out into producing art knives, his background in Japanese art reveals itself in a unique melding with the other past cultures that have caught his interest along the way. While the majority of Tom’s work ends up cared for in collections, each work he creates is designed to be completely useable. Construction methods typically use exposed or hidden tenons, pegs or other mechanical holding mechanisms as well as top grade fixatives to ensure a lasting, museum quality work of art.
Tom currently exhibits at BladeGallery.com and The Epicurean Edge, 107 Central Way Kirkland, WA 98033 (425) 889-5980
I enjoyed following your progress on your daughters Telegraph Key USB Drive. Lovely. Beautiful engraving.
I wonder if you’d mind if I copied the principle design of the key itself in larger scale as a key making project?
Would you tell me where would I find solder paste?… especially brass or gold colored paste. I have been asking around at various hardware stores and no one seems to know. I sent an inquiry in to Castolin but haven’t heard back yet.
Baker City, OR
Glad you liked the telegraph key project. Feel free to make your own.
I used silver-bearing paste solder from http://popsupply.bizhosting.com but I noticed he doesn’t list it on his site any more. You might give him a call, it was great stuff, melted a litle over 400 degrees F and was really easy to use.
You can get paste silver solders from http://www.riogrande.com You’ll have to get an account set up with them, but it’s easy. They might also have brass colored solders.
I found your medicine pouch tutorial and I just wanted to say that I’m extremely pleased I found it, and the way my project turned out. I was a little too eager to get it done so I didn’t bother to get a leather punch and used scissors instead….but no one would be able to tell from afar. I modified the small pouch a little and gave it a flap.
I am very happy your Ute friend showed you how to make these. As far as I looked online, this is the best quality product turnout and tutorial. Thank you again! I look forward to making more for my baby daughter and my sisters!
Thanks for the shout out, Sharon! I’m glad you found the tutorial of use. May your other pouches turn out just as nice!
Hi, do you guys engrave firearms? I have a stainless colt Python I am looking to have engraved. Thanks.
No, sorry Chris, we don’t do firearms. Too much paperwork! Try
Hey Tom and Mary Ellen,
This is a really informative blog! metalworking is something I have very little knowledge in, but seems like such an exact, fulfilling kind of art. I actually just posted a link to your blog in the Learnivore Arts community (https://learnivore.com/users/learnivorearts/posts/for-all-of-you-metalworking-and-crafting-fans) so that other novices like myself can access your tutorials.
Thanks, Derek. Glad you’ve found our worm tracks useful!