Monday, October 3, 2011

Inspiration: Kristin FitzGerrell

 The first and second weekend of October Open Studios are happening in Boulder. It is a FABULOUS event that's been going on for 17 years. 135 artists open up their homes/studios to the general public and are there to answer questions and show people around. Every time I go I leave feeling so inspired!

On Saturday I went to the home and studio of Kristin FitzGerrell of Studio 22. She makes wall pieces out of reclaimed wood, though that description doesn't do her work justice! I really love her artist statement (found on her website,

In this studio the scrap bin is the supply closet. My mixed media collage and assemblage work justifies my complete and chronic infatuation with cast-offs. In my artistic practice I elevate the simplest of scrap to pedestal status and encourage you to see beauty where it had not been evident before. I find shape, color, and form inspiration in the most ordinary of places. My art materials come from an alley, a salvage yard, a recycle bin, a dumpster. I work and re-work these precious bits right down to the part that is left over from the part that was left behind.

It might be a weathered piece of wood, a fabric scrap, or sign letter that I find too irresistible to pass by. I am forever drawn to the bits and pieces that have become useless to us in our busy, important lives. I am most enamored with the ones that have lost a mate, worn through a layer or have passed their prime. I choose my scraps and sometimes, even when I think I can walk by, they choose me.

‘Tis a scrappy love affair to be sure.

This is what I think artist statements should be like- storytelling, personal, funny, revealing. 

Kristin's house was AMAZING. And it brings me to why Open Studios is so fun. Kristin's home is the kind of place that you'd walk past and think, "Hmmm, I wonder what it looks like inside". And you might even walk by at night hoping that the curtains were left open. It's a remodeled home, modern and custom, different from the ranches and track homes on either side. Its obvious that someone creative lives inside. The one bedroom that was open to the public had a chair in the corner that was a knobby gnarled stump of wood that was lacquered and gorgeous.... I was inspired and did a search on 'wood stump chairs'.  This is what I found:
Arbor Chair by Peter Jakubik found here

Solid Wood Furniture by Denis Milovanov

Found here

The one I found that is the most similar to Kristin's is HERE....
Kristin's art was everywhere- Forms made from probably 20 different chunks of wood that were stained and painted and pieced together: elephants, cows,  little birds on branches, typography, bulls eyes.... Even though it was on display for sale all of the art looked like it was placed permanently. None of it looked out of place or temporary. She has a distinct style that flirts with being modern, rustic, crafty, and fine art.

There is a great article in The Daily Camera written by Julie Hagy HERE if you'd like to know more! And if you live in Boulder definitely check out Kristin's amazing studio and home. 

*I also visited Catherine Cleary's home and studio but thought it would be more fitting on my ceramic blog at

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