Photo Essay: A Studio Visit with Practical Art artisan Jim Rogers of Phoenix, AZ

First, it was simple square boxes crafted from beautiful, exotic woods; trimmed with other, beautiful, exotic woods. Then, there were square boxes with large blocks of abstract inlay. Then, theeennnnn, came the exquisite pencil cases whose sliding top panel featured floral vignette inlays crafted from naturally-colorful woods. The intricate detail in these were enhanced with a subtle shading achieved by slightly singeing the wood.

And just when we thought local woodworker Jim Rogers had reached a pinnacle, he gave us a view of greater heights. Imagine more complex, more lusciously-detailed botanical inlays spilling off the top, interacting with the form, and illustrating not only nature’s beauty, but man’s ability to interpret it. In fact, you don’t have to imagine anything– see it with your own eyes in this photo essay.

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What a beauty; the golden tone of that satinwood really glimmers. Indeed, the whole box is a testament to careful selection and experienced craftsmanship. See this piece in person or on our web store (while it’s here!) and others in Jim’s hinged box collection.

http://www.practical-art.com

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Photo Essay: A Studio Visit with Practical Art artisan Greg Corman of Tucson, AZ

Sorry, bees, this one’s for us.

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Tucson artist and landscape designer Greg Corman has gained quite a bit of popularity here in Phoenix as the architect of supremely artful ‘bee habitats‘– but never fear, he’s also interested  in helping out with the artfulness of our human homes. The new work installed at Practical Art for our December exhibition “Artifact” is a solo show of Corman’s work, and year round, we display a collection of his functional pieces: benches, key hooks, bee habitats (of course), centerpiece vessels, and items like this elegant and handsome jewelry holder made of Desert Ironwood.

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His passion is creating sculpture, outdoor furniture, and other objects from salvaged wood and steel and found objects, which often means that his raw materials need a little (read: a lot) of help becoming the beautiful components he knows they can be. His pieces highlight the natural textures and patinas of the materials he uses, and he’s invited us all into his studio for a glimpse at the process.

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Greg’s experience includes thirty years of horticultural and design work, mostly in desert areas of Australia, the Middle East, and the Southwestern US. Greg is recognized as a regional expert on native plants and teaches docents, master gardeners, and the public on many horticultural and design topics. He has BS and MS degrees in Agriculture from the University of Arizona and the University of Maryland, respectively.

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If you want to see examples of the breadth and depth of his work, tonight’s “Share of the Pie: Charity Pie Night” is a nice opportunity to swing by the shop, see and feel the work in person, and, well, eat pie! We’ll be swingin’ from 7-9pm for Pie Night, and the “Artifact” exhibition will be up for the remainder of December.