Cat’s Cradle Jewelry Holder

Several variations on the the theme of Cat’s Cradle as a holder for a favorite few pieces of jewelry. I always loved the interlaced pattern the string made at this stage of the game. Most are made to hang on the wall or rest on a surface. When resting, the necklace pegs along the bottom of some pieces become ring holders. In order to keep earring hooks from sliding around, I’ve used a variety of techniques. For the one-piece painted metal design, crimp beads were placed and set along the black cord. For others, a pleather cord was used.

A few pieces are usually available on my Etsy page.

MIX Ypsilanti July Artist

Rick Wedel – Form & Function 

For the month of July, painter and MIX Gallery Director Rick Wedel will exhibit new paintings, including figurative and abstract compositions, as well as a few wall mirrors and a table lamp being shown for the first time. Although differing in appearance, both the paintings and functional design explore space, color and texture. 
Join us for an opening First Friday reception

July 7th from 6pm – 9pm

MIX Ypsilanti

130 W. Michian Ave

WEMU interview for Ypsilanti Water Tower Candle

Exciting to start the new year with this interview onWEMU, our local public radio station that broadcasts from the campus of Eastern Michigan University. Below is the transcript of the interview from  you can listen to it here:

“Every summer, there is the nationally known art fair in Ann Arbor, and the area is known for its large number of local artists. One of those artists is gaining attention for his locally historic creation that was a popular gift for Christmas.

Listen Listening…0:00 WEMU’s Lisa Barry reports on a local artist and his “Water Tower candles.”
Perched on the highest point in Ypsilanti sits the iconic Water Tower, a local landmark which was constructed in 1890. Ypsilanti resident and artist Rick Wedel was inspired by the highly recognizable city structure and made a replica candle of it.

“It just had this air of inevitability. It seemed like it had to happen. In fact, I was really surprised they weren’t already being made. A friend of mine said somebody shouldn’t just make an Ypsilanti Water Tower candle, and it’s like the earth stood still for a moment.”
Wedel is primarily a painter but learned through YouTube videos how to make a candle cast designed to look exactly like a mini version of the Ypsilanti Water Tower.

“I created the original out of palmer clay, and then, through a series of like four or five layers of silicone, I make a glove mold, and that captures the detail. And then, around that, there’s a plaster cast.”
The Ypsilanti artist began making the water tower candles about three years ago and says they have been sold and delivered now worldwide.

“I was hearing people tell me about dozens of places around the world they were going to. They’ve gone to Germany and the Philippines. One was taken to Australia. It was wonderful. A woman who came to tell me the one she bought last year, she hand-delivered to the Phallic Museum in Iceland.”
It takes about 24 hours for the candles made of 100% soy wax to and set, and, even though they do have a wick, Wedel says he doubts many people actually burn them.

“I let people know that it’s okay to burn, and I let them know that it has a long burn time. But I think, for most people, they’re not interested in burning them. It’s more the suggestion of functionality, you know, that it’s a candle. But, really, it’s being proudly displayed.”
He also makes a candle replica of Ann Arbor’s Burton Bell Tower and is thinking of other ideas to create.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter
— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at” –
The candles can be purchased online here on this web site, and found locally at The Eyrie in Depot Town, Ypsilanti. 

Portrait no.8


The summer of 2016 I did a series of 18″ invented portraits. It was an effort to get into the marks – to focus on gesture and brevity, and to find character and mood within that. This is one of those portraits, painted on the rough side of a 1/4″ Masonite panel.

Please touch the art.

At long last, I’m getting to an art/design project that’s been going through my head for years. A Busy Box is an interactive artwork that can be easily taken off the wall or picked up from a surface and played with. Two or more Busy Boxes = Busy Board. Think toddler’s sensory board – but for adults as an artwork. I’m excited to begin a group of different designs that will display well together and invite interaction.

busybox1bThis Busy Box is “Abstract Roller Disco”.  It changes as the viewer moves one of the four wooden rollers. For this piece, each roller is covered with a different section of canvas from an original abstract painting. Rollers are set permanently within a 1.5″ deep wood frame. It can be hung in any direction or orientation, as it is open on the front and back and lacks hardware hangers. Rollers can also be turned without removing from the wall, and the depth of the frame allows it to sit free-standing on a surface.

The idea is to repeat the Roller Disco form with different image making techniques. On the horizon: Lakeshore Roller Disco. A variation made using an image transfer process.

In a physical sense, this project continues themes I’ve been interested in for a long time. The interaction of the viewer, and the interpretive factor that the viewer brings to the artwork. I’m looking forward to exploring this further in different forms, with variations on each.

Finishing Summer portraits & planning Fall projects

These 18″ imagined portraits have been a lot of fun. Slowly getting them on a few online galleries. All painted on the rough textured side of a Masonite panel. A few different approaches and techniques – the upper right has pieces of painted canvas applied to the surface of the panel. All have been an attempt to add brevity and spontaneity to my painting process.

For Fall, I’d like to go larger and non-figurative. Hiking season is drawing to a close, and I’ll have more time on the weekends in the studio. My previous abstract paintings have kept the object in place with central light source and point of action. In the coming paintings I’d like to explore ideas of open field, dispersed focal point and overall calm. We’ll see. 🙂