Actually the first studio that we visited on Saturday, but I have saved Steve Grice's studio for a post of its own.
When we pulled out the brochure and map for the Studio Tour on Saturday morning we were trying to decide which artists to visit, based on what looked the most interesting and knowing we probably wouldn't make it to all of them. Honestly, metal sculpture made from recycled metal was not high on my list, but we looked at the map, said "Gee, this is actually pretty close to our house and it could be good..." so that is where we started.
We headed up Cooper Mountain in the fog and mist and came to the Open Studio sign next to a graceful archway over a narrow dirt road that wound back into a motley collection of old farm buildings.
Steve Grice. Wonderful, whimsical metal sculptures of fish and birds and trees and full scenes of a wharf, with buildings and boats and water.I have seen a lot of this kind of rusty metal work, mostly at garden shows and craft festivals. Steve's work is really a cut above all that. He has an eye for pattern and line and humor and detail and the skill to create beautifully crafted works, made mostly from old oil tanks.
Steve Grice soon joined us and asked if we'd like to see his barn and workshop and we followed him through the mist to a huge barn filled with what he called his "antiques." There were old pinball machines and ancient hand crank washing machines and antique appliances and toys and farm equipment and furniture. "I like old stuff," he said in his quiet, understated way.
Another small building held his collection of chains and pulleys and metal rods and straps.
As we wandered from building to building a big turkey and some chickens followed us and we passed emu and sheep and horses in fenced enclosures. The views in every direction were of misty vistas of tall trees and rolling fields. The cluster of old buildings houses a life filled with art and animals and children (8, he told us) and a lifetime of collecting. He seemed like a happy man. Our last stop was a tour through the old farmhouse and more of his art.