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Details: Things We Love

From handmade jewelry boxes and felt animal sculptures to hand-tooled antler candelabras, WA&A editors select their favorite objets d’art

Written by WA&A Staff  
April | May 2013


Felt Animal Sculptures by C.B. Bissell

Self-taught artist C.B. Bissell combines natural elements to create his unique sculptures. He finds twigs and stones for the animal’s legs and head, and the “hides” of his animals are made from alpaca and sheep wool that is needle-felted to achieve its texture. He is most interested in movement, and the fact that these pieces are frozen yet show a sense of motion keeps him engaged with the work. He makes an assortment of animals — bison, longhorn cattle, sheep, giraffes and more, all inspired by the natural objects he finds.

$175 to $195 | 12 to 16 inches | 979.249.4127 | www.coppershadetree.com 


Lapis Bear Gold Choker Necklace by Jesse Monongya

Jesse Monongya is a Navajo and Hopi jeweler regarded for his intricate inlay work that often depicts the galaxies and heavens. He incorporates stories from his culture using diamonds, pearls, opal or fine turquoise for significant imagery. The bear is a symbol of “Dine” strength and power. He remembers walking in the mountains as a young boy with his grandfather and coming across a bear. His grandfather spoke to the bear in Navajo, acknowledging its strength and power, asking for blessings and to pass safely. The bear retreated from its standing position and walked away into the woods. It was a very strong experience for Jesse, and bears frequently appear in his work. In addition to the bear, the dragonfly, the moth, the Milky Way and an opal full moon are all significant in this stunning necklace.

$28,000 | 1.5- x 1-inch pendant | 480.991.2598 | www.jessemonongya.com 


Sanders Nightstand by Lou Quallenberg

Lou Quallenberg identified as an artist at a young age. His childhood home was also a photography studio, and he was painting custom Harley Davidson choppers by age 15. In 2003, after working as a successful commercial photographer, he moved to Llano, Texas, to open a photography gallery and focus on his passion for wood. A decade later, he specializes in handmade mesquite furniture. He hand-selects mesquite from ranches in south Texas, choosing pieces with curves, cracks, burls and streaks to complement his design. The Sanders Nightstand shows off the vibrancy of his wood choice and ability to overcome mesquite’s stubborn density for a sturdy yet artful construction that we simply love.

$5,500 | 28 x 36 x 24 inches | 325.247.4304 | www.louqart.com 


Pottery by Free Ceramics

Free Ceramics is a family-run pottery studio that creates colorful and whimsical pieces. With a mission of inspiring through creativity, each porcelain piece is made with care and hand-painted for a unique touch. The studio is comprised of a team of artists, including founder Emily Free Wilson, her husband Matt Wilson, Lindsey Carroll, Danielle O’Malley, Bobby Free and Joseph Pesina. Emily Free Wilson, who is responsible for the original style and design of the pottery, says her designs are inspired by Christmas lights, raindrops, river rock and fireworks, though family history and nostalgic remnants from the past also appear in various designs. With a spontaneous and free movement of line, Free Ceramics creates simple, functional forms that bring joy to every use.

Jar: $140; plate: $45 | 13 x 6 inches; plate: 10.5 inches | 406.438.6212 | www.freeceramics.com


Musician’s Chair by Steve Henneford

With his home and shop on the shores of Flathead Lake, Steve Henneford is surrounded and inspired by northwest Montana. Passionate about wood because of its warmth and beauty, he creates one-of-a-kind furniture pieces by hand. He chooses each piece of wood for its grain and color, and then, with the aid of a few machines and a lot of hand tools, he begins the process of sculpting. Hours of sanding, oiling and waxing are required to bring the wood to its full luster, he says. The natural beauty of the American walnut in this Musician’s Chair is accented through simple, elegant lines and joinery. It is craftsmanship that shows a keen attention to detail.

$2,000 | 23.5 x 30.5 x 22.75 inches | 406.857.2670 | www.hennefordfinefurniture.com


Penny Annie Trophy Buckle by Vogt Western Silver

Based in Woodland, California, Vogt Western Silver is a small family-owned business that has created fine sterling and leather accessories for more than 40 years.
Today, cattle rancher Chet Vogt and his son, Casey, own and operate the company, continuing to inject the family’s ranch-raised, outdoorsman background into the design and construction of their products. In a modern take on the traditional Western aesthetic, Vogt has designed the Cosmic Cowboy Collection, a contemporary line of solid sterling, hand-engraved accessories with a fun cast of characters. In this trophy belt buckle, Penny Annie rides a bucking stallion. The corner rose gold flowers are set with crystal aquamarine and amethyst cabochons and Penny is made of handcut sterling silver and 14-karat rose-and yellow-gold fill. As each piece is built to order, no two are identical, for a contemporary Western charm.


Tooled Antler Candelabra by Jenny Booth

An accomplished outdoorswoman and competitive equestrian, artist Jenny Booth has been carving for 25 years. Her designs are original, each piece one of a kind. She brought all her artistic skills to bear in an extraordinary and unique set of carved antlers with leather inlay. Her devotion to her craft is evident in this award-winning work, which took her a full three months to complete. “Carving is a ‘backward’ form of art — starting with a solid and taking away from it to achieve the design — and I just love the challenge of that,” she says. Using a matched set of naturally shed antlers gathered in the mountains outside of Cody, Wyoming, she conceived of the idea of fusing antler carving with inlaid leather and adding the sterling silver candleholder accents to create a functional piece of art. We love not just the exquisite detail on these antlers, but the fact that the set can be configured in many different ways on a dining table or sideboard, as a sculptural accent on a coffee table, or as a dramatic conversation piece in an entry hall or foyer.

$16,000 | 42 x 22 inches | 307.899.9299 | www.jennyboothart.com


Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West by lynda lanker

For 19 years, artist Lynda Lanker traveled the West interviewing women ranchers and cowgirls and capturing their “resilience, character and quiet strength” through portraiture. The book, Tough by Nature, is a compilation of her work, which documents 49 Western heroines. Lanker experimented with a variety of mediums for the portraits and chose the technique she felt best captured the subject’s character, using charcoal, oil pastel, acrylic, egg tempera, plate and stone lithography, and drypoint engraving for the portraits. Her artwork is also touring museums nationwide. In an everchanging Western landscape, Lanker’s work preserves an important viewpoint of the West.

$39.95 Hardcover | 132 pages | 541.485.0070 | www.lyndalanker.com/tough-nature