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Fundraising effort for Leonard Dewitt Monument

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Chad Caswell is well on his way to becoming a respected sculptor in his own right. Several months ago Chad was contacted by the City of McMinville as they were laying the groundwork to commission a monument honoring Leonard DeWitt and all the Oregon Army National Guard soldiers who fought in WWII, and “distinguished themselves in battle”, but were never awarded the Medal of Honor.

leonarddewittjpg-58c7fefd5e860fdbAs many of you are aware, Chad has been working on this sculpture for a few months now, but what you might not realize is this sculpture will become a reality only when funding has been achieved. Chad has recently learned that a portion of the funding for this monument has not been realized. We are highlighting this effort on behalf of REAL-Heroes.US and all those “current Oregonians who serve under the same 41st “Sunset” Infantry banner.”

REAL-Heroes.US recognizes those who encompass the best of American ingenuity and coolness under pressure. They are dedicated to “Recognizing Excellence and Leadership” by strengthening our communities through emulating ethical leaders.

We hope you will visit www.real-heroes.us to learn more about Leonard DeWitt, this organization and ways you can help in this endeavor.

Read our blog post to learn more about Leonard and why he is called “The Helmet Hero”.

To learn more about the Congressional Medal of Honor, visit wwwcmohs.org.

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How do you value your art collection?

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Should you purchase art with or without regard to its investment potential? That is a very good question. Art advisers would suggest that before you buy any art, you should investigate its provenance — or at least consider it very seriously. An item’s provenance refers to documentation about the piece to include its origin, historical information, previous owners, etc. — anything that establishes the trail back to the artist. Other factors to consider are published reviews about the artist or particular piece, documentation on how much the particular artist’s work typically sells for, who has purchased the work, has it been sold at auction, and if so, the selling price, etc. The assumption being once you’ve gathered this information and can support its value, you may then give yourself the “green light” to make the purchase and have some confidence that it has potential for financial return.

WarholOther advice you might hear from an expert is to determine if the art is deemed “good”. Because art is subjective, it would seem that would be very hard to establish. The work may have received critical acclaim, been well received in the show circuit, and some individual pieces may even stand out above the rest in the artist’s catalog, and the art and artist might be classified as “very collectible”— but does that make it “good”? We would agree, that from an investment perspective, these are serious considerations.

If you’re a first time buyer, you might find these details very confusing, complicated, and maybe even controversial. The truth is that every aspiring and working artist wants their work to be in demand and command as  high a price as possible. But most artists would also say that they want their art to be appreciated and sought after as much for its aesthetic attributes. After all, an artist first picks up a paint brush, kneads a hunk of clay or carves a block of wood for the sheer joy of creating something out of nothing. It cannot be denied that the feeling of having created something with a fingerprint individual only to that artist, doesn’t have a price tag.

And then there another reason to buy art — for its sheer beauty and the pleasure it gives you every time you look at it. Do you get lost in the color, the scene, the texture? Are you in awe on how the piece was executed? Do emotions rise up in you when you see the piece; does it reveal memories like nothing else can? If you answer yes to any of these questions, consider that art purchased based on emotion has as much value as that purchased by algorithm. We would validate the argument that if you intend to see it and live with it every day, you want to select artwork that moves you and delights you every time you encounter it. We would also agree there is satisfaction in knowing if you ever wanted or needed to sell your art, you would realize a return. In the end, whether based on an investment outcome or pure aesthetics, we hope your art collection, first and foremost, brings a smile to your face!

To learn more about how Herb and Dorothy Vogel amassed their very extensive art collection, read our blog “Two unlikely art collectors” . If you want to shop for art because it moves you explore the hundreds of artists websites all very the web.

Of course there’s room for a blend of these approaches. If you would like to learn more about art investing, here are a couple of interesting articles to check out:

The Top-Performing Alternative Investments: Fine Art

Forbes Magazine: Ten Expert Tips For Investing in the Art Market

From $1000 to $15,000,000—read an interesting article on Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans”.

Sculpture 101 class starting in February

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Introduction to Sculpture 101 at Caswell Gallery and Firebird Bronze
Monday and Thursday, February 17-March 6,2014, 6-8 PM
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Rip Caswell is offering a unique opportunity for aspiring sculptor. Rip will coach and critique your creation from molding the clay to adding the patina. You will begin working in Rip’s Studio at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale and finish your piece at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.

Week 1: Design and sculpt at Caswell Gallery in under the guidance of Rip Caswell.
Monday, February 17 and Thursday, February 20; 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday: Bring your idea and start to sculpt. You will create your rough sculpture and refine your piece at home.
Thursday: Rip will critique and help you to refine your piece for the foundry.

Week 2: Gating, burn out and pour at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.
Monday, February 24 and Thursday, February 27; 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday: Our Foundry expert will walk you through the entire foundry process. You will then learn how to “gate” your piece and dip your piece in slurry and sand to create the shell.
Thursday: You will watch your piece burned out from the shell and cast. Your piece may be cool enough to come out and be “chipped”. Some will be carried over to next week. Invite a friend or spouse. We will have a potluck (hot dogs and burgers on us) and watch the bronze pouring.

Week 3: Chipping, sandblasting, polish and patina At Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.
Monday, March 3 and Thursday, March 6; 6:00-8:00 PM

Monday: Our Foundry expert will demonstrate chipping and sandblasting. You will sand and polish your piece to get it ready for the patina.

Thursday: You will apply a basic patina and complete your piece; attach a base (optional). You are now an experienced sculptor!

Cost: $495 (materials included)
If you want a base for your piece there will be an additional charge of $25.
To register call Rip Caswell Sculptures at 503-492-2473

Note: Sculpture design must be original work and no larger than 6″H x 3″W x 3″D
First Friday: Students will display their finished pieces on First Friday, April 4

Sculpture 101 starting on November 11

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Aspiring sculptors. . . Sculpture 101, “Clay to Bronze” at Caswell Gallery and Firebird Bronze is about to start on November 11. This is a unique opportunity to experience a class where Rip will coach and critique your creation _Q0A0653from sculpting the clay through adding the patina. You will begin working in Rip’s Studio at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale and finish your piece at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.

Dates and Times: Starting November 11, running through December 9. There will be no class on Thanksgiving, 11/28. Monday and Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $495; optional base $25

_Q0A0714Students will have the option of exhibiting their sculptures in the Gallery during the First Friday Art Walk. This is a great opportunity to mingle , present and promote your art to our clientele. You will also  receive a Certificate of Completion from Rip and Firebird Bronze.

Click here for more details. To register for this class call the Gallery at 503-492-2473.

Time to “fall clean” your art

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Sometimes, or maybe most of the time, we purchase art, find a place to display it, then forget about it. We don’t always think about “fall or spring cleaning” these valuable and precious pieces, but a little attention will go a long way to insure their longevity and appearance.

Regarding paintings. Hopefully your paintings, in any media, are not hanging in direct sunlight. Sunlight may fade watercolors, drawings, textiles and ink, and may also yellow the white areas of the paper. Heat from the sun (or other sources like heat vents) can compromise the integrity of the paints. Changes in heat and humidity can cause paper to buckle and stretch and once this happens, the damage could be Red6permanent. So maintenance tip #1: Be sure you art is placed in a neutral climate zone of your home; out of direct sunlight, and away from heat and moisture sources. The only exception to this might be glass, pottery and some metal. Always ask about the best way to display your art when you purchase your piece.

Once that’s resolved, the rest is easy. Dust you artwork every now and then using a dry, soft cloth. Never use chemical dusting agents. If there are relief surfaces that a dust cloth can’t reach, try a clean, soft artist brush in a size suitable for the piece. Using a brush is also great for pottery, carvings, basketry, impasto paintings—anything with a textured surface. Sometimes a brush won’t do, so a hair dryer can be a good option. Be sure to use a cool setting. A hair dryer is a great tool for “dusting” textiles and natural fiber. Aim the dryer from behind to blow the dust out of the piece.

Framed art should be taken off the wall periodically and the back dusted. You would be amazed at 6744.31348the cobwebs that can make a home behind wall art.

Glass and ceramics might possibly be rinsed with water, but be sure to line the sink with something protective in case you lose your grasp. Some basket and wicker work should be wet occasionally as part of its routine care.

Should you polish metal art? That depends. If unsure only use one of the methods above or call the gallery where your piece was purchased to find out. Many metals develop a patina over time, which is often desirable. For bronze care, see our article, Taking Care of Your Bronze Sculpture.

Your art is a treasure and investment that you will want to enjoy for years to come. Consider the care and keeping of your art a gesture of love!

Sculpture 101 starting in November

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Aspiring sculptors…Sculpture 101, “Clay to Bronze” at Caswell Gallery and Firebird Bronze is starting in November. Experience an exclusive opportunity as Rip coaches and critiques your creation _Q0A0653from sculpting the clay to adding the patina. You will begin working in Rip’s Studio at Caswell Gallery in Troutdale and finish your piece at Firebird Bronze Foundry in Boring.

Dates and Times: Starting November 11, running through December 9. There will be no class on Thanksgiving, 11/28. Monday and Thursday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Cost: $495; optional base $25

_Q0A0714Students will have the option of exhibiting their sculptures in the Gallery during the First Friday Art Walk. This is a great opportunity to mingle , present and promote your art to our clientele. You will also  receive a Certificate of Completion from Rip and Firebird Bronze.

Click here for more details. To register for any of these classes call the Gallery at 503-492-2473.

What about wine?

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2013-09-06 19.21.52 - webIf you’ve been a fan of Caswell Gallery, then you surely know of our long time friendship with Phelps Creek Vineyards of Hood River. More often than not, Jon Wadman of  Phelps Creek Vineyards, joins us on First Friday, and other special occasions, to share his knowledge and recommendations during our complimentary wine tastings. At the Gallery, we all have varying degrees of wine savvy, so we thought it would be great to ask Jon Wadman, our perennial wine rep, to share some of his expertise.

Caswell Gallery: What makes a great wine?
Jon Wadman: A great winemaker. Each palate is different, and with so many wine philosophies, the most important thing is finding your great wine and why you like it.

CG: Is Rosé really making a comeback?
JW: Definitely, but they are dry and more sophisticated; and more experimental with regards to the grapes used—if it’s coming from one varietal or blended.

CG: What wines do you recommend for the fall?
JW: My favorite fall white wine is a Chardonnay with baking spice notes, it suites the chilling weather and hearty foods well. We bottle several great ones, but I love the Chardonnay from Celilo Vineyard on Underwood Mountain, WA.  Also, a really earthy Pinot Noir, with that great cigar box notes found in 2008 from my own collection.

CG: Blends or varietals?
JW: Varietals, personally, but there are many wonderful blends. I like varietals because of the educational aspect of learning about the specific characteristics of the grape, vintage, and vineyard.

CG: Bottle or box?2013-09-06 19.20.58 - web
JW: Bottle, no question about it. All romance is lost in the box!

CG: Cork or screw cap?
JW: Depends of the wine and the producer. I have had great and bad wines with both.

CG: Should we store wine laying down or upright?
JW: Laying down, if corked, which helps prevent the cork from failing due to dehydration. This is for longer period storage. Vertical is more than fine in the short term.

CG: Does the shape of the wine glass really matter? Why?
JW: Yes, based on the wine you’re enjoying. For example, Oregon Pinot Noir glasses, being tulip shaped, are better for experiencing the nose and spreading the wine across your palate.

CG: What wine is Phelps Creek Vineyard most excited about at the moment?
JW: We just bottled our first ever Sauvignon Blanc!

CG:  Are there any rules to pairing wine with food?
JW: Sure, but who would enforce them? A wine dinner I recently attended paired two wines with the same dish. One wine contrasted flavors, the other complimented.

CG: What is the most incorrect assumption you hear about wine?
JW: Rosé is for women.

CG: How should we read the wine label?
JW: With both eyes open, starting at the top left, working your way down to the bottom right.

CG: What is your background?
JW: I studied Middle Eastern politics and Arabic and fell into the wine industry.

CG: Does Phelps Creek have a tasting room?
JW: Yes, located at 1850 Country Club Road in Hood River, OR. We share space with Hood River Golf Course Club House. We are open from 11-5 every day.

CG: Would you share a few interesting facts about Phelp’s Creek Vineyard?
JW: Our winemaker, Alexandrine Roy commutes from her family vineyard in Burgundy, France to make our wines. We are the only vineyard offering multiple on-site wine country experience tours, taking guests through the vineyard to where the magic happens. We also have one of the most active and accommodating Wine Clubs. Members enjoy our famous annual “Salmon and Lamb Bake Dinner “which takes place just before harvest!

CG: Clearly you’re a wine lover, but do you ever drink beer?
JW: I’m an Oregonian! Of course I drink beer! Two personal Oregon favorite breweries are Double Mountain in Hood River and Crux in Bend.

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