Ars Gratia Artless

Like so many people with not a trace of artistic ability I’m fascinated by the people who can visualize and create beautiful things. I have a friend who is an art collector and I envy her since she can surround herself with items which no amount of viewing will ever remove the wonder from. I don’t want it to sound like there is no creative work around where I sit since a great deal of pug art hangs on the walls (of course) as well as some fine items by artist friends. In the latter category I wanted to show a few new things that have landed here.

Rhona Carantes came to my attention when I saw some pen cases she created shown on a fountain pen user group. A trip to her site proved her to be a creative and talented woman whose canvas was leather. Working from a forest abode in the Philippine city of Baguio she hand tools a variety of items all of which are stunning. I commissioned a clock from her and when received was very impressed by its design and the workmanship exceeding my expectations. Afterwards I asked Rhona in passing if she could create something new for me: a pen box. Before I knew it the box was done which was notable since it was around the time a terrible typhoon hit the Baguio area. Considering the few rough ideas I had supplied the final product was impressive.

I might also mention that Rhona is a fascinating person to correspond with. Her twin daughters are not only artists as well but practitioners of a Filipino martial art called Kali. Connected to that is her work making sheaths for hand crafted locally made knives. It’s really hard to believe she is also a grandmother which leads me to think there is something in that forest which maintains youth.

The last thing I want to share was an unexpected birthday gift. I’ve blogged about the artist Chris Gryder before and one benefit of being his friend is that sometimes you are lucky enough to be surprised with some original art. He works in ceramics and I’m adding this wonderful new piece below to my small Gryder gallery.

  1. January 21, 2010, 8:45 am

    Beautiful colours and textures on all three pieces!

    1. TAO
      January 22, 2010, 11:58 pm

      Thanks, they are very nice. Wish I could create like that.

  2. hazel
    January 23, 2010, 3:01 am

    what did she use for the pen tray?

  3. January 23, 2010, 8:29 am

    What beautiful pen boxes and cases!!

  4. TAO
    January 23, 2010, 11:25 am

    Hazel: The tray in the box is covered with a soft material and may have cardboard ribs beneath it. The construction of the bottom of the box is a mystery to me.
    Julie: Thanks!

  5. February 20, 2010, 4:07 am

    The clock and the pen case are amazing.

    1. TAO
      February 20, 2010, 11:18 am

      Thanks Mona, I wish I could take credit for making them! 🙂 Julie (Okami) is getting a pen case form Rhona so hopefully I’ve started something.