This past weekend I went with some friends on the “Crossing Borders” Art Tour in Northeastern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

David RenchDavid Rench, Photography

We couldn’t make it to every stop, but were completely inspired at every place that we were fortunate enough to visit. The Carriage House Gallery was the perfect place to start, with their homey ambiance and historic barn setting. They feature an amazing amount of talented artists in a unique space, along with their own pottery and photography.  Works originate from artists across the nation, including “The Whimzey Twins”, and visionary art from “Mr. Imagination”.

Bristol Pottery kilnFred Gregory, Bristol Pottery

Bristol Pottery in Bristol, WI was our next stop. Fred Gregory’s studio was very inspiring – wonderful working space in open country.  Fred has an enormous kiln (that he built)  that he fills with completed projects before firing.  I believe he fires about every 2 months or so, because it takes that long to compile enough items as well as the days of time it takes to fire and then cool.  Get on his mailing list for “kiln opening” announcements and previews of new things:  Bristol Pottery.

Don RambadtDon Rambadt, National Museum of Wildlife Art:  Aspen Gateway Sculpture

We visited Don Rambadt next, close by in Trevor, WI.  His sculptures are absolutely gorgeous, each with a unique personality that he manages to convey through twisting, curving, flowing sheets of metal.  Photos above show something a little different – more of a 2-D sculpture.  We were particularly struck by his use of highly polished metal to provide a reflecting surface for space and sky at Jackson Hole Wyoming.  Visit his links for more pictures, and see a video of the Jackson Hole installation:–pathways.html

Fox River GlassFox River Glass:  Angelo Fico and Karen Naylor

Our day was fast coming to a close, and we scooted over to Fox River Glass in Wilmot, WI.   Angelo and Karen were just closing, but fortunately let us in the door to quickly view their delicate glass blown work.  Demonstrations had been going all day, and continued on Sunday as well, opening the doors to the working studio for a glimpse at what it takes to create their one of a kind vessels and sculpture from molten glass drawn from a fiery furnace.

Wilmot Artisan Market. gave us the final art of the day, with many talented offerings displayed in the historic old house.  I think our common favorite was a breathtaking sunset photo by owner Cindy Garwood.  See more of her photography here:

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