TED talk drumroll

Yes, I finally presented my TEDx talk up in Vail. What an experience. It won’t be released for a good month, so keep your shirt on. My talk title: How drawing outside the lines Keeps Opening Doors. This journey was one of the most challenging yet. Amazingly enough, I learned even more about me and my process. I encountered deep fear and insecurities that I hadn’t felt for decades. Thank God I have so much resource for support. I reached out A LOT and got some great help. Phew! So I’m back making doors and tables and sculpture in my shop. I have a great relationship with wood. KEEP OPENING DOORS

Doors and shows

Well, it’s been a while since my last blog. Lots going on here at my home and studio. Right now I have at least 8 doors in the queue, 2 tables and 2 sculptures, so get your place in line now. Hopefully, I will still be able to get you in in 2016. Call anytime. March 12-14th I’ll be in Santa Fe at the HOME SHOW. Just my doors. I’ll let you know how that turns out.
Here are some recent doors:
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Back to the West Coast

Scot and I are very excited to head back to the Hawthorne Gallery in Big Sur for their fall extravaganza ( 100’s of people adorn this magnificent coastal gallery to enjoy the art, the ocean, and exciting ambiance.  I have Live Edge Dining tables, Desks, Sculptures and more. If you’re near come by. It’s truly worth a visit. Here are a fun pieces to enjoy that I’ve recently created. I took this shot in front of our house.walnut reflections 011

It takes a village – a bow to three elements design

I just installed “The Reclining Guitar” on the corner of S Public Rd. and Emma in Lafayette, CO. I am so excited about this piece. I couldn’t have done it without the help of many. It often takes a village to create a sculpture. My first note of gratitude goes to Eric Seelig, owner of Three Elements Timberworks Inc.:  Not only did  he supply me with the amazing chunk of Fir that I created the piece with, but he helped me with the first cuts on the guitar with his portable band saw. I could not have cut these first pieces without him. Please check out his web site. The structural wood designs he does is a must see. Thank you Eric.

Maple Dining Table

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Well, I sold this fabulous Maple Dining Table from the Hawthorne Gallery a couple of months ago. So, Scot and I decided to have another road trip and make some tables to drive out to Big Sur. Here’s one of them – a desk , made of Mahogany, Purple Heart, steel, and a natural edge Redwood top. One of my faves!

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I’m now working on some big outdoor sculptures: one for the town of Lafayette, Colorado. And one for The Beverly Hills Centennial Celebration. I find it more challenging and quite exciting to create bigger. I’m playing with different coloring finishes for these projects. For fun and for more durability.

“Le Duet” in many ways…

Le Duet_Mahogany & WalnutOpen Studios is just around the corner. I love being a big part of our local flavor. This year my “Le Duet” is the poster and PR piece for Boulder’s Open Studios. Quite a hoot and an honor. Also, David Norrie and I are making a few natural edge coffee tables and dining tables to take to the Hawthorne Gallery in Big Sur.  I’m making some new sculptural benches, too. Please come visit me the last weekend in September and the first 2 weekends in October. You’ll see some fun stuff.

Big Sur Excitement

I’ve been on the West Coast meeting designers, visiting galleries, and basically having a blast enjoying the weather, the biking, the architecture, etc. I got into the most fabulous gallery in the area – Hawthorne Gallery. Right across from the famous dining spot, Nepenthe – the location couldn’t be better. I’ll be creating a few coffee tables and a dining table for them by mid October. David Norrie will be creating the bases. David and I love teaming up and we’re both thrilled to be a part of this wonderful tight knit group of artists. This gallery is a must see if you are anywhere near the area. I’ll post the tables as they appear. Off to the bay area tomorrow. Then back to our Colorado home. Ahhhh…

The Honorable Justice Sonia Sotomayor dedicates the The Ralph L Carr Judicial Center in Denver

photo (2) Sonia-AnnieHow lucky am I? Very! Thank you very much. I just got to be a part of an incredible historic event in which my Doors and sculptures played a big role. The new Justice Center in Denver was just honored for it’s magnificence and beauty by the amazing Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. I had the privilege of being there for this 2 day event. And, got to take a photo with Justice Sonia in front of my doors. Swoon! She is the coolest thing around. If any of you get a chance to visit this magnificent building – do it! It truly honors Justice and Glory. I’m proud to be a part of it in any way.

The Grosso Home

I thought last year was fun. Well, this year is already proving to be exquisite. I’m just finishing up a beautiful Dining Room Table. It’s made of Kauri Wood, from New Zealand, and there is a lot of fun/elegant ebony joinery (butterfly and finger joints) adding to it’s already natural movement. I’ll post a photo when it’s completed. That should be soon. My friend and brilliant blacksmith, David Norrie is creating the bottom for the table. He’s really come up with the prime design to complete this canvas. We should have it in the new home in a couple of weeks. David and I are also doing 2 other tables for these open-minded clients.I’m about to embark on some great Doors to enhance an existing Music Center in the same home. I get to combine my furniture making expertise with my Door making excitement and create a piece that will look like a huge wooden art wall when everything is closed. Great commission! Thank you Greg and Edna. And thank you, Barb Silverman for introducing us. It worked!

Yummy Commissions

Well, the Judicial Doors and the sculptural back panels for the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver are up. Almost, that is. The big 8 1/2 foot Mahogany and bronze doors are installed in the Clerk’s vestibule and the “wooden waterfalls” for the back of the Law Library are there and about to be permanently installed. Nest week! That one is called “Peaceful Resolution”, a perfect name for this sculpture that will calm those who lay their eyes upon it. I love how wood helps to calm the frantic surroundings of today’s world.

This has been the most exciting project for me. Creating for and with Fentress Architects and Mortenson Constuction  has been a a joy and has forced me to think outside the box even more than usual. I’ve made it a goal to bring all of my kindergarten skills to this project. “Play well with others” being  number one. Whether it’s been the wonderful people that I hired to help me create the doors and panels or Kristine Willie, the project manager for Mortenson, who I’ve worked closely with all along the way, I put my connection with them as a priority. What a difference that has made. I’ve really had fun with them all. I look forward to working with you all again! What a hoot!

The Judicial Center will be open to the public so come on by and enjoy all the fabulous art that they have chosen.


Open Studios Success

I get to open my home and studio to the public for the first 2 weekends in October. I always get about 200 excited folks walking through, asking questions, petting wood and ooooooing and ahhhing. I really enjoyed it this year. I met some great new people, giggled with some kids, and got some great new commissions. I just finished the last glue up to a door commission I got during Open Studios. Entrance Door with a smokey window and a beautifully figured wombly. I really like the clients, too. What a bonus that is. Honestly, I usually enjoy my clients. I get to put our connection into the Doors or tables or sculpture. I know it adds to the whole experience for us all.

Annie’s Judicial Doors

Doors for the Denver Judicial Center

I am happy to announce that my commission for the Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver is completed.  I have enjoyed the whole process from the beginning concept to the finishing touches. There was lots to think about during the course of the project. Understatement. To be able to create “liquid wood” from solid Mahogany took my lifetime of woodworking experience. I have 30 years to pull from. Mentors, workshops, daily sawdust making, successes, oopses – they all aided in my quest to create. The Doors and the Sculptural Panels will be installed in a few weeks. The Judicial Center is open to the public, so feel free to go and visit them. You’re welcome to touch them as they touch you.

Opening Doors

What an exciting month it’s been. There are two sets of big, gorgeous, Mahogany Doors at the finisher right now. One set is going into the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver, Colorado. Mahogany and bronze elegance waiting to enhance everyone’s “court” experience. I’ll let you know when the grand opening is and we can celebrate together. You can get a taste of these doors on this website under Portfolio, then, custom doors, and scroll all the way to the last door on the page. Enjoy.

The other set is for a beautiful residence just north of my home and studio. 8 foot doors with some slivers of rectangular glass to sweeten the architectural entrance. I’ve enjoyed every step in this process from meeting my wonderful clients to creating their dream doors in my shop. I have two part-time assistants who have added even more joy and a handful of giggles to the overall experience.

Right now I’m working on “Peaceful Resolution” –  sculptural, wooden waterfall, back panels that will also be installed in the Justice Center (Law Library) in a few months. Great movement, big challenges, exciting roads to new wood art. How lucky am I?

It’s never too late to make a good first impression

Scot and I drove Peter’s door to him last week. I think he wins for the worst “before” door. What a differnce a door can make. My new line, “It’s never too late to make a good first impression.”

I’m currently working on a pair of doors for a wonderful family that lives less that 5 miles away. Love the convenience. I’m creating one door at 44″ and the stationary door will be 28″ adding to the sculptural simplicity of the design. The syncopated windows offer a lightness  to the composition. The wood has been milled and is ready to cut to length. Then, a symphony of joinery: stainless steel dowels, biscuits, wood dowels, and finally,wood splines for the top and the bottom of the door – never seen when completed, but vital for stability.

In sawdust…


My brother’s door

I’m making my brother, Peter, a door for his home in Altadena, CA. Peter did a remarkable thing for me in 2003. I was just told by the city of Boulder that I had to take my new 2 story passive solar shop down. What? I had all the permits, jumped all the right hoops. Apparently, the Federal utility easement that was across the way didn’t show up on the city’s computer and I wasn’t ever supposed to build on that property. Not only did I have to take the shop down, but take the foundation out as well. It was devastating to me. The city has a “immunity clause” so one can’t sue or get any compensation from them. What?! Well, right after it all came down, my brother wrote me a letter with a $5000 dollar check in it and wrote, ” I’m going to want a door someday, but I bet you could use this now.” Wow! What a blessing.  And now he’s ready and I get to create a beautiful Mahogany front door for Peter and his wife, Carmen. Ain’t life something!

Public vs. Private

I’ve decided to keep applying to public art venues. I love working in all my mediums: sculpture, furniture, doors. I’ve made a living for the past 30 years on commission work for individuals. This is great. I get more contact with the client. Connection is vital. I don’t think I would still be doing what I do if I didn’t have my connections with the people I work with/for. I love the one-on-one thing.  Having said that, it seems like a good time in my career to start doing bigger projects. For now, one Public piece a year would be fantastic. This way I could continue doing my commission work and not feel so stressed about “how many”. I’ve just applied to a handful of “public art” around the country. Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I hope to create a giant sculptural clock tower for a building soon. Inside or out.

First Blog

I’t’s very exciting in my shop these days. I am currently creating huge Mahogany Doors for the new Ralph L. Carr Judicial Center in Denver. They’re 8 1/2 feet tall. 2 1/4″ thick. I’d say about 300 pounds a piece. I have also inlayed beautiful sculpted bronze (created by Bill Vielehr) into the doors. They’re pretty much done. It took 4 strong people to get them leaning against the wall. I’m just waiting to see what door pulls I’ll use, then take them down to Denver to pre hang before I get the finish on. Wew!

I’m also creating 4 big “Wooden Waterfall” sculptures, inlayed with bronze, for the new Law Library in the Judicial Center. This has been such a great commission. It’s all happening in my studio as we speak.

Oh, and I’m building my brother, Peter, from Altadena, CA, a beautiful front door. This, too, happening…