Monday, June 27, 2011

Local Beer and Singing Bowls

The Wedge Studio

I promised to post the rest of the River Arts District Studio Stroll.  This studio is called The Wedge on Roberts Street in Asheville.  Built in 1916 the building, once a food warehouse, now houses a number of artists on the street level and below by the railroad tracks.  Ashehville has been chosen Best Small City for Art and it shows.

Sign in window.

Rather than show all of artists in this building, which I covered last year, I want to share one of my favorites.  Marston Blow creates incredible singing bowls out of pottery.  They are usually made of brass or glass.  From the street side, you enter her showroom displaying all sorts of plates, vases, bowls and more for sale along with her singing bowls.

Inside Marston set up a table with bowls of all sizes to encourage visitors to try one out.  If you are not familiar with this meditation method I will explain how to use the bowl.  You hold the wood mallet lightly in your hand and run it around the edge of the bowl.  After a few seconds, the bowl will start to vibrate and hum or sing.  Large bowls make deeper tones and smaller ones higher tones.  The tones they emit encourage healing , meditation and a calm state of mind.  The sound in the room was soothing with everyone trying their hand on the bowls.  To learn more about Marston and her singing bowls check out her web site here.

My singing bowl.
My husband gave me a bowl for Christmas last year.  I went with him to pick it out since I wanted to choose the tone and size.  I love mine and use it often.

Marston, the artist showing how to use the bowls.

Just below her studio there are steps going down to the lower level of The Wedge and to the Wedge Brewing Company, a local microbrewery.  For the second year in a row, Asheville was named Beer City USA for all of its local beers made here.

View from above of trains and brewery.
The brewery offers about 6-7 of their own locally made beers on tap with indoor and outdoor seating.  If you like trains, it is fun to be here when one goes by.  They also have live music outside to entertain the patrons - usually a local band.

Metal sculpted fence around the outside seating area.

A food truck offers edibles outside the Wedge.

Some pups jostling for a spot in the shade.
Hope you enjoyed the tour.  If I keep having issues with downloading pics I will just do a photo or two rather than a long post.  See you on the weekend.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

River Arts District Studio Stroll June 2011

It seems like I did more posts in the winter than I am doing now that the nice weather has arrived.  It could be that I am busy doing things and visiting places to use for my posts.  Between that, work, caring for my rescued cats and doing the blogs, I have even less time to get online.  Please forgive me for not getting back to all of you who visit - I am slowly working my way through.

Last weekend was the River Arts District Studio Stroll in Asheville.  Over 100 artists have studios in this old industrial warehouse area down by the river and train tracks.  Every June and November they host a weekend open house where you can stop by to see them at work, buy art and enjoy the atmosphere.  It covers a rather large area so I decided to visit studios I did not make it to last year.

I will do a two-part feature on the stroll beginning with the Pink Dog Creative studios along with a restaurant I discovered in the complex.  Brad Stroman is the husband of a friend of mine and I was eager to see the new studio he had moved into.

Unlike some of the older buildings, it is bright and spacious with lots of great light.  Located on Depot Street, it is a bit away fromt he center of the arts district but worth the walk.  Opened recently, the building originally housed textile manufacturers and warehouse.

Brad explains that  his paintings "reflect the intimate and fragile relationship between man and nature."  Using the Zen Buddhist concept of Wabi-sabi he shows how that all things are impermanent, incomplete and imperfect..  An explanation of wabi-sabi is below.  His work is delicate yet colorful and is in galleries all over the country.  For more information on his work, please visit his website here.

Just down the street from the Pink Dog is a relatively new restaurant that I had not been to before called The Magnetic Field.  Don't you love the name? They offer a cafe, bar with bands and dancing and live professional theater.

The menu was eclectic and the food superb. The food is mostly local meats, cheeses, produce and beers. We coud not decide so ordered several plates to share - quiche, arugula salad and crab cakes.

The decor is modern with lots of dining areas indoors and outside. I will have to come back to try the theater - the offerings looked to be quite interesting! They have a great website here.

Outdoor Wednesday

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blue Ridge Mountains in Haze

You often see pictures of the Blue Ridge Mountains in a blue hue going off into the distance.  This is not something you see every day so when I caught these photos I was excited.  The combination of the humidity, and haze worked to my advantage.  This is the view from the deck of the Grove Park Inn Asheville.

With the hot, humid hazy days we have been having the Blue Ridge Mountains are showing  their characteristically blue hue.  The mountains are noted for their bluish color when seen from a distance. Trees put the "blue" in Blue Ridge, from the isoprene released into the atmosphere, thereby contributing to the characteristic haze on the mountains and their distinctive color.

Some info on the mountains for those not familiar with them - The Blue Ridge range is part of the Appalachian Mountains and begins in southern Pennsylvania and extends into northern Georgia with over 125 peaks exceeding 5,000 feet including Mount Mitchell at 6684 feet.

Hope you all are surviving the heat. I am off to the River Arts Studio Stroll this weekend - hope to post that this week.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Larkspur and Sunflowers

 I stopped by our local produce stand yesterday while doing errands and was delightfully surprised at the fresh flowers they had for sale - larkspur, lilies and sunflowers in huge bouquets.  I looked off into the garden on the right and the larkspur  was blooming as far as I could see. (All photos will bignify when clicked.)

Larkspur bouquets

Lily assortment.

Next to the larkspur was a smaller bed of sunflowers all just about to open.  It was a wonderful sensual overload!  Enjoy!



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