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Island Arts Tour

David Erue and Bobbi Arnold
David Erue and Bobbi Arnold

The Holiday 2011 Vashon Island Art Studio Tour will be held on two weekends, December 3rd and 4th and 10th and 11th, 10-4 each day. It’s a free, self-guided event with over 40 participating studios. Follow the numbers designated on the Studio Tour map which is available online at and at most island businesses. There are many studios to visit, a few of which are profiled below.

Roxy Hathaway and Nancy Scott Wienker of ReGenr8 (#34 on the brochure) make artful handbags created from found materials. "We use everything we find that we can turn into a beautiful artful handbag." This year a very talented group of friends will join them and be offering items including jewelry, re-surfaced menswear, collaged cards and encaustics, organic skincare and even scented fans! All will be in the Two Door Gallery hallway for the December First Friday.Mary Hosick (#28 on the brochure) is a potter and a painter. Her colorful still life paintings line the entryway of her comfortable home. The view from her front door is of her kiln shed, a pleasant pavilion where she fires her clay art. Down the stairs into the studio it is all business. Unfired pots line the shelves and souvenir posters from her time studying pottery in China cover the walls. Mary is a talented artist whose fascinating wares and interesting studio will tempt anyone on the studio tour.

Mike Magrath (#33 on the brochure) is a sculptor and a teacher. His spacious, airy studio is located at the Beall Greenhouses. "We offer classes here in sculpting and drawing, and I do figurative bronze and public art as well as commissions. I’m also a teacher at the Gage Academy in Seattle. There’s a large number of people on Vashon who take classes at the Gage and we’ve been offering some similar classes here. In terms of my own work, I work in clay and bronze and other cast media as well. When people come by they’ll see me working on this sculpture of children jumping into a swimming pool."

David Erue and Bobbi Arnold (#4 on the brochure) have very different artistic interests. Bobbi is a felter who describes her colorful and tactile creations with a magnetic passion. Their house is filled with her wearable and displayable handcrafted objects made from many exotic wools and other fibers. If you live on Vashon, you already know Dave’s metal art. He made the Giraffe across from Subway downtown as well as many other Vashon landmarks. Dave also teaches classes in welding in his no-frills workshop next to their lovely home. His fascinating and whimsical welded sculpture, of every size and purpose, fills the drive and entry.

Brian Brenno (#3 on the brochure) is a glass artist. "Our studio is a great place to come and see glass blowers in action all day long. It’s fun to sit on the couch and watch us blowing glass. Families, kids adults can come in and be part of the process of blowing a Christmas ornament. They’ll choose their colors and blow the air in the pipe and be involved in the actual making of it. Families really love it and we have people coming back and turning it into a tradition. We also have lots of under $50 gift things: stuff for the garden, stuff for the home and of course my famous hand-blown glass hats."

Kira Bacon (#1 on the brochure) is a fiber artist. "My work takes a new approach to a traditional fiber craft. Using a rug-hooking technique, I integrate hand-dyed silk, rusted metal and found objects to create two and three dimensional wall pieces. The refined, richly colored silk and the rough steel creates a textural contrast that defines my work. In addition to my wall art, I am also using a technique called punch embroidery to create wearable art, primarily pins and pendants. These pieces are constructed of fine wool yarn. Like my wall pieces, I often incorporate metal objects into my wearable art."

Morgan Brig (#20 on the brochure) is a copper artist. She describes her art as "copper and enamel that’s been torch fired. And then there’s a lot of other methods that have been added on like etching with brass, etching with nickel silver and also photo transfers that have been applied to the enamel surface after it’s been fired. People coming to the studio will see a multitude of things. They will see clocks, they will see figures, houses, boats, magnets and other gift items. The houses are the new thing I have going this year. Each one has its own personality. They are UBU houses. Each one has a face and a certain personality that goes with the image on it, and there are certain characteristics like magic or being stubborn or being a good thinker for instance. The houses are the big new thing this year."

Biffle French of Heron Cove Studio (#14 on the brochure) is the author of "Paddling the Waters of Vashon Island." He is also a photographer, wood turner and furniture maker. "I spent six months shooting photos of herons, eagles, terns, osprey and loons, all around the island from my kayak. I was often able to get very close, and so the shots are quite detailed. I have some very lucky ones indeed, and they are all worth seeing if you like nature." He is offering framed and unframed prints of many sizes as well as art cards and various turned wood objects.