service brewing: tap handle

Service Brewing brews beers and donates a portion of their profits to charities that support service.  Additionally, they commission art. Service Brewing asked that a group of artists adapt one tap handle each to reflect a patriotic theme.  All will be used in the R+D division serving area.

In order to make a tribute to my family and to all who serve, I’ve collected hundreds of buttons both vintage and contemporary with the majority from military uniforms. Others are simply brass.  In addition to applying the buttons, I’ve encrusted the piece with found beads, brads and deconstructed stainless steel ball chains:  didn’t my dog tags come on these?

I love the idea of so many hands throughout history touching these small items.  I understand the buttons have seen and heard myriad stories unfold and fold back again. I also enjoyed thinking about my two grandfathers and their time in the Navy during World War II. One served in the Hawaiin Area.  The other served as an illustrator in the Coastal Command drawing maps from aerial photographs for the Western Task Force. Having recently snorkeled in a coral reef, I couldn’t help thinking about the ocean’s ability to encrust whatever stays still with unusual shapes, color and life.  In creating the piece, I saw the handle growing into a little treasure of history, people, shape, color and life as well.

And as the Service Brewers develop beers, test them, taste them with visitors, share stories, this handle will witness and hopefully serve another hundred years.

vintage and repurposed buttons, beads, brads on wood substrate, 2014

piece quilt

A response to a crape myrtle painting I finished in the last year, this pieced and hand-stitched work is designed to be presented in all four directions.  While the repurposed burlap might not feel very good on the body until washed several times, the work could function as a bed cover or a drape.  It might be framed in a box under plexi-glass and serve as a wall treatment.  You could decide.

crape myrtle quilt no. 1, 6.5' x 7', silk and burlap, 2014


I know three paintings from my childhood.  A portrait of a black sheep of the family, as if there’s only one, from the late 1800s hangs at my father’s home.  The sheep’s eyes travel with you as you move about the house.  Two feature Bermuda.  I studied them and imagined myself in them.

I have known Bermuda (and black sheep eyes) my entire life.  How has it taken so many years for me to visit the place I belong?  Eighty degrees all day every day, jungle like vibrant, textured gardens, food hanging from and under trees, blue water and big skies.

If I go missing, you can find me here:  32.3000° N, 64.7833° W

cambridge road, somerset village, bermuda