Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

Home · Articles · News · Art · The art of the guitar
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The art of the guitar

Carina Hume - August 9th, 2007
Clay piggy bank artist Tyler Bier and girlfriend Anna Farrell have collaborated to offer a line of colorful, handmade, clay guitars at the Bier Art Gallery and Pottery Studio. A variety of mini guitar replicas are available for purchase, and a demonstration of the artists’ creative process will take place on Saturday, Aug. 11 at the gallery, located six miles south of Charlevoix.

The son of Ray and Tami Bier, owners of the Bier Art Gallery, Tyler has been working with clay for the last seven years.
“I started making piggy banks after my grandpa passed away, when I was about 13,” says the 20-year-old. Tyler Bier spent many years watching his grandpa on the potter’s wheel, but credits his parents for his clay skills. Ray is known for his functional stoneware pottery, while Tami creates whimsical and detailed clay sculpture as well as stoneware.
The gallery is housed in a converted red and white schoolhouse on US-31 that showcases a mixture of regional and national artists’ work in pottery, glass, wood, photography and more.

Dating since high school, Tyler and Anna decided to combine their artistic skills to create something new. “My parents were encouraging us to do something for the gallery because Anna’s good at art,” says Tyler.
The result is an impressive display of one-of-a-kind clay guitars, over a foot high and more than four inches wide. The couple sold three in their first month, with prices ranging from $165 to $195.
A guitarist in the Charlevoix-based band Painting Tradition since he was a freshman in high school, Bier admits the clay pieces are modeled after some of his own guitars.
“I own probably six guitars,” says Tyler, “so we looked at those and made our guitars after them.”

Creating a clay guitar piece takes eight hours, but combined with glaze and two firings, the finished project takes two weeks.
“They’re all slab built,” explains Tyler. “It’s really time consuming. We roll out slabs of clay, then cut out shapes of guitars, put them together, fire them, glaze them, fire them once more, then string them.” Copper speaker wire is used for each guitar’s strings.
Special orders are always welcome for those wanting mini replicas of their own guitars. Just bring a picture for the artists to create from.

Bier Art Gallery will host a demonstration day on Saturday, Aug. 11 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. to coincide with Charlevoix’s Waterfront Art Fair. Tyler and Anna, as well as other artists represented by the gallery, will be on hand to explain their work. Tyler has been participating and demonstrating his clay work for demonstration days since his early teens.
Clearly, art is a part of Tyler’s and Anna’s lives, but they’re not sure how much of a role it will play in their futures. Tyler is a junior business major at Grand Valley State University and Farrell will be joining him there as a freshman this fall, but neither have decided on specific career paths.
“Art is fun,” Tyler says with a laugh. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Bier Art Gallery and Pottery Studio is located six miles south of Charlevoix on US-31 and is open daily from 10a.m.-6p.m. or by appointment.
Call 231-547-2288, 866-880-5624 or
visit www.biergallery.com for more information.

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