Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Art · Allen Brown Art
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Allen Brown Art

Priscilla Miller - November 15th, 2007
When Allen Brown of Rapid City laid down his dental drill ten years ago and retired from his downstate dental practice, he was looking for something to do that would give him a sense of fulfillment. He knew he possessed artistic abilities, because dentistry requires skill and precision. But what to do?
He had been weaving “conventional” baskets as a hobby, ever since the day he and his wife Sue stepped into a shop, in search of material to cane a chair seat with. Sue was the one who came up with the suggestion that Brown should try making baskets.
The first time Brown saw an antler basket, he was intrigued. “My impression was that it looked like an ordinary ribbed basket, but with an antler for a handle,” Brown says.
He decided to try incorporating an antler into one of his own baskets. Once again, he found himself using a drill - but instead of drilling teeth, he was drilling individual holes into an antler, for the basket’s reed to fit into. That was the beginning of Brown’s unique basket sculptures.
In 2003 he entered one of his baskets into an event by the Michigan Association of Basket Makers, and won both Best in Category and the Viewers’ Choice Award. Even though he knew he had those aforementioned abilities, he never thought of himself as a real artist; he thought that to be an artist, one had to have years of special training.
“I am so happy, I found something that I find satisfaction in doing,” Brown says.
He admits that because this is a hobby, he likes to challenge himself and really “push the envelope” to see how intricate his work can become. He says that he could never make two baskets alike, even if he tried, because every antler is different. He explains that none of his baskets are preconceived and says, that his work is always evolving.
“The shape of the antler causes the design of the basket to happen,” he explains.
His sculptured baskets always attract a crowd of admiring spectators, whether at The Twisted Fish Gallery in Elk Rapids, or, this past summer, at the juried Alden Depot Art Festival, held on the shores of Torch Lake.
And today, the dentist is finally realizing that he is, indeed, an artist.
 
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