Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

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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