Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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