Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

Home · Articles · News · Art · Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier
. . . .

Anna Farrell & Tyler Bier

Al Parker - August 1st, 2011
A high school project has turned into a creative, popular line of detailed
ceramic guitars produced by Charlevoix artisans Anna Farrell and Tyler
Bier.
“I made one that was about two-feet high, a Fender, for a class project
years ago,” recalls the 24-year-old Bier, who has seven real guitars of
his own. “After that I just started making them, though smaller.”
For about two years, both Bier and Farrell constructed the guitars, but
now she specializes in the axes, while Bier has moved on to more
functional ceramics like dishes, mugs, piggy banks and serving bowls.
“Anna’s guitars are a lot neater (than mine),” says Bier with a smile.
“She’s incredibly talented and precise. I stick to the wheel now.”
Farrell’s 12-inch guitars have been well received by music fans and art
collectors across the country. In just the past year she’s sold more than
60 of them. They range in price from $125 to $285.
“I just sent an order to a guy in Chicago,” says Farrell. “He doesn’t play
at all, but just really likes guitars. I do sell some to guitarists or
family members of musicians. I get a lot of repeat customers”
Each guitar is crafted from clay slabs for the hollowed body and the
foundation for the guitar’s unique characteristics such as pick guards,
knobs and pickups. Then each instrument is fired for three hours in the
kiln at 1,900 degrees, custom glazed for two hours and fired again for up
to two hours at 2,250 degrees. The final stage includes stringing with
wires and applying tags.

STRATS & GIBSONS
About 20 different guitar body templates are used as guides, including
Stratocaster, Les Paul, Telecaster, Gibson SG and Hofner bass. “They’re a
lot of fun to make,” says Farrell, who isn’t a guitarist at all, but does
play the violin. “I get a lot of custom orders.”
She also gets asked to fashion other musical instruments, including pianos
and trumpets. “I may try some of those over the winter. I’m working on
designing a cello. And I do make some violins.”
Bier and Farrell have had a busy summer with art shows almost every
weekend. On Aug. 6-7 they’ll be at the Portside Arts Fair in East Jordan.
The Labor Day weekend will find them downstate at Franklin’s Art in the
Village on Sept. 6.
In addition to Farrell’s guitars, at shows the pair offers a variety of
Bier’s functional, yet beautiful, creations. Unlike some artists who use
commercial glazes, all of Bier’s items feature custom glazes created by
hand in his studio. “I think making our glaze is part of the art,” he
says. “A lot of it is trial and error. Even when you have an idea of what
will happen, you might be completely wrong.”
Farrell and Bier met at Charlevoix High School and have been together
for about six years. Bier’s parents – Ray and Tami – are talented
ceramic artists in their own rights and operate the Bier Gallery, about
six miles south of Charlevoix. “I grew up around clay,” Bier laughs. “I
can’t draw, can’t paint.”
After high school, Bier and Farrell went to Grand Valley State University
where he majored in finance and she in communications. Then they began
working as serious artists.
“It was always a dream of mine to be involved with art,” says 22-year-old
Farrell. “Some day I’d like to try painting landscapes. I’ve tried oils
and acrylics, but never done water colors.”

For more information, go to
www.biergallery.com.
 
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