Monday, November 15, 2010

Festival of the Masters

Friday afternoon John and I spent a fabulous few hours at the Festival of the Masters art fair at Downtown Disney. Then, since I'd forgotten my camera, we went back Sunday afternoon and did it all over again. :)

The good news is it was even better the second time through, if a lot more crowded.

Our view walking in from the parking lot. (We haven't tried the new balloon ride yet.)

Our first stop was artist Deona's stand, where, of course, the painting I'd been eying on Friday was already sold. (Drat.)

See the penny farthing there on the bottom? (That's the big wheel bike.) The one I liked was like that only with a juggling girl on it, and the frame was distressed red and white stripes, like an old-timey circus. I guess I should've bought it when I had the chance. Grr.

Next we spent a looong time gawking at Jim Mullan's booth:

He paints and embellishes hand-carved wooden birds with old watch parts, gears, handles, and various antique metal findings.

If you're thinking "steampunk," you're not alone. I asked Jim if he'd heard of the style, and he said a lot of people had mentioned it to him. "But I've been doing this a long time," he told me. "I was 'steampunk' before there was steampunk." He described his house as overflowing with vintage tin toys, antique furniture, and an entire clock shop's worth of flotsam. (Wouldn't you love to see pics of that?)

His owl here placed first in his category. John and I seriously considered buying it, but went with this more colorful guy instead:

Since he has a vintage "Schnapps" tag on his chest, I've dubbed him Schnappsie. His head turns (and even comes off!) on two vintage watch dials. Isn't he great?

And the final artist I'm going to rave about is J.G. Puyana, who sadly has no website.

He constructs these amazing architectural pieces from metal and glass and charms. It's hard to describe, so I'll just show you some more pictures:

(See that piece in the background, up high, with the wings? If you turn a crank the wings flap.)

This piece has an observatory-style chair on a platform in front of several lenses. Here's a shot from further back:

The booth was half in glaring sunlight and packed with people, so getting these photos was a real challenge. It shows, too. Sorry.

One of Gabriel's pieces also placed first in his category - I believe the largest one in back that I couldn't get a picture of. Fortunately I found this photo of it on another blog, though:

The huge glass house has small paintings of people inside.

Oh, and that dangling pendulum and wires just left of center is the bottom half of the flapping wings piece.

John chatted with Gabriel for several minutes, and learned that his pieces are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Disneyland Paris. At multiple thousands each, they are also in no way affordable to the likes of us. Heh.

This piece is an homage to Monet (Or was it Van Gogh?):

The copper hands are holding a lens that lines up with two more sheets of glass, the final being the "canvas" on a brass easel. When you look through you see this wavy, iridescent pattern.

My favorite piece was the one hanging from the ceiling, though:

Isn't it gorgeous? I'd love to have something like this for our dining room chandelier. Now I just need to learn to weld. And find all those materials. And...uh...yeah.

If you're interested in contacting Puyana, his number is 407-671-4433. And yes, that really is the only way to contact him.

Now, since this post is getting a bit too long, stay tuned for more pics of the amazing sidewalk art, Disney paintings-in-progress, and my preview of Epic Mickey, which I got to play there at the Festival! (Woot woot!)

Oh, and here's one parting shot of the balloon:


  1. "Too long"? I don't think so...

    I could easily read a post twice as long made by you, Jen.

    Thank you for sharing all your adventures with us!!

  2. I agree with Kim, your posts are never "too long"! Can't wait for more pictures :)

  3. hello! I am 11 years old and a big fan of Cake Wrecks and your blog. I love how you talk about your adventures, and I have an idea.
    This will sound weird due to my age, but you need to go to Burning Man. the level of geekery has skyrocketed. I actually stayed in a world of warcraft themed camp! there's beautiful art and steampunk crafts, too. Not to mention there is an amazing experience LITERALLY around every corner! I raided the city (WoW style) climbed to the top of a 50 foot high dome (and jumped on the trampoline on top,) and gawked at huge sculptures. Besides the extreme heat it's a very fun thing!

  4. I want everything I own to be steampunk >.<

    I wonder if I could make a Garden-steampunk theme for my wedding...hmmm...

    And your posts are never too long. They're perfect for my procrastinating purposes :)

  5. Yours post are definitely not too long. I wish there was more of it.

  6. I like the name of the cute bird :^D I think I might have been super compelled to name him Petey... the lovely beheaded bird from Dumb and Dumber...if only his head was attached with duct tape.

  7. Jen, you find the COOLEST stuff!

    Heart. You.

  8. Wow! I wonder if you could make a chandelier using J.B. Weld... ;)

  9. So amazing!!! I love the birds; on a croquet ball??! It doesn't get better than that :D

  10. The piece that is an homage to Monet looks like it is sitting atop "Starry Night."
    Love the owl!!!!

  11. More Jen MORE! I adore Schnappsie and think he would be a divine inspiration to build a room around. I freaking LOVE the stuff by Jim Mullan.

  12. Are you sure that's an homage to Monet? Looks like Van Gogh.

  13. Hm, you may be right, Marnie & Jessica: maybe that piece *was* an homage to Van Gogh, not Monet. I could've sworn I read Monet, but that definitely looks like Starry Night on the base. It's too bad JG doesn't have a website so I can go double check!

  14. I am so sorry I missed this, and by just a few days!

  15. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us, Jen!

    The homage piece you weren't sure about is to van gogh, the spotty yellow swirls on the base plate are the stars from his Starry Night painting.

    I don't know how to do links, but here's a photo of the painting for you

    I love reading your blog, both of them. Cakewrecks makes me giggle and this one... I just love it :)

    Thank you again!

  16. Yeah, I'd say that's definitely Van Gogh, not Monet. The piece on the bottom is very "Starry Night".

  17. I would love a chandelier like that, with a working clock mechanism and hands installed ...

  18. You make me want to live closer to DW. I guess I'll just make due by living vicariously through your posts (which are never "too long").

    Thanks again!

  19. I'm surprised you got to take all those pictures! I was at an arts festival a couple weekends ago and was surprised to see lots of booths with signs that said "No pictures!"

    How often does Downtown Disney have these art shows? I'm kicking myself that I didn't know about it. I live close enough to make a day trip for that kind of art show totally worth it!

  20. I made sure to ask each artist before taking pics, Liz; some of the other booths did have "no photos" signs posted, so I always check first.

    Festival happens every year around the same time, so you should definitely come down for the next one!

  21. Every year Galveston has Dickens on the Strand for Christmas. I was looking at the brochure, and this year is pretty heavily steampunked themed. :)

  22. Oh, I have one of Jim Mullan's birds! Ours is very similar to this one on his site, but the bocce ball is gold: I made the spouse promise me we could get a songbird next time he came to the American Craft Council show in ATL! =D

  23. It's Van Gogh. What fun art pieces! I want to see that guy's vintage toy/antique metal workshop too. :)


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