Monday, February 1, 2016

Mesquite Hearts - Work is our love made visible

Work is our love made visible and the Mesquite Heart Series that Lou Quallenberg has created is a tribute to this beautiful quote by Kahlil Gibran.  
“Work is love made visible. And if you can't work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”― Kahlil Gibran
As Valentine's Day approaches I thought it only fitting to showcase these incredible mesquite sculptures and share some of their secrets and stories.

The hearts originally began as Valentine's Day gifts from Lou to me. You can read a bit more about that on an earlier blog post Mesquite with all my HEART. Small and large tokens of love, each and every one a unique declaration of love. A gentleman visiting the shop for the @LAST Llano Art Studio Tour saw one and asked Lou to make one for his wife. That  simple request sent Lou on this new path chasing his heart in a more sculptural direction.

Moresco Square Base Mesquite Heart
Moresco Square Base and Moresco Natural Base were the first two mesquite heart sculptures that Lou created for someone other than myself. He originally intended one for the client and one to send to Marta Stafford at Marta Stafford Fine Art his local Gallery Representative in Marble Falls. Both pieces were purchased by the client which sent him back to the wood pile to find more sculpture wood to create another piece. 
Moresco Natural Base Mesquite Heart

The ideas and hearts began to dance in his head and across his sketchpad. 

Glass smooth, stylized, removable hearts amid a flowing and textured, free-form base. Each Heart Sculpture has two hearts in it representing each partner in the couple. Often one heart is bigger than the other.....

Messer Mesquite Heart
The "Messer" Mesquite Heart was on the workbench being created as a spec piece for the gallery when a visitor stopped in and purchased it on the spot. It was finished and on display at the next Art Studio Tour and the lucky woman that was to receive it several months later for her birthday praised and admired it without knowing it would soon be hers. 

Franco/Lacy Mesquite Heart
The "Franco/Lacy" Mesquite Heart was next up and it was a special commission. The client had seen the Moresco Hearts and had said she wanted one. Lou still had a piece of mesquite from the tree that had come from her Father's yard in San Angelo and was used in the Dancing Trees and several of the other pieces he created for the Chapel. This special heart would be so very full of heart and would create another commission for Christmas, of small hearts for the grandchildren, using remaining bits of the Franco Tree.


Franco Mesquite Hearts




Mesquite Hearts A'Flame
Mesquite Hearts A'Flame began again as a spec piece for the Gallery and the ever patient Marta. Once again another visitor to the shop decided his wife needed to have it even before he saw it finished.  This piece debuted the taller style sculpted base. We also created a video of this piece so that it could be viewed from all sides.





Hidden Heart Mesquite Heart Sculpture
Hidden Heart Mesquite Heart Sculpture was on the work table and it was decided that it and Broken Heart would both be entered into the Western Trappings on The Llano Show.  Paid jobs and other projects came on board in a flood and nearly kept these two pieces from being finished on time. Had it not been for the patience and understanding of the Show Director (along with his confidence in Lou's ability to get it done) these pieces would not have been shown at all. As it was they were not even photographed until after the show concluded.  Hidden Heart has a small removable heart tucked in and hidden under the larger one.

Broken Heart Mesquite Heart Sculpture
Broken Heart Mesquite Heart Sculpture is a large sculpture. To date it is the largest of the series. Measuring 32 inches High by 12 inches Wide and 12 inches Long.  

It was carved from a solid piece which came from the Franco Tree that was used in the Chapel for Dancing Trees. As Lou began work on the piece a fine crack was found inside the Heart instead of abandoning the project he decided to go with it. 

The use of gold to repair the broken heart was inspired by the Japanese art/philosophy called Kintsugi  (Japanese: golden joinery) or Kintsukuroi (Japanese: golden repair) Where by the broken thing is made better by its history and from having been broken. It reminds me of the Leonard Cohen song lyrics "There is a crack, a crack in everything that's how the light gets in." Without the crack or break there would be no light. I jut love that.... 
  
The base for this piece was created by laminating several chunks of mesquite together and then carving and sculpting into it.  Very similar to the way he created the Branch Altar Table that sits alongside the Dancing Trees. But that in and of itself is a whole blogpost.

a few more hearts.....


Mesquite Heart for Cheryl
Set Your Heart On Fire Mesquite Heart


Mesquite Heart Valentine's for Cheryl


Yin Yang Mesquite Hearts

Double Mesquite Heart



Single Mesquite Heart


Franco Mesquite Hearts









Upcoming Events we are involved in......

Llano Earth Art Fest LEAF and World Rock Stacking Championship
March 11-13, 2016
Grenwelge Park - Llano, Texas

@LAST Llano Art Studio Tour
Annually the LAST Saturday in March
Local Art Studios in Llano, Texas









Thursday, December 31, 2015

May 2016 be Full of Heart!

Mesquite Heart Lou Quallenberg
May 2016 be Full of Heart:  Mesquite Hearts, Mesquite Furniture & More at www.LouQart.com
And now on to 365 new opportunities to shine our light, share our love, make: mesquite furniture, mesquite sculpture, mesquite hearts, mesquite art or whatever else we are guided to create. 

There are infinite possibilities as this new year awakens..... 
With LOVE,
Lou&Cheryl Quallenberg

Monday, August 31, 2015

Making Mesquite in the SIZZLING August Heat

This summer while not as hot as some is still a very hot one and if you have been to the shop lately you know the temperature inside has reached the 100's regularly. We really need to get some temperature control in the shop. We had originally hoped to be moved to a more permanent and expandable location by now, but at this point are committed to stay and help my declining, aging parents.  So the question is: To cool? or not to cool? and hopefully soon it will be: To heat? or not to heat?

This quote below really struck a chord for us, it is how we are trying to live our life of mesquite, so we needed to share it:
"Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it’s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential — as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth.

You’ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you’re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you’ll hear about them.

To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble".  
- Calvin and Hobbs creator Bill Watterson

 Check out the latest mesquite heart sculpture "Mesquite Hearts A'Flame" on youtube video for a 360 view.


Just a reminder you can see Lou's work up close and in person at: 
http://martastaffordfineart.com/
200 Main St, Marble Falls, TX 78654







Picture 
503 Bessemer Ave, Llano, TX 78643

  Lee Casbeer
Don't miss the Lee Casbeer Special Exhibit in September.


http://www.westerntrappings.com/
September 18, 2015 - November 15, 2015 
310 Bessemer (Hwy 16), Llano, TX

Grand Opening Weekend Schedule
Meet the Artists Fri September 18 5pm-8pm
Chuck Wagon Breakfast Sat September 19 8am-10:30am
Live AUCTION Sat September 19 1pm 
     (Registration & Preview starts at10:00am)
Plus
Celebrate the Art & Artists
Open House & Reception October 17th 9am-5pm


This year due to time constraints and a full schedule
we will NOT be participating in:
 October 29, 2015 – November 28, 2015
 Awards Reception: November 7, 2015  5:30pm – 8pm

We have and will continue to support this Show. We look forward to seeing what our artist friends will have on display. 

Now maybe someone else besides Lou can win the Best Texas Style Furniture Award :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Mesquite with all my HEART ♡

Well my goodness it really has been a while since I have posted to the blog.  Our hands and hearts have been full with elder care, which is a bit like juggling jello at times. So some things have gotten dropped. Hopefully I will rise above the emotional, physical and financial toll this has taken on our family and continue to post our progress.  That is the plan.

With that said I am happy to share Lou Quallenberg's latest direction in his mesquite masterpieces. Lou has always put so much of his heart and soul into his work and this new direction is no different.  His new works actually take the shape of a heart with his distinctive design style - of course.
Mesquite Hearts for Cheryl on Valentine's Day

Every year for Valentine's Day he presents me with a mesquite valentine.  They range from tiny tokens to 3ft sculptures carved into a branch and everything you can imagine in between. The heart posted on the blog in February last year  Mesquite Furniture, Fire & Flames was one such heart.


Mesquite Heart in Flames by Lou Quallenberg

 During the @LAST Llano Art Studio Tour a few years ago a gentleman saw it and asked to have something similar created for his wife. Lou put it on the back burner. Eventually he decided to make two so he could pick one and the other could go to Marta Stafford Fine Art Gallery since he had been promising her something new for a long while. Once people saw those hearts being made in the shop, they ordered their own hearts and so Lou was launched into the sculpture business by way of heart.

BTW the very patient and understanding Marta Stafford still has not received one for the gallery yet.

Open Heart in Mesquite for Cheryl

Moresco Square Base Mesquite Heart by Lou Quallenberg

Moresco Natural Base Mesquite Heart by Lou Quallenberg

Messer Mesquite Heart by Lou Quallenberg

Lacy/Franco Mesquite Heart by Lou Quallenberg

 Laminated Mesquite Heart by Lou Quallenberg


So as we start this day in celebration of our 20 years of marriage I publish this post in honor of my talented, artist of a husband Lou Quallenberg. I only  ask that our remaining years be filled with as much love as the last 20 years!

with all my HEART ♡
Love,
Cheryl

Friday, October 31, 2014

Debut of "EDGE Series: STIPPLE Mesquite Bench w/ Contemporary Calf Leg" at 15th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show

Unfortunately my health and family care duties have kept me from my regular monthly blog posting. I hope that I will be able to be a bit more regular but only time will tell.....

Fall is always a very busy time at Lou Quallenberg Studios. 

Lou's work was on display at Quail Point for the 
Lighthouse Gala 
by 

The very next day Western Trappings on The Llano 2014 kicked off with it's Meet the Artist Reception. 

 Western Trappings on The Llano
October 18, 2014 thru January 4, 2015
Approximately 70 Western Artists and Gear makers featured in this 
International Juried Exhibition & Sale 
Celebrate The Art & Artists OPEN HOUSE 
December 6th
9am-6pm
If you are in Llano please check out this wonderful show of Artists and Makers and give us a ring and swing by the shop. Just call first to be sure Lou is there and not off on delivery. 

We just delivered two pieces to the
15th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show
October 30 - November 30, 2014
A Statewide Competition of the
Finest Custom Furniture Makers in Texas
Awards Reception
November 8th 
5:30p.m. - 8 p.m.
Kerr Arts & Cultural Center in Kerrville, Texas

Lou Quallenberg tries to support this show by creating a mesquite furniture piece each year but lately due to limited time we have had to borrow pieces back from client homes in order to have a show worthy piece.   
  
Lou did get a chance this year to make a smaller new piece which will begin a beautiful new series of pieces and design style. You can be sure he will take this simple EDGE idea and evolve it to see what more he can create from it.
Mesquite Bench by Lou Quallenberg
EDGE Series: STIPPLE Mesquite Bench w/ Contemporary Calf Leg by Lou Quallenberg
Mesquite Bench by Lou Quallenberg
EDGE Series: STIPPLE Mesquite Bench w/ Contemporary Calf Leg by Lou Quallenberg

Read the show entry Description:
EDGE Series: STIPPLE Bench w/ Contemporary Calf Leg
Always searching to see where the limits on design and mesquite sit and pushing to that point to create his work. This new concept piece for the artist represents another evolution in his distinct design style. This Texas mesquite bench features the artist's signature floating top/seat on stainless steel pins, welded to steel bars that are screwed into routered grooves in the table top. The “Contemporary Calf Leg” style leg design debuted at the 2013 Texas Furniture Makers Show. The new EDGE Series design features a stippled process using a Dremel tool and approximately 4,000 indentions for a unique texture. The silky finish is a very fine, 400-600 grit, hand, wet sanding with a custom blend of oils topped off with several coats of liquid cream wax, a two week process.

Dimensions: 18” height x 11.5” width x 48” length

The second piece we did have to pick up from a client's home in Bryan College Station. Avery and Martin Walker generously allowed us to show their Mesquite furniture piece "The Walker Curve Mesquite Entry Table" in this years Texas Furniture Makers Show.  You may have seen this mesquite entry table in an earlier blog post here: http://mesquite-musings.blogspot.com/2014/04/new-mesquite-furniture-design-walker.html


Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg Mesquite Furniture
Walker Curve Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg
Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg
Walker Curve Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg

Read the show entry Description:
Walker Curve Mesquite Entry Table”
Always searching to see where the limits on design and mesquite sit and pushing to that point to create his work. This new concept piece for the artist represents another evolution in his distinct design style. Custom designed for Avery and Martin Walker, to place in a front entryway. The piece combines and incorporates his signature, sculpted, live-edge style with a more sculptural, art piece, edge slab. This Texas mesquite entry table features the artist's signature floating top on stainless steel pins, welded to steel bars that are screwed into routered grooves in the table top. The “curves” are achieved with 14 slices of 1/16th of an inch mesquite planks clamped and epoxied onto an arched jig. The curved bases are artistically joined with sculptural mesquite brackets and meet the floor with sculpted feet. The silky finish is a very fine, 400-600 grit, hand, wet sanding with a custom blend of oils topped off with several coats of liquid cream wax, a two week process.

Dimensions: 36” height x 19.5” width x 69” length

We hope that you can make it to the 15th Annual Texas Furniture Makers Show and see all the hard work and incredible talent on display.





Wednesday, April 30, 2014

NEW Mesquite Furniture Design: Walker CURVE Entry Table


They say a picture is worth a thousand words so this mesquite furniture blog post will be mostly pictures, a video and a only a few words.....  

Mesquite Furniture: Lou Quallenberg Studios
The "Walker Curve" Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg
The "Walker Curve" Mesquite Entry Table is the newest sculpted, live edge design by Lou Quallenberg Studios and while there are a few photos of the piece none of them come close to capturing the true essence of it as you stand next to and touch it.  When Lou took the order for this table he thought it was going to be one of his standard designs for entry / hallway tables.  That was NOT what the client had in mind. Even after they decided on the sketch below Lou still had no idea what was in front of him.

The challenges on a new concept and design style, both artistically and technically, can be both inspiration as well as torture at the same time.

This new bespoke piece emphasizes Lou Quallenberg's move in a more sculptural direction.  It also proves a point that while his look and style can be copied, they cannot get into his head and take the latest design, so he will always be at least one step ahead.  Always searching to see where the limits on design and mesquite sit and pushing to that point to create his work.  
Lou Quallenberg with "Walker Curve" Mesquite Entry Table
Lou Quallenberg with new design: The "Walker Curve" Mesquite  Entry Table
Sketch for Mesquite Entry Table by Lou Quallenberg Studios
Sketch for the Mesquite Entry Table
Jig by Lou Quallenberg Studios
Making a jig for the curves
Lou Quallenberg Studios Jig
Making the jig's curve

Lou Quallenberg Studios Jig for large curves
Finished jig for the curve
Mesquite to be cut Lou Quallenberg Studios
Wood to be cut in thin slices to create the curves



Clamped up curve making jig by Lou Quallenberg Studios
The jig is loaded and sits for 4 days
Laminated Mesquite Curve by Lou Qualleneberg
The first curve for the table
Base Jig for laminated mesquite curves by Lou Qualleneberg
Jig to square the base of the curves
Squaring the base of the curves
Mesquite entry table design mock up
A mock up of the table and design
Mesquite table ready for hand rubbed oil and wax finish
Mesquite table ready for hand rubbed oil and wax finish



"The challenges on a new concept and design style, both artistically and technically, can be both inspiration as well as torture at the same time."

Photographing the "Walker Curve" Mesquite Entry Table with Lou Quallenberg Studios
Photographing the "Walker Curve" Mesquite Entry Table
"Always searching to see where the limits on design and mesquite sit and pushing to that point to create his work." 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Liquid Lux Mesquite Furniture: Just Add Water



Lou Quallenberg Studios
Presents 
Liquid Lux
Our new & exclusive line of Mesquite Furniture 
Lou Quallenberg Studios
Instant Gratification.
Just add water.

Due to the natural, native state of the mesquite wood pulp and a special non toxic process that we use, adding  water to the top of the capsule activates the living cells in the wood. Within hours the growing process of our mesquite furniture is complete and a fully functional and finished piece of mesquite furniture rises from the spot that you place the water filled capsule.

Natural Cracks and crevices as well as unusual wood character will be individually based upon the actual natural character of the wood. The finished piece will look similar but may not look exactly like the photo on the capsule. Turquoise inlay is available at an additional charge.

CAUTION: You must leave enough clear space around the soaked capsule for the completed piece to grow or the results will be stunted and possibly deformed. We are not responsible for improper handling and/or poor results due to inappropriate growing conditions.

Currently Available
in these Styles:


These Designs
Coming Soon:


If you have questions or concerns about this or any of our Mesquite Furniture products please first note the date of this post before inquiring help from one of our customer service representatives. Thank you from Lou Quallenberg Studios. Don't be a fool!  
© Lou Quallenberg Studios 2014 All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 28, 2014

Mesquite Furniture, Fire & Flames

'Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames' -Rumi
Mesquite heart and flames by Lou Quallenberg
Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames -Rumi

Several friends have lost their homes to fire, so seriously - we mean no disrespect here. That is not the kind of fire that we mean. We are talking about that all consuming passion to create, write, sing, dance, make mesquite furniture or share whatever your LOVE or HEART is. That thing that keeps you up at night.  Surround yourself in talent, share openly, stay focused and positive.  Insulate yourself from the negative whether it is thoughts, words or people. Avoid the time consuming, mind numbing diversions of television and other so called forms of entertainment. If it is not inspiring you, then why are you wasting your time with it?  Make sure your thoughts, words and actions are all love based. When you come from a position of love you cannot go wrong. This is particularly important when you are talking to yourself. Do you treat / talk to yourself like you would a friend? You should.

Do not let fear get in the way of creating your life in this way. If it scares you then you are stretching and growing. It SHOULD scare you if you are doing it right. If the fire gets so hot everything blows up, then be patient. You can and will rise from the ashes. I promise.

Hopefully we will have some mesquite furniture / art to post about next month.  This month I will be stretching long and hard as I speak at the Llano Library:

Come celebrate spring and new beginnings at the Llano Library by interacting with a panel of four speakers dedicated to healthy living, diet, exercise, nutrition, mind/body integration, self healing, spiritual journey and more.

The Wellness Workshop scheduled for Saturday, March 15, 2014, 9-12 noon, will be the first in a series of quarterly programs dedicated to body, heart, mind and spirit.

Healthy snacks will be served during short presentations by the panel, after which the program will be opened up for participants to ask questions or express concerns.

The panelists include:
Laurie Jameson, ThD; W.C. Jameson, PhD;  Nicky Immel, LMT; and Cheryl Quallenberg, BS.
Read more HERE
 


How is this for inspiration?   

“When you make something. When you go through the process, all the steps, and at the end you have a finished product, that you made with your own hands, out of your own mind, that is your own design; it’s a reflection of your soul.”
- Eric Hollenbeck / The Ox
Master Wood Craftsman

www.blueoxmill.com

Watch this inspiring video by Ben Proudfoot at Breakwater Studios




A few more FLAMES:

Don't miss the @LAST Llano Art Studio Tour held annually the LAST Saturday in March in Llano, Texas. Check out these incredible artists in their work spaces.
These folks will inspire you. 
We are so glad to have each one of them sparking and fanning in our lives.



2014
PARTICIPATING
ARTISTS/STUDIOS

@1
Ira Kennedy home studio
www.irakennedy.com/paintings
painting / acrylic / ink
Jerialice & The Enchanted Rock Band
www.enchantedrock.com
 
@2
Texas Tin Lizard: Kathleen Smith
www.texastinlizard.com
mixed media / bottle trees
 
@3
Dust Devil Diver Photography: Briley Mitchell
www.dustdevildiverphotography.com
 
@4
Tom Suarez Photography
www.tomsuarez.net
 
@5
Llano Fine Arts Guild & Gallery
Guild Artists
www.llanofineartsgallery.org
 
@6
Nailhead Spur Company: Richard Wendt
www.nailheadspur.com
metal art / custom fabrication
 
@7
Gridiron Gallery: Jack Moss
www.thegridirongallery.com
 
@8
claythings: Lynda Hallmark Gammage
Jane Lynch - altered art
Kathleen Riordan - pottery
www.kathleenriordanpottery.com
 
@9
Sheri Zoch (sapphire) home studio
fused glass / oils
 
@10
Charles & Euneen Wendt home studio
www.rockingwspurs.com
spurs / iron / fused glass / gourd art
Gayle Hardaway - leather work
 
@11
Myrick Studio - Harriet Myrick
mixed media
 
@12
Lou Quallenberg home studio
www.LouQart.com
sculpted mesquite
Ralph Moresco - copper wind spirals
www.westshorewindspirals.com
  
Check it out 
Saturday March 29th 2014 10am-5pm
Afterparty with the artists 7:00pm Llano Fine Art Guild & Gallery
Demos and Giveaways throughout the day!
Maps available at the studio locations, local businesses all over town, the Llano Visitor Center and the Llano Fine Art Guild.



FINALLY Do not forget to add some fuel to the FIRE!!!

Need wholesale mesquite firewood? or oak firewood?
JP Wood Supply
(325)262-2598
Joe Prest
Menard, Texas 
JP Wood Supply Menard, Texas
JP Wood Supply in Menard, Texas