swallows #3: Swallows at the Western design Conference 2008

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Blog entry by dennis mitchell posted 09-10-2008 12:16 AM 1440 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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The Teton Range is the backdrop for the 2008 Western Design Conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

I can see why the fur trappers gathered here for rondevu. What a great place for a gathering of craftsmen and artist. One of whom happens to be sporting a fancy Lumberjock tee shirt.

Setting up I’m amazed at the quality of work I’m seeing. (and a bit intimidated) This is a world class collection of craftsmen. That night I get to go to an artist reception at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. I’m already humbled by the work I’ve seen and then I get to the museum. Somewhere before woodworking I studied wildlife art. Not only do I get to be with the modern masters of western furniture and design. I get to be with generations of Americas best wildlife artist. They just happened to be having a retrospective of the works of Robert Bateman. (He’s the Sam Maloof of wildlife painters) To add to my sensory overload the museum is also showing it’s own little furniture show. Sort of the best of the best. Just awe inspiring work. Check out David Lamure if you want to see some beautiful pottery.

I’m not sure where artist get this reputation as premadonnas, maybe Hollywood or New York, but out west they tend towards humble and friendly folk. Just the camaraderie is enough to keep me coming back.

Check out the Western Design Conference web site and click on the links to the different artist web sites. I can’t even begin to describe their amazing work. My camera work doesn’t even come close to capturing it.

The organizers have put on a great show. I only hope Jackson Hole can appreciate what they have in their own backyard it would be a shame to lose such a treasure. Speaking of treasures I here is my piece. What a great place to be mediocre.

14 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#1 posted 09-10-2008 12:25 AM

Dennis: Glad to see you made it again. Good luck on some commissions, and selling the Barn Swallow.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Diane's profile


546 posts in 4151 days

#2 posted 09-10-2008 12:38 AM

Sure nice to see your work there. I saved the site and will look more later. I liked what I saw. Let us know how you do. Thanks for updating us so we can see all this.


View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4105 days

#3 posted 09-10-2008 12:44 AM

wow…what a great experience Dennis!!!!!!!! Congrats again on your entry…beautiful work…I am very happy for you!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3795 days

#4 posted 09-10-2008 01:12 AM

Thanks for the update Dennis. I am happy for you. What a great experience to not only be there, but to be a part of it. I look forward to seeing more updates.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4007 days

#5 posted 09-10-2008 01:59 AM


I think yours fits in just fine there! I would vote for your piece from what
I see!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4155 days

#6 posted 09-10-2008 09:15 PM


You are there because you have arrived.
Great work.

-- 温故知新

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4189 days

#7 posted 09-13-2008 04:07 PM

congrats.. lol loved your last line.
not sure if you are mediocre but mediocre in this setting is good :)

Looking forward to hearing about feedback you’ve received on your work.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3770 days

#8 posted 09-13-2008 04:27 PM

I have a no doubt you were amongst your peers: “the modern masters of western furniture and design”.

I have added you to my buddy list if o.k. w/ you,

-- Ciao, gth.

View Larry's profile


200 posts in 4239 days

#9 posted 09-14-2008 03:33 PM

Dennis – your are in a very beautiful place. We just returned from there a while back and happened upon some of the beautiful work in the area. Although we did not get to see the Tetons as they were in a cloud bank and it was snowing in the high mountains. Its totally amazing what those folks do with wood. Also – (and a bit intimidated) – you should not be as stated your among your peers – with your work equaling some of theirs.

-- "Have you hugged your pet today?" ---------- Larry

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4342 days

#10 posted 09-15-2008 02:01 AM

We camped for five days under the Tetons and they are just beautiful! Thanks everyone for your encouragement.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4327 days

#11 posted 09-17-2008 05:25 PM

I’m glad you’re enjoying yourself Dennis.

Don’t feel intimidated, I bet there were also a lot of oohs, & awes when they looked at your creation.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View gusthehonky's profile


130 posts in 3770 days

#12 posted 10-23-2008 09:17 PM

Sorry if my comment “amongst your peers” was viewed in a manner that I did not intend. Simply put, I am not in your peer group, I’m far from an artist, lack your vision and skill, at best maybe someday I could install your cabinets to your liking, not create nor duplicate your distinct style. In no way my intent was to belittle your fine work and mojo that is yours alone.

-- Ciao, gth.

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4342 days

#13 posted 10-24-2008 01:02 AM

I did take it as a complement. Thanks!

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 3555 days

#14 posted 11-28-2008 06:55 AM

Cool happenings. { Robert Bateman, Ray Harris Ching, Bruno Liljefors, Francis Lee Jaques, to name my favorite}. You find yourself in great company , congratulations.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

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