--!> Inspiration | Fe29 :: The Art Lab
So, what is behind the name Fe29?

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Cecilia's first large pieces
commissioned for son Karl's new restaurant.
Fe29 - Servery Surround
Karl (centre) in Te Tawara o Wanaka kitchen.
Fe29 - Karl in Kitchen
Inside son Karl's Te Tawara o Wanaka,
next door to his Cafe Fe.
Fe29 - Fire surround
Karl & chef friends at cook off in Wanaka, NZ.
Fe29 Karl & friends

So, what is behind the name Fe29?

After deciding the image we wanted for the business, considerable effort was expended coming up with a name that would represent who and what we were. After much investigation and debate we settled on Fe29.

Many of you will recognize that the Fe probably stands for Iron, but what about the 29?  Well for those that thought we’d got the number wrong (26 is the atomic number for Iron), 29 is the atomic number for copper. But still, why Fe29?

The answer is not quite as simple as it may appear. Yes iron and copper are two of the metals included in many of Fe29′s first works. But there are a couple of other reasons we arrived at the name. The first is that Fe29 puts artists together in collaborative projects which, if carried out in the spirit of openness and generosity, should result in works that are new and unlike the works produced by any one of the artists on their own – in much the same way as when you put two chemical elements together and get something new i.e mix, in the right proportions, highly flammable hydrogen with oxygen that supports combustion and you get something quite different – water.

Thirdly, the name worked nicely as a tribute to Cecilia’s son Karl who passed in 2006 from cancer. They had together named his first café, Café FE, and Cecilia credits her son for getting her art when he commissioned her to make architectural pieces, and later art for the walls of his new restaurant. This not only helped keep her from feeling completely helpless in his last months, but also gave her a tool to help her work through her loss. While this might seem like a sad story, Cecilia sees it as anything but as it has given her a way forward that brings her much joy. Megan and Cecilia hope Fe29 will bring happiness to the many artists they help through the business.

Ishmael showing us his giant "purse".
A giant handbag adorned with baby handbags.
The Purse
Ishmael and Cecilia discussing one of his numerous kilns.
At the Kiln
Sculpture display space in his very large and well lit studio.
In the Studio
Along the route from his studio to his hand-built home (the third one on his 50-acre place)
Ishmael & C Walking
Taken from the cat-walk in his house. Check out all the ceramics on his kitchen counter!
Ishmael Making Lunch
One of the wonderful sculptures Ishmael sent us home with.

Our visit to Ishmael Soto’s studio and home in Blue, TX

Sculptor Ishmael Soto and ceramicist Julie Isaacson came to see us at our Satellite Gallery in Austin. We all hit it off fabulously and so were invited to visit Ishmael at his home and studio in Blue (near Lexington). Ishmael has developed quite a compound for himself and his very large family. He hand-built three homes on his +-50 acre place in the woods and has a wonderful and serene lifestyle that he willingly shared with Cecilia and I.  We spent most of a day touring and admiring his artworks, kilns, gardens, books, knives and homes. He even cooked us lunch, which is apparently not a common event. We had the privilege of seeing some of the treasured works he has produced over many years, and uses in his day to day life. It was such a treat. To top off this wonderful day, Ish agreed to let Fe29 represent him and we all three worked in the rain, to fill up our entire truck with as many sculptures as would fit to bring back to Wimberley for our opening that is scheduled for late July/early August. It was like Christmas when we returned to the Art Lab and began unpacking and arranging his works. They look so good among the other pieces and we feel privileged to be representing such an icon.

At 80 years old, Ish was more than a little skeptical when Cecilia asked him to consider collaborating with another of our metal artists.  The look on his face was priceless when she first brought up the subject, but she proceeded to hand over to him a favorite unfinished work. The artist had made numerous unsuccessful attempts to finish the work and hoped that Ishmael may just have what it takes to turn it into something they can both be proud of. While Ishmael has stated more than once that he doesn’t do collaborations, as a little more time has passed, he seems to be warming up to the idea. Last time we met with him at ACC he mentioned something about putting it through the roller, so, watch this space for his first collaboration. I think this old dog will be learning a few new tricks!