--!> Blog | Fe29 :: The Art Lab
Preparing for the Wimberley opening

512.921.7212 :: thelab@fe29.com

Manuel clearing a track for the proposed sculpture walk.
Clearing a track
Megan taking branches to the fire.
Megan Clearing
Burning some of what's been cleared for the sculpture walk through the woods.
Now I know where the old adage "he's growing like a weed" comes from!
Megan Weeding
Placing one of Croix's "5-Square Knots" in the gallery.
CJ & Croix sculpture
Hanging "Umbilical Cord' on the curved wall.
Hanging Artwork

Preparing for the Wimberley opening

We’ve been busy getting ready to open the Fe29 Art Lab here in Wimberley to the public. And boy is there a lot to do.  Manuel has been busy chainsawing and burning and we now have a pretty good walking track through our 5 heavily wooded acres. The plan is to turn this into a sculpture walk. We have had a couple of our artists working here over the weekend. They are ceramists Sarah Rohlack and Daniel Armstrong, and they have been working on a project to build a tiled bench seat for the walk.

We’ve been mowing lawns, and cleaning up the gardens. The rain sure helped green things up around here, but then of course it also got the grass and weeds growing like, well weeds I guess.  Our ride on mower gave up a few weeks back and we have been dependent on artist friend Mark Love, who very kindly loaned us his mower, until this weekend when we managed to secure a replacement. Thank you Mark!

We have also been accumulating artworks – quite a lot of artworks – sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, furniture, paintings & metal artwork for the walls.We have been framing and mounting, and setting up gallery spaces. And then there’s this pesky website, and the signs and rack cards we need to let everyone know where to find us. So much to do! But don’t panic, we’re almost there.

Ramon, a local artist, shows off his talent in a BIG way!
Piece of Heaven
Cypress Creek in the middle of town.
Cypress Creek 3
Wimberley has numerous low water crossings that can be great fun!
A popular swimmin' hole in Woodcreek just below a great burger joint with a 2-story deck for viewing the beautiful scenery.
Cypress Creek 2
One of our local eateries that boasts a bar and outside music venue.
Cypress Creek Cafe
Blue Hole - need I say more?
Blue Hole

What the Wimberley area has to offer…

Wimberley is located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. This eclectic artist community located +-45 minutes southwest of Austin and +-1.25 hour northeast of San Antonio, has significant amounts of flowing water in the form of rivers, creeks, dry creeks, tributaries, etc. Wimberley is also the home to the Corral Theater, one of the last walk-in outdoor theaters in the US. (Bring your own lawn-chair if you like, but most certainly don’t bring your own popcorn, because the Corral has the best ever.) The town fairly recently purchased Blue Hole, which was a privately owned stretch of land on Cypress Creek that has giant Cypress trees growing along the banks with rope swings for the adventurous flying swimmers. Have I mentioned the Wimberley Zip Line Adventures? Yes, we have quite the renowned one here. Come check it out, along with Wimberley Market Days, 7-A Ranch Resort and of course, our cute little town has great shopping.

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!


Croix & Cecilia making plans.
Croix & Cecilia
A 5 Square Knot.
Artwork - 5 Square Knot sm
Ball Spiral made out of 1" thick steel.
Ball Spiral
A larger 5 Square Knot.
Artwork - 5 Square Knot lg
Croix working on our new gate.
Croix in workshop

Croix Williamson joins Fe29

Croix Williamson is a very talented young fellow that has been pursuing his love of art for many years. His experience as a blacksmith/metalworker has given his creative side a natural place to flow. And, flow it does! Check out the images of his latest “5 Square Knots”. He says he has never been good at math, but I’m not sure I believe him, as he uses math to work out the complicated schematics for each of these before he picks up his torch and commences cutting.  Then comes the bending, and assembling, and…  Voila! A 5-Square Knot results.  And, that’s not all he’s good at. Check out all of his other works on our site and stay tuned, as he’s just getting revved up.

Cecilia discusses a work with potential new Fe29 artist Venessa Hill
V in Shop 2
Potential New Fe29 artist Venessa Hill, checks out the hoists.
V in Shop 4
These 12' doors on all four sides make such a difference in the temperature in The Lab during the summer, as they significantly increase air circulation.
Workshop Interior Doors
Artworks and our new front gate in progress. Stay tuned!
Workshop Interior 2
Moving on towards dusk, the lights have been turned on...
Workshop Interior West

Inside the Fe29 Lab

Well, change is a commonplace word around here, as things change on a regular basis, let me tell you. The grounds and facilities of Fe29 outside the small Texas hill country town of Wimberley are a peaceful and safe place and one in which creative juices flow freely. I have included a sampling of photos taken inside the Art Lab so you can see how lucky we are! Notice the large I-Beam across the center with two hoists for lifting heavy artworks or materials. It sure came in handy when unloading our new 1200lb shear, brake, roll and the railroad iron used in the sculpture “On Track”. Check out the galvanized metal walls protecting the 12″ of insulation from the flames and sparks generated around here on a regular basis. High end Low-E French doors have been re-purposed into windows – one that allows for a line of sight from inside the Art Lab up to the second floor deck of the Coop, and the other one that allows artists working in the finishing room to check out progress in the main shop. A couple of years ago a friend donated a large 12′ x 7′ insulated door to our cause. It turned out to be perfect for the giant pocket door between the main room of the Lab and the Finishing room. We also have racks for storage of materials and art (completed and in-process), as well as a scaffold and of course a myriad of hand and power tools.

So, check out our website and if you are interested in any aspect of what we do, please come on out to Wimberley, as we love to visit about Art. See “Contact us” for just that! See you soon…