Sometimes I meet someone who is so interesting that I want to share them. I’d like to share my friend SHIRLEY HERRING with you.
Shirley is a nurse anesthetist who has led a fascinating life. A life full of travel and crafting. In the sixties, she was working as the chief nurse anesthetist at Kaiser Hospital in San Francisco when she was sent to Ghana to work as chief nurse in a hospital for Kaiser workers. There she was drawn to the beautiful African art and brought many wonderful pieces home with her.
Afraid to ship this extraordinary solid brass piece, Shirley hand carried him all the way home from Africa to his permanent home with her in Montclair, California. When I could barely lift him, I looked at her in surprise, and she said, “Well, I was younger then”.
Several years later she was sent to the Ivory Coast to set up a second hospital for Kaiser workers building a dam. She said her years in Africa were “delightful”.
Following Africa, Shirley went to Indonesia. She returned home to become Chief Nurse at Kaiser International in Oakland, California.
Now that she was settled, she found an opportunity to return to her love of crafts. Shirley had painted watercolors for many years, and now used her artistic skills making porcelain dolls. She taught porcelain doll classes for twenty years.
THESE ARE SHIRLEY’S PORCELAIN DOLLS
Looking for a new challenge, Shirley joined the Phoebe cloth art doll group.
THESE ARE SHIRLEY’S CLOTH DOLLS
Her crafting has no limit. Shirley taught basket making, Teddy bears, painted floor rugs, and now mosaics. She has been sharing her knowledge of mosaics for quite a few years.
Shirley’s friend and fellow mosaic artist BETH OROFINO made Shirley a gift of this beautiful birdbath.
HERE’S WHERE WE COME IN
Last summer, Shirley offered gazing ball instructions to our group. There were a dozen of us, working at tables set up under her enormous old oak tree, and having so much fun.
HERE ARE SOME OF OUR GAZING BALLS
MARY PORTER VAUGHAN
I had attended to support the group, and I was sure mosaics wouldn’t interest me. Working with textiles had been my life’s work and I couldn’t imagine working with tiles. Well…..Suzanne and I really enjoyed mosaics (became obsessed) and began joining Shirley in her studio two days a week. Here are some of our mosaics.
I have always loved and collected pottery. Because of California’s water shortage, I’m replacing my flowers with colorful pottery totems.
Suzanne and I weren’t the only ones who got the mosaic bug. Suzanne’s husband Eddy has joined the group. He recently finished tiling his kitchen and is now working on a large flower pot.
EDDY’S UNFINISHED FLOWER POT
Rosie’s husband Ron saw Eddy’s mosaics and joined the group as well. Ron is a contractor and built their beautiful home, so working with his hands and using his design skills seemed natural. This beautiful gazing ball is his first project.
RON’S GAZING BALL
Stay tuned. I’ll be back next month to give you a preview of what we are working on for our OPEN STUDIO in June.