Let's say we're all bees. Each and every one of us is buzzing about-
buzz buzz buzz.
The honey that we make is our lives. Experience has taught me two things...

KILLER BEES MAKE THE MOST DELICIOUS HONEY

...and LIFE is only as yummy as you make it!

Are YOU a Killer Bee?



bee my guest?

bee my guest?
Howdy Beezers! I'm excited to share something new with you... Over the upcoming months, most of the content you'll be seeing here will be from special guest contibutors! This is sure to add a new texture to this thing we've been weaving over the years. I know that many of my readers (yes, you!) are writers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. PLEASE feel free to contact me if there's something you'd like to contribute! I'd be most honored to pollinate... send me a note: m.mckinley@rocketmail.com

please be seated

August 12, 2009

BEE OUR GUEST #7: CHRIS HARPER

You never know what you'll find on the beach...




The first thing you notice when you approach Chris Harper's mid-century Miller Beach ranch home is her garden. Not at all tidy, or structured, but rather an organum of lush ferns, tall grasses, and wild flowers left to be wild. Pushing their way up through the mayhem like proud and colorful spires are Chris's latest creations. These "totems" crafted from vintage glass objects and dishes are a delight to the eye, making you want to know more about the woman who lives beyond the garden.... but before you pass through the front door, you see a sign, hand painted on 2 pieces of driftwood that says "Lucky To Live By The Beach". It seems that these days Chris Harper's LIFE is more than ever being reflected in her ART.


Once inside, you're quickly charmed by a home that's "Quintessentially Chris". The quirky-cool decor is peppered with things like 100 year old glass bottles, funky 60's crocheted blankets, painted furniture, and a collection of stones and beach glass that just happened to wash ashore naturally heart-shaped. As a designer I strongly believe that ones home should be a reflection of who they are, their personality...and her home brilliantly states: I AM CHRIS HARPER.


I remember the first time I went out to visit Chris in Miller Beach, just after she'd moved in. We had a a couple glasses of wine, then strolled down the beach in our bare feet with her new puppy Pete in tow, carrying a piece of driftwood clenched between his tiny teeth. She turned to me and said "I love it here, I just love it. So does Pete." 2 years later she's all settled in, and Pete has a little sister named Violet. On this trip we hung out in her studio, and ate hot dogs accompanied by her mother Kitty's delicious kidney bean salad ...


MPM: You're known as "Crafty Chris" in certain circles. Have you always possessed the desire to create?

CH: Yes I've been creating something my entire life, but please let's get it straight...it's Krafty Kris! When I was growing up my Mother was very artistic, and she definitely had her own unique perspective about the way she decorated our home. I was always so proud of our house! I suppose I get the crafty/artistic gene from her.

MPM: You work with so many different forms of media. Does inspiration begin with the object? The material? Or the idea?

CH: Inspiration for me comes in many forms. I can be at the hardware store and get inspiration from a plumbing pipe to create fixturing for a shop, or a pillow design I see may give me an idea for a mixed media piece. The inspiration, well it comes from everything, everywhere. I guess I'm lucky that way!

MPM: I can't help but notice a little symbolism that's reoccurring in your work...

CH: And what would that be? HA! Simplicity, color, nature, happiness. Oh, you mean the hearts and the peace signs...they're sort of my trademarks. Couldn't the world use a little more peace and love? I'm just putting it out there. But there's more than just hearts and peace signs. I'm curious, what symbolism do you see in my work?
MPM: I've long admired your paper collage work, and now I'm all jazzed about your found-object sculptural pieces. What ideas are brewing for the "Next Chris Harper Creations"?

CH: I'm working on a large scale wall piece done in collage, but with textiles instead of paper...it should be pretty cool!

MPM: I know your community is very important to you. Tell me a little bit about living in Miller Beach, Indiana.

CH: Miller Beach is like an artist type colony, in a laid back beach town. Not at all pretentious, just artists co-existing with Gary steel mill workers, crack whores, corporate drop outs and the "modestly wealthy"....we all shop locally, and support the community as much as we can.

MPM: Next time I come out, can I play with you in the studio?

CH: YES, I WOULD LOVE IT! ...you inspire me!

[Gee, thanks Chris...]
To contact Chris Harper, you can email her at: charper53@hotmail.com


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow Chris!
I had no idea. I have been in your neck of the woods for years, eating at local ( no longer hot spots Miller Bakery cafe and Ming lings.
Beautiful art!
Jamie Miller / Orchard Street Associates

Buzz Out!

Buzz Out!