The Best Place to See Sculpture Being
By Richard Mahler
Author of "New Mexico's
Like her fellow sculptors from throughout
the United States, California resident Gwyn Murrell visits Shidoni
whenever she gets anywhere close to Santa Fe. A combination
foundry, gallery and outdoor sculpture garden, Shidoni is north
of the city in the village of Tesuque.
"This is one of the greatest resources
anywhere for sculpture and collectors of sculpture," says Murrell,
whose own work is in museums and private collections all over
the world. "Shidoni has evolved into a world-class casting facility.
And what's fun about it is that visitors can learn firsthand about
how these works of art are created."
Every Saturday the public is invited
to watch 2,000-degree molten bronze being poured into ceramic
shell molds, one of several steps in the complex "lost wax" casting
process. During other days of the week you are welcome to tour
the foundry during its 15-minute work breaks that occur every
couple of hours. Call ahead for exact times. There's usually something
life-size or larger being worked on.
Murrell recalls that Shidoni (Navajo
for "friendly greeting") was founded in 1971 as a two-man foundry
catering only to local artists. It now employs 40 people and serves
artists of international distinction.
Nestled at the foot of an old apple
orchard, the foundry shows much of its work in two adjacent galleries
(one traditional, the other contemporary) and on several acres
of orchard grounds devoted to monumental sculpture. Visitors are
invited to bring a picnic and enjoy the tranquil setting.
If You Go: Shidoni (505-988-8001)
is 5 miles north of Santa Fe on Bishop's Lodge Road. From
downtown, take Washington Avenue (the name soon changes to Bishop's
Lodge Road) north, and watch for a large sign on the left side
of the road.
Insider Tip: Come April,
the apple trees are in radiant bloom and the temperatures are
usually mild. If you're a bicyclist, the ride here is one of New
Richard Mahler is author of "New
Mexico's Best" and several other books. A journalist and photographer
as well, he specializes in travel writing, among other subjects.
He has contributed to National Public Radio since 1973 and to
the Los Angeles Times since 1979. He has written thousands
of articles for more than 100 magazines and newspapers, including
The New Mexican, New Mexico magazine, and Santa Fean
magazine. A longtime resident of New Mexico, he lives in Santa
For a full listing of Richard Mahler's
books, and to place orders for them, visit Amazon.com.
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