Origins: Terrance Cook

A Short Bio for Terrance (Terry) Cook

Terry Cook 1

I am a second-generation blacksmith, and for the past 27 years, owner and operator of Quintana Forge, located in Morro Bay, CA.  In 1973 my parents, Jim and Louane Cook, and I built an all-steel 58 foot William Garden designed Ketch and sailed to Morro Bay.  We started a shipyard called El Morro Boat Works and built 12 steel vessels of various designs.  In 1985, we went from boat building to ornamental iron and fabrication, a trade my parents taught me when I was a teenager.  As a solo metal artist, I forged my designs from iron and created beautiful gates, railings, headboards, and tables, among other items.  The art of creating led me to design wall and garden art, as well as kinetic sculptures, using materials such as iron, copper, bronze and stainless steel.

Terry Cook 2

The handicap accessible, working studio is listed as number 60 in the OSAT catalog.  Stop by to admire his hand fashioned original art works either weekend of the October art tour.

Terry Cook 3

Terry Cook 4

Terry Cook 5


Origins: Lindsay Wilcox

Where it all Started

It all started with the funny head pictured above – Self Portrait as Sphinx – the result of a Ceramic Sculpture class I took from Barry Frantz at Cuesta College in 1983.  I was twenty years old.

Oh, I had been immersed in art from the time I was a child.  My mother was a painter, and a career public school art teacher.  And, as a child, I was always as much of a “museum junkie” as my parents would allow.  I just could never tear myself away from looking at beautiful art.  But, the practice of it had always remained a bit remote for me.   Perhaps having seen some of the world’s best art intimidated me?

But then I got my hands in clay, not on a spinning wheel, but to build sculptures.  I suppose I’ll never know quite why– it just clicked.  That “click”  led to a passion for figure sculpture and three years study at the Art Students League of New York in the early 1990’s.   There I soaked up all I could about the practice of figure sculpture, studying with more master teachers than that first one here in SLO.

And twenty years later, I’m still exploring my passion.  Come by and see the results in person both weekends of ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour.  Look for studio #179 in the OSAT catalog.

You can also see more of Lindsay’s work on her website.

Origins: Flo Bartell

When Miss Ginn, our art teacher, asked my fifth grade class to draw likenesses of the student next to us, most of the resulting portraits brought huge guffaws and many guesses. When Miss Ginn held mine up, all the students were quiet for a stunned second, then they said, “It’s Jewel!” The teacher suggested to my mother that I have art lessons. That experience was encouraging and confidence building.  I wish I had kept that crayon drawing.

To see more of Flo’s colorful paintings, be sure to stop by her studio during ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour the weekend of October 13th & 14th.
Like to find a catalog?  Click here for a list of locations throughout San Luis Obsipo County.

Origins: Jayne Devencenzi

Decades of Inspiration

My love of nature and love of beauty began at an early age. Each summer our family spent three to four weeks at our rustic, high-Sierra mountain cabin. I remember spending the days hiking, swimming, fishing, reading and hanging out with friends. At night we’d sing, play cards and games like Monopoly.  My dad always brought craft projects and we’d all get involved. We’d draw, paint, do mosaics, and build things out of wood, using whatever we found in the forest.  What I remember the most was being given the freedom to create!

As I look back, I realize my mother was also influential. She gave me the love of blending colors, shapes, textures. Both my mother and grandmother sewed like there was no tomorrow! I used to sit and watch as they turned pieces of fabric into gorgeous outfits. I, too, learned to sew, and was making some of my own clothes by age 12. From a very early age, I loved turning something plain and simple into something beautiful and extraordinary.

As I grew older, I took many art and crafts classes: sewing, weaving, drawing, painting, photography, and ceramics.  I was a junior in high school when I took my first jewelry making class. I definitely was not doodling during the lectures given in that class. I knew I had found something that really spoke to me! That summer, I took boxes of beads to our cabin and created earrings all summer.  I began selling work at age 17 and have continued to create and sell things ever since.

College was something that confounded me. I wanted to major in art, but was encouraged to go in a different direction where I could “earn a living.” I graduated with a teaching credential and school counseling degree. This past June, I retired from education after enjoying 35+ years working with kindergarten through 12th grade students. I thoroughly loved every minute of it and was fortunate enough to be able to blend my love of art and nature with the students with whom I worked.

Between graduation from college and now, I have nurtured my creative side by creating quilts, making pottery, weaving, working with leather, designing costumes, gardening (yes, I design with color in my garden too), and jewelry making. Blending colors, shapes and textures is just part of my life. I started a jewelry business and website in 2007, Jayne Cairns Designs. One of my daughters moved to Beijing and I soon discovered the beautiful and unique pearls, gems, and treasures available there. Blending these items together has become a passion, and, now with more free time I can devote more creative energy to the artistic side of my life.  Check out my website at:

This will be my third Open Studios Art Tour. I’ll continue to show my unique and beautiful jewelry. I specialize in pearls and crystals, but add unusual gems and beads as I find them. In addition, I will be expanding into succulent art: succulent wreaths and potted succulents in hand-painted clay pots. I am very excited to share my love of nature and gardening this year.  I’ll be joining a fused glass artist, Dianne Draze, at her home, 752 Buchon, San Luis Obispo. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Origins: Dennis Kish

I was mostly bored by school, did little more than get by. Some things I did well, like talking and writing, but I shied away from anything that seemed ah, organized like math and the sciences. I liked to make stuff (still do). So…off to art school! One problem, I couldn’t draw very well. However, I wanted to make things, and two early encounters started me on my way:  abstract expressionism and a goat.

I volunteered for the gallery crew my first quarter of school, patching and painting the walls in the exhibit space and getting to know the younger faculty. Then it was time to unpack a traveling show of abstract expressionist art from New York, and suddenly, there it was–an angora goat on a rolling platform with a tire around its middle!  When the show opened, the gallery was filled with people squinting at the goat and asking, “But what does it mean?”

Robert Rauchenberg “Monogram”
(image downloaded from Wikipedia)

And, wow!  There I was, a kid from Akron, Ohio, who couldn’t draw very well and liked to make things. Instant validation!

After I left school, I started a furniture making and repair business that has supported me in one way or another for about fifty years. Recently I created a piece of sculpture that I look on as a reaction to the furniture repair aspect of my life so far.

Stand Plant

Okay, plant stand then, or fern stand, (a spindly, often fragile easily tipped over piece of furniture designed, to display a plant). Designed to fall over, I say. I’ve repaired a number of these over the years. They arrive in the shop each with a tale of woe: broken, water stained, missing tiny ornamental bits and some of them so narrow and spindly as to fall over if you look at them. Mind you, the iron stands are much more robust especially when firmly bolted to the floor (amazing the insights one gains from living with eight cats and a dog).

Forthwith I present my contribution to this wretched tradition, the Standplant, containing both elements, stand and plant. Assembled as a fiendish complexity of random twists and turns so as to sorely try the patience of anyone unfortunate enough to ever try and repair it.

I look forward to being cursed through the ages (assuming the cockroaches don’t win).

Please visit my partner Susan Owen and me in our Cayucos studio during the 2012 Open Studios Tour, sponsored by the ARTS Obispo, San Luis Obispo County Arts Council.  We will be open both weekends of October 13 & 14 and October 20 & 21.

Origins: Rich Lasiewski

I have spent a large part of my life looking at pictures–mainly of people’s insides, and in black and white. I am a retired Diagnostic Radiologist.

I’ve loved glass since I was a kid melting glass rods in a Bunsen burner.  Shortly before retirement I decided to learn more about art and art glass, so I started with weekend beadmaking and fusing classes. With the creative process being difficult for me, I began with art classes at Hancock and Cuesta College. I then became a nearly full-time student at Cal Poly for 3 years, thanks to Crissa Hewitt and George Jercich, studying glass fusing, casting, blowing, and metalsmithing. This lead to teaching “Summer Glass” classes there for 7 years.

At home, I built a studio and then filled it with the equipment (a.k.a. toys) needed to make kilnworked and torchworked glass, metal and glass jewelry, and sculptures. Glass is my medium, and I have always loved paperweights.

My wife of 43 years, Kersti, and I collaborate frequently–especially with jewelry, where she will incorporate my glass beads into beautiful pieces. I enjoy experimenting with different methods to produce the final work: different colors, materials, shapes and sizes. I try to avoid repetitive pieces which would be boring and have been accused of playing rather than being a serious artist.  I really do enjoy it.

I have had enough ‘serious’ in my life as a physician, now I want to enjoy myself and also people do seem to get enjoyment out of seeing our finished pieces.

Rich & Kersti’s Arroyo Grande studio will be open both weekends of ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour.  Stop by and see them!

Origins: Kim Bagwill

I’ve always love to draw and I started out copying comic books while playing at my grandmother’s house. When I was 12, I received my first oil paint set and taught myself to paint. I think my parents finally realized they had a problem when at age 13 I asked if I could paint on the unfinished cement basement wall of our brand new house. They came down and discovered I was sketching a 12′ x 8′ mural of John, Paul, George and Ringo from the Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s album. It took me seven months to finish, using a variety of wall paints from my parent’s hardware store, but 30 years later it’s still there.

I then went on to college and studied painting, photography and graphic design. I’ve been painting and taking photographs off and on my entire life, and supported myself with graphic and web design. I’ve always been fascinated with painting people, specifically faces. My current project is a series of portraits of school children from the 50s dressed in adult clothing. The original photograph I’m working from is a classroom-type shot of 16 children in three rows, and all are sober looking except one. I love seeing their personality in their faces and to make up stories about what they went on to do in their lives.

Paintings in process

More examples of Kim’s work can be seen on her website and be sure to stop by her Paso Robles studio both weekends of Open Studios Art Tour.