It is a pleasure to showcase a friend of mine this month: sculptor James Eaton, a former industrial designer whose skills enabled him to emerge from the l983 recession with a new career: fabricating one-of-a-kind weather vanes. Jim's movement from employee to entrepreneur is a lesson for today and is an example to others as Jim says, "Who in the world would ever believe there's a market for something that's really high quality and special?"
James' work adorns the poster for this month's featured show: the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show
, an exciting marketplace where you can find the finest of goods made in America, or as a friend said recently, where you "meet the Tiffany's of today."
In Eaton's studio workshop women with trailing locks twirl around barbershop poles. Tandem cyclists spin around a propeller-fueled arrow in a primary palette. Drawers brim with silver wings, flying fish, propellers, horses' tails and pointing fingers, the whimsical flotsam and jetsam of an anatomical circus.
"I like fantasy things. I like magic. I like circuses. Its all part of the package." His winged weather vanes have carried him to some of the finest arts and crafts shows in the country, including an exhibit with the Smithsonian Institution.
Eaton begins with rough sketches of his 3-to-7-foot works of jaw gnashing crocodiles or finned mermaids, then plays with the form in three dimensions. The process of grinding, machining, drilling, painting and assembly can take up to 16 weeks to complete. They are ready to live outdoors as they have the same finish as on a Lear jet.
Meet him March 20-22 at the Palm Beach Fine Craft Show
and the Philadelphia Invitational Furniture Show, March 27-29.
Read the rest of Jim's story here: www.ArtFairCalendar.com/artist