Disaster averted.

Model Railroad at the Superstition Mountain Museum

Today will be a mixed bag.

First, I have to give a shout out to MochaHost, my web host.  My site was down and I did not even know it until I attempted to access it.  I won’t bore you with technical crap, but an updated plug-in that automatically backs up the website was incompatible with the version of PHP3 that my version of Word Press was running on. Continue reading “Disaster averted.”


Shrine on the 60 headed into Miami, AZ

Arizona summers are brutal. Two weeks ago, we lost a local who decided to go hiking at Second Water in the Superstition Wilderness. He has not been found. The official search has been called off.

From July through September, we take sanctuary in our air conditioned houses and local drinking establishments. The studio is inhospitable.  With no new art or photographs to share, I have little to share here.

Continue reading “Omens”

Apache Jii

Well, the great thing about living in the desert is the weather. The bad thing about living in the desert is the weather.

From June until September, we tend to hide indoors. We in the East Valley enjoy the lack of the winter visitors, which we call Snowbirds.

As our temperatures creep below 105°F our winter visitors creep in. But we also welcome the events that make this state the Great 48. Continue reading “Apache Jii”


This past weekend, tired of being housebound in 100+° heat, I suggested to Liz that we take a day trip to Superior.  Superior is 2,888 feet elevation.  Apache Junction is 1,722 – and that 1,000 feet make a difference.

The cloud cover added to the cooling effect of the elevation, and it was pleasant all day as we walked the streets of Superior, and stopped into the Silver King Smokehouse and Saloon. Best pulled pork this side of the valley! Continue reading “Superior”

Next in the series – creative fabrication

Another church children’s program – it seems the churches in Arizona have to compete to get families.

The 3-dimensional pieces on the wall are all Styrofoam, coated wit Rhino coat and painted.  They are all backed with 1/2″ plywood for stability.

The arrow is a wood base and Styrofoam coated with Rhino coat. The letters are pine cut to shape on a CNC router.  The base has casters on the front, so that the prop can be easily moved.

The wall is printed vinyl applied like wallpaper. All of this was designed and fabricated in a now defunct print shop in Mesa Arizona.

More fun with fabrication

Sometimes it pays off to be paid to have fun. A church in Tempe, AZ wanted a showpiece for their children’s ministry.

They wanted a huge tree in the foyer of their school building. More than 20 feet high, We needed to construct offsite the prop that was then to be installed in the building.

The skeleton of the tree was constructed of steel and wood framework. We sculpted the tree out of 4’x8′ sheets of Styrofoam. Continue reading “More fun with fabrication”

Not all art requires a paintbrush and canvas

As an artist, I tend to love anything creative, and more so if it involves using my hands. Woodworking is a creative and therapeutic outlet for a restless mind.

My found object, re-purposed art is a fun outlet.  I have been employed in the large format print/ fabrication industry for the past eight years. Some of the moist exciting projects involved carpentry.

The photos here show a child’s playhouse with a spiral staircase.  I am certain the time spent on this project was way more than an experienced carpenter would have required.

The project was designed with EnCad, a program much beyond my scope of experience or ability. The wood was cut on a MultiCam CNC router, all part of my abilities. 3/4″ marine grade plywood and Luan were used in the construction.

The wood was primed and then coated with Rhino coat, which is a 2-part epoxy based coating used in pickup truck bedliners. The stairs were simply coated with poly-acrylic.  The shell, after assembly, was then covered with Styrofoam that was shaped to resemble tree bark, and that was coated with Rhino coat.
The end result was a fun play tree house.  I unfortunately never got to see the finished result, which included a rail around the perimeter and a treehouse on the top. It now resides in a church somewhere in Utah for their children’s ministry.

This was one of several pieces that they ordered to fit their theme.

Wood is one of the most versatile materials that can be used to create almost anything one can imagine.

Postcards from the Edge (of the Superstitions)

Wm. A Sullivan Bridge over the Salt River , Salt River Canyon, US 60

Several years ago I acquired a stash of vintage postcards of the Superstition Mountains at an antiques sale in Superior, AZ. I donated the postcards to the Superstition Mountain Museum. The museum is part of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society.

The Superstition Mountain Museum is a must see if you are ever in Apache Junction, AZ. It has the only two surviving structures of the Apache Land Movie Studios, a working stamp mill, a scale railroad featuring the history of Arizona, mining artifacts and twelve acres of grounds with walking paths all in front of the wonderful backdrop of the Superstition Mountains. All of this is free to the public. The indoor museum is open for a nominal fee, and provides the  visitor with in depth history of the wild and weird Superstitions.

Horseshoe Curve, Phoenix Globe Highway

Before I parted with the postcards, I made high definition scans and reproduced a limited quantity.

I am offering sets of 17 cards (5 are not shown here) for $50 while supplies last. Just contact me at carl at cbjart dot com if you are interested. When they are gone, there are no more. Continue reading “Postcards from the Edge (of the Superstitions)”

Kayaking Boulder Creek and Canyon Lake

Boulder Creek

After nearly a year of disability I was able to put my shoulder to the test. For those of you that know me or have been following, I had major surgery on my right shoulder August last.

My arm is still not 100%. My physical therapist cleared me to kayak (not white water) as it is good exercise to help return full motion to my arm.

Heading past the Marina

It is the very end of snowbird season here in the East Valley, so we ventured out to the lakes today. Weekends are usually tough as the locals come out to play. We decided to come out in the afternoon rather than try the early morning, hoping that the early risers would be leaving as we arrived. Our plan paid off, as there was plenty of parking available.

The Marina

Boulder Creek and Canyon Lake were full of weekenders.  On the drive in we passed snowbird after snowbird towing their boats out.  Hasta la vista, baby.

I finally had the chance to try out my new camera – not the Nikon D70, that is too expensive to risk a drink in the lake. I bought an inexpensive Polaroid ISO48 compact waterproof point and shoot.  At less than $40, it would not hurt so bad if it ended up at the bottom of Canyon Lake. And it takes surprisingly good photos.

Canyon Lake

I still have to figure out how to change the date stamp. And since it takes two Double-A batteries, you would do well to have a lot of spares if you are planning on more than a couple hours on the water.

The operating  instructions are a bit convoluted but for $40 what do you expect?  I am happy with the maiden voyage.

Liz in her kayak

The water level on the lake and creek were much higher than I’ve seen in the past. Ducks swam past us, unafraid of people. My guess is that they get fed a lot. Fish jumped from the water around us.

The water was a bit choppy, and gusts of wind made for an interesting afternoon.  All in all it was good to be back on the water after well over a year.