Barbara Boxer's Wild Whistles
Artisan Barbara Boxer of Eaton Center claims not to be a musician (“I can’t even toot my own whistles, but musicians can really make them sing”). Her hollow creations can by played like a whistle with the three- or four-finger holes in their bodies.
Boxer hand-sculpts clay in a variety of colors for the animal and bird shapes. For the black loons, she uses a Raven Stoneware from Georgia. As with all the creatures, after shaping, they are fired once and then painted with acrylics.
Boxer, a former elementary school teacher, settled on the tribal design after teaching her class the African imagery. All the creatures look like cousins, even though they range from aardvarks to zebras.
After 15 years, she has a large repertoire and says people collect them purely as whimsical sculptures too. Sizes vary from small nuthatches to large dragons with her black and white loons being the most popular.
Boxer is also now working on non-musical animals as part of plaques mixed with wood and stones. Her work is available at The Cassidy Gallery in Jackson Village and League of New Hampshire Craftsmen shops in Meredith and Hanover. She will be exhibiting at the annual League fair in Sunapee, August 1 to 9.