Thanks to Kim Korringa, Brenda Urquhart and Jeanette Walters for bringing us their shopping reports from the Grove and Grove "Liquidation Sidewalk Sale" in Berkeley, California on July 3.
They had packaged hundreds (maybe thousands) of canes, both patterned canes and their famous face canes, into baggies, and sold them for $5 and $10 a bag. He also had a lot of finished jewelry for sale at about 1/3 its original cost. There were pieces that I recognized from Nan's book that they made in the 80's, and many of their later pieces featuring women's faces, and floral motifs. I bought some old canes and quite a few pieces of jewelry.
The canes are pretty stiff, I don't think even Jana Benzon could reduce them. But they are marvels in themselves, and I could slice wonderfully thin, clean slices from them. The Groves used Fimo exclusively and before Fimo changed their formulations.
Michael said that 1999 was the last year they worked with polymer. In 1999 they took in Michael's elderly mother to care for her and had to drop the clay at that point. He said ironically, it was like a vacation for them when they stopped the clay and began caring for his mom.
Michael's current artistic endeavor is digital imaging. He will have a website up in a few months featuring his photos. Ruth Anne is involved with five different singing groups, performing music from doo-wop to classical tunes.
I thought I'd died and gone to polymer heaven. I've been a groupie of the Groves since '93 and this event was overwhelming and unreal. The volume of completed works! Canes more than ten years old yet still supple!
The pricing on the completed work was insane. Nothing was more that $45 and most items ranged from $5 - $15.
Michael had copies of "Five Artists-Five Directions in Polymer Clay" signed by all five artists for sale at $10. Voulkos, Dustin, Breen, Allen and the Groves...each artist autographed every copy!
There were polymer enthusiasts from the three local Bay Area Polymer guilds. I met one lady who drove two hours down from Sacramento but I believe my eight hour trip from San Diego might have been the longest.
I almost didn’t go because the traffic down I-80 is usually awful and I couldn’t go in the morning. But I made it down with no problem in the early afternoon and they weren’t cleaned out! I picked up some of the loveliest canes. I’m inspired and looking forward to playing with them.