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Borsheim Art Newsletter:

by Kelly Borsheim copyright 28 March 2015

  1. New Work: Centro Umago - Landscape Painting
  2. Casting Call: I'm Melting! Melting! . . . Into Bronze Kickstarter Art Project
  3. Nikola Tesla Museum, Serbia
  4. Blog Highlights: More about Serbia
  5. Subscription Info.

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Dear Art Lover,

The evening before I left Croatia, I presented my oil painting to Milka, a native Istrian. It was inspired by my nightly walks along the sea in Umag. Sometimes I found myself walking around the central part of the old town. I love the lighting along the harbour and the pretty deep blue of the sky. She was delighted and hugged me tightly, trying not to pass on her cold to me, and exclaimed that I was family to her and hers.

Each had asked me to sign these paintings. However, I chose not to sign the front of this painting or the portrait I did of Milka's sister (and my landlords) Miranda and Borislav because I had not found fine enough paintbrushes in Croatia. I do not really like my name too large. Preferring to travel light and also learn new things, I had not intended to paint in oils during my 3-month stay there. However, I got inspired and scrambled to get supplies. I did sign and date the edge of the canvases with a pen. [On my last day in Croatia, I shipped the tubes of paint and brushes to the school in Ghana I told you about in previous writings.]

You may see the finished painting [shown right] and the other one "Taking Care" here:

Umago Centro
50 x 70 cm [about 20 x 28 inches]
Oil Painting on Canvas
© 2015 Kelly Borsheim
Private Collection - Croatia

[Central Umag, Croatia, downtown view near the harbor at night dusk]
Umago Centro
50 x 70 cm [about 20 x 28 inches]
Oil Painting on Canvas
© 2015 Kelly Borsheim
Private Collection - Croatia

Casting Call: I'm Melting! Melting! . . . into Bronze
Kickstarter Art Project

With April Fools Day approaching, I watch and work with anticipation as we near the final bidding day up my first crowd funding art project. Thank you to all of you who have pledged or shared the link to the Kickstarter page. Thus far, we have raised
  • $4,115 pledged [of $11,500 goal]
  • 35% funded
  • 22 backers
  • 4 days to go towards the bronze foundry fee.


I am getting pumped for my return to the US, including a decent visit to Austin, Texas. My storage space there is no longer available. If I do not cast the wax sculptures I created when I started the classical painting school in Italy many years ago, they may not survive another Texas summer. It is time to cast them into bronze or lose them.

Bronze has never been a cheap or easy process, but the results are lovely and the material is strong. It allows an artist to create a sculpture with extending parts and high detail, as desired. People often ask how bronze sculpture is created and I have written a description of the steps (with images) to explain the Lost Wax Process: it is on the Kickstarter page noted above.

I have done all of the steps in the very complicated process of bronze casting. I wanted to understand the challenges along the way because sometimes one works backwards in a process in order to design something that is likely to be a success. It helps to have an idea of where you are going to be able to anticipate future challenges. I later worked with some wonderful bronze casting foundries, but often still did myself a lot of the wax work and sculpting and coloring the cooled metal after the pouring of molten bronze. My focus turned away from bronze casting during my travels and now it is time to create some more bronze sculpture.

That is where the crowd-sourcing comes in. Very few things worthwhile happen in a vacuum. Simply put: I need you. And I am trying to make it easy for you to help me cast these wax sculptures. Kickstarter is only one site that exists for artists, musicians, and inventors to come up with an idea and others make it happen with their pledge support.

But Kickstarter's policy is all or nothing. I have gotten quotes from four different foundries (since my main one is now retired). While my goal of $11,500 is a lot to ask for, it is not enough to cover what I need to cast. However, it is a huge start and a big help. I have added my own contribution to this project, not only in doing much of the labor myself, but also in offering lower prices on selected [previously cast] bronze sculptures and often paying shipping and packaging fees, as well as Texas sales taxes (where applicable).

There are lots of reward levels and I would really appreciate your support. From just $5 on up to the extremely generous $10K, I hope that you will find something that will enrich your life.

Thank you!

P.S. There is even a reward to help me create a medallion for you! This would be cool for a one-of-a-kind gift to celebrate a special accomplishment of your child, your partnet, your colleagues at work. We will work together in person, if possible, or by Internet. Tell me what you would like to see and I will design and create it for you, with your approval before bronze casting.

If you have ever wanted one of my bronze sculptures, this is the time to invest. Check it and so many other goodies out at:

Deadline Texas USA Time: the midnight between 1 April and 2 April. No foolin'

And thank you for participating, pledging, commenting on the page, sharing the link with your colleagues and friends, and sending me feedback of any kind. We can do this.

[Casting Call: Iím Melting . . . Melting! Into Bronze crowd funding kickstarter]
Casting Call: I'm Melting! Melting! Into Bronze
Top left, then clockwise: Photo from 2002, friends and fellow sculpture teachers at the Elisabet Ney Sculpture Conservatory, Marla Ripperda, Bill Barnett, and Kelly Borsheim pour molten bronze into a ceramic shell mold in Austin, Texas. The large bronze wall-hanging sculpture Ten on an orange wall. Warrior Spirit [man and bird, detail]. Shield, another large wall or gate-hanging bronze sculpture.

[Casting Call: Iím Melting . . . Melting! Into Bronze crowd funding make a medallion]

[Casting Call: Iím Melting . . . Melting! Into Bronze crowd funding frog and cat tails bronze sculpture]
Frog Legs and Cattails one of the bronze rewards (two actually) offered.

[Casting Call: Iím Melting . . . Melting! Into Bronze crowd funding wax sculptures ready for bronze casting]

Nikola Tesla Museum, Belgrade, Serbia

To make sure that I stayed legal in Croatia (the 90-day rule, as with Schengen), I went to Serbia to visit a family I know there. Everyone seemed impressed that there was a direct bus from Umag, Croatia to Belgrade, Serbia. When I was invited to take a day trip back into Belgrade, I asked if we could visit the Nikola Tesla Museum. Even though I have not really tried to understand the specifics of what the great inventor Tesla created, I am fairly familiar with the Tesla Coil. You see, my former husband is a wonderful engineer and a huge fan of Nikola Tesla. So, evenings in our home with friends often included demonstrations of John's Tesla Coils. They are a bit loud and crackly, the stuff of Hollywood (or vice versa?) and the ozone smell that is generatied is not subtle. But here is an image from one of our house parties: [left to right] Twins Alex and Isaac Babcock watch with John as his Tesla Coil lights up two bulbs in the room without touching them. [Note that the bulb in the reflector stand far right is lit, but has not been turned on.] Photo by Amber Babcock.

[Nikola Tesla fans watch as Tesla Coil lights up in Texas]

It turns out that Tesla himself only spent about three days ever in Belgrade, according to our tour guide. However, while he emigrated to America, he was proud of his roots. And when he died, Yugoslavia still existed. Belgrade was the capitol and thus, received his worldly goods. This is a small museum, but well designed and attended. We lucked out and caught the English-speaking tour. Many of Mr. Tesla's designs, prototypes, and photographs are on exhibition. We watched a film to explain more about the inventor's life and ideas. He changed the world. I was impressed that the film avoided saying anything negative about the selfish and dishonorable behaviour towards Nikola Tesla, of American businessmen, such as inventor Thomas Edison and banker J.P. Morgan.

Nikola Tesla (10 July 1856 Ė 7 January 1943), like a great artist, was devoted to his work. He was said to have many friends in social circles, but it was rare to see him out. He wanted to bring electricity to the world, and for free. His passion is as clear as his following his curiosity. All of the money he earned went into his work and he died with very little personal possessions. His urn is also in the museum in Belgrade.

I hope that you enjoy these snapshots I took in the Tesla Museum in Belgrade, Serbia.

Learn more about inventor and Serbian Nikola Tesla here:

[Nikola Tesla Museum entrance Belgrade Beograd Serbia]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Coils Belgrade Beograd Serbia]
Tesla coils

[Nikola Tesla Coil]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Inventions Belgrade Beograd Serbia]
Tesla inventions

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla The Golden Egg Serbia]
The Golden Egg demo

[Nikola Tesla Coil]
Can an egg remain vertical on its pointed end?

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Film Belgrade Beograd Serbia]
Tesla film about his life and discoveries - in English

[Nikola Tesla Coil]
Our host (a science student herself) demonstrates . . .

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Coil with output of 250 KV]
Tesla coil with output of 250 KV

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]
I did not understand what this was: some sort of battery?

[Nikola Tesla Museum Machinery Invention]
Tesla invention

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]
Tesla's Turbine

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla remote controlled boat with AND logic gate]
Tesla's remote controlled boat with <> Logic Gate

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla remote controlled boat with AND Logic Gate]
Tesla's remote controlled boat [another view]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]
Shocking the kids! haha. ;-)

[Nikola Tesla Museum power generation, transmission, and distribution]

Demo for power generation, transmission, and distribution

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade Demo for power generation, transmission, and distribution]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Coil with output of 250 KV]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]
A section of a three-phase asynchronous motor;
This Tesla technology is still used today in the Tesla electric cars

[Nikola Tesla Museum old photograph Tesla with his invention]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade big Tesla coil]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Coil]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade large Tesla Coil]
Large Tesla coil in the Museum

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla Coil in action]
Tesla coil in action, with my enchanted friends in the crowd

[Nikola Tesla Museum Tesla's hat and gloves]

[Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade Safe of the Inventor]
Nikola Tesla's safe

[portrait sculpture of Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]

[Urn of inventor Nikola Tesla Museum Belgrade]

Recent Blog Topics: Belgrade

Croatia and Serbia are both interesting to visit. The people I met are wonderful. And I am starting to get a better idea of the difference between Communism, Nationalism, and Capitalism as my friends describe their lives before and after Yugoslavia. These types of realities are why it is so important to travel and interact with people. Even though war has touched my life, as I am sure it has yours, I was so lucky to never had lived in a war zone. I doubt anyone living a non-political life chooses to do that. Belgrade has left alone at least two buildings that were bombed by the Americans decades ago. I was told they serve as a reminder of what happened.

It was lovely that both of the families that I stayed with in Croatia and in Serbia sent warm salutations to the other, through me. Srecko, the Serbian farmer, [translating through his daughter] told me that he hid durng the war because he could not stand the idea of killing his brother Croatians. He also later drove a truck of supplies to them because he had given his word. He did this despite the fears of his Serbian friends that he would be killed once he arrived. But the fears were all derived from the talk of politicians.

You may follow a variety of art topics on my blog, mostly travel and art:
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This will be a year of traveling and a lot of activity. I would love to share the fun with you, so let me know where you will be in 2015, please.

I hope that you are also taking advantage of good times with long-time and new friends.

Thank you for sharing this journey with me. Thank you for sharing this newsletter with your friends and colleagues. And certainly, thank you for supporting my work by adding some of it to your collection.

Kelly Borsheim
28 March 2015

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[Mural in Belgrade]

Give a Book Review:

Thank you for your interest and support in the book I wrote this past summer about being a street artist in Italy. I was thrilled to receive such glowing feedback about how I had shared not only the art and the artists, but also something of the political environment regarding street art, interaction with the public and other street performers (my favorite chapter is the one in which I have invited children to join me on the pavement), as well as images of the Renaissance City herself.

The book is titled "My Life as a Street Painter in Florence, Italy." If you have read the book and would like to help in the promotion of it, perhaps you would consider writing up a short review for Amazon.com (or even send me a testimonial for my own site). Your review does not have to be fancy. The intention is to help other people get a better idea about what is inside and whether or not they may enjoy the read.

Just click here. Scroll down to the section on Customer Reviews. Click on the button to the right that says, "Create your own review" Sign in and follow their guide.

If you have not gotten your copy of the book, you may order directly from my site:

or from Amazon.com:

I have about 20 copies here with me in Italy, so if you are also here, just write me and we will organize the restÖ

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