On June 13th, the Central Gorge Master Gardeners
hosted a dedication of the newly designed and created Japanese Heritage Garden
located at the OSU
Extension Service in Hood River Valley.
Painting by Sandra Moreano
The following description is taken from the
OSU Central Gorge Master Gardeners' website.
Designed by Sadafumi Uchiyama, the recently-appointed curator of the Portland Japanese Garden, this beautiful garden was developed to honor the local Japanese Americans who, depsite their contributions to the community, were interned during World War II. The garden includes a variety of authentic Japanese garden components that complement the natural beauty of the area while providing a place of peaceful reflection.
The Master Gardeners contacted Tom last year to ask him to create a self-standing sculpture to recognize the project donors. Rita Saling and Sandy Rousseau, organizers of the garden project, met with Tom to discuss design ideas. The final design choice included a piece of fused glass by Linda Steider depicting a path (http://steiderstudios.wordpress.com/) and teak engraved with the names of the donors who
financially helped support the project.
Early this spring, Tom brought the completed piece to the garden and set it in place
with the help of Sandy and Rita.
On June 13th, the garden was dedicated. Mitzi Asai Loftus spoke of her family's history in the Hood River Valley and the support of many non-Japanese families who helped them restart after World War II. A stunning performance by the Portland Taiko Drums delighted all of the guests.
The garden is a peaceful retreat.
The Central Gorge Master Gardeners did a beautiful job applying designer Uchiyama's concepts.
With degrees in graphic and industrial design and certified as a Journeyman Boilermaker/Welder following a three-year apprenticeship at Chevron El Segundo Refinery, Tom has experience in metal fabrication, pipe welding and project management. He has also worked for a paperboard packaging design firm and an exhibit design firm in Seattle. Children's playground equipment design, surfboard/sailboard design, product illustration and building construction experience have also influenced his current work.
Tom creates custom metal work and art pieces for homes and gardens. His art is often functional, utilizing various types of recyled metals. Many of his pieces are also whimsical and, recently, he has incorporated musical elements into some of his artwork. Tom enjoys collaborating with other artists to incorporate ceramic and fused glass into his art.
When asked about his work, Tom responds with a quote from Norman Maclean's novella A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT..."All good things come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy".
I am very lucky to be able to observe his creative process every day.
BOB (and now JUNIOR)