Sewing Dr Jekyll. Carving Mr Hyde.

There’s a mysterious cabinet in downtown San Diego.

This seemingly ordinary cabinet is designed to hold both Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

I saw the cabinet today when I stepped into the studio of artist James Watts (@jewattso). And I was shown bits of both Jekyll and Hyde.

I was shown how the cabinet, painted pitch black inside, has a sliding door. Dr Jekyll will stand inside the cabinet on one side. Mr Hyde will stand on the other side. For a surprising revelation, slide the door open in either direction!

You can see the cabinet here…

(To the right of the Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde cabinet stands Frankenstein’s monster. Perhaps you saw that monstrous creation displayed at the Oceanside Museum of Art last year!)

In the next photo, James Watts is carving Mr Hyde’s bones out of basswood.

He has already hand-sewn parts of Dr Jekyll together. Here’s his face…

James Watts explained that every stitch of the canvas Dr Jekyll is by hand. And that’s important.

I first met James Watts almost five years ago when I stumbled into his utterly fantastic downtown studio. You can see the blog I posted that day here.

As the Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cabinet progresses, I’ll provide updates!

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I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Seven master printmakers in Balboa Park.

If you’re interested in printmaking or the production of visual art, don’t miss 7 PRINTMAKERS in Balboa Park’s Spanish Village Art Center.

Tomorrow, January 2, 2023, is the special exhibition’s final day!

When you step into Spanish Village’s Gallery 21, you’ll enjoy the very fine work of seven master printmakers: Raymond Brownfield, Jacqueline Dotson, Igor Koutsenko, Kathleen McCord, Sfona Pelah, Julianne Ricksecker and Angelika Villagrana.

You’ll also learn a good deal about the art of printmaking. As I wandered about the gallery, artist Angelika Villagrana explained to other visitors several printmaking processes. In the past I’ve worked at a print shop, so I had to eavesdrop!

This is the 26th Annual Exhibition by these amazing printmakers. If you’re in San Diego and need something to do tomorrow, you might consider heading to Balboa Park!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Super creative piñatas fill the Mingei!

Would you like to see a jaw-dropping exhibition of super creative piñatas?

Would you like to see fantastic works of art that have been inspired by the traditional Mexican piñata?

Piñatas: The High Art of Celebration is now on display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

I’ve never seen so many unique piñatas all in one place. And so many unusual ones!

In addition to more familiar traditional piñatas, visitors to the exhibition will see unusual piñata costumes, creative piñata wall art, piñatas with political messages, humorous piñatas, pop culture piñatas . . . even a life-size car piñata! (That car piñata would hold a lot of candy!)

According to the Mingei’s website, this is one of the first-ever exhibitions to spotlight piñatas as a traditional craft and vibrant contemporary art form.

I was excited to see so many unexpected creations. It never occurred to me that piñatas might be crafted as small hummingbirds or butterflies, or a bag of Cheetos, or a bottle of COVID-19 vaccine!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Dismasted whaling ship undergoes repairs!

The historic 1841 whaling ship Charles W. Morgan has undergone major repairs at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. The model ship, that is!

I learned from Tom Hairston, of the San Diego Ship Modelers Guild, that the ship became partially dismasted after “running aground” in a crashing gravitational accident! He effected repairs over the course of a month. He even rebuilt the shattered display case. Now the ship in its new “berth” appears immaculate!

This beautiful model of the tall ship Charles W. Morgan is one of many detailed model ships that visitors to the Maritime Museum can admire.

Tom told me he’d discovered several inaccuracies in the original model. Even those with absolutely no nautical knowledge can spot one glaring historical error.

Do you see it?

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Making spheres and cabochons in Balboa Park!

If you ever visit Spanish Village Art Center in Balboa Park, make sure to step into the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society building. Inside you’ll discover walls lined with displays. Arranged in glass cases are crystals, fossils, jade carvings, handmade jewelry and a whole lot more.

You might not view, however, what goes on behind the scenes.

During this weekend’s December Nights event, the public was invited into several rooms where students were transforming minerals and gems into works of art!

I confess that as a boy I had a rock tumbler. Promising stones found on the beach would be rounded and polished in the simple tumbler until they seemed like bright bits of treasure. I also had an uncle who enjoyed lapidary as a hobby–he gave me a tiny fire opal cabochon as a present one year.

Have you considered working with metals, gems and minerals? I’m sure it would be a lot of fun!

I see the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society offers many very affordable classes. You can learn faceting, metal fabrication, casting, carving…

During my behind-the-scenes look yesterday, I spoke to one friendly teacher and watched students grinding and polishing minerals using specialized machines. And I took these photographs in the “cab room” where spheres and cabochons are created!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Jewels of the Season shine in Balboa Park!

Some of the most amazing and beautiful Christmas ornaments are now on display in Balboa Park. Step through the entrance of the Timken Museum of Art and you can’t possibly miss them!

Jewels of the Season is a special exhibition of fine, hand-crafted Christmas tree ornaments. The elaborate jewel-like creations are the work of two artists: Florence Hord and Elizabeth Schlappi.

If the name of the first artist seems familiar, perhaps that’s because she was married to renowned sculptor Donal Hord. Florence began making these unique ornaments as a hobby in the 1930s. Each one is a small work of art.

Elizabeth Schlappi met Florence when her mother started taking sculpture lessons from Donal Hord. The two began to make ornaments together.

If you see ornaments in the museum that seem more contemporary (such as one celebrating the Padres), they’re probably the work of Elizabeth. She also included fabric patches in many of her designs. You can see an example in one upcoming photograph: a lunar landing patch!

In 1995 Florence passed away, but a unique craft that she originated lives on through a network of creative friends.

If you’re going to December Nights this year, make absolutely sure you wander into the Timken Museum of Art. You’re eyes will open wide with delight!

By the way, on Monday, December 5, at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm, the museum will host an ornament-making workshop! Learn more and register here!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

International Cottages prepare for December Nights!

December Nights is almost here! The huge holiday event, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around San Diego, will take place this Friday and Saturday in Balboa Park.

During my walk through Balboa Park’s International Cottages today, I noticed preparation for the event is already underway. Several of the cottages have put up Christmas trees and holiday decorations, and most of the other cottages, I was assured, will be joining them shortly.

Please enjoy a few photos!

This will be the first in-person December Nights since the closures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. I bet the crowds will be huge.

The first two photographs (above and below) were taken in the House of Mexico’s cottage.

At the House of Finland, traditional paper woven baskets called sydänkori were being created. They are used to decorate Christmas trees. Small presents such as gift cards fit neatly inside them!

Over at the House of Germany, I spotted a nutcracker, and a poster concerning a fall and winter Children’s Choir program!

At the House of USA cottage, I saw these Christmas decorations, including a bright, festive tree…

Look at all the Santa Clauses inside the House of Sweden cottage! I learned they’ll be for sale during December Nights.

Lastly, I discovered another beautiful Christmas tree inside the House of Denmark’s cottage…

If you head to Balboa Park during December Nights, make sure to visit the International Cottages. As usual, a wide variety of holiday food from all around the world will be a highlight!

Thanks for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often. If you like discovering new things, bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and swing on by occasionally!

It’s easy to explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag. There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Balboa Park’s colorful annual craft sale!

We’re fast approaching the holidays. So it isn’t surprising that the City of San Diego’s AgeWell Services had their big senior craft show today in Balboa Park!

I’m fascinated by human creativity. So it was a treat to slowly wander about the two outdoor courtyards at the Casa del Prado, looking at everything.

I saw really good paintings and fine woodwork and dolls and scrapbooks and gift card holders and Christmas stockings and toy Santa Clauses and Thanksgiving crafts and so much more!

Many of the artists were kind enough to let me take photographs. These should provide an idea of what you missed if you didn’t go this year. There’s always next year!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Big craft sale this Saturday in Balboa Park!

A huge craft sale with over 50 vendors will take place tomorrow, Saturday, November 5th, in San Diego’s beautiful Balboa Park! I saw a huge canopy set up this afternoon in one of the Casa del Prado’s outdoor courtyards!

The sale supports local senior crafters and artists who are over 55 years old.

Yes, the City of San Diego’s annual AgeWell Services Craft Sale has finally returned after a couple of missed years due to COVID.

The big event tomorrow takes place from 9 am to 4 pm and is free to the public. Simply head through Balboa Park and watch for the many signs.

Bring the family! There will be a fun Kids Corner, too!

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Playing with design at the Mingei!

A super fun and enjoyable exhibit is now on display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park!

Toying with Design intentionally coincides with San Diego Design Week 2022, which concludes today. Fortunately, however, this very unique exhibit will continue on until February 2023.

So what will visitors to one corner of the Mingei’s upstairs gallery see? Lots of clever designs! Including all sorts of inspired designs that make common functional household items as playful as toys!

I particularly enjoyed how ordinary kitchen utensils were creatively infused with surprising humor!

Check it out!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!