Kristin Kuhns at the Salem Public Library

The Salem Public Library Foundation has raised the money for improvements to and enlargement of the Children’s Room at the Library (thank you donors!).  The project is underway at the library right now, with hopes to have it ready and open this December.  As part of the project, the Foundation asked Salem sculptor Kristin Kuhns to fabricate two entry-way installations that would invite the young patrons into the Children’s Room.  I described her process, and showed her initial designs and work about a year ago here, but it seemed like it might be a good time for an update, so I spent a pleasant hour over in Kristin’s studio the other day hearing about and SEEING the progress.  It’s going to be very exciting, and beautiful.  Here’s an update:

Here are the spaces and the original concept drawings Kristin made…

ground floor stair

concept downstairs

U[stairs sp[ace

upstairs concept

Though the concept and the end result will be delightful, whimsical, alluring to the eye, make no mistake:  this is work, and work of a kind I can barely relate to…and she’s good at it…templates must be made for the bases, for instance…

templaye 2


template 3

Lots of math is involved (not my strong suit, but I CAN photograph math…and I do remember Tyko saying “measure twice, cut once”…)

math 2

the trees (from Zena Forest Products) are cut and drying, but you can’t just slap them up…the installation has to be closely designed and fabricated so the piece can be a really permanent installation…

studio 5

studio 1

studio 3

studio 2


but the real delight are all the “critters” taking shape right now in the studio…Bisque fired most of them, waiting to be painted…



little owl

bear detail



she has gotten fond of some of them for sure….


the foxes


every aspect of this project interests and and delights the artist, which will make for a wonderful end result…keep your eyes peeled and watch the progress…  And here’s what Kristin Kuhns has said about working on this project…

“The process ISN’T like starting at one edge of a canvas and finishing as you go…The truth here is that the whole thing is wide and lumbering, coming together in some awkward tittering balance.  I interject my hands to continually re-balance the piece…fondly and actively cajoling these varied components into a single entity.”







  1. I’m truly giddy about this project! The little critters are the cherry on top. We are so lucky to be surrounded by amazingly talented artists.

  2. Such wonderful times you have – and the obvious joy with which you live them – the beauty you find and see in everything…it’s very enviable! I aspire to it.

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