Monday, August 8, 2011

Sonja Ann Magill~Studio Menagerie "Unicorn" Ceramic Wall Hanging

I found this recently at an estate that was being prepared for sale by a friend that is a general contractor. I rummaged through the house to find anything that was collectible or most unusual to rescue from the fate of "Let's not talk about it."

The artist of this amazing ceramic sculpture is the late Sonja Ann Magill of Studio Menagerie'[d. July 23, 2009], Santa Cruz, California. It has an incised mark that reads: copyright symbol 1980, STUDIO MENAGERIE'. I found another posting online of a similar piece by a lady who purchased it at Macy's during a 'Clearance Sale'.

Her life was short and will be missed by collectors of her work and anyone that collects mythological creatures, such as unicorns. I hope by posting this here on my blog that it will root out others that can add a story or two to her legacy as an artist, because there was not much information about her life that I could find online.

Thanks for stopping by and happy treasure hunting!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Karen, and Little Red Wagon, I'm finally replying to your note to my blog regarding Sonya's work. I really LOVE this Unicorn, so glad to read of your 'rescue'. Well, I dig all her work, but this especially has a story in my life. One of Sonya's neighbors along the Pacific Coast was Chris Matthews. Chris was a local politician and successful playwright, who also created an "Irish" bar/pub called The Poet and The Patriot which proved successful. When I first met him, he was involved with cooperatively building housing in Santa Cruz County, a place with ridiculously overpriced homes, rationally and comparatively speaking. Mythic and generous personality. Sonya and I went to Chris' memorial service together not so long before she passed on ~ with a few thousands of others.

    Anyway, so Sonya Magill/Studio Menagerie gifted Matthews with one of her unicorns when his pub opened. I've never been much of a drinker, "oversensitive", yet THIS pub became my "neighborhood" bar in downtown Santa Cruz because it was poet-friendly and politically enticing. Christened my youngest child there. Chris hung the lovely porcelain (sp?)Unicorn front and center above his wrap-around, redwood bar.

    Well, it was a bar, right? More than once, the unicorn got hurt in the late nite action there. Sonya diligently created a new Unicorn for the Poet and Patriot at least twice, maybe oftener. the last time I looked in there, tho' both artists have passed on within a year of each other, there was still a Unicorn above the bar, centered over the long mirror, complimenting many signs of Eire and solidarity.

    I am SO glad you saved this piece! I like your website. thank you for the note, I hope people see it a lot.