Thelma Frazier Winter Letter in 1941 LIFE Magazine

I happened to be sifting through my collection of old LIFE magazines when I spotted this letter from Thelma Frazier Winter in the August 18th, 1941 issue. Frazier was a prominent Cleveland ceramicist who worked for Cowan Pottery.


Okey's Birds

Okey John Canfield, a coal miner, factory worker, outdoorsman and gunsmith, settled in Revenna, Ohio after obtaining a job at the Revenna Arsenal. Soon after he began carving birds, mostly from found objects. Having been a hunter, Okey focused his work on domestic species, but also enjoyed carving penguins, parrots, whooping cranes and occasionally a non-avian creature.

The salvaged materials that make up Okey’s sculptures had to be just right for use, such as the inner wood of a cedar telephone pole, which was often used for the bodies of larger species such as eagles. The wood, being seasoned, would carve easily and not split. Additionally, he used dowels for legs, and pine needles for talons.

Pictured above: Eagle and Chicken

John Teyral

An acclaimed Cleveland artist, John Teyral exhibited works nation wide and won awards throughout his career in the arts. Russian born, his family emigrated to Lakewood, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland, when he was only one year old. He took to the arts at a young age and won an award to study at the Cleveland Museum of Art. After graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1934, he acquired the Agnes Gund scholarship to study at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts.

Through grants, Teyral studied further in Paris and Italy, then returning to Cleveland to teach advanced painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art for 40 years.

Pictured above is Untitled, and Still Life with Fish