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Rex Foster

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My home in Comfort, Texas is located on a backcountry road at the end of a long driveway, peacefully lined with live oak, red oak and cedar trees, as well as, whitetail deer. It is two miles away from the hustle and bustle of a German settlement founded in 1854. The German sect who found this little paradise next to the Guadalupe River were self-titled, “Free Thinkers”. I don’t believe in coincidence…as here is where I was raised on a small ranch.

My father, Rex Foster Sr., was a frustrated actor/singer born in 1919. Both he and my mother, Louise, moved from small towns in Kansas and spent a portion of their young life together in Los Angeles. My father joined the Air Force, which eventually landed them in Texas with two children to raise (myself and my older sister, Lucia). As a family, we moved a few times during my earliest years, but by the 5th grade, we landed on a small ranch outside of Comfort, Texas, now popularly referred to as, “The Texas Hill Country”.

Rex Foster Guitar

Growing up, my father and mother regularly gave me more responsibility than I was prepared to take on: receiving a Boy Scout hatchet when I was just five (with which I promptly crowned myself on the top of my skull, leaving a residual bump), a 22 caliber rifle at age 10, and two horses…one being an enormous Tennessee Walker (un-rideable by anyone but me!). At twelve years old, I was driving myself to school and building a ’32 Chevy hot rod.

By the time I was 14, I had been given a 22 caliber old colt style pistol. That year I accidentally shot myself through the main trunk of my body. Seven hours in surgery with a full change of A-negative blood, I died on the table. My family physician wouldn’t give up…taking my heart in his hands and manually pumping it for many minutes before I came into my body. This was the first intense spiritual awakening in my life’s journey.

After this near-death experience, I truly needed a creative outlet to express inner visions and questions. Being able to write poetry at such an early age helped me get the emotions of adolescence out of my head.

There was a regular stirring of creativity and curiosity at the deepest level all throughout my grade school years. I recall being fascinated with mixing anything colorful when I was five. I would find all kinds of substances (liquid or powder) that could be put in little bottles and mixed together…like chemistry…with test tubes in my parents’ garage.

Rex Foster with Home

In the 4th grade, my elementary school gathered the entire school of 200 students and gave a music aptitude test to everyone. I was the top score of all ages. My schooling had been, shall we say, interesting. My parents would never talk about my I.Q., so, I can’t legitimately tell you if I am cleverly dumb, or stupidly brilliant. I can recall, however, that mathematics continued to be one of the playgrounds of creativity for me during my younger years. My favorite topic in school besides math/physics turned out to be literature and drama.

By my early teens, I was creatively writing (outside of school assignments). As a sophomore in high school, I joined the drama club and did one-act plays for scholastic competition going on to the state level. I later joined a summer stock theatre after my junior and senior years and learned that I could sing too.

During this development of consciousness, creativity arose as an expression and connection to the Tao.

I proceeded to head off to college, majoring in drama and minoring in physics. In my freshman year at Trinity University in San Antonio, I learned to play guitar and started writing songs. Though in 1966, at the end of my 2nd year of college, I left to explore psychedelics with my best friend (another math whiz at California Institute of Technology) before the law changed to make exploration of consciousness a federal prison term. From that time until 1969, my creative expression changed from acting and singing to songwriting and performing those songs, both solo and with my band. I recorded my first major label LP in 1969 in Paris, France titled (prophetically), “Roads of Tomorrow,” and solidified the potential of a career in the music industry.

In 1972 while on tour, however, my father sent me a bracelet he had made from deer bone collected from the hills on our ranch. This bracelet was so simple, so grounding and yet kinetic, and it touched something basic, deep inside of me. Upon returning to Texas, one of the first things I did was ask my dad what the hell was he doing with old bones from the ground? Subsequently, I learned what little he had figured out in the way of tools and techniques to shape and polish these pieces of naturally cured bone. I was off and running. I disappeared into a cloud of bone dust for months…and when I came out of it, I had become addicted to the possibilities I had found for exploring this totally unique avenue of creativity.

The progression was first designing things for myself to establish an expression of attire that went along with the then bourgeoning outlaw music scene we were developing in Texas. I had gone back to wearing boots and a cowboy hat and began playing music that was outside of both commercial radio and typical country or rock. It became known as, “Texas Outlaw Music,” so a cool hatband was in order. I fairly quickly began designing pieces for other people…my girlfriend at the time and also my surrogate father, Hondo Crouch. Then, all of my music buddies wanted things. This was the point at which I realized I was going to have to put a price on my new passion. And thus began the commercial potential of my developing art form.

I met the love of my life, Kelly, in 1981 and she slowly became integrated into the real-world need of organization, promotion, selling and bookkeeping. She has been a significant part of this adventure ever since.

In 1989, however, my jewelry success became overwhelming, yet I made a conscious decision to remain true to “one piece at a time and handmade” and not to become a “production” line designer. But, I needed help. I, fortunately, met Mike Villarreal who had just resigned from 18 years working for James Avery (another local jewelry maker).

What broils out of the human brain can be an infinity of form…but it all starts with a connection to the unknown.

My jewelry art would not be what it is today without the 30 years of dedicated participation of my friend and co-worker, Mike Villarreal. Nor would it be the same without my beloved sweetheart Kelly, or two of my best friends and supporters of my jewelry work, Robin Brown and John Gray of Magnolia Pearl. Jeanette MacDougall and Cara Hines have also been devoted fans and participants in my jewelry art career, showcasing my art in their stunning art gallery, Studio Comfort, providing a much broader base to work from as a gallery participant.

Rex Foster Belts

My workspace today is inside my head where resides a brain, the workbench of the soul (unlike what most people consider the tool of the ego). From there, the connection happens with THE creator… without words (for words are of the brain). Out of the ether begins formulation and duality. Thus ALL manifest existence is an expression of art.

Now, I have a life at 72 years of age that is still directed by the use of my hands and the open playing field of creativity and spirituality. My drive for life is still underpinned with the manifestation of the work… both music and jewelry.

In music, I have my own way…I never write “for the radio”…I write for me (and you). I first sculpt with my soul, then with my heart, then with my brain, then with my body. My jewelry art is much the same. From the first design through the subsequent hundreds…I have never followed fashion or fad, instead always making things in relation to my interpretations of shape and form from nature.

Rex Foster Truck and Guitar

In the stable jewelry world, I am a conundrum. Upon seeing my abstract shapes and designs, one realizes I flow with natural direction…quite intuitive. I never took any classes in jewelry making or design nor did I have a jeweler I admired and wanted to copy. My jewelry work and designing developed organically. I had no idea it would become such a personal passion and commercially viable art form. It came to me that in the distant past, the first thing humans would take with them from camp to camp that wasn’t absolutely necessary for survival were amulets made from bones of animals that mattered to them symbolically…early expressions of spiritual concern. This furthered my inspiration and excitement in making my jewelry.

In music, however, inspiration is very intuitive… it literally comes from the unknown into the known. How it manifests is the real question for me. It is much more ethereal with music…sometimes, I think inspiration is as simple as the ability to strum a guitar and vibrate vocal cords. While my biggest challenge in creating has been staying true to my core…to my muse…to my soul…it has also been my biggest accomplishment. Life can be a glorious adventure no matter what a person’s activity might be…an accountant or housewife/husband, a CEO or a doctor. All can find their muse and connectivity to the creative nature and derive an extraordinary life from that participation. A homeless person can embrace that which is beyond worldly suffering and find space and peace in the middle of untold challenges.

I am a dedicated believer that we all start with creativity and unfold from there…conscious participation leads to an amazing life.

My home in Comfort, Texas is located on a backcountry road at the end of a long driveway, peacefully lined with live oak, red oak and cedar trees, as well as, whitetail deer. It is two miles away from the hustle and bustle of a German settlement founded in 1854. The German sect who found this little paradise next to the Guadalupe River were self-titled, “Free Thinkers”. I don’t believe in coincidence…as here is where I was raised on a small ranch.

My father, Rex Foster Sr., was a frustrated actor/singer born in 1919. Both he and my mother, Louise, moved from small towns in Kansas and spent a portion of their young life together in Los Angeles. My father joined the Air Force, which eventually landed them in Texas with two children to raise (myself and my older sister, Lucia). As a family, we moved a few times during my earliest years, but by the 5th grade, we landed on a small ranch outside of Comfort, Texas, now popularly referred to as, “The Texas Hill Country”.

Rex Foster Guitar

Growing up, my father and mother regularly gave me more responsibility than I was prepared to take on: receiving a Boy Scout hatchet when I was just five (with which I promptly crowned myself on the top of my skull, leaving a residual bump), a 22 caliber rifle at age 10, and two horses…one being an enormous Tennessee Walker (un-rideable by anyone but me!). At twelve years old, I was driving myself to school and building a ’32 Chevy hot rod.

By the time I was 14, I had been given a 22 caliber old colt style pistol. That year I accidentally shot myself through the main trunk of my body. Seven hours in surgery with a full change of A-negative blood, I died on the table. My family physician wouldn’t give up…taking my heart in his hands and manually pumping it for many minutes before I came into my body. This was the first intense spiritual awakening in my life’s journey.

After this near-death experience, I truly needed a creative outlet to express inner visions and questions. Being able to write poetry at such an early age helped me get the emotions of adolescence out of my head.

There was a regular stirring of creativity and curiosity at the deepest level all throughout my grade school years. I recall being fascinated with mixing anything colorful when I was five. I would find all kinds of substances (liquid or powder) that could be put in little bottles and mixed together…like chemistry…with test tubes in my parents’ garage.

Rex Foster with Home

In the 4th grade, my elementary school gathered the entire school of 200 students and gave a music aptitude test to everyone. I was the top score of all ages. My schooling had been, shall we say, interesting. My parents would never talk about my I.Q., so, I can’t legitimately tell you if I am cleverly dumb, or stupidly brilliant. I can recall, however, that mathematics continued to be one of the playgrounds of creativity for me during my younger years. My favorite topic in school besides math/physics turned out to be literature and drama.

By my early teens, I was creatively writing (outside of school assignments). As a sophomore in high school, I joined the drama club and did one-act plays for scholastic competition going on to the state level. I later joined a summer stock theatre after my junior and senior years and learned that I could sing too.

During this development of consciousness, creativity arose as an expression and connection to the Tao.

I proceeded to head off to college, majoring in drama and minoring in physics. In my freshman year at Trinity University in San Antonio, I learned to play guitar and started writing songs. Though in 1966, at the end of my 2nd year of college, I left to explore psychedelics with my best friend (another math whiz at California Institute of Technology) before the law changed to make exploration of consciousness a federal prison term. From that time until 1969, my creative expression changed from acting and singing to songwriting and performing those songs, both solo and with my band. I recorded my first major label LP in 1969 in Paris, France titled (prophetically), “Roads of Tomorrow,” and solidified the potential of a career in the music industry.

In 1972 while on tour, however, my father sent me a bracelet he had made from deer bone collected from the hills on our ranch. This bracelet was so simple, so grounding and yet kinetic, and it touched something basic, deep inside of me. Upon returning to Texas, one of the first things I did was ask my dad what the hell was he doing with old bones from the ground? Subsequently, I learned what little he had figured out in the way of tools and techniques to shape and polish these pieces of naturally cured bone. I was off and running. I disappeared into a cloud of bone dust for months…and when I came out of it, I had become addicted to the possibilities I had found for exploring this totally unique avenue of creativity.

The progression was first designing things for myself to establish an expression of attire that went along with the then bourgeoning outlaw music scene we were developing in Texas. I had gone back to wearing boots and a cowboy hat and began playing music that was outside of both commercial radio and typical country or rock. It became known as, “Texas Outlaw Music,” so a cool hatband was in order. I fairly quickly began designing pieces for other people…my girlfriend at the time and also my surrogate father, Hondo Crouch. Then, all of my music buddies wanted things. This was the point at which I realized I was going to have to put a price on my new passion. And thus began the commercial potential of my developing art form.

I met the love of my life, Kelly, in 1981 and she slowly became integrated into the real-world need of organization, promotion, selling and bookkeeping. She has been a significant part of this adventure ever since.

In 1989, however, my jewelry success became overwhelming, yet I made a conscious decision to remain true to “one piece at a time and handmade” and not to become a “production” line designer. But, I needed help. I, fortunately, met Mike Villarreal who had just resigned from 18 years working for James Avery (another local jewelry maker).

What broils out of the human brain can be an infinity of form…but it all starts with a connection to the unknown.

My jewelry art would not be what it is today without the 30 years of dedicated participation of my friend and co-worker, Mike Villarreal. Nor would it be the same without my beloved sweetheart Kelly, or two of my best friends and supporters of my jewelry work, Robin Brown and John Gray of Magnolia Pearl. Jeanette MacDougall and Cara Hines have also been devoted fans and participants in my jewelry art career, showcasing my art in their stunning art gallery, Studio Comfort, providing a much broader base to work from as a gallery participant.

Rex Foster Belts

My workspace today is inside my head where resides a brain, the workbench of the soul (unlike what most people consider the tool of the ego). From there, the connection happens with THE creator… without words (for words are of the brain). Out of the ether begins formulation and duality. Thus ALL manifest existence is an expression of art.

Now, I have a life at 72 years of age that is still directed by the use of my hands and the open playing field of creativity and spirituality. My drive for life is still underpinned with the manifestation of the work… both music and jewelry.

In music, I have my own way…I never write “for the radio”…I write for me (and you). I first sculpt with my soul, then with my heart, then with my brain, then with my body. My jewelry art is much the same. From the first design through the subsequent hundreds…I have never followed fashion or fad, instead always making things in relation to my interpretations of shape and form from nature.

Rex Foster Truck and Guitar

In the stable jewelry world, I am a conundrum. Upon seeing my abstract shapes and designs, one realizes I flow with natural direction…quite intuitive. I never took any classes in jewelry making or design nor did I have a jeweler I admired and wanted to copy. My jewelry work and designing developed organically. I had no idea it would become such a personal passion and commercially viable art form. It came to me that in the distant past, the first thing humans would take with them from camp to camp that wasn’t absolutely necessary for survival were amulets made from bones of animals that mattered to them symbolically…early expressions of spiritual concern. This furthered my inspiration and excitement in making my jewelry.

In music, however, inspiration is very intuitive… it literally comes from the unknown into the known. How it manifests is the real question for me. It is much more ethereal with music…sometimes, I think inspiration is as simple as the ability to strum a guitar and vibrate vocal cords. While my biggest challenge in creating has been staying true to my core…to my muse…to my soul…it has also been my biggest accomplishment. Life can be a glorious adventure no matter what a person’s activity might be…an accountant or housewife/husband, a CEO or a doctor. All can find their muse and connectivity to the creative nature and derive an extraordinary life from that participation. A homeless person can embrace that which is beyond worldly suffering and find space and peace in the middle of untold challenges.

I am a dedicated believer that we all start with creativity and unfold from there…conscious participation leads to an amazing life.