Honoring Dad

My dad has been gone from us for many years now.  But I just want to take time out to remember him for his goodness and contributions as well as his struggles.

First of all, I can imagine it’s tough being a man in this world.  Being a provider, a protector, husband, father, the cornerstone to the family.  It’s a lot to juggle.  Ideally,  that is what a man is.

My dad was all that.  A dad of 6 kids.

The things I know of his past, his struggles and pain all came from stories my mom told me.  My dad wasn’t a talker.  He was a creative type, an introvert and suffered from alcoholism. He did not talk about his life.  I can’t remember us ever having a conversation.

Sure, he told me what to do but that was the extent of our relationship.  I believe it is not an uncommon dynamic in many families.   I will spare you the details of my memory of how I saw him growing up but I look back and see how much I am like him.  I am an introvert for sure.  I speak through my creative self…through my art.  My dad was a mason, a brick layer….he made beautiful stone fireplaces and walls.  He made foundations for many homes.  He was a tough laborer.  I am too, in a sense.  My mind and hands like to create and that is how my dad was too. He worked with heavy mortar, brick, and concrete and I work with concrete, tile and grout!

He wasn’t tender but rock- like, Archie Bunker type.  I wouldn’t exactly call him an artist but he was creative. He was a good story-teller,  funny and loved telling jokes.   He loved to play the harmonica. He was a good dancer too.  And he loved buying my mom clothes.  He had style! (Side story…I don’t think my dad ever personally bought me clothes but when my daughter was 3, he bought her a cute plaid dress for her birthday.  HE took the time…. burly guy and all, to pick out his grand daughter’s dress.)  That touched my heart.

I admire him for all he was or even tried to be.

James R. Chlad







Loved his Caddy

Dad and car (2)

He left us too soon at age 57.  I wish he could have lived longer to see his grand kids grow up.

I miss and love you dad, Happy Fathers Day.





Published by robinchladdesigns

I have been doodling, coloring, drawing, cutting, sculpting, painting, sewing, writing and everything in between since I could hold a crayon in my hand. My first art projects were filling up a big, fat coloring book of bridal dresses. I boldly ventured into new territory with paint-by-number sets. I graduated to luxurious and decadent velvet (paint-by-number) sets. Eventually, I mastered the art of Spirogragh. Originally from upstate New York I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1986. Back then I was a single mom and found myself in the job market. I went to Pima Community College for training. Instead of diving into my academics I kept hanging around the pottery studio. Some people lived there and if I didn’t have two little girls at home I would have ended up living there as well. Joking aside, I fell in love with clay and all its possibilities. Being in a position to care for my kids, in 1989 I created a very marketable, creative, and functional item. It was a simple concept that took me into new heights of the craft world and I became an entrepreneur. Creating and selling became my passion. I had achieved success for many years. I loved being my own boss and living the artist’s dream. Life moved real fast and before I knew it my girls were all grown up, moving out, getting married and having kids of there own. Hey, wait a minute… I am a Gramma at 40? No sweat, I handled it gracefully. Fast forward to the present: I have been on a journey led by God. I took a sabbatical for the last 6 years learning new people skills in real estate, retail and care giving to the elderly. But my natural instincts kept leading me back to what my soul cannot deny. New visions, new risks, and a stronger faith has lead me to this point. Have I arrived? It’s like my life is all mapped out and a red arrow points to You Are Here! But the road keeps going and I have learned to listen to that still small voice. My days are filled with a little bit of art, a little bit of caring for my grandchildren, care giving to the elderly and volunteering at Sunday school. I am currently working on sculpting with clay in a tile mosaic setting, like my Seed Pod series or House of Fruit Trios. Some of my pieces are a mixture of individual 3-D tiles, shadow box shrines, and ornaments. The work that’s being created is inspirational, whimsical, and contemporary. Even though life can be very serious and intense I hope to achieve simply bringing joy or even a smile to someone’s face though my creations. I am also designing and developing my%2

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