About The Artist

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I am a jeweler, a potter...an artist I suppose. I have been creating hemp, glass bead and wire jewelry since 1996 but have only been throwing pottery since the Spring of 2008. I plan to open my own gallery and workshop within the next five years but for now I make my work out of my home and sell in galleries and online. I sell my work to feed my hobby and because I am running out of room for my creations in the house. My art, like this blog, is in it's beginning stages and I hope that as my reader you will join me in my journey as an artist and enjoy it as much as I know I will!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kenilworth Open Studio Tour

Last weekend I took a trolley ride through Kenilworth and toured some of their Artist Association member's studios. Ultimately the trolley was hard to find but a fun ride though sort of sporadic and Mom and I did more walking than riding. Other than that though, the studio tour was great!

We really enjoyed the beautiful Kenilworth neighborhood and were amazed at the homes in the area. I wish now I had done more house hunting in that neighborhood, it was so gorgeous! And what amazed me is how many artists ended up living in the same place. Everyone I talked to said it was not planned that way but somehow they all found out about one another and started this studio tour several years ago.

Everyone in the tour had an amazing studio, whether it was in their home or in a separate building near their home. There were painters, potters, jewelers, glass blowers, wood turners and so on, all within several miles of one another. Each studio was different but all seemed to have a lot of windows and felt so warm and calming. I'm not gonna lie, I was jealous. I think part of my reason for lacking motivation to throw at this point is my work space. My basement is by no means stuffy but it is a little dark and sadly, not very inspiring, especially compared to the studios I saw this weekend! I'm thinking maybe I need to paint my basement walls a brighter color and see if it helps...I smell a summer project coming on!

But anyway, the studios were wonderful and it was great seeing the artist's work spaces, not just their work. That's one thing about going to shows, you never get to see where the artist works and for me, it is one of my favorite things. Its the reason I enjoyed my project for ACCEDP so much in the summer of 2007 (the project I have yet to blog about but promised I would).

I also loved the demonstrations and that was one of the main reasons I wanted to go to this tour to begin with. Seeing other artists work is the most inspiring thing for me and talking with other artists is always fun. My favorite demo was the glass blowing, glass working I should say. Max Trainque makes glass pendants (I bought one!) as well as larger glass vases, shot glasses, etc. We ended up watching him for over an hour while he made a small glass vase and then a shot glass. I asked him tons of questions and he was great at explaining the whole process. Not that I think I could do what he does now, but it is something I would like to try someday.

The picture above is Max with the nearly finished vase. He started out by forming what looked like a little shot glass from a hollow tube of glass. He then too white and pink glass that, when heated, was softened and he draw lines into the shot glass with the colored glass. He then heated the shot glass and swirled the pink and white lines. He did a little glass blowing to get the final vase shape.

The glass blowing was set up outside under some tents so I didn't see that studio. It was set up at Graham Lawing's house and had a lot of his work for sale. He made these great glass tumblers and I really would like a set for my house. He also had a lot of ornaments and vases like this one:

Their pieces were by far my favorite of the work at the studio tour! I wanted to buy one of everything.

I recognized some pottery from the brochure, Batton Clayworks. They make very unique pieces and are in the Southern Highland Craft Guild. I've seen their work at the Guild show as well as a craft show in Weaverville and in several galleries. Their work is very whimsical and so fun and this weekend I got to see their studio and talk with one of the artists! It is a husband and wife who actually make their living off of their pottery! Here is one of many of their fun and funky teapots:

There was one another potter we saw as well at Center Point Studios (love the name!). She did a demonstration but we only caught the tail end of it. I did get to talk to her a little bit about throwing though and we talked about the clay we both use and how we fire. She had a wonderful garage studio with so much space! And on the other side of the house her husband had his wood turning workshop.

We watched him demonstrate for a while as well before going back to the glass blowing. That was when we saw Max make the shot glass.

We didn't continue on the tour after that though. Because of the trolley we lost a lot of time waiting for it or walking and chose to leave after the second glass blowing demo. We'd seen most of the work I had wanted to see though so I was happy. All in all it was a fun experience and I will most likely go back again next year. Though I'll be wearing sneakers next time and not bothering with the trolley...

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