Recently I was invited to join a group of my artist friends to celebrate and share each other's work through creation of an Art•Full Gift Guide
. It's not a book or catalog, it's a network! How twenty-first century of us!
From now until Christmas we're sending weekly updates to our individual mailing lists (you can sign up for mine here
), so I'd like to take some column inches to introduce my comrades-in-arts.
In their own words... here's what and why they create!
Crane chains are made from Tyvek, a material more durable than paper.
Chains are approximately 15 inches long and can also include beads and bailing
ABOUT THE CRANES
The cranes will fly, without a cry
stay out in the rain, with this refrain:
we will not fade, of tyvek we are made
miracle plastic Vicki can fold
can stay outside, winter, snow, and cold
as symbols, know as beings of peace
like prayer flags flapping in the breeze......
Merry Cox: The use of the discarded and the found lends itself to a good story.
Merry Cox’s studio, the first thing you will notice are the piles
stacked up on the porch: all junk (raw materials) waiting to become art.
Junk from the cast-offs of our society
Inspiration and influences:
Nature recycles everything and is an extraordinary designer.
Nature bats last
Merry wants people to recognize the phenomenal abilities of nature. At
first when she considered collaborating with other peoples’ used up and
thrown out traces, she was overwhelmed with all the junk, all the stuff
discarded. Actually she was amazed that all of this was coveted,
purchased and thrown away.
While wandering aimlessly, exploring the
edges of the rubbish piles, she came to see the piles as an immense
amount of fabulous raw materials for her sculpture.
Who used this stuff?
details of people's lives got dumped. While stories spin in her head
of who they were, she wants to try and give new life to someone's old
things, folding them into her ideas of the wild, the open and the
“Colorful, thought provoking and humorous.” Kay Cummins
inspirits this phrase AND her work does too!
up in a thrifty household, I was always determined to get the most out
of something. I started thinking “outside the Box” very early and my
experience with Found Objects travels along this path, but with my
trained artistic eye.
pals join me on a search for Found Objects or “truly good Junk” they
are amazed at the potential I see as I travel through piles chatting
about this and that. They often say things like “how did you come up
with that idea” or “you’re really going to buy all of THAT”? There is
definitely something about my process that is innate, but I have to work
hard at the technical skills needed to transform the “stuff” and the
idea into the finished piece of jewelry.
What’s a Found Object?
Simply put, it is an item that is treasured by someone for its artistic
value although it may not actually be precious. Most of us acquire and
keep things because we like them, a stone or shell from a vacation, a
toy from childhood, etc. Some of my current Found Objects are vintage billiard balls, game pieces, lunch boxes and tins, computer keys, cocktail glasses and more.
Ideas evolve from the found object. I often ask myself “What can I
do with this?” I think about the possible theme, what I like about the
item, what wordplay could work. Sometimes this is immediate; other
times it hangs out in my studio for months. Ideas come all the time so I
have a notebook and doodle so an idea isn’t lost!
My goal? To make the world a little more colorful and put smiles on
peoples faces. I love being an artist! No doubt it is hard work. But I
wouldn’t trade what I do with anyone.
Lynn VanDeWater DeCew:
My love of embellishment, decoration, layers and pattern is fed by my
mixed media style of painting. I draw, stencil and block print on
patterned paper which is applied to stretched canvas. I then paint
over this patterned base. I use gold leaf and iridescent paint, so each
painting changes with the light and point of view. My images and
inspirations are drawn from a wide range of traditions: Indian Saris,
Japanese Kimono, Northern Renaissance still-lives, to name just a few.
My work is unusual and evocative of nature and history, and exotic
places. It is affordable for its quality size and originality. I also
welcome commissions. I enjoy working with people and finding what art
work they would love to live with.
Art work enhances our everyday lives, and our individual tastes and choices speak for us in this world of conformity.
"I've been amazed at the popularity of my sunwear and reading glasses!"
Karin says. "Women of all ages are looking for eyewear that 'makes a
statement'...and they love the way the bright colors enhance their
coloring. And the 'forty plus' crowd finds that wearing reading glasses
isn't quite as painful when the reaction from others is so positive."
Reacting to buyers' comments that "color on my face looks great," Frye devised her company's slogan of "art for the face."
is a self-taught artist living in Colorado. She has an extensive
background in designing home decorative furnishings and accessories.
Karin has created whimsical, hand-painted chairs and dressers, canvas
floor cloths and, her latest passion, impressionistic ceramic
Nicole and Harry Hansen, Sterling & Steel:
“We both love the metal, the plasticity of it,” says Nicole Hansen,
half of Sterling and Steel, a partnership of two metalsmiths.
“The irony is that people don’t think of metal as something soft and
transformative,” adds Harry Hansen, her partner in art and spouse of 20
magic in starting with a flat piece of metal and transforming it into
something useable,” says Nicole. “It makes my stomach feel tingly.”
“It’s artwork with utility,” finishes Harry.
Their words twine like their work, sculptural housewares that blend
steel--much of it recycled from objects found in scrap metal piles--with
sterling. Harry, a farrier with a busy practice who trained on a horse
ranch, is steel; Nicole, who majored in fine arts at Northern Arizona
University, is sterling.
Their art goes back generations--you could say the Hansens were each
born to their particular metal. Harry’s line worked with steel: his
great-grandfather was a horse trainer of some renown in Nebraska, his
grandfather, a steel-working shipbuilder, his dad a jack of all trades
who was an ace welder.
Jewish forebears were smiths specializing in precious metals. Her
mother, who went to Skidmore and Yale in Fine Arts, trained Nicole’s
father in goldsmithing.
The two Hansens met in 1991 in Sedona, Arizona, where Harry worked on a
horse ranch and Nicole visited her aunt and uncle the summer before
college. They married in 1993 and began working together after they
moved to rural south-central Colorado.
Two kids and building a house slowed their collaborative art for a
while, but not their desire to work together to create hand-made objects
that as Nicole says, “have a connection to the heart. Work that invites
a relationship that, like the metal we forge, grows stronger over a
lifetime and beyond.”
“The marriage of sterling and steel,” the two artists agree, “reflects
our marriage, a collaboration drawn on the best parts of contrasting
Jerry Scavezze, Goldsmith:
I think of my work more as sculpture than jewelry. People approach you
from all different directions, why shouldn’t your jewelry look good from
all sides as well? My work is very 3 dimensional, lightweight and has a
lot of movement inherent in the pieces.The reflection of light off of
the curved surfaces contributes to the feeling of motion as does the
physical movement of the piece on the body.
current work is called done using a process called "Anticlastic
Raising". The jewelry is all formed with polished hammers of varying
shapes and sizes. No molds or castings are used. Each piece is
My art jewelry is literally hand raised from a
flat sheet of gold into the strong, lightweight, elegant pieces that
defines our unique contribution to metal-smithing.
Stones, pearls, colored accents are sprinkled throughout our designs as
punctuation marks and added drama to our already fluid forms.
Toni Tischer, Tischer Studios:
Art Jewelry has been my passion for over eighteen years.
am a dedicated goldsmith committed to exploring my own esthetic in
connection with anticlastic and synclastic forms both in jewelry and
other functional pieces.
Anticlastic forming shows off well in larger
sculpture. I however, have spent the last eighteen years playing with
smaller more feminine ribbons. My hand-forged designs, which incorporate
the use of stones and color in conjunction with different metals, give my
work a unique look. My designs have long been incorporated into and been
a part of a continuing relationship with Scavezze/Goldsmith. Here I am
able to offer my new work as Tischer Studios.
(I think you already know this one:)
Blame it all on chickens and a guy named Richard.
Nearly 30 years
ago a drawing professor (that Richard fellow) took me and my classmates
to his neighbor's yard to sketch chickens. Squabbling, running,
jostling, chattering chickens. It was dusty and hot and chaotic, and the
delight of the experience never left me.
In fact, that
afternoon planted a seed that continues to grow– a twisty vine
constantly searching for moments of windblown or river-soothed
These days I work primarily as a relief printmaker,
although I still paint watercolors from time to time and am never, ever
far from a pencil and sketchbook.