Friday, April 29, 2011

Mothers Day Show Opens Today!!!

Duncan Designs invites you to a
Mother’s Day Boutique
Friday, April 29, 4:00 – 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 30, 10:30 – 4:30 pm

Duncan Designs specializing in:
Hand-made chain earrings, bracelets, & necklaces
Debuting Silk in a Can, circular, all-season scarves &  Felted Soap

Also featuring:
Susie Tenzer – colored pencil paintings, cards,
Corinne Groark – handmade journals, felt headbands, knitted love cocoons,
Emily & Hannah Wingate – purses, wallets, woodcut prints,

Stop by:  6170 McPherson, St. Louis, MO  63112, 314-727-2309
Hope to see you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Busy week!

The weather is not cooperating this week. Every single rainy morning I've imagined a craft show weathercaster saying, "Another horrible day for you collage artists out there...your glue may be tacky!" But things are being made (and glue is drying) and I'm getting so excited for my show this weekend.

I'll link to my fellow artists later today - there are only five of us, but we have quite a spread of products in so many prices ranges. Hope you'll join us! xo

Mothers Day Boutique Sale
6170 McPherson
(in the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood, right by Wash. U)
Friday, April 29th: 4 to 7:30
Saturday, April 30th: 10:30 to 4:30

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Felicia Breen & Chad Nelson: : Pottery

Today we are visiting the studio of Felicia Breen and Chad Nelson, owners of Mississippi Mud Pottery in Alton, Illinois.
Felicia and Chad bought this business in 2006, after its original owners, Ken and Brenda Barnett, retired. Both Chad and Felicia hold BFAs, Chad in metals and Felicia in sculpture. 
The shop became available to them after their degrees were earned and they had a decision to make: stay in fine arts and work another job to pay their bills, or see where Mississippi Mud could take them. 
"We get to touch clay everyday," Felicia said. "We get to do what we love every day."
Their focus is functional pottery, pieces that are handmade, affordable and perfect for everyday use.
Chad throws pottery seven days a week. His wheel is located in the shop, so customers can see him at work. They use natural clay materials that have been mined in the Midwest. 
Felicia focuses on the finishing work. Her creative space is in the back of the shop.
This is where they mix and store their custom glaze colors.
Felicia said that glaze is one of a potter's signatures.
Their kilns - they have three - are on site.
This piece was fired in their largest kiln.
In addition to their stoneware, they create fish - formed from molds of fish they have caught in the Midwest and in Texas. This piece is ready to be glazed. When it's finished, it will be part of a serving dish.
Here is the mold that Felicia and Chad created.
They also paint their pieces as wall art.
Felicia and Chad have collectors throughout the United States - for both their stoneware, and their fish. "Art fairs give us the excuse to make them," Felicia jokes.
Pottery shrinks an average of 12 percent when it is fired. This is why lids can be challenging to reproduce.
Felicia and Chad use their gallery space to feature many artists, including other potters. It's wonderful to visit their shop and see works of art made by people from around the world. They also participate in the "Mini Art" Program with the Alton Public Schools. This is a parent organized program designed to expose children to different forms of art. This semester participants are making masks.
Their studio is minutes from St. Louis and located right in historic Alton. They are neighbors to many antique stores, restaurants, and naturalist activities.

You can meet Felicia and Chad at the Effingham Artisan Fair on April 30th.

Their annual Mother's Day sale is May 6 - 8, everything is discounted.

Thank you Felicia and Chad!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Simple Words journals

This is my newest journal series. These are old Readers Digest books and the covers are so beautiful that I don't want to cover them completely with collage. Each book will have a simple word or phrase (hopefully motivational) on the front and another simple detail on the back: a quote, an image, etc. xo

P.S. Jenny at LGN posted about these books today too - fun!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Mid-week braggy

I think I have the most fun work bag in all the land!!!!!

Happy Wednesday! xo

Monday, April 11, 2011

And I will not be posting everyday in April...

My post title today is a reference to the Junie B. Jones book series. Junie B is a little girl (who is very present in our first grade reading btw) who constantly says one thing and then later in the book, has to take it back. For example, she will say, "And I am allowed to use a spatula from the kitchen because I am old enough," and then after using said spatula to smoosh bugs she will retort, "And I am not allowed to use a spatula because I am not old enough..."

Anywho, I said I was going to post every weekday in April and mapping that out has been quite fun. Implementing it however has been time consuming. Too time consuming. After I posted my little "6 month review," I thought that it was a bit too vague, but I really have referred back to it several times in this last week. I took a computer class (and scheduled my next). I've started cleaning my art room pre-emptively to keep it more of a professional space. The review was good for me. But I was right when I said that I spend too much time with blogging. It's so fun, it just is! But I have a show in three weeks, a class to plan for and a classroom to furnish and organize. 

So I won't be posting every week day. But I will still be posting! Lots to do - so happy and thankful to be doing it! Happy Monday! xo

Friday, April 8, 2011

Today in the art room

TGIF!!! I had a very productive day today. Love it when that happens. I figured out how to make some needle felting more "summer-y" for my headbands.
I assembled artist trading card kits. Getting ready takes some time, but then it's almost rhythmic to assemble the kits. For this I am thankful - last year when I was figuring out how to put these together, finding the packaging, etc. I was worried that assembling would take forever.
And I went to a computer class today to learn how to revamp my website! Hooray! I'm not redesigning it or anything, but once I add my class list (for classes to be taught here in my home), that home page gets too cluttered, so there's some reworking that needs to happen. I am so excited about this!
Finally, since this post is all about Goodness Recycled, I am in a home show the last weekend in April. The host is the uber-talented Carla and I'll post details here soon. To those of you in the area, I hope you'll pop in!

Happy Weekend! xo

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Paul LaFlam: : Paint

Today we are visiting the studio of expressionist painter Paul LaFlam. Paul lives and paints in the Syndicate Building in St. Louis' loft district. This building was designed for artists and has two floors of gallery space and a community studio.
Paul began painting in 2001 after a career as a chef. He knew what he wanted his work to look like, but he didn't know how to paint it. 
Fifteen paintings later, Paul knew how to create the look he wanted - he still uses this method today. Paul paints landscapes, flowers, occasionally nudes.
 Paul considers this effect to be one of his trademarks, and you'll see it in every painting.
After more than 100 paintings, he can purposefully create this "flowy snakeskin" texture as he envisions it. Paul says this melding of colors is important, and similar to making a sauce. 
The community studio space at the Sydicate Building is huge. Paul is one of the largest scale artists, and while the studio is open to every resident, currently there are about six artists who use is regularly.
Paul's work requires him to build his canvasses from 1/4-inch plywood. By the time a 5-foot by 8-foot painting is done, it will have approximately four gallons of paint on it.
Paul paints with house paint and oils. He also has started experimenting with eco-friendly paint and is pleased with its performance in his work. 
Paul also paints on upcycled canvasses - like old doors - when he finds them. This canvas is next on his list. Paul refers to himself as a "large scale, one-shot painter" because he cannot stop working on a painting until it is finished. The paint blending, spreading and drying is all part of his process.
Paul and his wife, photographer Connie LaFlam, created this space in the studio for their grandson. The painted chair was a collaboration.
Each of Paul's paintings has unfinished edges.
A wonderful feature of his art is that you can touch it. Paul says he often sees people twitching their hands when they begin to observe his work.
Here is one of the galleries. Paul and Connie organize art shows in this space every couple of months.  They also donate regularly to their favorite charities. Paul will have a small painting auctioned off this weekend at A Tasteful Affair, to benefit Food Outreach.
Their next show, "Eighteen Hours LaTer," opens Saturday, April 16th, eighteen hours after taxes are due. Paul and Connie organize these shows to create opportunities for local artists and to support the St. Louis art community.
Paul has collectors all over the country. He keeps in touch with his collector base, and once you buy a painting at full price, any additional works are half price. He sold his first painting for $100. Now his paintings sell for thousands of dollars.
Thanks so much Paul!