Sunday, May 27, 2007

It's Show Time!!

I love show season! And I say this even though I don't drive and have to lug all my show stuff in a taxi. Try fitting an EZ-up tent in the trunk of a Boston cab complete with snarling cab driver ... you're lucky if you come away with your life. Fortunately, I found Mohammed, a Somali cabby with a mini-van. He's a refugee from war-torn Somalia. He immediately took a liking to me because, not only did I recognize him as a Somali, but I knew a little about what was going on in his country. I just call him and he picks me up. It's like having a private limo!

Shows are quite exhausting. You show up really early and set-up, then have to break it all down at the end of the day. The tents usually have minds of their own. Then there's the wind and the rain. But on a good day, you're outside, interacting with other vendors and customers and basking in compliments (and sales, hopefully!). As a full time artist that easily spends days on end alone in my studio, it's really good for me to get out and connect with people.

I'm keeping it simple this year. Almost every Sunday I'll be at the South End Open Market at 540 Harrison Ave in Boston's South End. I'll be doing a couple of shows in Providence, hopefully one in Mashpee on the Cape and a couple in Charlestown. My website has my complete show schedule.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Stonehouse Studio Featured by Ruby Lane Creative Hands Newsletter

I'm thrilled to have been a featured artist on the Ruby Lane newsletter. Here's the article. Be sure to visit my Ruby Lane store !

"I've always liked working with my hands. I get an enormous amount of satisfaction creating something beautiful or functional out of basic materials – be it a necklace in polymer or a perfect drywall corner.

As a baby boomer, I grew up when artistic talent was not nurtured unless it was patently obvious. So I had my art epiphany later in life than most, but the urge to create is so powerful that I've left my corporate job to concentrate on my jewelry design and polymer art. Polymer clay is my current medium of choice. The depth, texture and versatility of this humble plastic constantly surprises me. I'm also on a mission: to educate my little corner of the world that polymer clay is not just for kids!

I describe my style as boldly organic. I'm inspired by the nuances in nature and subscribe to the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi – the beauty of things imperfect, modest and humble. To me, a warm jasper pebble is much more interesting than a cold, faceted diamond. I use large stones and lots of sterling silver and vermeil, but I always keep the design clean, sleek and sophisticated.

My polymer work also reflects this organic bent. I love color, and polymer clay is the perfect medium to play with color. It's also amazing in its ability to imitate. Most of the techniques in polymer clay have been borrowed from other mediums – caning (glass), mokume gane (metal), intarsia (wood working), batik and silk screening (textiles). Polymer clay is still in its infancy, but has experienced tremendous growth and innovation over the last few years. I tend to gravitate towards techniques suited to metallic clays: mica shift, mokume gane and translucent layering. I do my own metalwork, but the real star of the show is polymer clay. I've studied under various polymer clay masters and my work continues to evolve.

The name Stonehouse Studio came about after a visit to the Yucatan a few years ago. My sister, who owns a lovely restored hacienda-hotel in Merida, took me to a crystal store to purchase decorative pieces for the hotel spa. The minute I walked in and saw all the wonderful strands of stones, I was hooked. I started making jewelry that very same day. The name Stonehouse Studio is derived from the word Xcanatun, which means "tall stone house" in Maya and is a tribute to the place where I was first inspired to follow my bliss." May 2007 Ruby Lane Creative Hands