Thursday, April 26, 2012

Figures, humor and fun at Craft New York - Lisa Naples, Cathy Rose and Syma

Craft New York:  took place the
last weekend of March on the 11th floor of 7W 5th Ave, 
across the street from the Empire State  Building. (Not 
exactly an easy location to load in and out of.)  Eager to
try something different from my usual all black, 
I had the show provide hard white walls for my booth. 
The response was great and I enjoyed the clean look. 
Only problem now is to figure out if I want to create this 
look on my own.   For years I hauled around hollow core 
doors for my booth, but I really  don't want to start doing 
that  again. So I've been brainstorming possibilities.

As last year it was a beautiful show and helped support the 
good work of CERF, the Craftsmen Emergency Relief Fund: The show had an especially good 
selection of narrative driven figurative work, including that
of  Cathy Rose:  Cathy is located in 
New  Orleans and doesn't  come to the Northeast  too often. 
I've been aware of her work for a long time,  so was really
pleased to finally meet Cathy and she her art in person.  


Her work made from porcelain, copper, glass, altered wood
and found objects calls out for the viewer to find a story within it
or within themselves. Cathy's website is as intriguing as her work.
I definitely recommend checking it out.

Lisa Naples:  was also there. This was
the first time I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa and seeing
her humor filled work bursting with exuberance and color. 
I've been  enjoying one of her mugs I acquired. The texture
and shape feels great in my hand. She shares my affinity
with birds.
I was drawn to her "Bird Mama Queen" - a mother whose
arms have transformed into branches to nestle and protect
her young. She has a sturdy foot on a stack of story books.

And how  could you resist this piece entitled "Beg Pardon" 
(the rabbit's belly if filled with feathers.)

Another ceramic artist I connected with at the show was Syma: As with Lisa, Syma's  work  reflects 
her free spirit  and  sense of humor.  Syma's illustrated pots 
beg the viewer to discover and continue the stories she has 
started. She also displayed some small works including
"cash cows" -  little ceramic bells in  the shape of  cows 
(we had to bring one  home to ring):
and  small "pots of gold" for  all of us hoping for something at the 
end of our  personal rainbows.

Quite a few of my pieces found new homes including Luccini, the 
music loving dragon (below) and Leapfore - both  the dragons
were created with stones from our Tuscan wandering through hill 
towns.  I'm wondering  what new dragons and other creatures
will  show up in the studio this Spring and Summer.  

For now, I'm filling orders from Spring shows and
envisioning the work I will present at Haley House Cafe,
a local Roxbury cafe/gallery. My show there opens in late
June. I will encourage the after school kids and their families
to come  to the opening. A couple of the kids already define 
themselves  as artists.

Adventure on!   Wendy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Clay landsacpes,natural woven forms and stitched pottery at Craft Boston

Sorry for delay in  posting..two shows in a row, then the
task of filing taxes on time caught up with me. Someday I'll make a
creature for tax time..would probably be one full of angst or maybe
REALLY sweet and calm would be more helpful.  With two less
than organized self-employed people in our home, it's always a tough
time of year.  

Back to more pleasant issues....Craft Boston was a beautiful as ever
with lots of exhibitors I'd never met and plenty of old friends. I was
directly across from Rick Epstein and his amazing clay landscapes.
Nunonna and Furb loved looking into his "Cathedral of Nature" that
you can see behind them in the photo above.

Here's Rick in his booth.  Check out his website:
to see great images, learn more about him and  his process. He
definitely brings nature inside.


 And speaking of nature, as soon as I approached the booth
of Karen Gubitz, I knew we were kindred spirits.:

   The woven sculptures  Karen creates out of natural materials
pull you right in inviting your touch and appreciation.

Karen also gives workshops. On her website she uses these enticing
words: "Experience an Illinois wild flower prairie and learn to weave
basketry as our grandmothers did." Not sure my grandmother had
such skill, but a few days with Karen on the prairie would be a delight.
A friend brought me an awesome Australian Banksia seed pod to
be incorporated into my work. I had her show it to Karen. Guess who
ended up with it?  (Fortunately my friend sent me two more later.
Stay tuned to see what emerges with them!)

You don't see too many young exhibitors at these shows, so I get
especially excited when I see new skilled younger artists 
with a distinctive style and approach.  Such an exhibitor is
Anna White:
The "stitched" pottery which Anna creates is a marvel.  She's taken
thrown work to a new dimension! Here are a couple of her pieces:

The stitching is done completely with clay slip.

I traded with her and besides getting a beautiful
sculptural bowl...received one of her canvas bags
which says "Mud is meant for throwing"..It's become
my favorite.

Speaking of trying to get a new group to Craft Boston,
the steampunk theme brought in a few costumed folk
on Sunday.  There was a whole area in the back devoted
to steampunk work..including this punked up bike:

Just goes to show it's always worth attending exhibits.
You never know what you'll find.

Next post...some intriguing work at Craft NewYork.

Adventure on!    Wendy