Quality Handmade Craft Blog

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      Archived Shows: 2011 2010

Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival - Atlanta, GA

June 30, 2013 - It’s not often that I have the opportunity to attend an inaugural Art Festival, but last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to head to Atlanta for the Old Fourth Ward Park Arts Festival.

The Atlanta Foundation for Public Spaces sponsored this event as a way to honor the history of a community by celebrating the love for the arts. They did a wonderful job! The artists were tucked away between amazing views of the city, and I’m telling you right now…there’s nothing like a Sunday stroll through an Art Festival, friends. Art makes my soul come alive!

...what women does Terry now have on her speed dial? Click oooooh.....aaahhh to find out.

Can you Identify this Piece or this Mark?

The mark looks like a square with a cone shape inside and a cross inside of the cone. I have outlined it in a photo attached. Any information would be

Continue reading "Can you Identify this Piece or this Mark?"

Help identifying Early American Pottery Mark

Salt glazed jug about 7 in diameter and 9 tall. Marking on the bottom appears to be the letters SN/40 in a dark blue color. I would appreciate help identifying

Continue reading "Help identifying Early American Pottery Mark"

Buckhead Spring Arts and Crafts Festival - Atlanta, Georgia

May 12, 2013 - It’s not often that I get to spend my favorite day of the year, Mother’s Day, at an Art Festival.

My 18 year old daughter, and youngest of four, was the only child who was in town to spend the lovely day with me, and she was quite excited to find out that my chosen fun for the afternoon was to head down to Chastain Park for the Buckhead Spring Arts and Crafts Festival.

Over the years of raising my kids, I taught them to appreciate local art, as well as to value Blog continues here.



Alpharetta Arts Street Fest - Alpharetta, Georgia

April 13, 2013 -

What a beautiful day for an Art Festival! The sun was shining, the musicians were rocking the stage, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day to check out the work of some amazing Artists.

Last week, Brothers-Handmade asked me to join their team as the ‘sister’ they never had and write the blog for their website. As you all know, the Brothers travel to various Art Festivals around the country to showcase standout Artists and Craftsmen. Now they want me to take over that fun task. Wait. What? I get to travel around and talk to amazingly creative people AND write about them? Just pinch me now! I’m all in, baby!

My first assignment was to cover the Alpharetta Arts Street Fest in Alpharetta, Georgia. The streets were lined with tents, and the crowd was quite steady. I spent a good 5 hours ...

Continue reading here.

Hurry - Last Minute Shopping - Handmade

December 22, 2012 -

Cool that the world didn't end as some were predicting - so there's no getting out of picking up those last minute gifts needed for Christmas Day, 3 days from now on Tuesday.

Not to worry - there's time to hit your local Quality Handmade Boutiques.

I decided to head out to two of my favorites in my neighborhood, Market 334 (Cumming, GA) and Cool Bees Artwork and Gifts (Alpharetta, GA).

Of course they had what I was looking for. I picked up a few stocking stuffers as well as some nice gifts for under the tree.

At Market 334, I found a really nice charm like bracelet and some mother of pearl heart earrings.

At Cool Bees, I got to chat with proprietor Terry and browse her many cool rooms of treasures. There I scored some Shea soap, and really nice handmade fabric satchel that my high schooler is going to love.

So for those of you looking for that perfect last minute gift, that has meaning, is unique, and has a story, Google handmade boutique in your local area, and scoot on out to discover wonderful treasures, made with the loving and skilled hands of an American Artist or Craftsmen.



Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year, from Brothers-Handmade!

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"© -Rob


Soapmaker Hedge Sefcovic

November 26, 2012 - We at Brothers Handmade get to meet so many fantastic Artists and Craftsmen at all the shows, schools, festivals, and guilds we go to, that we decided to start featuring them in a Meet the Artist or Craftsman section.

To get the ball rolling, let's start with one of our first highly talented Soapmakers Hedge Sefcovic of A Natural Alternatives.

Hedge takes great pride in creating her products without dyes, detergents or preservatives.

Hedge's journey included a degree in Theater from the State University of New York (SUNY). She had quite a passion for building the theater sets, including mixing colors and painting.

Her career took her to Florida where she worked for one of the major theme parks. Although learning lots about the business end of things, her inner creative yearnings were unfulfilled. She started taking classes in floral designs which renewed her interests in mixing colors. At this point, she also began developing her talents in fragrance design.

The floral classes gave her the opportunity to visit many craft stores, where she discovered the craft of melt and pour soap making. She began to dig deep into researching soap making, and joined many groups of like minded soapmakers.

During this time she also found that by avoiding harsh chemicals, detergents, preservatives, and other unnatural ingredients, her own skin felt so much better.

Armed with her new found knowledge and direction of using all natural ingredients, Hedge began focusing her energy on cold processed soap making.

In 2000, she moved to the Lehigh Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania, and made soap making her full time endeavor. She renovated a large portion of her home into a soap making shop, and along with her father, spends about 150 days a year at craft fairs, and farmer's markets displaying and selling her quality handmade, all natural bath and body products.

As a member of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild (HSMG), a professional trade organization, she has studied, tested for, and passed both the basic certification level as well as the Advanced Soapmaking certification.

Certified members of HSMG must abide by strict codes of ethics in soap making.

Brothers-Handmade is proud of our association with quality Artists and Craftsmen like Hedge Sefcovic. And we proudly carry her line of quality all natural bath and body products in the Brothers-Handmade store.

The most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Elegant Elf Market - Sandy Springs, GA

November 10, 2012 - Some really great American handmade; some imported stuff; light traffic.

At the Sandy Springs United Methodist Church, the 2nd annual Elegant Elf Marketplace was underway, with what looked to me to be approximately 100 Artists, Craftsmen, and vendors.

At this particular hour of the day, 2:00 pm Saturday, it looked like the Exhibitors far out numbered the visitors. Most of those who I spoke with were a bit disappointed with the turnout of this show. But as is usually the case, some fair pretty well even in a down market.

Let's get to the list of standout artists and craftsmen:

I was absolutely fascinated by the Botanical Metal Sculptures of Artist, William C. Wood (pictured). At first glance, I thought this was a guy who had potted plants at the show. However closer observation revealed some of the most realistic looking plants, made completely out of metal. His shapes, colors, arrangements, fruits, pedals, and leaves were spectacular. Unique fine art and craftsmanship.

Mikkeline of Pearl Couture (pictured at top) - The simplicity of her leather and pearl designs makes her pieces relaxed and a really cool accessory for everyday wear. But close inspection of her necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, reveals a sophisticated detailed series of leather weaves and knots compounded with a variety of pearls. True artistry in design and high attention to detail in each detail of her works. A must have.

Mary Pettignano of Mary Mercedes Jewelry also caught my eye. As a trained metalsmith jeweler, Mary makes a wide variety of silver and copper jewelry that she creatively combines with the perfect colored stones. Although contemporary, her designs will likely stand the test of time. Her elegant pieces would be the perfect addition to a dress up occasion, or to accessorize the executive woman.

Finally, the main reason I attended this show in the first place, was the talented and highly regarded lampwork, sculptured and blown glass Artist Marcy Lamberson of Studio Marcy.

Her whimsical glass beads, Santa Clause, and cute animal figurines are just superb. I also really liked her blown glass Christmas ball ornaments. They looked so cool and vintage (and very reasonably priced, making them perfect gifts for teacher). Her display was really bright, colorful, interesting, and organized just right. Marcy's a real pro in this field.

I wasn't originally going to go to this show, but now I'm glad I did.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"© -Rob

Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show - Atlanta, GA

November 4, 2012 - It's the first weekend of November in Atlanta - time to see some of the most talented contemporary Jewelry Artists in the country. Along with the American Craft Council shows, the ACJS ranks at the top of the list.

Curated and organized by Jewelers Debra Lynn Gold and Leigh Griffin, this show caters to those who want the best in innovative, high quality, fanciful, and museum quality works. Also a portion of the proceeds from this show will go to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund charity who provide relief assistance to artists who have suffered natural disasters and other catastrophes that have impacted their livelihoods.

All 28 Artists deserve mention, but in this limited space, let me chat about a few who especially caught my eye.

Sydney Lynch Jewelry (pictured above) - I was totally in love with her oxidized silver and high karat gold jewelry accented with colorful gemstones. Not only were her selection of materials excellent, but her variety of metal working techniques made for a vast ensemble of unique pieces, each one quite different yet maintaining a thread of Sydney Lynch's style.

Todd Pownell of TAP Jewelry Designs - also offers a variety designs based on oxidized silver and high karat gold. These two elements are commonly combined because they provide a stark contrast between the glossy bright shine of gold, against a dark matte finish of oxidized silver. But it's what the artist does with these materials that sets them apart. Todd creates a near endless selection with inverted diamonds, black diamonds, textured silver, and so on. Someone looking for the highest quality, unique, and artistic engagement band, would find an amazing assortment in Todd's pieces. Superb!

Peggy Eng Jewelry presented a fresh and innovated carved and anodized aluminum format for her jewelry. The anodized aluminum surface is much harder and resistant to wear, and prepares it for a dying process. Peggy achieves really interesting colors, shapes, and textures in her carved aluminum jewelry. Exciting!

New ACJS metalsmith artist Joe Korth Fine Art Jewelry (pictured below) brings a variety of designs, colors, and shapes. Joe's got a cool line of geometrically squared colored stones set in gold that he makes into bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. After the ACJS he was heading to a metalsmith teaching gig in West Palm Beach.

I've covered several magnificent Artists attending this show in other years. Leigh Griffin (co-Organizer), and Liaung-Chung Yen, as well as Ricky Frank, and Debra Lynn Gold (co-Organizer).

The most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"© -Rob

Cool Bees Fall Festival - Alpharetta, Georgia

October 27, 2012 - Love Cool Bees Artwork and Gifts in Alpharetta, GA. It's a fairly new little shop with lots of really cool, mostly locally handmade quality crafts and artworks.

Queen Bee, Terry Stevens Henner (proprietor, pictured at bottom) does a great job attracting good quality Artists and Craftsmen.

On this breezy fall Saturday afternoon, the same could be said for the Cool Bees Fall Festival. With about 40-50 Artists and Craftsmen exhibiting. There was a nice mix of handmade jewelry, candles, soaps, paintings, and other good quality crafts.

While I was there, foot traffic was a bit light. I noted on my drive to this festival the number of competing festivals all over the place. But as I've said a hundred times, even when sales are slow, some Artists or Craftsmen usually have a decent day.

Here's a couple standouts for me at this show:

Earthwear Jewelry by Kimberly Lowry (pictured above). Kim fabricated some really nice, delicate, and eye catching gold plated leaf earrings. Also in this collection are copper, brass, and bronze jewelry, all inspired by objects found in nature. Really nice pieces.

I loved chatting with the Bead Broads, Karlene Roberty and Kris Straukas. These two ladies exhibit creative and artistic talents in a variety of medium. I really liked their rolled stone-labeled coaster sets. Nicely finished, smooth, with interesting labels, and non-skid bases. Also I liked their unique wine glass medallions completed with leather loops for attaching to, and identifying your wine glass at parties. Plus Kris has been getting into beautiful floral colored pencil drawings. Wonderful colors.

Sandra Helping of Vino Scent Wine Bottle Candles (pictured) Sandra's idea was pretty cool and unique. Make a good quality candle in finely cut wine bottles, complete with label, and have the fragrance of the candle match that of the wine. Great idea, and a great gift.

Finally, I spoke with Charles and Linda Purcell of Body Essentials Soaps. Charles, a flavor chemist in his "other life" works with Linda to create some fabulous all natural cold processed soaps. Members of the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild, all of their soaps are made only with vegetable and plant based oils, colored with natural oxides, and scented with the highest quality natural fragrance and essential oils.

If you happen to be in the north metro Atlanta area, be sure to swing by Cool Bees Artwork and Gifts, and tell Terry (pictured) we said hello.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair Blue Bell

10/20-21/12. I’ve been to this show 3 times. Every time it was fantastic, just like this time. They held this show in Blue Bell Pa. at the Montgomery County Community College. Next year’s event will be held at Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia on October 11, 12 & 13, 2013

It’s a Beautiful day. The parking lot is filling up nicely, with a whole lot of happy Fine Art and Fine Craft Buyers. I hope anyway.

OK, so I am a “little” partial to the Pa. Guild of Craftsmen. I live here. But, I also know what the Artists go through to reach “Juried” status in the Pa. G. of C. It’s a relief to the Artist-Craftsmen when they reach it. It’s a notification to the rest of us that this person is serious about work they bring into the world. In other words. It’s one thing to look at your own work and say “That’s Good.” It’s a whole other thing when people in your Craft and Art scrutinize the work you put forth.

The List

Ed Youtz: Woodturner

I’ve been enjoying Ed’s work for years. He is one of the many reasons why we search Guilds for the people we show on Brothers-Handmade. He used to be a mad scientist or something like that. Then started turning wood and now he creates incredible pieces of Art, out of wood. He’s also a Woodturning teacher. Ed does a demonstration for kids called “Tops for Tots”.

Caryn L. Hetherston Designs: Caryn combines unusual gemstones, precious metals (sterling silver, high karat gold) and non-precious materials (beach glass, rusted iron, and wood) to create a very cool looking jewelry. And from Caryn’s bio “I am also creating a series of precious sculptures with wearable elements. These pieces are designed so that when the jewelry is not being worn it becomes part of a whole art work.” Now that proves to me that jewelers are also sculptures. Caryn’s designs are…Sculptures. Incredible Sculptures!!!

J.S. Shott: Wood

Jim says in his bio. “For nearly 40 years, I pursued the perfection of the hand-cut dovetail. Today I'm happiest when I see my customers smile.” When you see Jim’s work in person…. you will smile. Acorn Cabinets, Corner Acorn Cabinet (with or without chipmunk not sure) Butterfly Drawers, and Dragonfly Drawers, Hidden drawers inside drawers. Look’s to me that Jim brought 40 year of perfection to the table. (Pictured above and top)

If you want to see things you just don’t get to see. Check out a Juried Craft Guild Show or a High End Promoted Show. And of coarse Brothers-Handmade.com

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

Brookhaven Arts Festival - Atlanta, Georgia

October 20, 2012 - Promoted by the Brookhaven Arts Alliance, and in its 9th year, this is a nice festival located close to the upscale Atlanta neighborhoods of Brookhaven, Oglethorpe, and Druid Hills. If you're not familiar with this relatively busy section of Atlanta (Inside the Perimeter), its easy to turn down the wrong way and enter a maze of side streets. One recommendation is to place a couple Arts Festival signs at the intersection of Dresden and Peachtree Rd. pointing to the festival.

The day was gorgeous, and at 3:00pm on this Saturday, the crowds were steady but not heavy.

Upon entering the festival on Apple Valley Rd., and passing the children's carnival rides and activities, you immediately are aware that this is a family event with kids and dogs in tow, beer and wine flowing, and live musical entertainment. All that to say, I guess I was not as surprised at first glimpse of a lot of nick knack "stuff" as opposed to fine craft and artworks. However, with 125 juried exhibitors, I was happy to eventually see some really great fine craft and artworks on display.

So let's get to it ...

Very quickly my eyes caught the magnificent acrylic on canvass "shabby chic" paintings of Christina Genth (pictured above). Created with a pallet knife, Christina's vintage inspired horses, birds, and bison were absolutely captivating, and very popular at this show.

One of the top potters at this show was Richard Avery of Avery Pottery (pictured). His high fired functional stoneware pots are beautifully shaped and cleanly finished. The glaze application on some of his pieces give the appearance of a faux crystalline finish. Perfect for that country kitchen look.

There were a couple soapers displaying at this show. One that stood out to me was Monica's Handmade Bath and Body. Monica's soaps both smelled and looked nice. And I love when soapers integrate a loofah in some of their bars. Always brings an interesting touch to the product.

Finally, I was struck by the artistry and uniqueness of the oxidized copper jewelry of Cat Goolsby. She described this cool technique of hanging her copper creations in a mist of ammonia to speed the oxidation process. The contrasting turquoise oxidation against the metal worked copper base made these pieces truly "wearable art."

'tis the season to visit your local fine art or craft shows. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"© -Rob

Fall Fine Art and Crafts at Brookdale Park, Montclair, New Jersey - Part II

October 13, 2012 - Joel did a good job covering the wonderful job that Rose Squared does promoting and organizing their craft and art festivals. I believe every artist and craftsman we spoke to was happy with the job Rose Squared did. So kudos there.

And note Brothers Handmade LLC has absolutely no affiliation with Rose Squared)

So I'll jump into my picks of standout artists and craftsmen.

To start, I'm often impressed with the vibrant colors glass artists are able to achieve in their pieces. That certainly was the case for glass blowing artists Chelsea Foehr and Jeremy Griffith of Delish Glass from Rochester, NY (pictured above). Their blown glass vases had swirling color patterns indicative of water flowing or clouds swirling in nature. I also thought their clear glass pens were pretty cool.

Really liked the color combinations and textures of acrylic painter, Ruth Kole Cargill (pictured). Her large abstract paintings gave a sense of gentle motion. I also liked her small (about 8 inch square) painted wooden blocks. I think a combination of 3 or so of these blocks would add a nice splash of color to any room.

Loved the wire mesh bracelets woven with bead inclusions by Wendy Lin. Wendy was recognized by InStyle Magazine for her creative jewelry designs. She was drawing a nice crowd of buyers as well. She is a lifelong knitter who transferred her knitting talents to knitted jewelry making. Quite elegant and unique.

Next, the rough cut, rogue leather purses (or pouches) of Artsy Fartsy Designs by Lisa caught my eye. I think these soft leather, avant-garde, pieced purses (or party pouches as Lisa calls them) are really trendy and hip.

Finally, it's hard for me to leave a fine craft and arts festival without picking up a few bars of fragrant and beautiful handmade soaps. For this task, I chose the soaps and body products of Merriweathers's Handmade Soaps and Skin Care Products (pictured). In addition to her fabulously fragrant soaps, I also liked her packaging. Out of her wide variety of options, I chose the Rosemary soap, Lavender soap, and Casablanca Tea soap.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Fall Fine Art And Crafts At Brookdale Park…. Montclair, NJ

Part I

10/13-14/12 - We were here two years ago and I figured, it was an Excellent show then and it should be an Excellent show now……IT WAS!!!

If you read our blogs you know we follow about ten Production Companies, as many Guilds as we can fit in a week, and a handful of “Barn” shows. When we’re feeling like a New Jersey show, Rose Squared Productions, www.rosesquared.com is a Great place to start. There are a few things we know about Rose Squared. They really do show, Fine Art and Fine Craft and they Always put on top shelf Craft and Art Shows. Even the Toy Makers work is tops…haha…really.

We only knew two of these Artists and that made it more fun. Marian Gaydos Designs (Jewelry) and Andre Maiwald, Bird Houses.

Marian and John Gaydos have cut back on the shows this year and used the time to create more of the custom polished, wire wrapped Jewelry she designs. John has started his own line also. We will show you John's work on the site soon.

If you never saw an Andre Maiwald Birdhouse....... with a clock in it, you don’t know what you’re missing. Yep, some of them have weather proof clocks in them. Check out our twitter @BrosHandmade. One of Andre’s clocks is in pics.

The List

Eugene Perry - Modern Metal Art:



I had worked in Metal for many years, and I no what it takes to get steel to have the perfect shape and form. It’s not an easy deal. It takes a lot. Eugene has what it takes, Plus, he is an Exceptional Sculptor.



Carol's Scents N' Soaps:

What a selection. All of Carols soaps are created with Shea butter, cocoa butter, Vitamin E and are superfatted with milk. But I’m going with my nose. Did you ever walk into a soapers tent? It is truly one of life’s little pleasures!!! Carols selection was huge, just look at the picture. Every single row is a different scent or flavor. I almost ate the Grapefruit.

Ryefield Ceramics Inc. - Steve Datz: Steve has been all over the world, tried many things, (great bio) and ended up doing what he enjoyed in Junior High School. Pottery. Great Vessels, and a sense of color that must be seen to appreciate. His work is very functional also. To bad my pictures weren't as functional. Sorry 'bout that Steve, the sun got me.

We had a great time Rose Squared. We’ll be back……Again!!!

Part II in a day or two.

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

Banana Factory - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

October 5, 2012 - It's the First Friday of the month, which means time to celebrate the arts in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

In addition to lots of folks mulling around the shops and galleries of historic Bethlehem, the Banana Factory, a cultural arts and education center, opens its doors and studios, welcoming guests (for free) to walk around on several floors, poking their heads in on a variety of Art demonstrations and exhibits.

The Banana Factory, owned by the non-profit organization, ArtsQuest (for more info: http://www.artsquest.org/us/history.php) attracts some pretty highly talented Artists. From their studios, painters, jewelers, potters, fiber artists, lampworkers, and more, create and teach their artform.

First, one brief rant - Parking! The parking lot across the street from the Banana Factory is one where you park, note the space number, then proceed to an unmanned kiosk to pay. One of the two kiosks was totally broken, and the other only took cash. The line was literally 20 people deep, and took nearly 30 minutes to pay - Grrrrr! I think that's the city of Bethlehem's issue. Ok, I'm done.

Happily, I was in time to see the metal jewelry fabrication demonstration of the highly talented Artist, Kevin Herbst Haaf. Not only is Kevin a superb metalsmith as was evident with the many pieces he had on display both in his studio, as well as throughout the Banana Factory, but he is a high energy, knowledgeable, and interesting teacher.

Kevin demonstrated transforming a strip of sterling silver, into a highly textured, polished, and perfectly formed ring. The crowd in his demonstration studio were mesmerized by his bending, hammering, polishing, and braising. Kevin teaches an introductory and advanced class in metalworking at the Banana Factory.

Next I wander down the hall to award winning watercolor artist, Andrew M. Kish III. OMG - Fabulous! His paintings commonly have a subtle political or social sway. The photo here is Andrew's own child. Absolutely beautiful. I'm astounded by his use of colors and his abilities of photo realism. His vision and inspirations are just as interesting. I foresee a great and prosperous future for Andrew.

Two other superb Artists from the Banana Factory that we have had the privilege to know, one who has beautiful lampwork beads in the Brothers Handmade online store, Lampwork Artist - Liz Magno and Pottery Artist - Deborah Slahta with whom we did a Featured Artist interview.

What a wonderful night at the Banana Factory for First Friday.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows and Art Centers if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Riverfest - Canton, Georgia

September 29, 2012 - With 28 years of Riverfest experience, the Service League of Cherokee County Georgia has got this festival well organized.

As you pull within 5 miles of Canton, signs clearly guide you from the highway exits, down a few roads, to ample and free parking. Then there is a constant (and also well organized) cadre of golf carts shuttling patrons from parking to the festival.

And from the Artists and Craftsmen I spoke with, the same quality organization holds true. As far as setup and load-in, it was fairly smooth sailing. Now I did hear a couple Artists lamenting that the jury level was perhaps a little loose. My observation was that festival goers of this show are not looking for as many high end products. So there was quite a range of craft work. And the crowds looked pretty reasonable, although, not packed on this overcast Saturday.

Let's name names:

Love, love, love Daddy Mack Hats by Courtney McCoy(pictured at top) - Fiber Artist Courtney is so full of energy and loves creating her crochet hats and Mary Jane baby shoes. Nice designs with crochet flowers on the hats. Very popular with the festival goers.

Penny Shelton of BodyBliss luxurious, natural bath & body products - clearly is not new at this game. Her soaps are beautiful with luffa and pumice inclusions - nicely designed. Penny's exhibit was bright and inviting. Definitely a standout Soaper.

Diana of Diana Beaulieu Jewelry - Diana's jewelry covers a variety of formats including metal, wire, and re-purposed (and coated) paper. Her designs were really quite artistic and I loved her contrasts in colors, textures, and materials. Diana mixes metals, stones, leather, and recycled paper in her beautiful and unique pieces.

I really appreciated the simple beauty of the dragon fly adorned pottery by Fred and Laura Ellis of Something Southern Pottery. Fred does most of the wheel work, while Laura finishes the stoneware pots with wisps of grass against a light gay speckled background - with their signature dragonfly of course. Wonderful.

Dan Donaldson of The Broom Brothers - along with his father, Ralph, grow their own sorghum, a pasture grass; then design and weave their handmade brooms. Dan and Ralph attended the John C. Campbell Folk School to learn the fine points of broom making. It really shows in their very cool products. A great addition to any home.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Riverside Festival of the Arts - Easton, Pa.

9/22-23/12 - It’s overcast and a typical fall day and I’m heading to a small show in Easton, Pa. The setting is incredible. The park is at the convergence of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers. About 50 Juried Artists with a good mix of Painted Art and Fine Craft are present.

ACE (Arts Community of Easton) did a great job of stuffing Riverside and Scott parks (they are next to each other), with Art, Fine Craft, Music, Writers, Storytellers, Historians and Poets. I tell you what, for such a small show, I was there for a while.

THE LIST

Ellen Mulvenna: Pottery

First, let me say, it’s very hard to photograph pottery. Ellen’s work is far better then these pictures show. Ellen has been at the wheel for 30 years, and it shows. Her glaze choices, colors and finish were Beautiful. Checkout the creativity of the little tray with the olives. B-H is going to try and get all these Artists to come on the site. I’m going to go in hyper drive to get Ellen.

Carol Benner: Painter I’m no expert in Painted Art. I go with what stops me. I STOPPED at Carol's exhibit! Carol did two paintings that caught me, because I thought I was there. “The Falls” and “Serenity”…Awesome!!!One of her paintings was judged as one of the ten finalists in The Morning Call (newspaper) Mayfair Art Show in 2008. Currently, her works are being shown at Connexions Gallery in Easton, Pa.

Elaine Eckert: Pottery

Elaine works in a number of pottery skills, but what caught me was the Horsehair work. We always have people looking for Horsehair pottery and there isn’t that much of it out there. Elaine’s Horsehair is beautiful. The shapes and forms of her vessels were very impressive.

Donna Ruggiero: School of Creative Arts Donna’s mission is to educate, train, and release a new generation through a Christ-centered, School of Art.The school is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a private, non-licensed school enrolling students in preschool through the eighth grades.

Students attending the school will be raising funds to cover their tuition costs through the sale of their artwork since most are unable to afford a private education. A portion of the proceeds will also go towards their future education/career plans upon graduation from high school.

This was a Winner in the Show Department.

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

Fine Crafts At The Winery. New Hope, Pa.

8/25/12. We don’t usually go to small shows, but this one had a whole lot going for it.

First, it was in New Hope Pa. This is one of the Best Craft and Art spots in Pennsylvania. Second. When I was going through the list of shows for last week, I saw the list of Artists (21) who were attending this show by The Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen. All of them were “The Top” of their trade. And Third, There were four Artists I had not seen before. I knew they were hot through pictures only. I had to fix that and I did.

The List

Scorched Eyebrow Studio: Paula Lewis.(top) Enameled copper collage. It is extremely hard to photograph Paula’s work. The colors, intensity, contrasts, and designs were mesmerizing. She has the 3d effect down pat. You will here about Paula in the future on Brothers-Handmade. Beautiful Work!!!

Nancy Gibbs: Dolls, Santas and Folk Art. Nancy’s work is unique, museum-quality Folk Art cloth and clay dolls, Santas, and stitcheries inspired by historical American styles. Each piece is made individually, using high quality materials, either vintage or gently aged reproductions. Nancy’s work has been in Early American Life magazine. You need to have credentials to get in that magizine!!!

Joyce Inderbitzin: Pottery. Joyce works in high fire stoneware and raku. Her high fire stoneware features various unique pierced designs. I’ll tell ya what, some of those pierced pieces border on lace pieces. Joyce has been a Potter for a long time, and it shows. Excellent!!!

Sandra Schmitz: Felted knit handbags. (below)Sandra knits “freehand.” She uses unusual colors for handbags, added “fur” (eyelash yarn) or stones, and ceramic, wood, metal or stone button closures. Nearly all of her handbags are knit in one piece from the bottom up. A lot of ladies were checking out these handbags. Hot Item!!!

The Bucks County Guild of Craftsmen put forth a great show in a great place. Whenever you see a Craft Show listed by a Guild, it “Will Be A Show Worth Seeing.”

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

John C. Campbell Folk School - Brasstown, North Carolina

August 10, 2012 - To round out this week's visits, I stop by the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.

Over the years of attending quality craft and art shows, the topic of John C. Campbell Folk School has come up on many occasions. Most often, it will be an awesome craftsperson at the show that will mention that they either attended the John C. Campbell school, or that they instruct at the school.

So I have some communications with Keather Weideman, Marketing Manager at the school. Due to my travel schedule, I'm limited to stopping in on a Friday. Keather mentions that on Fridays, students are generally finishing up their projects for the week and cleaning up. But they do have their weekly student project exhibit late in the afternoon on Fridays.

Armed with a map of the 300 acre school, tucked away in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina, I begin exploring the various buildings and classrooms.

I'm going to go into much greater detail of this gem of a place in a subsequent full length article, but for the purposes of this blog, I got to checkout:

  • Woodworking
  • Basketry
  • Quilting
  • Blacksmithing
  • Jewelry, and
  • Dyeing

Wow - this place is totally awesome at so many levels!

Let's start with the instructors. These are people that are tops in their crafts. They are for the most part, independent artists and craftsmen, with their own studios, who take time out of their schedules (usually a week at a time) and instruct adults who sign up for their classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

The instructors I spoke with, have all been coming to teach at John C. Campbell for many years. Joan Stoneham's basket weaver extraordinaire is one example (her student's projects pictured). People love this place - instructors and patrons alike.

In fact, you'll see several instructors attending the school as students in another craft different from what they instruct.

The Guests (Students)

I spoke with John from Pittsburgh, PA. He and his wife have been making the trek to the Folk School for several years now. This year they brought their son.

Ok, enough said for this blog. I'll tell you more about John, and the rest of this really cool place in a full article coming soon to Brothers Handmade.

Like our Facebook Fan Page Facebook.com/BrothersHandmadeLLC and you will be updated automatically when new stuff comes out.

The most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows and Schools, if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

38th Annual Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show - Mount Gretna, PA

8/18-19/12 All year, Rob and I have been hitting Gold as far as shows go. When we started Brothers-Handmade, we wanted to seek out THE BEST. Well here ya go, Mount Gretna.

I pull into the parking area, and these three cuties and their family park next to me. Already, Awesomeness is here!!! I came to this show to hunt down Peaches Hats. A lot of our followers have been asking me to “Get Peach On The Site!!!” “WELL I’M TRY’N!!!”

But in Mount Gretna, it’s SHOW TIME. 700 homes and cottages team up with 260 juried Artists and 20,000 visitors (at least) and they have themselves a “BASH”...That would be a…”FINE ART AND FINE CRAFT BASH” A whole lot of Old Friends and a Lot of New Ones are here.

THE LIST



Peaches Hats: Peach Michael. (left) I saw Peach at Knoebels last year and thought, “Wow, check these out.” Peach Crochets. No patterns. She sees what she sees and starts Crocheting and then, a Piece of Art Shows Up. The colors, shapes, designs, stitching, accents, I could go on and on. Peach's exhibit was packed with people. No wonder, her work is, well INCREDIBLE!!!

Brian Eppley Painting: Brian is an oil painter working both en plein air (outdoors) and in studio. He works in abstraction and representation. His work captures atmosphere and the light that goes with it. Brian studied at the Art Students League in Manhattan under artist Daniel Dickerson. As most of you know, I am not a painted art, critic. I go with what stops me. Brian’s work “Stopped” me!!!

Wise Metal Sculpture: Donald W. Wise.(Maple Tree below)

Don’s art is in solid copper and brass. Each piece is cut by hand with a torch. The coloring on the copper is created with heat. I wish I could describe the detail and 3-d effect from his work. It is impossible to describe. The veins on the leaves and the wings on his hummingbirds. Fantastic!!!





Sylvia Eisenbise Lehman: Contemporary baskets with handmade paper constructions. To me, Sylvia’s work is very ornamental and pleasing to the eye. Nice clean lines with artistic conclusions. In the craft world I thought her prices were very reasonable also.

The Mount Gretna Outdoor Art Show is a community fundraiser promoted by the Pennsylvania Chautauqua. Brothers-Handmade will be back next year to this Incredible Art Show!!!

"Come See Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

Musikfest - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

August 6, 2012 - There are many reasons why I enjoy attending Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania including, lots of great music and a nice gathering of craftspeople exhibiting their handmade products in the historically significant Colonial Industrial Quarter. Lining the Monocacy Creek, tucked among the old Tannery (circa 1761) and Luckenbach Mill (circa 1869) are Soapers, Potters, Instrument makers, Candle makers, Painters, and others, exhibiting their quality handmade crafts.

It's just a nice all around atmosphere. And from what I could tell, they were selling their wares pretty well. For one thing, with musical headliners like, Goo Goo Dolls, Sheryl Crow, Janes Addiction, and Daughtry; the promoter ArtsQuest, knows how to put on a great festival, and draw big crowds. A friend of mine who has performed at Musikfest in the past, said they (the promoters) were the best people to work with. That kind of thing makes Artists very happy!

We cruised the fest with local friend of the arts and college radio personality Kate Hughes of the 90.3 WXLV The Morning After with I hate Kate show. Kate often features interviews with local Artists, and is on air Mondays from 9am - 1pm EST. Checkout her show.

First we visit the Monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery engaged in an incredible Mandala Sand Painting. Painstakingly, the Monks lay one grain of colored sand at a time to create their work of art. It was my understanding that later that day, they planned on sacrificing their completed work into the Monocacy River in an effort to preclude a repeat flooding event as occurred last year during Musikfest. Amazing.

Grace Mugala and The Art of Grace (pictured at top) along with her husband, create superbly detailed African art based on natural scenes from her former home in Kenya. Beautiful, colorful, interesting, and highly detailed paintings.

Jennifer and Del Casterline of New World Glass create beautiful flameworked and fused glass jewelry, incorporated with recycled metal. Their designs capture the beauty of the handmade lampwork beads by complementing with just the right cut or fabricated piece of metal. Nicely done.

Connie Troxell of Danielle's Candles (pictured) - yum, but don't eat the candles. What awesome gifts. Amazing how Connie creates inclusions, colors, and flavors that bring to life her "almost good enough to eat" candles. Kudos!

And what would an Eastern Pennsylvania festival be without Soapmaker extraordinaire Hedge Sefcovic of A Natural Alternative Soaps and Toiletries. From what I hear she had a wonderful Musikfest, and also is one of Brothers-Handmade's faves.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

PA Guild Fine Craft Fair - Wilmington, Delaware

August 4, 2012 - We attend a wide variety of show skill levels. But when we attend either an ACC (American Craft Council) or Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen show, we know up front that we are in for a real treat.

Quite a variety of crafts were on display including: pottery, jewelry, metal,wood, glass, and paper to name a few. And from what I could tell based on my observations and folks I spoke with, both Exhibitors and Visitors were having a good day. The crowds were strong on this Saturday afternoon, and they were buying.

There's no way to cover in this blog, all the craftsmen that impressed me, but here's a sampling:

Stacey Krantz of Inbloom Jewelry - beautiful, delicate jewelery primarily precious metals and handmade beads in the form of flower pedals, leaves, branches, and pods. Minimalist with just the right touch of embellishment.

Ted Sokoloswski of Sokolowski Studios - wonderfully turned wood salt and pepper shakers, finished with inlays of pepper corns, salt crystals, and contrasting woods. These pieces would complement any table setting - think Thanksgiving!

Susan Wertheimer David - Raku Pottery - her shiny copper finished raku was dazzling. Each detail of her pieces was magnificent. I especially liked the blackened interiors of her pieces. White clay colored black during the firing process. Top quality.

Karen Stanford of Skylark Studio - first timer at this show, Karen's cut sterling silver jewelry was at the same time simple, yet intricate. Most pieces were simply sterling silver, but the designs she cuts in the metal are quite detailed, with beautiful symmetry. She's one to watch.

Rosalie Sherman Designs had on display, awesome cast pewter hangers, door knobs and knockers in the form of animals, from elephants to lizards. Her display was quite popular, and her works superb.

Judy Rohrbaugh Fine Art Stoneware - had Mr. (Chris) Rohrbaugh demonstrating the weaving of long pine needles around the rim of Judy's beautiful pots. A great spin on the hand thrown pot.

Roger Serfass of Village Wood Designs (pictured) - Roger primarily does commission work, creating beautiful cabinets and armoires, complete with his signature inlaid mountain scenes. But what caught my eye were his beautiful handmade wooden jewelry boxes. Experienced, skilled, and detailed woodworking artist for sure.

Rob Glebe Design (pictured at top) - metal work sculptures are among the best seen. In fact the PA Guild used one of his pieces in their brochure for this show. Top notch Artist.

Ok, now on to the Bethlehem, PA Musikfest. Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Pennsylvania Guild of Fine Craft Show - Chase Center on the Riverfront, Wilmington, Delaware

8/4/2012. It was GOLD across the board at the Pa. Guild of Craftsmen show in Wilmington. Sorry about that, I have Olympic fever and it sort of slipped out....But it was!!!

95 degrees outside and about 70 in the Chase Center. This is a great venue for a great show. About 190 Artists and 11 demonstrators showing the visitors everything from woodturning to painting to weaving pine needles. That’s right Judy Rohrbaugh was weaving with pine needles. Our friend Nick Mohler (Program Director Pa. Guild) met Rob and me at the door and hooked us up with all the pertinent information about the show and off we went. We have been “Mining” craft guilds for 3 years to bring you the quality you look for and I’ll tell you what, this is one of the top “Mines for Craft” in America!

THE LIST:

Effie Brenner: (pictured top) Effie’s work is inspired by the traditional pottery of the Pueblo Indians. She creates one-of-a-kind vessels using the ancient coil method. Then she carefully burnishes the pieces using terra sigillatta. Her work has the polish of a river stone. Her work is meticulous! I was amazed when I found out this was coil work. The color, form and detail is simply awesome.

Joanne Strehle Bast:

Fiber Artist and Jeweler. Joanne is a multi-talented Artist, but her hats caught my eye. Very whimsical and a happy design. Her approach to color is perfect in the way it catches your eye. She also creates purses, handbags and some incredible scarves. Beautiful!!!

Hanna’s Ideas in Wood: Hanna creates small pieces from cherry wood. She has bud vases, combs, picture frames, electronic device stands, and the one that caught my eye was her card holders. Very cool and very good Ideas. Very intricate work.

Laura Demme: Ceramic Artist.

Sculptures and decorative pieces. “Through the eye of an Artist”. From the beginning of Brothers-Handmade, the one thing that ALWAYS impressed me was the inspiration of the Artist. Laura’s work demonstrates this thought. Simply Awesome!

We have written about many of the Artists at this show in the past and I will just name a few for you to check out.

Ed Youtz... Wood Turner

Elizabeth's Lace...Tatting

Lorber Pottery...Crystalline Glazes

Stone's Throw Pottery...Pottery

Nancy Irons...Fine Jewelry

Rona Fisher...Jewelry

TEL-TIN LLC...Coppersmith

Guilds that had displays at this show.

Chester County Craft Guild West Chester, PA. http://www.chestercountycraftguild.org

Potters Guild Wallingford, PA http://www.thepottersguild.com

Reading Berks Guild of Craftsmen Mohnton, PA http://www.rbcrafts.org

And of course The Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen http://www.pacrafts.org

We’ll be back next year for sure!

"Come See What Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

Kutztown Folk Festival - Kutztown, PA - Final

June 30, 2012 - Can't say enough about this craft festival. I'm going to give my take on it, highlight my picks for standout Artists and Craftsmen, then we'll tie a bow on K-town until next year.

The Kutztown Folk Festival is the oldest folklife festival in America. In its 63rd year, the festival celebrates the Pennsylvania Dutch Culture, and attracts over 150,000 visitors per year. According to their website, it was named as One of America’s Top Celebrations by USA Today, and as a “Must See” Festival by the Washington Post, and was twice featured in National Geographic.

Two things that make me happy as an regular craft and art festival attendee are:

  • Great signage guiding you to the festival from many miles away, and
  • Free parking
Of course those two items would be all for not if the craftsmanship was lacking - but that is clearly not the case at K-town.

Let's name names . . .



The first Artists to catch my eye was the Nerikomi and Millifore jewelry duo, Jeff and Judy Goodwin of Daaman Jewelry.



If you saw our Millifiori video that we posted on our facebook.com/BrothersHandmadeLLC page, you can begin to understand how this art form is done. But Jeff and Judy take it a step further as they apply a 22 karat gold edging to their pieces. It is unbelievable, yet they make it affordable. Simply magnificent fine porcelain jewelry.

Paul Esties of Paul's Specialties makes superb cutting boards with beautifully contrasting woods. Many are mounted on a "lazy susan" turntable. But I was really drawn to his wooden boxes made from recycled wood from old barns. The boxes include a photo of the old barn. Paul's craftsmanship is masterful.



Carol McCoy of Real Leather Stuff (pictured) had on display, some absolutely fabulous shoulder bag purses. Carol's focus on every detail of her pieces is quite extraordinary. Her stitching, cuts, dyes, and hardware are first rate.





And then we ran into our friend Nathan Favors - Bowlmaker (pictured). It was great seeing Nathan who already displays in the Brothers-Handmade store. Nathan's been experimenting with various colored resin inlays that give a beautiful finish to his pieces. Love it!

So another wonderful job by the promoters of the Kutztown Folk Festival. The heat and summer storms may have kept a few patrons away, but not to worry, come to Brothers-Handmade to find many of the high quality products made by American Artists and Craftsmen.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

The Kutztown Folk Festival - Kutztown, PA. Blog II

6/30/12-7/8/12: If I went to this show 2 more times, I would have no trouble adding 50 lbs. or more. “Yes, I would like an Ox sandwich, some corn pie, and an apple dumpling, thank you.” Then I head over to my new friends,

Anna Owens and Connor Mertz. Now it’s time to get a few “Kutztown Birch-Beers.” Anna and Connor were keeping the guests and me, well hydrated with Great Birch-Beer. Thanks you guys.

THE LIST

Bowed Psaltery: Dave and Paulette Lucas.

Did you ever hear or see a Psaltery? These are all Handmade by Dave. He uses various woods such as walnut, birch, oak, cherry, maple and mahogany. They are easy to play and they have a great sound. Oh ya, they’re Beautiful too!

Foxcreek Basket Co: They are family owned and operated, from Hartselle, AL. A third generation producer of high quality handcrafted Mahogany products. They sign and date each basket and offer, a limited lifetime warranty. Fantastic craftsmanship. Their cutting boards are pieces of artwork also.

Kindred Spirit Designs: Dona L. Jones. Through heating and cooling applied to copper, she creates a colorful heat patina luster on each piece. Dona designs earrings, brooches, scarf pins, necklaces, pendants, and ornaments. Her works include celestial, oceanic, and natural themes, as well as some humorous and fun images of domestic and wild animals. Very different and very colorful.

The Quilts: By Countless Artists.

The only thing I can say about this is, there are 100s, of pieces of Incredible Art, Crafted into Quilts. Color, precision, form, patterns, all wrapped into one. The Southeast parts of Pennsylvania are known for Quilts and the Kutztown Folk Festival is known to have only the best on display and for sale.

Rob is writing a third blog on the Fest. With his picks of the show."Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Joel

The Kutztown Folk Festival - Kutztown, PA

6/30/12-7/8/12: Oh Where to start. Lets say my favorite shows are folk festivals and my favorite folk festival is The Kutztown Folk Festival. This folk fest just has so much to look at, to do, to eat, to see, to appreciate, and to listen to! This fest is HUGE!!! There are things here that you will only find at the K.F.F.

Brothers-Handmade is a Fine Craft Art web site. We are dedicated to showing you the best of the best in all crafts. Well, at the K.F.F. there are many. ALL Crafts are represented here. And at this show, I would have to put food in on the crafts list also. Pennsylvania Dutch food is high on my list of good stuff.

Hundreds of artists from all over the country are here. The Pa. Guild Of Craftsmen also had their A Teams showing. It looks like we will have to write 2 or three blogs about this Festival because of the size of it.

The List

Thomas Turtzo: Blacksmith This guy was Smoke’n. I will tell you one thing for sure. This guy has all the bases covered. Hooks, Brackets, Shepherds Hooks, Sculptures “anything you want, he would make it” He had his Anvil and Forge set up and running also.

A Natural Alternative Soaps and Toiletries Hedge Sefcovic: (pictured above) Hedge has an unbelievable selection of soap scents. She has oils, bath fizz’s, lip balms, shaving soaps and kits. Brothers-Handmade has been following Hedge for 3 years and have been using her products all along. Ladies, if you want soft skin, and some really different scents, talk to Hedge.

Gerald W Putt Wild Life Artist I was in awe for about a half an hour as I watched him paint! On his display wall were paintings of many nature type things, but I zeroed in on his paintings of Ducks. I never in my life would imagine that anyone would be able to reach the level of detail as Gerald has achieved. FANTASTIC!!!

The Glass Place: Louise Mehaffey

Want to see Awesomeness in Beadwork. You take a lot of Louise add a torch some silica, potash, soda, and lime (glass) various frits (color) add them together and you get incredible beads. She and her sidekick Jenna were swarmed with customers all day, for one reason and one reason only. They are just that good. Louise also has two books and a third on the way on bead making.

We will post 2 more blogs over the next couple of days, as this show is a lot to talk about. And I didn’t even talk about the food and drink yet (mmm birch beer)

Joel

Market 334 - Cumming, GA

June 14, 2012 - Another great place to find excellent, unique, and well handmade items, is Market 334 in Cumming, Georgia. You see, Kim, the proprietor is well connected with the local art community. She says most of the Artists and Craftsmen displaying in her boutique, have come to her.

Market 334 has only been opened for about a year. It inhabits the space formerly of a stone mason's show room. It's a cozy rustic place complete with a stone fireplace (that currently serves as the display of Pottery Artist Nancy Horton's pieces. (I actually mentioned Nancy in a BH blog about the Roswell Colors Festival). Kim has it tastefully setup in little display centers - each with its own theme.

One look around, and you quickly sense the quality of the items she has on display. She has a wide assortment of quality handmade jewelry, primarily made up of cabochon and beads. I liked the hand turned wooden pens, along with the really great handmade greeting cards.

I also really liked the pottery of local artist, Kelly Bonner. Her hand-built stoneware pottery features the natural colors and textures of things she finds in her garden. Quite interesting with a rustic, aged look.

Zipping around inside Market 334 was fiber artist Allison Bleecher. Allison and Kim were busily finding just the right place to display Allison's whimsical hand decorated lampshades. After I left and pondered these pieces, I started thinking, I'll bet people Love these Lampshades. They're very tastefully done, and what a conversation piece!

Lots of love by the local folks for Market 334. They were the 2012 Winner of the My Forsyth award for Best Boutique as voted on by the community.

Market 334 will host its Fall Arts Festival October 5 - 6, 2012. It's sure to be a great festival of wonderful local craft and artworks. If you're in the area, check it out.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows, and Boutique Gift Shops, if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-Handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Peachtree Hills Festival of the Arts - Atlanta, GA

June 9, 2012 - Yuppy Central! - This is definitely a Young Urban Professional area. There were more Thirty-Somethings pushing fancy baby carriages up this Peachtree Hills neighborhood, than I've seen at an Arts Festival for a while.

I've heard artists lament at several shows, that we've got to bring the younger crowd to these events. Well here it is. This area is a microcosm of guys and gals, a few years out of college, working their way up the corporate ladder. Except - where are they?

The crowd is thin on this the inaugural day of the Peachtree Hills Festival of the Arts, organized by the Atlanta Foundation for Public Space (AFFPS). (The second day was cancelled due to rain.) I heard more than one Artist speak highly of Patrick Dennis and Randall Fox of AFFPS and the shows they put on.

There was a wide variety of craft and artwork. Some so-so, and some awesome. Here's a sampling of "The Awesome":

Jim Parziale of Dimensional Living (pictured at top) - creates wonderful fine wood crafted tables, cutting boards, bread knives, and other items. Jim's work is highly refined, his wood selections and inlays are superb. Look closely as his pieces are seemingly seamless. Nice!

Dave Cain of Awesome Jewelry - was busy making sales when I stopped by. The ladies were lovin' his Celtic Star wire sculpted jewelry. He uses various colors of copper wire with a protective coating that prevents tarnishing. His chainmaille was equally beautiful. Top notch.

Beth Carter of beca designs - Ok, so I'm looking at the back cover of the June 21, 2012 Rolling Stones magazine. There's a really cool artistic bottle of Belvedere Vodka pictured. I've seen that artwork in Beth's jewelry. She cuts the most interesting parts out of artistic glass bottles, then finishes them with flame-work, and attaches them to earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Quite the beautiful conversation pieces.

Wellon Bridgers of Wellon Art featured acrylic painted art with inclusions of ground pumice. Her paintings were absolutely mesmerizing. Primarily in earth tones, her paintings of horses and the environmental scenes had a captivating spiritual essence to them. Loved it. Photo at facebook.com/BrothersHandmadeLLC.

Katherine Owen of Clay Dreaming exhibited a really interesting black and white carved sgraffito design with splashes of color. Really great and interesting pottery with a unique signature design. Great pieces.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Decatur Arts Festival - Decatur, GA

May 27, 2012 - The 90 degree heat did not keep crowds of buyers away from the 24th Annual Decatur Arts Festival. And the 200 or so Artists and Craftsmen on display were quite worthy of all the attention.

Decatur, GA has a high concentration of professionals from organizations like Emory University and the CDC, who make for good buyers of fine arts and crafts. This is the big craft and art festival of the year for this community which lies just East of downtown Atlanta. One thing I'd like to see is a more prominent navigational address on their website. I arrived in Decatur, but had to drive around a little until I found where the Festival was. For out of towners, this can be a frustrating start.

Most of the Artists and Craftsmen I spoke to were quite satisfied with the crowd and buyers. A few were not.

Here's some Standout Artists and Craftsmen I found:

The two guys pictured above are quite the Artistic characters. I've seen both at several high quality Art shows in Florida and Georgia.

Larry Allen - Pottery Artist (top left) who we actually wrote a Featured Artist article about has his beautiful signature red sgraffito design that he entitles Unity - inspired by the events surrounding 9/11. Spectacular.

Then there's Obayana B. Ajanaku of Obametalsmith. His precision and interesting designs capture many eyes. Obayana has been at it for a while now, and it shows. His metalsmithing craftsmanship is among the best.

Sharon Johnston Jeweler (pictured) features interchangeable gemstones in her contemporary precious metal jewelry. These are some of the most innovative designs I've seen in a while. You can purchase a beautiful sterling silver bracelet, earrings, and ring set, then choose from her semi precious spherically cut stones, and pop the stones into each of the pieces. Awesome. Got to see it to believe it.

Jane McGinnis-Glynn of Studio 3046 (pictured) makes spectacular woven, ceramic baskets. One of my favorites looked like woven thick iron chain link, complete with a rust like finish - but of course it's ceramic. Very cool.

Will Olney of Olney Originals (pictured on our Facebook.com/BrothersHandmadeLLC page) is both a precious metal jewelry designer (see our Facebook photo) as well as a Cloisonne Artist. Big talent here.

Rod Hemming Ceramics displayed some beautifully hand painted ceramic plates, bowls, and tiled wall hangings. Rod also does custom kitchen back-splashes, adding cheery colors to anyone's space. Great quality.

Overall, a fabulous art festival. Visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Colors Festival of Arts - Roswell, GA

May 12, 2012 - It's a tough act to compete with - that is, the other local Art Festival going on just down the road (see previous blog). But the Roswell Colors Festival has been going on for 22 years now, and certainly has its following. From what I hear, Mother's Day Sunday traditionally has been strong for this 2-day show. That is when another mother, (Nature) cooperates. This year Mother Nature decided to water the flowers on Mother's Day, making for a generally unremarkable Color's Festival.

What I heard while chatting with the Artisans, is that the crowds have not been very strong (even on this beautiful Day-1 Saturday). And that "it's tough Loading In" at this festival. And I can tell you as a festival-goer, parking is a bear.

But as is so often the case, a few Artists are kickin' booty with sales. That seemed to be the case with:

Nancy Bruns of Fire Rained fine art jewelry. I really liked Nancy's precious metal chainmaille designs. And although I've seen a bunch of chainmaille, Nancy makes quite a variety of different base chainmaille designs, linking her rings in tight and loose braids. Clearly a standout and skilled artisan.

Kevin Dooley of Craftsman Creations (pictured at top) has both an eye for design, and the hands to execute masterfully on those designs. His turned and pieced wood bowls, plates, and urns were marvelous - really beautiful.

Jamie Estes of Thistle Ridge Soap has captured the fragrance of fine handmade soap. Just stepping into her tent causes a mesmerizing reaction as the beautiful scents of her soaps waft in the air. She's right on the money with her tagline, "One of life's simple pleasures".

Ana-Cristina Godoy - Jeweler (pictured) is what I expect to see at some of the high end shows (think: American Craft Council, Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show, Atlanta Arts Festival). Her woven gold on silver bracelets were exquisite. Her design innovation is eye-catching, but not overdone. Love it!

And of course there were several standout Artists that I've mentioned from other shows including: Jennifer James (Spruill Center - 2/26/12) (and who opened a BH store account, (yay) but is not yet displaying (boo). Also Rochelle Nation (Roswell Colors - 5/7/11) found here. And it was great meeting Ed Bush, husband and "Display Manager" of Spirit Lala who I just wrote about in my Dunwoody blog. (Ed seemed to be having good sales of Spirit Lala jewelry as well).

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"© -Rob

Dunwoody Art Festival - Dunwoody, Georgia

May 12, 2012 - People love this show (when it's not raining). Saturday at the Dunwoody Art Festival was a happening event. The weather was gorgeous, and the crowds were abundant and buying.

The Artists and Visitors I spoke with really like this show. The craft and artistic quality are high, and it is well organized and promoted by Frances Schube and Cindy Flynn of Splash Festivals who also promote the Acworth Art Fest, and the Norcross Art Fest (coming October 6-7, 2012 in Norcross, GA).

Wind and rain are of course the nemesis of a fine, fine art and craft festival, and the pouring rains on Sunday clearly put a damper (pun intended) on the party, as Artists and Craftsmen huddled in their tents for a long and quiet day. Hopefully the beautiful previous day made up for it.

Here's who we loved -

Spirit Lala - Jeweler, painter, and all around Artist (pictured at top) - was rockin' the house. Spirit's lines include paintings that she reduces, then integrates into her jewelry. Very popular. She also creates jewelry from recycled glass and leather which come under her name Eco-Spirit Recycled Jewelry. Spirit's art is hot and in demand. Funny that later in the day while I was at the Roswell Colors Festival, I came across Spirit's husband manning the Spirit Lala line at that festival.

Absolutely loved the painted art of Tracey Lewis. Her brightly colored, simplistic, contemporary acrylic paintings were drawing a nice crowd, and buyers.

Jennifer Browning Beville of Leaping Lizards Pottery (pictured) also had some eye catching works on display. Her lizard pottery is really fun and happy. I liked the way the brightly colored lizards stand out and contrast against the reddish clay backgrounds of her pots. Lots of smiles on the faces of customers perusing this display.

Cate Jessen Jewelry (pictured) - is really quite innovative with her metal jewelry techniques. She gets a variety of patinas on her brass and copper pieces with her use of ammonia vapors and heat. Love it! Contemporary, innovative, and beautiful.

There were also several Artists that I've highlighted from other shows including: Diane Kovach of DK Designs (BH Featured Artist), Kim "Berlin" Randall of K. Berlin Metalsmith (Acworth - 4/14/12), Kathryn Riechert Jewelry (Acworth - 4/14/12), Leigh Griffin (Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show - 11/4/11)

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Cotton Pickin' Fair - Gay, Georgia

May 5, 2012 - What a "cool" part of Georgia. About 50 miles south of Atlanta, in a more rural part of the state, the town of Gay has been host to the Cotton Pickin' Fair for 40 years. There looked to be about 300 Artists and Craftsmen.

Spread out over a large area, it was a little hard for me to keep track of where I had and hadn't been. I could have easily spent 4 hours there (rather than my limit of two). At 2 pm Saturday, the crowd was a little light compared to the large number of Exhibitors. There was a good mix of Artists and Craftsmen - some really great.

Here's what I found -

Cindy Dial of Chugz (pictured at right) creates "Upcycled" beverage art. Cindy takes those beverage boxes that most of us toss out, then using the print side as a background, she creates an artistic collage scene using cutouts from magazines and other sources, along with hand painting and an acrylic over-coating. It's really quite remarkable. Many of her scenes are of the great outdoors. They're finished with frames made of recycled wood from barns and antiques crafted by her husband.

Sandy Hurlbutt and her daughter Heather of Country Junction Soaps creates some wonderful goat's milk soaps, lotions,and lip balms. Sandy does most of the hands on work raising and milking her goats, and making her cold processed soap. Heather handles much of the business end. Great products.

Jim Rice of Turtle Old Man creates fine silver jewelry. There's always a nice crowd looking over his large inventory of mostly cabochon and wire wrapped jewelry. Jim's a fine art craftsman creating cleanly wrapped, and beautifully designed pieces.

Michelle Brezovsky of Riverwind Pottery of the South (pictured at top) is my FAVORITE of this show, with beautifully artistic horse hair pottery. I loved the way she finished her attractive white pots with a raffia type material tied around the rim with beads, giving a taste of the South to her art. I also really liked her innovation in mixed media, combining small stones with her stoneware clay. Michelle is one to watch.

Fabulous Filigree Jewelry by Nataliya Stumila - Nataliya studied the art of filigree in Russia. She creates most of her pieces from stainless steel to keep her jewelry affordable. I loved her beautiful rings and pendants. I don't see much filigree because it's so difficult and time consuming. Excellent quality and design.

Stop back as I will be posting some more photos from the Cotton Pickin' Fair.

Visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

Sometimes you won't believe your eyes.

-Rob

Cool Bees Spring Arts Festival - Alpharetta, Georgia - part 2

April 28, 2012 - My last blog touched on the wonderful festival at Cool Bees Artwork and Gifts.

Now I'll talk about the Artists and Craftsmen that caught my eye (and nose):

Kristen Anderson of Silver Box Designs (pictured at left) - is a Metalsmith Jewelry Artist affiliated with the Tannery Row Artist Colony in Buford, GA. In addition to other techniques, Kristen makes delicate precious metal chainmaille earrings and necklaces. The way she combines rose, white, and yellow gold metal wire in chainmaille rings is striking, yet understated. Her pieces catch the eye initially, then brings the observer back for a second and third look, to more fully appreciate.

Collaborative painters Christine Canova and James Klippel of Collaborative Creations had on display several eye catching creations. This duo collaborated on some oils that included a Fly Fishing Stream scene, as well as one of my favorites, a bright blue and darkly contrasting stand-up bass player. As a musician myself, I could look at and appreciate that painting for quite a long time.

Unfortunatley I did not take a photo of Christine and James and their awesome paintings. But through a little cyber sleuthing, I found their extremely captivating Montana Mustangs painting from the site, www.mycreativeelement.com/ node/79.

Then Christine pointed out her arcylic on handmade rice paper painting. Wow! This piece featuring a dragon fly was Hot!

I've said before that in the craft of cold processed soap it sometimes has a look that only a mother could love. Well here is where Art and Craft tend to blend.

Karin Collins of The Lost Arts - (pictured below) Master Herbalist, and soap artist extrordinaire, had some beautiful, and (Wait, let me take one more whiff - Ahhhhh), FRAGRANT soaps. These were absolutely wonderful. If you haven't tried handmade soaps yet, you've got to Check it out.

Beth Allen of Infinite Possibilities also caught my eyes and nose. Her soaps which included cool names like, Lovely Lavender, Dead Sea Mud Bar, and Decadent Brownie Bar were also not only beautifully fragrant, and wonderful on the skin, but appealing to the eye.

Terry of Cool Bees put together a wonderful cadre of Fine Artists and Craftsmen. I also really liked the mixed media paintings and drawings of Beth Ellen Cohen; the cool felt covered soap of Libby White, the innovative and interesting Tooth Fairy pottery of Cathy Mozley, and the long burning handmade soy candles of Jamie Casstevens of Sweet Wick Candle Company.

Folks, visit Brothers-Handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Cool Bees Spring Arts Festival - Alpharetta, Georgia

April 28, 2012 - Sometimes I feel like Guy Fieri, the host of the TV show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. I read or hear about a small craft or art festival, and am compelled to map it out on Google, and stop in to check it out.

And you know what? The vast majority of the times, I find absolutely wonderful treasures within. Artists and Craftsmen that through years of practice, innovative collaboration, trial and error, and study, have honed a skill or adeptness for their creative side.

That certainly was the case today when I stopped in at the Cool Bees Spring Arts Festival in Alpharetta, Georgia.

This is only the second festival that proprietor Terry Henner Stevens (pictured at top) has put on at her Cool Bees shop. After all, she's only had Cool Bees open since last July (about 10 months). But she has some connections to local Artists and Craftsmen, as well as an eye for quality. And they were there today.

It looked to be about 40 or so exhibitors. She said she was leaning more toward an "Art" festival as opposed to "Craft", but there was some of both. In fact, I know Joel and I sometimes scratch our heads trying to differentiate between the two. For the two hours I was there in the late afternoon, I'd say there was an Ok crowd. It wasn't packed, but it was steady. In most situations we see, it's a matter of time, bringing back the festival year after year where customers come to anticipate the festival. Then wowing them with quality Artists, Craftsmen, and products.

My eyes (and nose) were definitely captured by several of the exhibitors. Stop back tomorrow for my next blog when I'll be talking about a few of those that really got my attention. Folks like Metalsmith Jeweler Kristen Anderson, Collaborative painters, Christine Canova and James Klippel. Also accomplished Soap (dare I say Artists) Karin Collins and Beth Allen. I'll tell you why I consider their works, Art.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Druid Hills Artist Market - Atlanta, GA

April 22, 2012 - You just never know what you're going to find at your small local Art Festivals. But almost every time, I have been pleasantly surprised.

I expected to only be attending the Callanwolde Pottery Guild Market show at a Lutheran church tucked away in the beautiful leafy neighborhood of Druid Hills in Atlanta. I quickly realized, the Callanwolde Potters exhibit was only part of a much larger (but still relatively small after the Dogwood Festival) local craft and art show. In fact, the Druid Hills Artists Market is an annual show organized by the Druid Hills Civic Association and has been going on for eight years now.

The 40 or so participating Artists represented a myriad of artistic formats including: fiber, photography, pottery and ceramic, jewelry, paintings, and wood. Cool - let's see what's inside!

Pamela Welty of Victoria's Buttons (pictured) creates delicate jewelry (mostly necklaces and earrings) from vintage buttons. Her designs are clean, and focus the attention on the vintage button. I loved the history and stories that came with each piece.

Steven W. Purdon Watercolors (pictured at top) were quite remarkable. His colors were bright, and subjects interesting and well proportioned. I also really admired his shadowing and depth perception. We had a little chat, and we may see some Purdon Watercolors on BH in the near future.

Michael Keiley of The SeventhString Guitar Strap - Leather Artist that these days specializes in very high quality guitar straps. But this guy also creates a variety of other high quality leather items including: colorful purses, an iPad case, and (drum roll please) Michael created the leather journal used in the Academy Award winning film, Dances With Wolves, with Kevin Costner. He reproduces them and has them for sale today as well.

Finally, and the original reason I went to this show in the first place,

Ingrid Hogan and Kathy Phelps - Potters from Callanwolde Fine Arts Center (pictured). Kathy (right) has over 15 years experience creating fine ceramic pieces. I loved her whispy weed designs. Nice delicate cups, bowls, and teapots.

Ingrid had quite a variety of ceramic pieces. I really liked her beautiful salt fired pieces, as well as her porcelain entries.

That wrapped up my weekend of fine craft and art shows. Lots of really great designs, and creative, innovative, and fresh ideas were swirling all around the metro ATL. Stop back to see where I'll be next weekend, searching out treasures of local Artists and Craftsmen.

Until then folks, remember the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows and Art Centers if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Dogwood Festival - Atlanta, Georgia - Part 2

April 20, 2012 - Alright, I already talked about how cool the Dogwood Festival of Atlanta was, and about the many high quality Artists and Craftsmen present. So let me jump right in and highlight a few Artists that I thought were exceptional:

Coppersmith Robert Taylor is a Roycroft Master Artisan. Roycroft, which means "King's house" or "King's craft" was a community of artists that originated as a print shop in East Aurora, New York in 1895. Roycrofters eventually included furniture makers, metalsmiths, leathersmiths, and bookbinders. A common characteristic of Roycrofters is their high degree of skill in their craft.

Robert is one of only five Roycroft Master Coppersmiths in the U.S. A close inspection of his work is stunning. Every spec of the copper surface has been touched and crafted. The detail is spectacular.



David O'Neal of Rising Moon Flutes makes beautifully handcrafted instruments.

David showed me the ease at which one with little or no musical ability, can produce a very nice sound. He uses a variety of highly attractive woods, and even encrusts some with turquoise, and typically includes a matching or complementary tuning piece. Really quite interesting and eye-catching.

Elaine's of Sarasota makes purses, lamps, and clocks out of Cigar boxes. Elaine seeks out interesting high quality wooden cigar boxes. Then she brings the cigar boxes alive with fabricated hardware, leather, chain, beads, stones, and many more elements. Her purses are lined and trimmed with designer fabrics. Her products are both interesting and well made.

Ceramic Art by Tonya Hedgeman integrates textured and non-textured surfaces into flowing contemporary freestanding ceramic sculptures. Her pieces are generally a textured earth tone matte finished exterior, contrasted with bright glossy internal colors that burst out through openings in her sculptures. They're so rich with detail, that the observer can spend quite a bit of time processing the entire piece.

There were so many great Artists at this show. Christopher Taylor Timberlake had captivating matte finished mixed precious metal jewelry. Ray and Amy Bridewell had their fabulous crystals that they grow and use in their jewelry designs (covered them at Virginia Highlands). Brian Beam Pottery had wonderful pieces that I have on our Facebook page www.Facebook.com/BrothersHandmadeLLC. And some of the best Gourd artwork I've seen from Beth & Steve Radtke.

The Dogwood Festival was a show not to be missed.

Visit Brothers-Handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Dogwood Festival - Atlanta, Georgia

April 20, 2012 - There's a reason the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been going on since 1936.

It is just that good.

For the record though, the juried Art Show didn't become part of the festival until the 1970s. (Read more of its history here.

What brings me to this festival are the 200 plus high quality Artists and Craftsmen (not the $15-$20 parking fee).

Piedmont Park is kind of like Central Park in New York City. It's the big open grassy park with a backdrop of the Atlanta skyscrapers. It's a cool place. They had a continual lineup of bands playing on the big stage with many tables, food vendors, and alcoholic beverages.

With clear skies and temperatures in the low 70's, can you say "Perfect Weather"?

Let's have a sampling of the The Standout Artists:

Louis and Christine Colombarini of Cosmic Clay Studio (pictured) Funny that Louis opened an account with BH probably a year ago. But, you know, he's got to be in the right mindset to get going. Well I say, "Louis, let's get on with it. Your pottery, and it's cosmic glaze "Is Hot", and needs to get out to more eyes in the world. Louis uses sawdust in a reduction environment technique that yields this patina look to his pottery. Totally cosmic. Look for Cosmic Clay on Brothers-Handmade soon.

Teresa Merriman of Mind's Eye Journals (pictured at top) makes these awesome rough cut leather journals with rough cut pages. The leather so soft and beautiful. They look like something from the 18th century wild west. Very cool.

Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand of Pottery Boys Clay Studios (Glenn pictured) had some of the most spectacular Crystalline glazed pottery I've seen. This technique is a very slow arduous process that seldom reveals itself until removed from the kiln. We've written a little about it on our Pottery Glazes page. High quality pieces like Glenn and Kieth bring to the party give great credibility to the Dogwood festival.

In my next blog edition, I'll be sticking with the Dogwood Festival, and highlight some more standout Artists like: Master Roycroft Artisan - Robert Taylor (what you don't know what Roycroft is? Come back and find out, because Mr. Taylor is one of very few). Also Wood Flute maker, David O'Neal, Pottery Sculptor Tonya Hedgeman, and the whimsical Cigarbox Art of Elaine's of Sarasota.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Acworth Art Fest - Acworth, Georgia - Part 2

April 14, 2012 - As I mentioned in my last blog, this is the first year for the Acworth Art Fest. However, it is organized by the very able hands of two ladies, Frances Schube and Cindy Flynn of Splash Festivals, here in Georgia. Both the feedback from Artists I have spoken to, and my own observations indicate consistent, well promoted, and well organized events from Splash.

Now on to the standout Artists -

Jill Sharp of Blue Piranha Jewelry (pictured) has a real talent for matching beautiful cabochons with simple yet eye catching contemporary silver settings or bezels. A self described lover of colorful stones, and ... shoes. Another thing I find while peeking at her blog, is that she's an awesome writer. Love her silver designs, and hope to hear, see, and write more about her journey.

For my fellow Atlantans, Jill is scheduled to be at Inman Park April 28-29. Check it out.

Maryelin Zapata of 4M Leather Design had on display some light, stylish leather bracelets, belts, and watch bands. Very detailed work with a delicate touch. Her exhibit was drawing a nice crowd for most of the time I was at the show. I had to come back just to chat with Maryelin so as not to interrupt the significant interest in her work by festival goers.

Kathryn Riechert Jewelry OMG - Let's start with SCAD graduate in Metals and Jewelry. My observation of SCAD graduates, is that they are not afraid to experiment with wild and innovative designs. Their techniques are well executed, resulting in very clean, fresh pieces. Clearly, characteristics of Kathryn's work.

Kathryn produces a wide variety of designs. Many combine a silver platform with brightly colored enamel inclusions (like a little red flower). But I think one of the coolest techniques she uses is weaving gold wire through holes in a piece of silver. Like I said, fresh, clean pieces.

I hope to catch her again at the Dunwoody Art Festival (metro Atlanta) May 12-13, 2012. But I see she also will be at the Shadyside Festival (near Pittsburgh, PA) August 25-26, 2012. (BH ♥ Shadyside).

Ok, I'm off to the Dogwood Festival today (Piedmont Park, Atlanta).

See you at the show

And remember, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows and Art Centers if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Acworth Art Fest - Acworth, Georgia

April 14, 2012 - Not bad for it's first year. Of course, promoter Splash Festivals is not exactly new at this game. Frances Schube and Cindy Flynn, founders of Splash, always receive accolades for their other festivals including the Dunwoody Art Festival, and the Norcross Art Fest.

At Acworth, on Saturday, the crowd was fairly substantial. Not totally packed, but decent. The weather was perfect.

One Artist noted that, early in the morning, when they setup at some festivals, they see a lot of people walking their dogs, out, jogging, and the like indicating a lot of people moving about near the location of the festival. But they did not see that at Acworth, indicating that many people had to travel to the festival as opposed to stepping out their front door and attending the festival.

It may simply be a matter of time until this festival becomes a destination for festival goers.

Notable standout Artists and Craftsmen:

Kim "Berlin" Randall of K. Berlin Metalsmith had some beautiful fabricated, textured silver jewelry. But one of her coolest pieces are what she calls Twiddle Spinner Rings. Surrounding a textured band, Berlin wraps a thinner ring, typically adorned with texture and perhaps small stones. She flares the ends of the wider band which keeps the smaller spinner ring in place, but allows it to spin freely. Very cool, and beautiful artistry.

All in the family - is what came to mind when I saw the exhibit of Dane Gamble of Method Glassworks (pictured). I thought, "Hmm, a glass artist with the name Gamble." Sure enough, Mr. Dane Gamble is the father of one of our Featured Artists, Scott Gamble. In addition to the yard glass ornaments and decorative glass balls produced by Dane, were several pieces including my favorite, the Lichen Bowl (red bowl in foreground) produced by son Scott Gamble. Love the vibrant colors captured in art glass.

Eva of Evening Shade Pottery makes eye catching stoneware pottery with "faces." I should have grabbed a photo, but you can see them for yourself at her website, evenginshadepottery.com. The facial expressions captured in her clay are wonderful. They put a smile on your face. Masterfully finished products. Kudos to Eva.

Since I really enjoyed many of the Artists exhibiting at this show, I'm going to spend a couple blogs featuring them.

In my next blog, I'll cover the contemporary jewelry of Jill Sharp; the leather designs of Maryelin Zapata; and the innovative and captivating jewelry of SCAD graduate Kathryn Riechert.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft shows and Art Centers if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob

Chastain Arts Center Jewelry Show - Atlanta, Georgia

April 7, 2012 - Community art centers abound - so this particular Saturday, I made my way to the Chastain Jewelry Trunk Show at the Chastain Arts Center, in Atlanta.

Tucked away in a woodsy park area of Atlanta's Chastain Park, these 100 year old buildings provide a rustic back drop for a quaint, relaxed student/artist Jewelry show.

Chastain Arts Center provides many classes for folks of all ages interested in not only Jewelry making, but Pottery, Drawing and Painting, Framing, and Digital arts. And the Instructors come with some pretty impressive resumes.

Debra Lyn Gold may sound familiar to some readers of this blog. Debra is a fantastic contemporary Jewelry Artist and Instructor at Chastain. I have mentioned her in my blog about the Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show that she organizes and promotes in November (2,3, 2012). Her sterling silver and anodized aluminum jewelry is truly eye catching.

Nancy Mcaninch, Precious Metal Artist, was displaying some beautiful silver and sea glass bracelets and earrings. I just love the contrast of the staid sterling silver against the bright colors of glass. Really cool. I wanted to chat with her and snap off a photo, but her customers prevented me from getting in there.

Joyce N. Ryan of Eye Catchers had some really neat and innovative designs. Her center pieces are these metal fabricated accessories that attach to garments by use of a magnetic clamp. They can be used to stylishly hold eye glasses and ornamental scarves. I also really liked her necklaces that can be adjusted to a variety of lengths.

Ruth Rainey of Cat Wink Studio was displaying some fabulous silver and copper pieces finished with semi precious stones. She has definitely got an eye for design. Loved her pieces.

Louella Simpson is an example of the something I've seen many times. An outstanding Artist in one format can often easily transfer their artistic skills to another format. Louella not only excels at woven beadwork, but also enamels including cloisonné. My favorites were her bead work (but I also loved her enameled copper leaf earrings).

Peg Harkrader art & design rounds out the list. Peg brings some beautifully hand fabricated patina finished copper pendants and earrings. Often she will match a beautiful cabochon with a silver design. Her pieces are quite graceful.

Folks, the most unbelievable things are at your local fine art or craft centers if you just have a look. Also visit Brothers-handmade.com often, and

"Come See What Amazing Things Your Neighbors Are Making"©

-Rob