October 24, 2011

Thank You for a very successful Mug Trade-In Event

Thanks to our many generous customers, our recent MUG TRADE-IN EVENT was a wonderful success! Customers celebrated the creativity of great American artists during American Craft Week by bringing in commercially made mass-produced mugs and canned goods to then receive in-store discounts off of brand new, handmade-in-America mugs.

The mass-produced mugs were donated to Wonderland charitable thrift store and the canned goods were donated to The Pettengill House Food Pantry. Both organizations were very appreciative of the donations. 

As always, everything in Valerie's Gallery is handmade in the United States. We celebrate our many talented artists who work hard to create decorative and functional objects to enhance our homes, lives, and country. The purpose of American Craft Week is to publicize and display the creations of these hardworking artists. 

October 6, 2011

Mug Trade-in Event

Help Valerie's celebrate the creativity of great American artists during American Craft Week with our Mug Trade-in Event. Bring in a commercially made mass-produced mug between October 7th and 16th and receive 20% off a brand new handmade-in-America mug of your choice. The commercial mugs will be donated to a local charitable thrift store. To continue with the giving mood you can get an additional 10% off your handmade mug (for a total of 30%) if you bring in a canned good in addition to your commercial mug. Two mug limit per person.

Top row left to right: Natural Elements (first and second), Lorraine Dilmore, Dirty Dog Pottery. Bottom row left to right: Clay in Motion, Dirty Dog Pottery, Purple Sage Pottery (third and fourth), Dirty Dog Pottery
Price Range: $20-$30 (before discount)

As always, everything in Valerie's Gallery is handmade in the United States. We celebrate our many talented artists who work hard to create decorative and functional objects to enhance our homes, lives, and country. The purpose of American Craft week is to publicize and display the creations of these hardworking artists.

Come join us in this celebration and see the personal touch something as simple as a handmade mug can make in your home.

Read more about American Craft Week and find other participants here.

July 6, 2011

Art at Home

We always love hearing about how our customers display or use their purchases from the gallery once they get home! One of our most popular items in the store are glass cabinet knobs made by Smart Glass in Georgia. These brightly colored knobs brighten up furniture and are easy to install. Carol from Newburyport recently shared with us some photos of how she used a few to add some color to a bathroom cabinet...they even match the tile in the shower perfectly! Thanks Carol!
~Amanda at Valerie's Gallery

June 30, 2011

ArtWalk and David Magdalenski

If you’re familiar with the Newburyport and north shore area of Boston, you know there is no shortage of talented and creative people living and working in the region. Visitors flock to the coastline to experience the history and culture that makes New England unlike any other part of the country. The summer is a unique time to visit because, well, it’s summer! When a good portion of your year consists of snow, below freezing temperatures and rain, seeing that thermostat reach above seventy degrees makes us here in Newburyport appreciate even more the beauty we surrounded by in this historic town.

What better timing then to host the June ArtWalk downtown with other galleries and shops. We were fortunate to have artist David Magdalenski join us this past Saturday in the gallery, to demonstrate how he creates his beautiful pieces. David works with acrylics and many of his paintings are of recognizable streets and landmarks in Newburyport and the surrounding area. To see art hanging in a gallery is one thing, but to watch the artist in the process of creating makes you a part of its history. It was great to have David here to answer questions and share his talent with everyone, and we enjoyed welcoming old and new faces to Valerie’s Gallery! Stop in or check out our website to see more of David's work!
~Amanda at Valerie's Gallery

David gets a little help from some visitors!

April 7, 2011

ArtWalk is next Saturday with Jim Conley

Jim Conley, silversmith and goldsmith, will be doing a jewelry-making demonstration from 3 to 6 pm at Valerie's Gallery. There will also be a wine and cheese reception for Jim from 6 to 8 pm. Please join us in this special event and also visit the artwalk website to see what else will be taking place around town.

March 29, 2011

Dichroic glass magnets

Jane from New York City sent us this picture showing her use of the colorful dichroic glass magnets that she has purchased from us when she visits Newburyport. As a calligrapher of beautiful stationery and invitations, Jane has a trio of inspiration boards at her desk as she creates. Thanks for sharing the picture Jane! (I too have an inspiration board above my desk using dichroic glass pushpins also made by Nancy Tang of Maine.)

This clock looks right at home

One of our favorite craftspeople is Leonie Lacouette from New York and her handmade copper clocks. This picture was emailed to us by Nora the other day. "I bought this clock from you about 3 years ago when we moved into our condo. It sits on a wall between the kitchen and dining area, and needless to say, I've received many compliments" Thanks for sharing Nora! And I love the warm wood cabinets with the clock.

February 16, 2011

New Work from Kathleen Buchanan and David Magdalenski

We just received new pieces from Kathleen Buchanan to get us thinking about spring! Kathleen is a printmaker from Maine who creates peaceful and beautiful collagraphs.
Stop in or visit our website for a more examples of Kathleen's work!

April Fields

Spring Return

Two at Sea

We're also pleased to announce an artist new to the gallery, David Magdalenski of Amesbury, MA! David works with acrylics, watercolor paper and canvas to capture scenes from many recognizable places in the Newburyport area. Stop in or visit our website to see more examples of David's work!

Newburyport from Salisbury State Park

Sunday Morning at Todd's Farm

Salt Marsh

November 17, 2010

Lots of new ceramic bowls and mugs by James Guggina

What a splash of color in this new group of James Guggina pottery that just came in! And everytime I see his pottery, I'm amazed at his technique of carving designs into the black border and his use of many different patterns. Right now, I'm finishing up a pottery class at Exeter Fine Crafts in NH and I've tried just a little bit of this sgraffito carving technique and it was impossible for me to have that kind of a steady hand and precision. Six colors, hundreds of black and white patterns!

November 5, 2010

Limited supply on quotation bracelets

One of our most popular jewelry collections has been the quotation bangles by Nomi of New Mexico. Unfortunately, Nomi is retiring from making jewelry this fall. If you have been thinking of purchasing one for yourself or as a gift, stop by soon. We have received our final order and we have put all the ones we have up on our website.

October 15, 2010

New jewelry by Jim Conley

Here are some photographs of Jim Conley's newest pieces. Above, a sterling silver ring with an 18K yellow bezel set Gel opal and 18K crowned disc accents, middle picture is a sterling silver ring with an 18K yellow bezel set pink sapphire, and a sterling silver 1.25" side raised bracelet. And, Jim is here on Saturday mornings from 10 am to 12:30 for custom jewelry and repairs.

October 8, 2010

Pretty new lockets

Do you have a photo you cherish that you'd love to have in a locket? We now have three new handmade lockets. They are cast in pewter. Pictured above, two designs hold one photograph and one design below holds two photographs. They are priced $36-$48. If you would like to purchase one, call or visit our website.

August 23, 2010

New Cassavoy & Co Jewelry

We are happy to have some new pieces from Jamie Cassavoy in the store and on our website! Located in Georgia, Jamie's jewelry is as unique as it is timeless and is special for any occasion. Paired with jeans and a blouse or with an evening dress for a night on the town, any of Cassavoy & Co.'s pieces add excitement to an outfit!

This sterling silver wire necklace with chrysoprase is a very organic and delicate piece and is even more stunning in person!

An oxidized sterling silver necklace with handmade orange blossom petals is a unique twist on the more commonly found sterling silver.

This beautiful earrings and necklace set of pearl and oxidized sterling silver is gorgeous and would be a great gift for someone special...or for yourself!

We have many other pieces in the store and online so make sure to stop in or visit our website!

August 5, 2010

League of NH Craftsmen Fair starts Saturday at Lake Sunapee

If you've never been to this crafts fair, it's wonderful. So much to see and demonstrations, special clothing, outdoor sculpture and home exhibits. Over 200 craft booths: jewelry, wood accessories, pottery, fiber arts, prints and more. It runs August 7 through 15, 10-5 daily. Check out this link for details.

July 19, 2010

Beautiful lace bowls

Visiting Newburyport one evening, potter Joy Friedman stopped by our gallery (and peered in the window as we were closed). Lucky for me, she sent me a nice email and shared pictures of her work. Now having her lace bowls here in person, they are even more amazing. Wheel-thrown, stoneware, some with scalloped edges, individually pierced, one-of-a-kind. When she sits down to cut out a lace bowl, even though she may have a motif in mind, the rhythm and the design emerge spontaneously as she works. We just love these -- and they would make a special wedding present.

A long-awaited new potter

Many years ago I found James Guggina's pottery and began purchasing it for myself.  I was drawn to the colors and the overall look of the pottery. Some say it's a bit southwestern, but I think if you're a color junkie at all, you'll be drawn to it. The colors are clear (not muddy) and bright. Perfect for a happy kitchen! Each piece has two colors (inside and outside) and a unique black sgraffito detail. For various reasons, we weren't able to carry it until now. So, today, I am very excited that we will now be carrying some of his work here. I hope you like it too!

*What is Sgraffito? It's the technique of incising through a layer of slip to the clay below. In James' case, this design is different on each piece. If you look closely, you'll see he has dozens of designs and each bowl and plate has a different pattern.

July 8, 2010

Lauren Pollaro earrings

Lauren Pollaro is a well-known NH artist who creates who creates beautiful one-of-a-kind wall sculpture and "wearable art" jewelry. We've updated our website to include new earrings we have in the store. They are so intricate; many are paper assemblages, while others include metalwork or resin. If you are going to the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen's Fair in Sunapee, Lauren will be there and you can see her wall sculptures there.

A new store video

It seems that more and more businesses have videos now on their website and lucky for me, my husband Bill has a film and video production business and he helped me to produce this short video introduction to my store. In addition to this new one, we've done lengthy in-person video interviews with Matthew Smith and Iris Minc of Purple Sage Pottery.

July 6, 2010

Q & A with Colleen Kidder

This is part of an ongoing series we're doing to introduce you to our artists. Colleen Kidder is a local artist from Ipswich who has a background in art history, textile and jewelry design and owned a store "Eliza Gray's Goods" in Ipswich for many years which featured household goods and her paintings. She's passionate about art and continues to take classes and workshops.
Q: What medium are you working in and for how long?
A. Right now I am working a lot with oil paints. It has always has been one of my favorite mediums. There is nothing like the feeling of it gliding across the canvas!

Q: What mediums did you work in before (if any)?
A. I tend to go back and forth working with different mediums. When I am traveling I like to bring my oil pastels and gouache. Being so portable this allows me to be spontaneous and capture a moment in time that I want to remember. Often I will do a sketch and then bring it back to my Studio and work from it with my oil paints.
Q: Why this subject matter?
A. I am most comfortable painting landscapes, marshes and beaches. Being outdoors and absorbing the natural world brings me a sense of calm and a feeling of peace. I try to transfer the beauty that I see onto my canvas so that I can share it with the viewer.

Q: Describe your workspace and how you get into the mindset:
A. My studio is a two story barn structure that we built on our property. It has wonderful views of fields and farm life. It's a place where I can go into my own world and create without distraction. Sometimes I'll meditate in silence before I begin to work...and then while I'm painting I'll play music that encourages me to put motion into my brushstrokes. Sometimes I even find myself dancing with the brushes in my hands! Emotion is an important part of painting for me.

Q: What hangs on your walls and/or what fine craft do you enjoy at home?
A. Over the year my husband and I have collected several landscape paintings that we enjoy. We share a mutual appreciation for paintings that have a simple composition and have an impressionistic feeling. A few of the pieces that we own were painted by woman artists in the 1920's which of course are very special to me. We also have paintings by Charles Woodbury who taught in Ogunquit, Maine at about that same time. These works are all a source of inspiration for me. Vintage pottery from the turn of the last century is also something that I have collected through the years. The matte glazes,and simple shapes and forms complement the paintings on the walls in our home.

June 30, 2010

Floorcloth demonstration

During this past Saturday's ArtWalk on June 26, we were fortunate to have Eileen Whalen of Newburyport, here to show us the steps involved in painting floorcloths. Eileen sells her floorcloths and painted furniture at the store.

She begins with a pre-bound heavy canvas which she paints with an interior latex paint. Eileen then sponges and stipple brushes a darker blue acrylic paint on it to create a watery background.

In this next step (above) Eileen lays a mylar stencil she's created wtih a stencil burner over the entire floorcloth. You can see from previous uses which colors are generally used where.

Here, employee Amanda Breen applies the paint to one of the fish designs. Eileen then continues with other customers' help to add additional stencil overlays to create dimension to the little fish and then adds seaweed and bubble designs sporadically around.

The finished floorcloth! When fully dry, the floorcloth is then painted with four coats of a marine polyurethane to make the design waterproof and wear very well underfoot. Contact us for more information and pictures of available designs at 978-499-8444.

June 23, 2010

Q & A Interview with Deb DeCicco

This is the first part of an ongoing series we'll be doing to introduce you to our artists. Deb DeCicco is printmaker who lives in Jaffrey, NH and creates floral woodblock prints using the Japanese 'hanga' method of printing without a mechanical press. A little background here is I used to work at the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough, NH where Deb ran the school program. When I opened my gallery here in Newburyport, I originally sold beautiful bags that Deb made. She is a multi-talented person and I excited to share more of her art with you.

Q: What medium are you working in and for how long?
I’ve been making woodblock prints for 13 years and have been drawing for over 45 years.

Q: What mediums did you work in before (if any)?
I’ve worked in drawing, watercolor, collage, fiber art, book arts, and printmaking.

Q: Why this subject matter?
I draw flowers and plants because I am constantly amazed and inspired by the infinite beauty, and the infinite shapes of the natural world. I’m also interested in the way the flowers and plants reflect the circle of life and our human condition. On just one iris plant you can see one flower in full bloom, one curled and dying, one bud just coming out of the leaf and one bud that you know will burst open tomorrow. You see the strength of the leaves holding everything together at the base and you know that the roots are there, soaking up the water and nutrients. You can see flowers reaching out, turning away, bending over, struggling for enough light, happily blooming, clustered together or beautifully alone.

Q: Describe your workspace and how you get into the mindset:
The drawing is done any time and any place where there’s a plant or flower that I want to draw. I can ignore whatever’s going on around me because I’m totally absorbed in describing the shapes of the plant on the paper. The prints are done in a small studio in my apartment. The variety of processes involved, drawing, prepping the blocks and paper, carving, proofing and printing, framing and of course the administrative, marketing parts, are usually all going on at once with different images. This prevents boredom and gives me purposeful activity no matter how much time I have at the moment. The morning is my best time for critical decisions on composition, value, fine tuning the carving and color. The evenings seem better for printing when I’m slowing down and can be more careful.

Q: What hangs on your walls and/or what fine craft do you enjoy at home?
My home is filled with paintings, prints, drawings, pottery, books of poetry and jewelry made by my friends.

June 21, 2010

New pieces just in from Kathy Bransfield Jewelry

We've just received a large collection of Kathy Bransfield jewelry.

Pictured are:
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” –Eleanor Roosevelt.
"Stillness is the greatest revelation"
"Peace" written out in 17 different languages

We love her pieces and the quotations she selects, funny, sweet and mostly inspiring. To see all her pieces, go to our website.

June 17, 2010

Now open Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings!

We're now open Thursday, Friday & Saturday evenings till 9 pm for the summer season!

June 15, 2010

Collagraph prints by Kathleen Buchanan

I just love these by Maine printmaker Kathleen Buchanan.  What is a collagraph print you're wondering? ... It's a type of printmaking where you start with a solid board such as masonite, and cut out shapes for your elements from some type of heavy paper. Then an acrylic gel medium is painted to add texture and details. This creates a single plate for part of the image. With Kathleen's prints, she usually creates three to four plates for each print (one plate per color). Then printer's inks are applied generously and then wiped off of the surface (leaving the ink to stay in some areas). The paper is slightly dampened and placed over each plate and the pair (painted plate with paper) is run through a press together. Kathleen limits her editions to 20 to 50. Her prints have a wonderful toned-down feeling about them and we're excited to show them.