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.