Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All That Glistens, a Jewelry Feature!

Meet Kat Glazewski from Kat Jewelry Design...
I am 24, an Art Student graduate with a fondness for the jewelry and culture of the vikings and Anglo-Saxons, and super-modern streamlined design. I have a myriad of hobbies and a very few close friends, and one cat who *obviously* rules the house. I'm still trying to find my permanent place in the world. Chicago is starting to look pretty good.

Growing up, I had several artistic role models. My Mom had art all over the house, and one of my Aunts liked to engage me in kid's crafts when I came to visit. I believe in the Output Requires Input Theory; I need creative input in the form of music, books, new sights and tastes, in order to stimulate creative output.

For my creative process, I'm a big fan of variation. I like to start out with a process, then change the color, or one material, or a part of the method. One reason Viking Wire Weave appeals to me so much is that there are so many different results you can achieve with one basic technique. In studio jewelry, I was very fond of the Lost-Wax casting process, and wax-molding, because the wax doesn't always mold right and the casting doesn't always flow right, and then you get these results that are half what you expected and half something totally new.

Meet Alyssa Yeager from Guidestone Jewelry...
I'm a musician with the band Telling Point (we play some locally, but mostly tour the festival circuit) and a certified music therapist. I practiced at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital for several years before deciding to pursue my art and music full time.

I love pursuing creative avenues from jewelry design to songwriting to abstract art. One of the nicest things about my business is that it allows me to combine working with stones to design jewelry, writing a story (description) about each piece, and finding ways to help people in difficult life situations. Being in any creative field also increases your time spent with other creative and thoughtful people, which is a great bonus!
I look at situations where people are struggling in their lives and design pieces to support them through their own process. For example, a good friend of mine was getting ready to leave her job and begin a new position that she was anxious about. I wanted to design a piece that would help her to remain calm and take things day by day, instead of allowing herself to feel overwhelmed by all the changes that were happening at once. I looked up a variety of stones that had calming properties and chose African Jade to create the piece "Flow". 
Meet Elizabeth Beeson from Quite Clever Jewelry...
I am a bench jeweler who works in sterling silver, brass and copper. I love what I do and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be creative in my everyday life. I started my business after losing an art teacher position due to budget cuts in my district. As art teaching jobs were being cut across the state, I decided to try my hand at making and selling my creations. I put together a studio and started creating metal jewelry, not knowing if I could actually make a living. I have learned so much since I started and, even though I have struggled at times, I am so proud that I am able to support myself with my business
I get my inspiration from everywhere, though lately I have been creating inspiration boards for different lines of jewelry. I usually post images, fabrics, textures or anything that may give me inspiration and direction for a certain line of jewelry pieces. My latest line is inspired by Art Deco patterns and the idea of multiplication and distortion. My inspiration changes from instance to instance. Sometimes I will even dream a design and then wake up and hurry to the studio to see if I can capture it. Other times I may stumble onto something successful through mishaps with other pieces. I always try to keep an open mind to the possibilities within each piece, and I'm always willing to change designs over time to make them more versatile or fitting with my aesthetic. Being a former art teacher helps as well, because I tend to constantly critique my work from the perspective of a teacher, focusing on art elements and principles.
I started my own business after I was laid-off from teaching. There were no art teacher openings in my area. I decided to take a leap of faith and try something I had always wanted to do, making a living with my art. I was lucky to book a huge show in my first year and my business took off from there. It has been a whirlwind of activity ever since, and I learn something new every day. I feel so lucky to be able to do something I love. Even though I don't make much money, I love creating and there is a certain pride in being totally self-sufficient.
Meet Kaley Kleinman from Odds and Ends...
Creating has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Nothing makes me happier than working with my hands to create a finished product that is completely unique. I like to try lots of different things, and so I named my jewelry business “Odds and Ends.” During high school, I took a woodworking class and a metals class, which were, by far, my favorite high school courses. What brought me back to jewelry (I messed around with it when I was much younger) was my fascination with sea glass. I have been collecting it my whole life in hopes of making a giant mosaic table one day. I’m not sure where I first saw sea glass jewelry, but I started to make wire wrapped pendants and earrings, and the rest of the jewelry I make began there. 
So far, my favorite item I have created is my Celtic Trinity Necklace.  I’ve always been really attracted to Celtic, and medieval styles.  Celtic knot work is absolutely beautiful, and looks awesome with my favorite gemstone, labradorite. 
The advice I have to others about starting a business is just to jump in and start doing it.  I’ve found that I learn the best through experience and, unfortunately, mistakes.  I learn tricks all the time that help me improve upon what I do.  

Check out these vendors this winter at the 2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature 100 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Stewart's Caring Place, an organization that supports families touched by cancer.

2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, January 29, 2012, 10:00am-5:00pm
Wagner's Country Inn
30855 Center Ridge Rd. 
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Discovered Art- Artists Who Stumbled Upon Their Talents!

Meet Dani Penrod from Purses By Dani Marie...
My name is Danielle, but I have always been called Dani. From the time I was a child I have always been interested in art and nature. I went to college to be a graphic designer and once I graduated I decided that is not what I want to do. I then got more interested into my craft, sewing. I recently moved to the Cleveland area, where I have had more time to do what I love!
Work can be pretty stressful sometimes. If its not too late when I get home, I will sit down at my sewing machine and try to come up with new designs. I do a lot of custom orders, so a lot of the time my customers come up with new designs for me.
I got started in the business as a Christmas gift for a few friends one year. I bought canvas bags and painted on them. They loved them so much, I started making more. I, eventually, decided I wanted to make my own bags. So, I purchased a cheap, little sewing machine and purse pattern and taught myself how to sew. I showed some of the girls that I worked with my latest creation and they all wanted one. Thats when I decided I wanted to start selling my bags.

Meet James & Angela from Pictured Naturally...
Pictured Naturally is a husband and wife team that grew from a shared passion for capturing people and images from a unique perspective. We began our journey of finding "letter art" while thinking of something unique to give to our wedding party. We love to travel and explore new places, and no adventure is complete without finding a new "letter" to photograph. Our desire was to find a way for our customers to feel involved in the art process and therefore provide them with all the various letters to choose from to create their own personalized piece of art! We have recently expanded our business to include photography sessions ranging from infants and maternity to weddings! We are excited about this new journey and feel our ability to look at things from a unique angle help to produce images that will not only be photos of people but art that our customers will want to display!!
Our creativity stems from each other. We feed off of each other and truly do work well as a team! It is inspiring working along someone who has the same passion as you do and we are blessed that that person is also our spouse!

We love to travel, new places and scenery inspire our creativity! We love to peruse the city, architecture and nature to find lines and shapes that resemble letters. When combined they form words and names. We love looking at something you would normally pass and seeing art. For example: most people drive under traffic lights everyday, but when we pass under that same traffic light, we see the letter "E". 
Our advice to others who are looking to start their own business-If you have a passion for something, persue it!! There is nothing worse then living in regret and being in a job that you dislike 40 hours a week. Take advantage of your local Small business administration office, they are there to help small business owners and answer any questions you may have. Also your local bank is a good resource as most bank managers are knowledgeable about small businesses and can offer advice free of charge!

Meet Alanna Maki from Peach Blossom Cosmetics...
My name is Alanna, I am 23 years old. I make soap, lotion and bath fizzies. I also like to do other crafts such as jewelry making, cross stitch or whatever happens to look like fun at the craft store! But, my main love is soap making. I get my creativity from my mom, and her side of the family. All the ladies (Mother, grandmother, great-grandmother....) have many creative talents, and most of them do/did fine needle work. My Mom always taught us (my brother and I) to not let anything limit our imagination or creativity. Ever since we were little kids, no matter how busy she was she always made some time to do crafts with us. I remember when I was 3 years old we got little boxes from the craft store and we sat outside at my grandparent's house and painted them.
For making soap I first have to melt the soap base I use. Then I add my colors and fragrance. If the design is intricate, (I'll use gingerbread men as an example), I have to pipe in all the little detail work, like the white "icing" edge, the eyes, mouth, buttons.... Then all that has to cool before I pour the rest of the soap. I can't pour it too hot or it will melt all the detail work, I can't pour too cold because then the soap gets clumpy. It takes a little time. Once it is cooled I take them out of the mold, wrap and package them.
In 5 years from now it would be nice if I could have my own store, or maybe be doing wholesale orders for gift shops and specialty stores. I still would want to do the craft shows because it is nice to meet other artisans, and talk to the people who come through the shows.

Check out these vendors this winter at the 2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature 100 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Stewart's Caring Place, an organization that supports families touched by cancer.

2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, January 29, 2012, 10:00am-5:00pm
Wagner's Country Inn
30855 Center Ridge Rd. 
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, at

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Unconventional Materials Create Amazing Art!

Meet Cynde from Cynde Designs...
After working in the interior design industry for 10 years, I decided to pursue a career in something that was more hands-on creative.  Previously, I  had attended Cuyahoga Community College and received my Associate of Applied Business Degree in Interior Design and returned to Kent State in pursuit of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  My concentration was in Jewelry/Metals, though I enjoyed working with other materials such as textiles, ceramics and glass. I really responded to classes in sculpture and jewelry/metals that encouraged the use alternative materials. I have always been inspired by artists that transform ordinary every-day materials into works of art, and much of my work is a result of that inspiration. I graduated from KSU in December 2010, and have been putting together my home-studio and currently have my work in three galleries/retail stores. I’m now starting to sell my jewelry direct through art and craft shows. 
I think I was born with a creative gene as I recall holding crafting sessions for my friends when I was a youngster.  I enjoyed making something from nothing and teaching others how to do the same.  I’ve always enjoyed art, music, and theatre from a young age.
My work is very often inspired by the materials I choose to use and the techniques I learned while attending KSU. Sometimes, I will sketch ideas and other times I just allow the material to decide what shape it will take.  My creative process is an evolution that changes as I manipulate the materials to see what they can and cannot do. For my senior show, I worked in 35mm negatives.  I chemically altered them which changed their color, then I cut and shaped them.  Combining them with either sterling silver or hand-made copper chain, I created unique, one-of-kind pieces of jewelry. 

Meet Joy & Hannah from Love Designs...
Hannah and I are stay at home Moms...Hannah Forster, my sister, has a newborn baby girl, Emma and a 3 year old boy, Aidan and I (Joy Bennington) have three boys...Joe 12, Ethan 9, and Liam 5. We love that we can design and create while also being home with our children. We hope to be able to open our own Handmade store one day...but, for now we are Mom's first : ) Your children grow so fast and before you know it...they are out doing their own thing so we plan on enjoying every minute of it! It is such a blessing to be a Mom.

We are inspired by nature, pattern, color, and of course by other artists of all kinds. We got started making jewelry when a family friend showed us how to make a simple bracelet out of gemstones and beads. We fell in love with the idea of creating something beautiful that you can wear everyday and is also affordable.
Along with our Love Designs Boutique on Etsy, we also have a beach glass store called Glass Sparrows and a custom bridal store called Christa Marie Boutique. Oh, and Love is our maiden name : ) Hannah and I are sisters, out of five children...and I am older than Hannah and she is the baby of the family. During the winter season we also create Eco Friendly T Shirt Scarves and we recently learned how to crochet so you will be seeing hand crochet scarves, fingerless gloves and hopefully soon...hand crochet hats! We were also just featured in the November 2011 edition of Cleveland Magazine on their Style page! 

Meet Jennifer from Upcycled Glass by Jennifer L. Worden...
What really drew me to glass was watching a PBS show when I was in high school about Dale Chihuly and his glass blowing studio. The things they created totally blew me away. That put the glass "bug" in my head. It wasn't until my husband and I purchased our home 11 years ago that I was able to work with glass. I started with stained glass mosaics. After a few years of making mosaics (and nearly covering every surface in my house with glass pieces), I decided it was time to expand. I bought a small kiln and started by fusing commercial flat glass. I enjoyed making jewelry but the glass was so expensive that I was afraid to experiment. I had a friend give me a cobalt blue bottle glass and she told me that since I work with glass I should make something out of it. That first bottle started me on the path of working exclusively with the recycled and re-purposed glass. The recycled glass has given me the freedom to experiment and I have learned from not only my successes, but also my failures. I love being able to show people the beauty in old glass.
I get ideas at random and inconvenient times, like while I'm driving. So i try and keep that thought until I can safely write it down. My work always evolves from that original idea. I take my original idea, create it and then expand on it. Nature is also a great inspiration for me. The architectural shapes of coral, ferns and fungus are referenced in some of my art pieces.
I got started selling when I had people commenting on the glass jewelry I would make and wear. Someone asked if I would make a pendant for his wife for Christmas. That gave me the confidence to start selling at shows and to branch out into creating art pieces.

Meet Susan from 11BoldStreet...
Now a polymer (clay) artist, I spent 27 years in the architectural and structural design fields, and retired from that world in 2007. I live in Toledo, with my husband of 32 years, a dog, two parrots and uncounted fish in our backyard water garden. 

I've always been "artistic/creative", but to specifically address my obsession with polymer, I saw Nan Roche's "The New Clay" in the early 90's and was immediately intrigued. I bought some Sculpey, the only polymer available in my part of the world at the time, and tried a few simple projects. Then, when I picked it up again a little over five years ago, all of the new brands, books, tools and the overall explosion of the polymer community took my breath away.
Coming from an architectural/structural design background, most designs are worked out in my head before I start. A majority of my pieces have depth and dimension, and I try to work that out ahead, regarding what needs to be done at what step. Some serendipity usually occurs during actual implementation :) 
Over the past year, I've started to work with metal clay and metal wire. My overall goals is to integrate more of both into my polymer designs. I'd like to improve my metal working skills, in general. I'd also like to approach some local galleries and boutiques, and maybe even the Toledo Art Museum about carrying my pieces!  

Check out these vendors this winter at the 2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature 100 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Stewart's Caring Place, an organization that supports families touched by cancer.

2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, January 29, 2012, 10:00am-5:00pm
Wagner's Country Inn
30855 Center Ridge Rd. 
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, at

Friday, November 11, 2011

What Do These Ladies Have in Common? Handmade Accessories!

Meet Linda Brewer-Korsi from The Dragonfly...
I worked in the utilities industry for 10 years before becoming the mother of twins 22 years ago. I had a daughter that was 11 at that time but I worked most of her growing up years until the twins were born. We lived on a ranch in Olmsted Township, Ohio & boarded horses & raised miniature horses for many years. My children are all grown & in college & it was time for a change for me. I decided to take some classes & found that I liked making jewelry. My husband & I enjoy the shows & meeting new people & I enjoy the pleasure people seem to get from my work. 
As far as what got me interested in jewelry, I love to wear it, I love to make it, I love the ways the stones feel when I work with them. I let the work kind of 'tell' me where it wants to go,if that makes sense. I usually have an idea when I buy a stone or bead but I just go with the flow so to speak when I sit down to work.
I started small & have worked very hard to keep my business going. I have a very supportive husband & without him I could not have done it.I am already starting to wholesale to stores & I would like to do more of that so I can spend more time working & less selling.

If I can do this anybody can, have faith in yourself.

Meet Megan Martin from Megdesigns...
I am 24 years old and from Knoxville, Tennessee. I moved to Columbus in June, and so far, have really enjoyed being in "the north". I moved to Columbus to be with my boyfriend of 9 years and to experience another part of the world, as I have lived in Knoxville my entire life. When I moved here, we got an apartment with an extra bedroom specifically known as my craft room. I have never had such a luxury, other than a corner in my bedroom back home. I really enjoy that room and having my own space to create and display my designs. I am basically always creating, and when I'm not, I'm thinking about it. I am known for never "relaxing" because even if I'm on the couch watching television, I have knitting needles in my hands. I love what I do and hope to do what I love for many years to come. 
My favorite piece is a silver necklace with champagne pearls I created.  It is a special piece for me. It is a necklace I made for one of my high school friend's wedding. She contacted me to design and make all the jewelry for her, her bridesmaids, her mother, and her new mother-in-law for her wedding. It was an amazing opportunity and I had so much fun designing for her. Her wedding was vintage themed and completely handmade and I was honored to be a part of it.
My hobby started in college when I discovered Etsy. I kept finding things I loved, but things I knew I could make, too. It started with jewelry and I just started experimenting and taught myself how to create the jewelry the way I wanted to. Then my hobby expanded to knitting and sewing. Now I love to combine all three to create something completely unique. 
My business started when I started to make jewelry, I hadn't really thought of selling it at the time. I wore a necklace of mine to class one day and one of my friends told me she really liked it. I told her it was something I made and she asked if I would make her one, too. It was then that I thought I could really reach a lot of people with what I made and that's when my business of making jewelry really began.

Meet Ann Fischbein from BooBoo Art LLC...
I've always been into art, from the time I was in grade school. My interest in jewelry started when my husband bought me a gift certificate to take classes at our local rec center. I initially signed up for an interior decorating course, but when that class got canceled I signed up for the entry level jewelry course. I learned to saw sheet metal, solder, wire wrap, and how to burnish metal. I learned quickly that I loved heating copper until it turned colors (I can't tell you how many little charms I have that I just annealed over and over again for the fun of it!). This led to my going to an exhibit of Tiffany, Faberge, and Lalique jewelry. After seeing those amazing pieces, I was determined to learn more techniques so I could do more than just torch copper! As I took more jewelry making classes, I discovered I love chain mail and wire wrapping. I refer to chain mail as my knitting because it is intricate, but relaxes me as I weave each individual ring to the next. And wire wrapping is so elegant and intricate that I can't help but be drawn to it. 
I think I get my artistic abilities from my Mom, especially the ability to work with my hands. I have always enjoyed art and get my ideas from the items I am working with - each piece demands its own treatment to highlight its best qualities. I don't limit myself to any particular medium so I'm always taking classes, subscribing to artisan magazines, and reading blogs, so I can keep learning. I figure the more techniques I can learn, the more options I'll have when looking at that perfect gemstone or piece of sea glass to figure out how to make it really stand out. 
I think of ideas ALL the time! I have been known to be on vacation and start sketching an idea based on an ocean wave or some other beautiful sight! I like to lay out my materials to see what kind of arrangement or combination of shapes, colors, or textures emerges. I tend to see patterns in my materials as I look at them. I have been known to look at a pile of my wire scraps and see an appealing shape that I solder together on the spot. My most recent example of this is a group of wires that I decided looked like a trigger fish! It is kind of like looking at the clouds and seeing an animal or shape in them. I also watch color and style trends but have always been fond of unique pieces that evoke classic styles. So, I like to take a trendy runway concept and tone it down to a more wearable piece. My styles are "classic with a modern twist".

Meet Janiece McWilliams from JBird's Garden...
My name is Janiece McWilliams and I am an old tree-hugging, barefooted gal who still loves folk festivals, camping, art fairs and backyard gatherings with music, wine and a crackling fire.  I've lived in the Pocono Mountains, just outside bustling Washington D.C., majestic Colorado, historic Philadelphia and now beautiful Lakewood, Ohio!  I have a grown daughter and a 10 year old granddaughter.
I've spent much of my life feeding my soul and spirit with music and the arts, and being 'hands-on' in the creative process. Whether it was sand art in the 70's, dried flower arrangements in the 80's, dabbling in semi-precious stones and glass beads in the 90's to the work that fuels me now, it's the 'visual creation of the mental process' that I continue to strive for in my own life.
I gather my inspiration from nature. I seldom start with a firm idea of what my final design will be. I do however usually begin the process with a single element, quite often being the metal I wish to use. My current passion is working with nickel and lead free natural brass and my ongoing desire is to utilize the copper and zinc alloy in a creative form that breaks away from its chunky and industrial reputation to one of fashionable daintiness and contemporary/vintage style. Both brass and copper wire and filigree allow me to bend, twist, shape and twirl it in a way that creates something timeless with a hint of whimsy.
In regards to my creativity, I think I’ve always expressed my creative side, but the last few years it has taken me down a completely different road.  I’d say my daughter Brooke has helped feed that fire. She is an artist and stays very active in the arts and I was encouraged by her energy and enthusiasm to spread my wings a little bit more myself. 

Check out these vendors this winter at the 2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature 100 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Stewart's Caring Place, an organization that supports families touched by cancer.

2012 Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, January 29, 2012, 10:00am-5:00pm
Wagner's Country Inn
30855 Center Ridge Rd. 
Westlake, OH 44145
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, at