I am a teacher, but am not currently teaching. I am now at home full time, keeping very busy with a 2 year old daughter and 1 year old son! Much of my time I am with my children doing outdoor activities together and arts and crafts with them. I enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. I most enjoy spending time with my family and our dog Molly.
I feel that I have always been a creative person. Even as a little girl, I always enjoyed art class and creating and designing. I also have a lot of creativity in my family. My dad is very creative and talented with landscape design, and my mom has always had an eye for interior décor and design. Both of my brothers are also very artistic. I believe my family’s creative minds have influenced me and they have always promoted arts and crafting.
A large part of my method is the thought process. I do a lot of imagining before I start the actual project. Next, I put my ideas on paper. I am very much a visual learner and drawings are an important step in creating a product before the final step of making it.
I enjoy interior design and sewing projects such as making curtains, blankets, and pillows and reupholstering furniture. My inspiration for Comfy Cradle came from my children and out of a need.Being a mom, the inspiration for this product came solely out of a need. I was looking for a way to hold my baby where we would both be comfortable. I needed a way to lay them down without a blanket getting caught under them and waking them up. My creation the Comfy Cradle is a soft pillow that wraps around your arm in just the right spot, won’t fall off, and keeps baby comfy and mom comfy as well.
After I made one of the Comfy Cradles and saw how it fulfilled a need I had, I thought I would make more and give them to friends with children to see what they thought, thinking they may have the same need of a comfortable way to hold their baby. This turned into selling them, and trying to reach a broader market.
Currently, I am selling the Comfy Cradles to friends and family wanting a shower gift or just to have for themselves. I also sell them on Etsy.com. The Avant-Garde is the first craft show I will be in and I am very much looking forward to spreading awareness of my craft. Ideally, I would love if my product could someday reach retail stores.
Meet Diane Marrapese...
As a graduate of
, I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interior Design. Originally introduced to the medium of clay in 1993, I resumed working in pottery on a more serious level while studying at ArtsTown Studios from 1998-2000. I spent approximately 20-30 hours a week in the studio to improve my technique and explore new ways to illustrate creativity and emotion through clay. Purdue University
In the summer of 2000, I began teaching pottery classes at ArtsTown Studios in
. That fall, I also started teaching part time at Avon Lake . In the summer of 2004, I decided to open my own clay studio and art gallery where I taught clay and jewelry classes in addition to selling local artists’ work. Unfortunately, due to the economy, the studio closed in the fall of 2009. Lorain County Community College
I have been working in clay for 14 years. I believe clay to be one of the most wonderful forms of self-expression. It’s amazing that you can take the four elements of the world; Earth, Water, Air and Fire to produce functional, yet decorative, solid works of art. To use your own imagination and creativity gives such a sense of freedom. Though it is possible to dedicate several hours to one piece, it is well worth the effort. Accidents in clay can be positive and the experiments are justified, but the most important thing to remember is that it all helps to evolve not only as an artist, but also as a person. Chances must be taken and despite the long process from start to finish, it is rewarding to have a final product that others can enjoy. Although I may not love everything I make, I continue learning about clay and its characteristics. This helps enhance my concepts and also enables me to see that asymmetry is just as beautiful as symmetry and functional is just as beautiful as nonfunctional. I thrive on making one-of-a-kind pieces with carving or engraving designs in the clay to satisfy my imagination and spirit. Not only do I involve myself in detailed surface decoration for my own gratification, I take pleasure in fulfilling the occasional special requests from my admirers.
Inspiration comes in many forms for me. A comment someone makes, another artist’s work, nature or even a simple color/shape combination. One moment in particular was in 1993 when I was a senior in high school, we had a general ‘Art 2’ class. One of the art forms we learned a little bit about was clay. I thank my art teacher Miss. Murphy for allowing me the extra time to play on the wheel and the space to experiment with the medium!
How I create.. If I have a specific idea of what I want to create, I just sit down and focus on the shape first. I think about the lines of the piece first and how the surface treatment will allow for movement and flow. Then I think about how the glazes will add to it. If I’m just sitting with a general concept, I let the clay help me decide which form it wants to take.
My use of clay is simply for self expression. It is a very soothing medium to work with once you have the experience and at times when I work on the wheel, it is very calming and relaxing for me. I have always been creative to simply satisfy my own being. So if someone takes anything away from my work – let it be that they should always follow what makes them happy.
Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 West Side Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature over 170 of the most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to the Cleveland Animal Protective League, for animal rescue.