Monday, October 28, 2013

Keep Calm and Craft On

Meet April Hardin of Kanyon Creations...
I'm a new stay-at-home mom with a little boy that just started Kindergarten this year. I left my full-time job at the end of June, and I wouldn't change that for anything! I've been crocheting since I was maybe 11-12. I just love it! 
This is my second Avant-Garde show. I started making hats for my son, and people started asking me to make some for them, then their friends and so on. It just took off. I find it amazing that a ball of yarn and a hook can turn into anything you want. Hats, scarves,'s just awesome! 
My big sister originally taught me to crochet when I was younger and it always stuck with me. I love to find inspiration on-line from great sites like Pinterest and You Tube, but that's just for ideas. If I see a pattern I like, I always find a way to tweak it to fit my style. 
I would love to have Kanyon Creations still going strong and keep doing what I love over the next five years.Handmade gifts have more meaning than a store bought item. All my items are made with love and that might sound a bit cheesy, but it's true! 

Meet Kat Glazewski of Kat's Jewelry Designs...

 I still think I'm a college student, three years after graduation. I went to school for jewelry design, but I have my hands in a dozen different crafts and disciplines. Home-crafted jewelry, based on ancient techniques, using modern aesthetics, tickles several of my favorite hobbies. I've been crafting in one form or another since I can remember. Iron beads and seed beads were the bane of my father's feet! I went to college for jewelry design, but also had to find something I could do at home during the summer when I didn't have access to the tools in the lab. I picked up Viking Wire Weave in 2009-ish, and started teaching myself chainmail about a year ago, early 2012.

I've been in a bunch of the Avant-Garde shows, and seen them evolve. Good advertising and good attendance! Now that I'm living with a photography enthusiast, I'm learning my aesthetic is even more pattern oriented and geometric than I'd thought. I like making complex order, flirting with chaos without getting there. I like seeing the difference that materials make under the same techniques. I love variations on a theme. In other words I'm inspired by not wanting to be bored. And sometimes by sunshine.

I think I get along better with art in three dimensions than with art in only two. I do a little sketching and drawing, but making jewelry has more facets to consider, and is more constructionist. I'm engineering something that must be durable as well as comfortable, must look interesting from several different angles, and needs to fit in with someone else's style if I ever expect it to be worn.
I think my talent discovered me! I had the chance to play with all sorts of different crafts and things growing up, and I've always enjoyed making. People I knew started offering to pay for things, and I thought they were just being polite. Then someone I didn't know offered to pay for something.
My creative process starts with making something. Get an idea half-way through. Force myself to finish the first thing before starting the new thing. Get another idea just before completing in. I now have one finished project and two potential ones. Make more things! Or; I learned to generate ideas through mass-sketching assignments in college, and I kinda still like the technique.
I finally broke out of my shell in school when I was brave enough to wear the pants I thought were neat, even though most of the rest of the student body didn't so much. I believe that fashion doesn't change who you are, but can help you express who you're trying to be. I make jewelry that I hope helps someone express how colorful or flashy or durable they are on the inside.

Meet Diane Marrapese from D'Nora's Art...

As a graduate of Purdue University, 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.In the summer of 2000, I began teaching pottery classes at ArtsTown Studios in Avon Lake and that Fall I started teaching part time at Lorain County Community College.  

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. I’ve enjoyed a great opportunity working at LCCC and in the summer of 2008, I became the full time Laboratory Instructional Assistance for the Arts Department where I am currently employed.
I have been working in clay for 15 years. I have participated in 2-3 Avant-Garde Art and Craft Shows. Inspiration comes in many forms for me.  A comment someone makes, another artist’s work, nature or even a simple color / shape combination.  The main draw for me is how calming the process of throwing on the wheel is and that definitely brings me to the creation stage.
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! I have a passion for clay that was started with the small taste for it in high school.  From then, I practiced tons and experimented with the clay and its abilities.  

Over time, I have honed my skills and I am currently pushing my comfort zone with new techniques in glazing.

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 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. In 5 years, I hope that I am continuing the passion I have for clay while bringing joy to those who purchase my work.

I have always been creative to 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 and have fun with it.

Meet  Linda Zoundas of Petal Patch...
The idea for Petal patch blossomed from a simple gesture. I wanted to make a unique Valentine's Day gift for the little girls in my life. I came across a sweet headband while antiquing, but it just wasn't quite right; it needed more. More color, more sparkle, more pizazz. It needed to be completely one-of-a-kind. I took an old sweater, started cutting, attached to a headband and the first Petal Patch Recycled Fiber Headband was born. The popularity of Petal Patch Headbands took off. All the neighbor girls wanted one, then their friends, cousins and so on. I have expanded the product offerings to include headbands, barrettes, pins, and hats.
Each decorative flower is made from recycled fibers (retired sweaters, skirts and the like). I search thrift shops, bizarres and second hand stores for high quality, vibrant colored fabrics (wool, cashmere, cotton). Each item is then hand cut, sewn and assembled.

Petal Patch provides one-of-a-kind, recycled fiber headbands, barrettes, pins and hats in a variety of textures, colors and styles.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience to discuss the show.

2013 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 16th and 17th, 2013, 10:00am-5:00pm
Rocky River Memorial Hall
21016 Hilliard Blvd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

These Artists Are Pulling Inspiration From Everywhere, Including Lake Erie Shores!

Meet Tim and Eileen Paskert of Catch My Drift...
         We both grew up in Lakewood and moved to West Park after we married, raising 3 children here. We met when we were young teachers, and both had long careers with the Cuyahoga Board of Developmental Disabilities, working with children with severe cognitive and physical disabilities. We continue to be involved on a volunteer basis with this community. We love to travel and to spend time with our families.
When we retired in 2006, we found we had the much sought-after time needed to devote to crafting more seriously, however it’s only been a year since we’ve been creating the driftwood art and participating in shows as Catch My Drift.
This is our first Avant-Garde Art and Craft Show!
We love being by the water. We’re very fortunate to have grown up so near the Lake Erie shore and the treasures it holds, and it has been a great source of inspiration. We spend many early mornings there taking in the peacefulness and hunting for interesting materials. Also, since 1980 we have made nearly annual visits to our beloved Maine, with it’s rocky coast and treasure-filled shore. We spent many hours when our  children were young searching in tide pools and among the seaweed for mementos to bring home. After each trip we’d display the things we’d found that would sustain us through the year until we could go back.
We’ve always been interested in crafting in one form or another, often dragging our (sometimes less than enthusiastic) families and friends along for the ride with Craft Sundays or Christmas Craft Nights at our house. Eileen has dabbled in watercolors and Tim in refinishing and reupholstering furniture, but only for our personal enjoyment. Our driftwood crafts are a way of combining our interest in crafting and our love of the shore.
Our early crafting endeavors were done for our personal enjoyment, but occasionally a family member would see something we had made and request one for their own. We’re not sure if this counts as a discovery of our talent!
The driftwood we collect, with its unique shape and contours, really dictate the items we create. Some of the pieces are really quite beautiful on their own, reminding us that nature is the most talented artist. We try not to get in the way with these too much. Other more mundane pieces are combined with other driftwood, sea glass, shells, birch bark, etc. to create something both decorative and/or useful.
We hope to continue to be able to continue our craft, expanding our creations and participating in more shows throughout the year. We’ve always loved the idea of recycling in art or crafting, taking commonly found  or plain items and with inspiration from our surroundings and experience turning them into something beautiful. The shore provides us with both the materials and the inspiration.

Meet Sharon Collins and Cindy of C&S Bow Designs... 
Sharon: I am a mother of four, and a grandmother to 8, and am a Northeast Ohio native. I have always loved to craft, and have dabbled in all sorts of things, such as soap making, tart melts, and school crafts, since I was a child. I love being creative, and I love to explore all sorts of artistic ventures. I have been crafting since I was in grade school. It started when I followed my grandmother, as she was very creative, and she taught me many skills. 
Cindy: I am a mother, and love to be creative. I have been using polymer clay for years, and just recently, my sister-in-law asked me if I could make small trinkets so we could put them on the bows for her granddaughters. I have always been into creating things, and starting this craft show is a new and exciting venture for me. I have been crafting for years, but being creative started much earlier for me, while I was in school. 

This is our first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. We are thrilled to be able to participate! 
Sharon: As far my inspiration, I take it from many different places. I like to browse on the internet, or even go out and about and see things I like, and go from there. In fact, when I go to the store, my imagination goes wild, and I think of all sorts of possibilities! My hobby started as a child, my grandmother was the main reason I started. Lots of things when I grew up where hand-made, and my grandmother could do it all! Learning from her, I started doing crafts while I was in school, and my passion for creativity took off from there. 
Cindy: I am also inspired by many different things: people, television, newspaper ads, or the internet. I always look for things that will help spur me into creative action, and allow me to think, how will this idea look onto this medium? I have always liked to make things, and have always enjoyed creating things with different materials such as carved slate, paper mache, hand-made paper, and even macramé, and when polymer clay came out, I was ecstatic, because there were endless possibilities. Therefore, I have always loved to craft, and started as I was a kid in school. 
        Sharon: My talent was really discovered once I started crafting in school. I received encouragement from teachers and classmates, and from there, I started to make things, and dream up ideas to make things inside and outside the classroom. And I discovered that if I could dream it up, I could craft it up.
        Cindy: As I said, I have always loved making things, and exploring different mediums in which to express my creativity. But I credit my seventh grade art teacher in further encouraging me to be creative, and helping me find my talent. 
As far as the creative process goes, both of ours are fairly similar. We take our inspiration (whether it is walking into a store and seeing other products, or just getting an idea or suggestion, or even a picture), which is anything that gets our creative juices going, and from that inspiration, we think of how can we achieve this idea, or what idea do we have to give that particular craft a unique twist? From there, we gather the materials, and then we craft it!
Sharon: Within five years, I have some fairly big ideas. I would love the bows to take off, and have even considered this, along with other entrepreneurial ventures to do in the near future. I would like the bows to be successful, and I hope to continue to find other crafts to do and to continue sharing them with other people. 
Cindy: Within five years, I hope to continue to craft, and share any future, craftsy entrepreneurial partnerships with Sharon. On the shorter term, I hope to go to more craft fairs and bazaars, and perhaps even make custom pieces for people. 

Behind our work, the message we want to bring is to show people how fun life can be. Our crafts are playful, whimsical, and happy, and we hope that when people wear them, that they feel the same way. 

Meet Tiffany and Mikayla of Mermaid Currency...
Tiffany Zajac manages a local restaurant in the Ashtabula area and Mikayla McCall is an Art Teacher for Crestwood Local School District in Mantua, Oh. The two met last summer and spent most of it on Walnut Beach looking for beach glass. A psychic had just informed Tiffany that she would start a business with a friend that was like a sister to her. We began experimenting with different techniques and realized we had something unique to bring to the beach glass scene. 
We’ve been doing this for a little over a year and this is our first and we are very excited for it! 
The pieces of beach glass that we find certainly inspire us to create. Whenever we find an unusual color or texture the first thing we do is see what we can turn it into! Searching for beach glass got us into the craft hobby because it was a free activity to do with the kids in the summertime. 
We collaborated ideas and began experimenting and realized we had something that was never before seen in the beach glass trends in our area. Our creative process is like a very intricate jig saw puzzle. We take all the small bits of  beach glass that we find along with a set of jewelers tweezers and work on getting the glass to fit together with minimal gaps. We then mix together the fixative (we call it mermaid tears) that keeps the glass permanent in the bezels.  

We have talked about opening our own shop or kiosk, teaming up with other beach glass artists to start a boutique and have even considered organizing our own vendor shows. Our first year has been such a success and we are thankful for the many doors that have opened for us. 
The message of our work basically is celebrating a piece of Lake Erie's history that was once considered trash and is now considered treasure. The entire process is also very therapeutic which makes this operation meaningful to us as well. 
Mermaid Currency participates in craft and vendor shows in Northeast, Ohio, sells on Etsy and is also featured at Blush Boutique on Coventry in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
2013 West Side Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday & Sunday, November 16th and 17th, 2013, 10:00am-5:00pm
Rocky River Memorial Hall
21016 Hilliard Blvd.
Rocky River, OH 44116
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: