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Archive for December, 2009

It’s the holidays and time to celebrate!  Life at StudioWorks has been particularly good for which we all are thankful.  Our sale and show have been a gratifying success and we have had many visitors wishing us well.  Most left with an ornament or other artwork and for some folks, we were a pleasant discovery!  To those people we say thank you and come again soon!  We can never have enough friends.

What’s a celebration without food?  To kick-start our party we made reservations for lunch at the Theater Square Marketplace.  We loved the atmosphere in the restaurant with its unique lighting fixtures which appealed to the artists within us.  We took up two large tables and here’s a couple of pictures to show who was able to attend.  “Hey guys on the left…the camera’s this way!”

The ladies have the right idea.  And now, here’s table number two:

The food was wonderful as was the service!  StudioWorks gives this place our highest rating which was clean plates all around.  It’s great having another restaurant near us on Fourth Street.  We did, however, save room for dessert which was waiting for us back at the gallery.  Check out these cupcakes that Vickey made for us!

Here’s a nice photo of Natalie and the reason she has such a big smile is that it was her birthday!  In addition to celebrating the season, three other  StudioWorks artists were also about to observe their birthdays!!  Within the span of a week, Natalie, Carol, Eric, and Dorcas will all be a year older. 

Naturally, we all sang “Happy Birthday” to everyone and watched them blow out the candles on their cupcakes.  Let’s hope they all made a wish.

Afterward, there was time for presents.  There was a generous feeling in the room and many cards and gifts were given and received.  Jeremy led the way and seemed to make or have something personal for just about everybody.  To all the families and care givers who sent us presents… we say “Thank You Very Much!”  Your well wishes are appreciated.

Before everybody had to move on home to get ready for even more parties!… we decided to gather for a photo under the tree.  It’s a bit of tight squeeze to get everyone in the shot, but standing on a chair helps.  Here’s wishing everyone the happiest of holidays, Merry Christmas, and Season’s Greetings from the artists at StudioWorks!

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Since the day of our big sale, the StudioWorks artists have continued to make items.  One project that has been a success has been creating colorful scarves.  We purchase the raw silk scarves and then each artist chooses which colors they want to work with.  It’s a bit of a process, but it’s fun and you can’t beat the finished results! 

Vickey (on the right) is an old hand at dying silk and she’s assisting Nancy on her first scarf.  Note the gloves and stainless steel sink.  The dyes are strong and care must be used in applying them.  After the initial dyes are applied the scarf will be rinsed and dried.

In this image, Vickey is helping Lonnie with a different part of the process.  Together they are sprinkling salt onto the silk.  The salt will react with the still wet dyes and create a subtle marbling effect.  We are proud of Lonnie for attempting this, since he can be a bit of a “neat-nick”.  Many of our clients also “like what they like” and so they have to be ready to try new things.

The salt crystals get sprayed with water to help dissolve them into the dyes.  Check out the improvised rack to help spread the silk scarf under tension.  Kevin figured out that one of our easels could be adapted for this purpose.  Now that’s creativity!  After the scarf dries, the undissolved salt is scraped off and eventually the silk will be ironed to heat-set the dyes.  Here’s an example of a scarf that Natalie Lanier made that’s ready to go.

The colors are amazing and vivid.  You might see that this scarf also has a velvety raised design on it.  The artists have been working with a few different patterns for this latest batch of scarves.   Our Holiday lunch is coming up and so we are all looking forward to checking out the new restaurant around the corner from us!  Look for a new post later in the week.

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The big day has arrived and you wouldn’t know it from the shot above that there was a certain amount of nervous energy in the room.  It’s still early and not all of the artists have arrived.  The StudioWorks artists have been anticipating and working towards this day for many weeks.  What kind of day will it be?  With so many other things going on in town, will people come to our event?  The answer started arriving before lunch and kept building until the end of the day.  Following are images of some of the art offered for sale and the people who came to share this moment with us.

Yes, we had many different ornaments ranging from the traditional to the absurd.  All the artists had a hand in making them.  There was one item in particular that stood out.  Vickey Reed came up with the idea of creating “pickle” ornaments to go along with an old German Christmas custom she knew about.  Apparently, many other folks also knew about this tradition or discovered that it was novel and fun enough to adopt because we did well with these ceramic pickles.  It became a fun theme for the day!  For your viewing pleasure, here is a famous StudioWorks pickle ornament.

We also had other ceramic offerings in the form of faux food.  Remember that ceramic turkey Julie made?  Well, it was glazed and served with ceramic stuffing, cranberries, and various clay turkey innards!  The ceramic cookies for Santa plates were attractive and did well.

As the day progressed we had many supporters come by to shop and wish us well.  Friends, family, colleagues, a few board members, and even people we didn’t know came in to see what we were up to.  We had many nice paintings and drawings for sale.  Here’s an image with some of David Carr’s and Carol Thorp’s work sharing the wall.  Carol had her “Pinto” series up and it includes a ceramic horse ornament she made as well.  The StudioWorks artists also invited the visiting artists that shared their work with us over the year to exhibit with us.  Anne-Marie Alexander featured her wonderful embroideries and Joan Schulte presented her cards and photo collages.

Here’s Anne-Marie’s work.  The smaller pieces on the left are hanging on dyed chopsticks.  The larger work with the hand image won a blue ribbon at our state fair.

It was fun showing off the many things the artists had made over the course of the year. We also had some pretty good bargains from works that were part of our inventory.  Our friend and colleague, Dollie Johnson checks out the dyed silk scarves and later posed with Eric and his rhino sculpture she added to her StudioWorks collection.  Thanks from all of us Dollie!

Ed the Taxi Driver poses with Carol and her Saint Bernard with Cat sculpture he purchased.  Ed is an astute collector and likes to commission our artists to do works for him.  It’s a little known fact, but it is easy to commission an artist to create something special and they love to work on them.

Many of our colleagues that advocate for our artists attended.  Here’s an image of Jill Deuser in green with Sally, Eric, Norma, and David Mahoney.

The day exceeded our expectations and helped put us in the spirit of the season!  We still have many fine and inexpensive original artworks for sale and you can see them Monday through Friday from 8:00 am till 4:00 pm.  If you need holiday cards, we also carry those.  We have the latest Zoom Group series that includes images made by clients at the Garden House, St. Matthews Day Program, and StudioWorks too.  One last image and it caps the day.  Here’s Julie with her friend Greg and their distinctive head-gear.  Many thanks to all the fine people who helped us in so many ways!

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Our big sale was a couple days ago, but before we blog that we need to set the stage a bit.  Everyone was busy working up to the last-minute which is typical for a gallery.  We have a variety of Christmas ornaments for sale and the picture above shows a few that were painted and are now drying in the tub.  In addition to paintings, ceramic sculptures, and drawings, the StudioWorks artists also dyed silk scarves.  Here’s a view of a few ready for sale.  The leopard print purse on the right was made by Jeremy Smith.  He created his own company he calls “French Kitty” to produce similar fashion items!  Jeremy also made several leather wallets and coin purses too.

Of course, the gallery needs decorating and most of the artists helped set up our Christmas tree.  Julie, Sally, and Dorcas are getting in the spirit!  We plan to add a few lights to the window and use some of our Japanese lanterns as decorations too.  There are also tables to set up and food to prepare.  Labels with all the pertinent information also need to be made.

All the two-dimensional wall art needs to be reconsidered and reinstalled.  Our newest pieces will be framed and matted and offered for sale, but there will also be great deals available on works that have been in our inventory awhile.  If you are in the market for affordable original art than we might have something for you.  It should also be said that 80% of a sale goes to the artist.  The remaining 20% is retained by the gallery to help with art material costs.  Selling a work is great, but so too is the interaction between the artists and the art loving community.  Being able to talk and share the experience of creating a work of art is also a reward that generates a lot of personal pride as well.  We are big believers in the whole creative process.

Before ending this post and moving on, StudioWorks would like to thank our good neighbors at the Palace Theatre for inviting us to see their new “Nutcracker in a Nutshell” production.  All the artists had positive reviews of the show.  The tickets were an unexpected but welcomed gift!  For some, it was their first visit to this beautifully restored historic theatre.  To end this post, here’s a picture of Carol finishing her “Pinto” color ink drawing.

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