Monday, August 28, 2006

By the Hand of the Craftsman

Craftsman Auction--Rago Arts & Auction Center--Lambertville, NJ
Saturday/Sunday, September 16/17 at 12 pm

David Rago is an esteemed expert on American Art Pottery, and is often featured on PBS' Antiques Roadshow. He publishes the ever-enchanting Style: 1900 and Modernism Magazine. Rago's gallery is an irresistible draw for collectors of Arts and Crafts decorative arts & furnishings, Lalique glass, American Art Pottery and antique & fine jewelry.

The Rago Arts and Auction Center was established in 1995 by David Rago, a leading dealer of American art pottery who entered the business of auctions in 1984. Our home is a converted mill in the scenic river town of Lambertville, New Jersey, located midway between New York City and Philadelphia. >>continue>>


Artists at Play

Toys Designed by Artists
Arkansas Arts Center--Little Rock, AR

Creativity and ingenuity transform the idea of "toys" in an artists hands...
In the early 1970’s the Arkansas Arts Center initiated an annual exhibition of toys designed and made by artists. Inspired by Alexander Calder’s circus figures of the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, this exhibition will stimulate the imagination of both adults and children through colorful, skillfully made, and wildly inventive toys. Educational activities for children will be an important component of this exhibition, as well as a collection of hands-on toys for visitors of all ages. >>continue>>


Hal Poth
Rockin' Frog
Purchase Award: 22nd Annual Toys Designed by Artists, 1994.
Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection


Scottish Brilliance

Glasgow Mackintosh Festival 2006--Glasgow, Scotland
September-December 2006
Explore and adore the brilliant legacy of the famed CRM...

The Glasgow Mackintosh Festival celebrates Charles Rennie Mackintosh throughout 2006, with a focus of programme highlights in September.

The Glasgow Mackintosh Festival offers a chance to experience the legend that is Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the world-renowned architect, designer and artist in his home city. Mackintosh (1868 – 1928) is considered one of the most creative figures of the early 20th century. >>continue>>


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Coastal Treasures

Art in the Pearl--Portland, OR
Labor Day Weekend Sept. 2-4, 2006

From the heart of one of Portland's most culturally sophisticated areas emerges an exceptional show of top-notched artists...

Art in the Pearl, the annual arts festival, occurs every year on Labor Day weekend in early September. This festival fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages. This year we are celebrating our 10th year of the festival!

Art in the Pearl is a wonderful community event. Over one hundred artists show and sell work ranging from fine wooden furniture to beautiful paintings to photography, glass, clay, metal, jewelry, and much more! >>continue>>


Rare Glimpse-Cutting-Edge Jewelry Exhibition

Schmuck 2006--Museum of Arts & Design--New York, NY
May 18 through September 3, 2006

(FYI--Schmuck means “jewelry” in German)
Schmuck 2006 includes some 100 new works by international jewelry artists and honors the achievement of American Thomas Gentille. Displaying the work of 63 jewelry artists from 21 countries, Schmuck 2006 marks the forty-seventh presentation of this juried Munich-based exhibition. MAD’s groundbreaking partnership with Schmuck anticipates the 2008 opening of the Museum’s new home at Columbus Circle, the facilities of which will include a center for the exhibition and study of contemporary art jewelry. >>continue>>
Thomas Gentille
Untitled (pin)
21st century
Paint, pumice, wood and bronze
Photo: Rod Slemmons


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sophisticated Spectrum

Simple shapes...pleasant hues. Lulu Smith exquisitely balances her exploration of color with her tireless pursuit of technical excellence.
I love the constant interplay between color and form. This new work springs from a collection of drawings I did the year after my daughter was born. The interest in hand-pigmenting and layering color is still there, as is the interest in opacity and translucency. But, in the new pieces, I’m exploring more deeply the contrast between the natural and the non-natural hand. >>continue>>


Mastering the Edge

Knives and swords forged from a deeply spiritual contemplation of life, courage and beauty.

Welcome to Khalsa Kirpans. “Kirpan” /keér pahn/ literally means “hand of mercy.” It is a Punjabi (Indian) word for “knife” or “dagger,” that connotes a philosophy of respect for martial arts and weapons, not as a vehicle of aggression but as a means of defending the defenseless.

My name is Jot Singh Khalsa. Since 1978, I’ve been creating unique edged tools and weapons for enthusiasts and collectors all over the world...It wouldn’t be a lie for me to say, “Knife-making has been a spiritual experience for me....Both my personal yogic and Dharmic practices and my teacher have given me valuable insights into my life, as well as tools for deep relaxation and accessing my potential. I’ve shared the wonderful science of yoga with many people – through Adult Education yoga classes, at knife shows and yoga-related venues – for over 30 years. Martial arts, which I’ve practiced for over 25 years, has been another source of relaxation, exercise, and self-confidence. I also serve as a Sikh minister. As far as I know, I’m the only Sikh member of the Knifemakers’ Guild. I’m easy to find at knife shows as “the guy in white, wearing a turban.” >>continue>>


Friday, August 04, 2006

Be Courageous

Blue Fish at Barclay Studio
Jennifer Barclay's hand decorated clothing collections are unbelievably comfortable and oh-so-whimsically expressive. She is one of those rare artists whose courage came easily, compelling her to turn her at-home business into a thriving, spirited endeavor.

"I felt no fear," says Barclay, whose company, Blue Fish Clothing Inc., in Frenchtown, N.J., produces handmade apparel from natural fibers. "If you over-analyze everything, you see how difficult it could be. It holds people back from [acting on] the wonderful ideas within them."
(Nation's Business, August, 1996 by Gary M. Stern)

"we are all beautiful when we believe in ourselves"

What is this clothing?
It is an ongoing and ever evolving collection of original designs in natural fibers such as organic cotton, thermal or textured knits, hemp/silk blends, tencel and velvet...completely comfortable and wearable. Our easy care designs fit a variety of bodies and lifestyles. The clothing is unique because we hand embellish each piece with beautiful surface designs. >>continue>>

...not just for grownups anymore...Baby Blue Fish!

update 2/11: Blue Fish at Barclay Studio has been renamed Blue Fish Clothing…the studio continues to make vibrant fabulous clothing, led by Jennifer Barclay. Baby Blue Fish is no longer available.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Metal to Metal

Steve Midgett Mokume from Earthshine

Jewelry designer Steve Midgett has a magic touch when it comes to the art of Mokume. He carries it to new creative levels, fusing precious metals such as platinum, palladium, 18K, titanium and tantalum in his wedding rings and jewelry pieces. He takes joy in his work and enthusiastically shares it!

"This technique continues to hold my fascination as I discover its' multiple applications and infinite design possibilities."

Mokume Gane (pronounced Moe-koo-may Gah-nay) is an ancient Japanese metalworking technique developed in feudal Japan by master swordsmiths. The name translates as "wood grain metal," referring to one of the most popular patterns created with this laminated metals technique which is akin to Damascus Steel. While there are many basic patterns created with mokume gane, in the hands of a master, extraordinary control of the medium may be achieved. >>continue>>