Artists by Name

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A + J

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“Our pieces are the result of an attraction for playing a game where we would exchange ideas, invert materials, assemble and disassemble. Their unique character, both playful and simple, combines with a high functionality, which makes them decorative but still very functional. But before all this, the combination of glass and ceramic takes a large part of our work, and we are always pleased to see the other coming into our playground, suggesting, modifying or trying something crazy. All of our products are handmade in Montreal.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Tana Acton

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Through her unique perspective as both a dancer and choreographer, Tana Acton combines air, movement and light to create pieces that are at once delicate and solid. Her jewelry pieces are contemporary, lightweight and affordable–they can be worn as either casual or formal accessories. She has progressed to graphic artist, choreographer and dance teacher, painter and eventually fashion designer to some of New York’s leading knitwear and house wares manufacturers.

Born in Birmingham, Michigan, Acton has lived a life focused on creative and artistic expression. She earned an Antioch College BFA in painting and completed the Parsons School of Design Fashion Design program. In Florence, Italy, she studied with Tomaso after studying silversmithing in Haystack’s high-school program with Glenda Arentzen.

Above: Tana Acton, assorted cuffs. Sterling Silver, pearl. Photo by HCCC.

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Art of Fire / Foster Holcombe

Foster Holcombe’s interest in glass began in 1976 with his stained-glass studio in Denver, Colorado. While attending a summer seminar in enameling techniques at Pilchuck in 1978, Foster became interested in hot glass. In 1980-81, he studied glassblowing, decorating and technology in the Stourbridge area of England, the heart of England’s glass industry. In 1985, Theda Hansen joined Foster and together they have designed a line of glass uniquely their own. Between them, Foster and Theda offer more than 40 years of art experience.

Todd Hansen joined the studio in 1999 and Josh Riles in 2003. They bring their own individual and collaborative styles to the Art of Fire as well as assisting with production and instructing glassblowing classes.

Above: Art of Fire. Chalcedony Vases, 2011. Blue black blown glass. Photo by Foster Holcombe.

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Atlantic Art Glass / Linda Perrin

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Atlantic Art Glass is one of the oldest and most successful glass-blowing studios in Maine. Linda Perrin blows elegant vases and traditional forms with a fluid yet modern aesthetic. Her line of jewelry features hand-blown glass beads in watery blues and greens, as well as a rainbow palette of other colors. Regionally inspired, the beads have a matte, sea-glass-like finish that gives the colors a quiet intensity.

Above: Linda Perrin, “Long Bead Lover Necklace.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Andre & Virginia Bally

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Andre Bally primarily works with Stoneware usually fired to Cone 5, creating a variety of forms, finished in a semi-gloss black glaze resembling cast iron. These pieces range from closed forms to bowls and rattles to platters and bowls that are decorative and utilitarian. The primary focus of Andre’s work is on texture, and he is currently experimenting with a methodology that utilizes liquid rubber to mask textural patterns. The pieces are then sandblasted to incise the patterns into bisque ware prior to glazing and firing. Andre also works with glass and glass etching, typically working with Northwest Indian design.

Virginia Bally has been greatly influenced by many diverse cultural heritages and works primarily with a style of modern majolica, utilizing low-fired stoneware. Her work reflects the beauty that is found in nature. She gets her inspiration from the beauty and diversity of the oceans, the American Southwest,vthe orient (particularly Japan), botanicals, and even her own back yard.

Above: Andre and Virginia Bally, “Three Shrimp in a Celadon Bowl.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Gabriele Beyer-Murphy

Artist Michael Murphy passed away in 2010, but his wife Gabriele carries on his legacy by continuing to design hand-painted silk fabric, which is then made into one-of-a-kind wearable art in the form of scarves. Gabriele works out of her studio in a remote and scenic mountainous area in Washington State. Her travels and the serene and peaceful backdrop of nature are reflected in her original and distinctive art work.

Each piece is dyed by hand one at a time. Starting with white silk, stretched like a canvas, the designs are applied using brushes, stamps and hand tools. The dyed silk is steam set to ensure color fastness, then washed. The silk is then cut and sewn into high-quality ties and scarves.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Eileen Braun

“The unifying theme of my ceramic work is growth. Through the subtle stretch of a vessel’s neck in exploration, or the serpentine thrust of a teapot spout, they are caught in the ‘stop-action’ moment. My works often take on a playful biomorphic turn to animate themselves and project a haughty attitude.

In my world, traditional wheel-thrown silhouettes are altered into bulbous shapes, grafted into the iconology of land-sea-air. My home studio is a perfect incubator. It is where I cross breed and graph a bird’s neck here or a crustacean there, capped with a mushroom. My mosaic of surface embellishments is heavily influenced by my fascination with 17th-century Staffordshire ceramics and my personal collection of mid-century Hob-nail Milk Glass.”

Above: Eileen Braun, “Large Matchstick Teapot.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Bridgland Studios / Jay Bridgland

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“Although my technique and style derive from a variety of backgrounds, my work breaks out of the traditional mold. I use classical and traditional glass techniques as a foundation to work from. Color, shape and conceptual form play an integral role in my work. Learning the tradition of glass working coupled with contemporary art glass concepts has kept my work in a fluid and constant evolution. This evolution stems from both expected and unexpected results that come from hours of experimentation. The development of couture glass derives from my concept of art as fashion. This work allows me to explore and enhance the relationship between us and glass. To create form from air and beauty from fire.”

“My passion for painting met my passion for glass in 1993, in a studio in Oakland, California, when I started flameworking borosilicate glass with a team of aspiring glass artists. My enthusiasm, interest and drive for this new medium inspired me to push myself to build both a strong technical and artistic foundation. The fusion between my love of color and the need to create form has driven me to expand the limits of glass flameworking over the last 14 years.”

Above: Jay Bridgland. Zen Series Necklace in Black, 2010. Blown glass bead, steel spacer rings, sterling silver bead, sterling silver toggle clasp. Photo by Jay Bridgland.

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Harlan Butt

Harlan Butt is influenced by the flora and fauna of places he has lived. From the cell structure of plants and animals to the multiplicity of stars in the sky to the days in our lives, repetition gives structure to chaos. The making of art, for him, is more than a record of these things; it is part of the experience of discovering connections and part of the act of being alive.

Above: Harlan Butt, “Blue Jay Vessel.” Metal. Photo by HCCC.

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Christina Carfora

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Using ceramics and mixed media, Christina Carfora  creates engaging narrative sculptures that explore the mind and human relationships. Through the use of imagery and symbolism, such as people, animals and organic forms, she tells stories about triumphs, failures, opinions or revelations that everyone has experienced during their lives.

Using slab and coil construction, as well as altered wheel-thrown forms, Carfora explores a variety of techniques in her work, including colored slips, glaze, salt-firing, raku and cold finishes. She begins each piece by deciding its title and then creating a series of sketches to decide which visuals communicate the narrative. Paying particular attention to the subtle nuances in the face or the posture of the form, she completes the story in the details. She says, “I leave the story open ended to create a setting of dialogue with the viewer. It is my hope that the viewer may be able to personalize the experience and become psychologically involved in the work.”

Above: Christina Carfora, “Self Contained.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Kat Cole

Kat Cole has an interest in the anti-aesthetic aspect of a place: the abandoned buildings and factories, scrap yards, piles of trash and detritus found in the streets. This is the evidence of human inhabitants, both past and present. Using found materials in her work allows her to create a direct connection between art, object and place.  The tins, rusty bolts, scraps of plastic and metal are transformed in conjunction with vitreous enamel and steel to make jewelry and sculpture that is distinctly of a place and time.

Above:  Kat Cole, “Red Dangle Structure Brooch.” Mixed Media. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Cosette

Using the finest of natural fabrics and custom-blended colors, Cosette has revitalized and adapted the ancient techniques of marbling to create timeless fashion and accessories for today.

The craft of marbling or “Ebru” dates to the 15th century in Turkey and Persia. Color is floated on a liquid base, drawn into a design and picked up by the fabric. Each fabric is unique and cannot be duplicated exactly. Any slight imperfections in the design attest to its hand-made character.

Image courtesy of HCCC.

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Dona Dalton

“I don’t remember when I did not look to animals as a source of beauty and inspiration. Including humans, I’ve made them subjects of toys and sculpture for three decades and have put most of them on wheels. I combine inspiration, a vision of gesture and memory, with the physicality of wood and paint. The building part is a place of transition where everything snaps together, an intoxication of pure flow.”

“I often use ancient Egyptian cosmology as subject matter. In using myth as a context, there are lots of stories to tell as these grand beings flap back and forth between animals and human. Some of my pieces become sophisticated toys, while others are about nature and rhythm and color. My objective is simple: to have fun. I want adults to have toys also, to give in to being playful.”

Above: Dona Dalton, “Large Robin.” Wood. Photo by HCCC.

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Linda Deardorff

Linda and her husband hand select and dry wood from forests on the Oregon coast, where they live. They work with Oregon Alder, a non-endangered hardwood that has been used in furniture and cabinetry for years. After searching for interesting shapes, textures, and patterns, the parts of the tree that Jim is unable to use in his furniture become the basis for the one-of-a-kind vessels and boxes that Linda creates. She shapes each piece following the wood’s natural contour, finely sands them and finishes each with tung oil. Much of the inspiration for Linda’s work comes from the natural beauty and wildlife on the 10 acres where she and her husband live and work. Her hope is to create a unique piece of artwork that will provide years of enjoyment while bringing the natural environment “out of the woods” and into the home, without further degrading our forests or wasting precious resources.

Linda Deardorff, “Lidded Box.” Wood. Photo by HCCC.

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Elizabeth DeLyria

“My art has always been about the landscapes of northern Michigan: its waters, rolling hills and trees. Originally, I used the vessel as a canvas to convey landscape. My technique evolved over time such that the vessel became the landscape.”

“Stoneware, glazes, and stains became birch logs or a cairn of Lake Michigan beach stones cradling a pool of water. I then began to combine elements of birch, water and stone in non-traditional ways, incorporating non-traditional firing techniques. Functional pottery began to transcend function and became sculptural, combining pit firing and trompe l’oeil surfaces in ways nature never intended. I believe a functional pot that exhibits qualities of nature brings both art and nature into one’s daily experiences, thereby enriching the quality of one’s existence.”

Left: Elizabeth DeLyria. Birch Logs, 2011. Stoneware, glazes and stains. Photo by Elizabeth DeLyria.

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Gretchen Diehl

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“I consider my work to be an exploration of drawing as a form of storytelling. My subject matter is inspired by my vivid and often frightening dreams, people and animals I have known and loved, as well as verbal and visual misinterpretations. The result is usually surreal in nature and narrative. The work has a tendency to represent things as they are, not as they appear. My subjects typically abandon their physical forms to present to the viewer something more intuitive and less confining. My ultimate goal is to simultaneously seduce and repel, drawing the viewer in with beautiful images and stunning them with an unexpected intimacy.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Nathan Dube

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“My work explores my interest in childhood and play by exploring their relationship to humor, aggression, masculinity, and how the contemporary adult-male identity is constructed in American culture. The work uses childhood pranks and toys, reinterpreted for the high-end adult market, to highlight the aggressive and sometimes violent ways in which men interact with one another. The craftsmanship affords the object a level of authority, convincing the viewer that each piece is the result of years of industrial research and development for actual products. At the same time, this authority is subverted by the absurdity of each piece’s function.”

“For instance, the piece entitled S.P.I.T. functions as a spit-wad shooter, exquisitely crafted, and constructed of precious materials. These eccentric toys comment on the absurd lengths men will sometimes go to in order to recapture their youth and define their male identity. My current work furthers this exploration of masculinity and identity by using characters from movies and popular culture, along with spit-wad shooters and toys, to highlight the differences between the way masculinity is represented to past generations and how it is portrayed to mine.”

Above: Nathan Dube, “Safety Pins.” Enamel. Photo by HCCC.

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Michael Farris

“I consider my work to be ‘Cut and Paste.’ The letters (fonts) for the initial cards are cut out by hand using an artist blade. Many are enhanced by cutting out images that then become raised, giving the cards dimension and shadowing. For the collage cards, I find a variety of sources for paper and images. Anything from newspapers and magazines to Italian or Japanese decorative and origami papers, including repurposed wrapping papers, the inside of envelopes, and decorative shopping bags.”

Left: Michael Farris. In my head #2, 2011. Newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, photo copies of images enhanced with colored pencils. Photo courtesy the artist.

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Melle Finelli

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Through fabrication and forging metal, Melle Finelli is able to manipulate her materials to create form and space, capturing movement in solid form. Melle loves the engineering challenge of putting each new piece of jewelry together, combining multiple techniques in order to create a balance of precision and chaos. Through piercing, bending, forging, and pounding, she creates miniature sculptures.

Above:  Melle Finelli, “Hidden Nest Pendant.” Silver. Photo by  HCCC.

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Richard Florance

Richard Florance resides in Shoreacres, a small city on Galveston Bay. He is a lifelong resident of the Houston-Galveston area. He is retired from Semasy Inc., a plastics manufacturing company in Houston, which provides merchandising aid for retail briskness. Over the last 30 years, in his spare time, he learned cabinet making. Upon his retirement, after golf did not require enough hours, he started wood turning, which had been an interest for many years. This has indeed become an outlet for his creative abilities. He has been turning wood for over seven years and has made over 900 bowls, each of which is unique. His bowls have been distributed worldwide.

Richard’s other activities include civic and community participation, as well as being involved with his church and enjoying his nine grandchildren.

Above: Richard Florance, “Cocobolo Bowl.” Wood and Turquoise. Photo by HCCC.

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Lyn Foley

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“I love making glass beads. As I work, my hands dance with the flame. Lampworking is an ancient technique of making glass beads, one by one. It involves melting rods of glass in a torch flame and winding the molten glass onto a prepared mandrel. After each bead is made and decorated (also in the flame), it is placed, still on its mandrel, into a preheated kiln for annealing (which insures bead durability and strength).”

“The next day, after the annealing process, the group of beads I made the day before are removed from their mandrels and cleaned. I then make wearable art jewelry using my beads. My husband, Jim Foley, fabricates or casts silver findings to complement the jewelry I design.”

Above: Lyn Foley. Flowers in Muted Raspberry Necklace, 2011. Handmade lampworked glass bead flowers and leaves strung on freshwater pearls, sterling silver clasp. Photo by Lyn Foley.

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Terry Fromm

Terry Fromm is most fascinated by the idea of using metals in ways similar to how fabrics are used in clothing. Metal can be softened and formed into fluid forms, resembling ribbons and fabric folds, and then folded and formed into rigid three-dimensional structures and containers. The material can be stretched or compressed and worked into organic and geometric shapes. As Terry’s work evolves, she leans even more on her roots in textile work, combining metals with fabrics, mixing metals to take advantage of various colors and properties, and using enamels to add even more color as a design element.

Above:  Terry Fromm, “Cathedral Silver and African Padauk Box,” Mixed Media. Photo by HCCC.

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Judy Geagley

Judy Geagley, along with her husband, Gordon, have been a part of Kentucky’s phenomenal craft marketing efforts since 1990.  As a part of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a state agency founded by former first lady of Kentucky, Phyllis George, Judy has gone from being a “country mouse” from the small town of Tollesboro, Kentucky, to having her work in high-end stores such as Barney’s and Takashimaya in New York City.

Using recycled materials from Goodwill, thrift stores and friends’ closets, Judy designs a collection of Teddy Bears, Dolls and other soft lovable toys.  She also does custom orders from military uniforms, wedding dresses, old quilts and bedspreads, making heirloom treasures that can last for generations.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Heidi Gerstacker

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“I use traditional goldsmithing techniques, such as fabrication and soldering, to construct wearable art from sterling silver. The designs are about organic imagery simplified to suggest abstract shapes and forms. The earrings, necklaces and pins demonstrate the interplay of light and shadow, the positive and negative space of the metal. More recently, I have begun to think about color as form, adding a new tool to my palette.”

“I am inspired by the ordinary being extraordinary. A glance in the junk drawer or a stroll through my urban neighborhood provides a variety of visual influences. Some may be natural, others are man made, but either can spark an idea of form, or the path of light. I take these impressions and transform them into a modern line of jewelry, sharing my vision with the wearer‘s style.”

Heidi Gerstacker, “Square Abalone Ring.” Sterling silver and abalone. Photo by HCCC.

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Helena Gijsbers van Wijk

Helena Gijsbers van Wijk was born and raised in Czechoslovakia. Growing up when Europe was divided into East and West made Helena very sensitive to political and social issues, a fact that would repeatedly emerge in her work. During her teenage years, she moved to Prague, where she received a graduation certificate from the Prague Conservatory and, later, her MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts. Helena relocated to the United States in 1990 and currently lives in Pasadena, Texas.

Above:  Helena Gijsbers van Wijk, Cantalope Burnished Pottery,” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Jan D. Gjaltema

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Influenced by his education and experience in architecture, Dutch-born Jan D. Gjaltema combines the linear and structural with the modern to produce a most varied and distinctive collection of hand-crafted brass and copper jewelry for both men and women.

In 1983, Jan turned his full creative attention to fine jewelry design. The results of his efforts have been nothing short of spectacular. His jewelry graces the finest galleries and museum gift shops throughout Europe, the United States and Japan.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Terry Hagiwara

”Let my pieces speak to you.”

Born in Kyushu, Japan, Teruhiko (Terry) Hagiwara came to the U.S. in 1969 and to Houston in 1981. Though he enjoys a day job as a research physicist in the petroleum industry, he has been passionate about ceramics since he began taking classes at Houston’s Glassell School of Art in 1989. He is inspired by that which is almost, but not quite, symmetrical, delighting in the element of chaos a slight skew brings to the order and control of symmetrical forms.

Terry works with high-fire stonewares and sometimes wood fire, but more often with raku firing. With raku, he uses glazes, whether metallic copper or crackle white, in simple geometric surface designs.  He also uses a process he calls “jade finish,” during which he omits any glaze and instead burnishes, applies slip, then removes the slip after raku-firing.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Roy Hanscom

“I enjoy working with clay; it is a material that sets no limits and has practically no boundaries in its ability to adapt to my ideas and designs. My latest body of work is the exploration of the functional form. The forms are thrown and altered, giving each piece a sense of life and movement. Constructed of a high-fire stoneware clay body, the forms are reduction fired to cone 9 in a gas kiln. A combination of ash glazes are used to help accentuate the forms and further enhance movement.”

Above: Roy Hanscom. Mug and Bowls. Ceramic. Photo courtesy the artist.

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Harlequin Feltworks / Jenne Giles

Jenne Giles is a San Francisco-based artist whose work ranges from traditional fine arts and crafts to innovative performance and installation art. She received her B.A. in Art and Art History from Rice University in 1997. After working professionally in the arts and trades, she began her own business, Harlequin Feltworks, in 2007. Her enterprise is dedicated to creating unique pieces of wearable art that combine her love for painterly color, sculptural form, folk art and costume. Jenne is thrilled to be working at felt’s cutting edge of fashion and design.

Left: Harlequin Feltworks. Sunrise Rose Scarf, 2010. Wool and silk. Photo by Moja Ma’at.

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Hj Designs / Hazel Studstill

Hj Designs by Hazel Studstill offers inspired jewelry and accessories.  Hazel’s modern designs are hand fabricated using traditional metalsmithing techniques and alternative eco materials, like fish leathers and upcycled plexiglass signage. Each collection has a story, and her style blurs the lines among art, fashion and hand-crafted studio jewelry. Her head-turning designs are inspired from life experiences, travel, organic shapes and world events.

Above:  Hazel Studstill, “Plexi Links Necklace,” Plexiglass and silver. Photo by HCCC.

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Hudson Beach Glass

Hudson Beach Glass Studio has casted functional and sculptural objects for over 20 years. John and Wendy Gilvey, Michael Benzer, and Jennifer Smith founded Hudson Beach Glass in 1987. Hudson’s main studio is located in a renovated ice house in the Hudson Valley of New York state. The space features fine cast and blown glass, an artist-run retail space, and a funky second-floor gallery space for installations.

Above:  Hudson Beach Glass, “Grey and Green Tripod.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Thomas Irven

Thomas Irven is a wood artist who has been producing custom furniture and wood turnings in his Bellaire, Texas, studio since 1987. Irven apprenticed under an English master craftsman and has conducted seminars in woodworking, woodturning and design. Woodturning has always been a passion for the artist and played a large part in his furniture making. In 1998, turning wood became the focus of his work. He says, “The inspiration for my designs comes from nature, dreams and life experiences. I find creative balance and satisfaction in manipulating the forms I can produce on the lathe.”

Irven, a former artist-in-residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, teaches classes in woodturning and design. He also creates woodturnings for the wholesale and retail market place.

Left: Thomas Irven. Pear Box, 2010. Grapefruit wood, birdseye maple. Photo by Thomas Irven.

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Joyce Joe

Joyce Joe uses the fine craft of porcelain to create her well known variety of faces. Porcelain is a hard, fine-grained ceramic ware that consists of kaolin, quartz, and feldspathic rock, and is fired at a high temperature.

Everything has a story–it is all in the telling. This is the central idea behind Joyce’s work. Using ceramics, she crafts a story into each piece, leaving the viewer to bring it to life. From the unending expressions of the faces to the whimsy she crafts into functional objects, Joyce presents many tales to follow. What will you see?

Image courtesy of HCCC.

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Jason Kishell

“My work addresses the way things grow, live, receive support from the environment, decay and ultimately start again. The features that are produced through these actions are the source of my visual vocabulary. The subtle details found in the natural world, the cyclical quality of life, and the way nature interacts with human society are the topics I generally work with. The media used in my work reflects my appreciation for process and learned skill. I enjoy the process of making just as much as the end result.”

“Smug Mugs are inspired by my series of sculptural works that feature mouths with various expressions. Each one is unique and completely handmade–thrown on the potter’s wheel, hand carved, glazed, and china painted. These mugs are meant to be used. They are made of porcelain and are dishwasher and microwave safe, although heating liquids in a separate container and washing by hand will extend the life and finish of the mug.”

Jason Kishell, “Texas Orb Weaver Mug,.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Christy Klug

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“My line of large-scale, sculptural metal is cut by hand using a jeweler’s saw. The current collection was inspired by my early interest in stained-glass design, which I studied at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I was drawn to the stained-glass artists in post-World War II Germany who revolutionized the medium by elevating the structural function of the lead lines into an artistic element.”

“I discovered metalsmithing when I moved to Austin, Texas. Jewelry design afforded me the opportunity to work on a smaller scale, and creating wearable art personalized the artistic process for me in a way that stained glass had not. I found I could achieve the dramatic aesthetic effect of lead lines by hand cutting them into the metal, leaving negative space where the glass had been. I’m inspired by the shapes and lines in the art of Jean Arp, Gerhard Richter, Egon Schiele, Johnnes Schreiter and Frank Gehry.”

Above: Christy Klug, Long planed earrings and overlapping plane flat necklace. Silver. Photo by HCCC.

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Lebeth Lammers

Lebeth Lammers has long known that clay, as an artistic medium, has the versatility to allow her to express her ideas in both two and three dimensions, using surface and texture, opacity and translucence. With both painterly and traditional ceramic techniques, she creates work in series which evolve piece by piece into works distinct from the original.

“Sometimes when I open the kiln, I see a shape which approaches my idea or a surface which perfectly fits its shape. At those times, I like to think the fulfillment I feel may also be felt by the person who will own that piece. For the opportunity to make art which touches both nature and my own creativity, I am forever grateful.”

Above: Lebeth Lammers, “Frog/Lily Pad Mug”. Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Kristin Lora

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“I primarily work in precious metals and combine them mostly with found objects. I utilize a variety of traditional metal and silversmithing techniques, including fabrication and soldering, as well as many others. All of my jewelry, functional objects and small sculptures are fabricated by hand. I prefer to do one-of-a-kind pieces; if I choose to duplicate a previous design, there are always subtle differences in the subsequent work.”

“My artistic journey began as a small child and throughout my growing up as I experimented with beading, glass, painting, sculpture, music and more. I have always had my art as a foundation to create and outlet to ground my otherwise busy life.”

“My jewelry and small sculpture is known for its clean, uncomplicated and contemporary lines. The imagery tends to be scaled-down replications of objects I am familiar with (such as vehicles), and many I invent in my mind (aliens and other creatures). Again, bold lines and an up-front whimsy prevail. I love the intimate scale that this work provides both as the maker and as a viewer. I love watching the reaction of discovery when others notice the tiny and unexpected details within my pieces. Humor is important in my work and my life–a very direct humor that is slightly bemused. What I like best is creating something that has never existed before.”

Above: Kristin Lora, Circle cluster earrings with garnet and Circle link necklace. Silver, garnet. 32” Photo by HCCC.

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Lotus

“My functional work reflects the way I live, from the way I cook to the way I like to shop. My designs are based on my passions: cactus, Houston, Texas, television, cooking, science, shopping, and family nostalgia.”

“I am constantly stimulated by the world around me and feel compelled to translate it into a way that I can share with others. Functional work is inspired from objects I use myself or would like to use. My figurative, sculptural works become conglomerations of my encounters sprinkled with the kind of nervous energy persisting in present-day America.”

“Inspiration for sculptural work is based on the human figure and my un-verbalized concerns about life and the human condition. Many of the forms are influenced by the objects I collect.”

Left: Lotus, “Spike Cup” and “Skull Mug.” Ceramic. Photo by HCCC.

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Cindy Luna

Cindy Luna is an accomplished wire sculptor. Her work has been displayed in galleries all over the United States. Each piece is hand woven out of stainless steel wire or brass. Her work has a clean, urban feeling, yet her life is deeply isolated.  Cindy is a resident of Big Island’s secluded Waipi‘o Valley.

Image courtesy of HCCC.

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Sharon MacLeod

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“Turning ordinary materials into colorful, richly patterned jewelry is what fascinates me. Looking at a finished piece, the nature of the work is not obvious, and I am often asked, ‘What is this made of?’ Mostly self-taught, I have always been a maker of things, from creating paper dolls with elaborate wardrobes as a child to the jewelry I make today. Unencumbered by formal training, I explored many materials and techniques over the years, intuitively gravitating toward jewelry design. Working with digital imaging allows me to spontaneously create colors and patterns impossible any other way, and to ‘exploit the random.’ Finding inspiration all around me, my most recent collection is based on African textile patterns.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Marcela McLean

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Drawing inspiration from the beauty of flowers, Marcela McLean works in sterling silver and enamel to create her own personal garden. As a board member of the Houston Metal Arts Guild, Marcela also works to promote the metal arts in the greater Houston area.

“I grew up in the middle of the Andean mountains, where I still find myself captivated by an infancy surrounded by natural streams and an abundance of nature only found in the tropics.  The balance of natural lighting, rich colors, and even the sound of nature is the inspiration for the intimacy I try to create between the human body and my work.”

Above: Brooches by Marcela McLean. Enamel on copper. Photo courtesy the artist.

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Margarita Mileva

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“As a trained architect, I have always been intrigued by different art forms. Shapes, volumes and colors fascinate me, and quite often I am also looking for similar expression in the architectural projects that I am working on. When creating jewelry using rubber bands, I have the feeling of drawing and painting using the rubber bands as my color palette.”

“It is very interesting to follow the reaction of the people around me trying to figure out the material, with its unique texture and pastel colors. In this jewelry series, I am trying to recreate, in a contemporary way and with unusual materials, the beauty of nature.”

“My rubber-band jewelry has been compared to multicolored sculptures…knotted, twisted, and braided every which way.”

Above: Margarita Mileva. Bubble Green Necklace, 2011. Black and green rubber bands; approximately 18″ – streachable. Photo by Margarita Mileva.

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Moon Spoon

Moon Spoon is designed by Jonathan and Julia Spoons. She creates in graphic images; his life’s work is wooden spoon design. Together they work in a little shop designing beautiful spoons and utensils, deep in the woods of Pennsylvania by the Maiden Creek.

“The moon casts its brilliant light through the trees and inspires our designs. The stark beauty of contrast and silhouette emerges from the moonlit night. We interpret this graphic imagery in fine cherry wood, creating elegant serving utensils inspired by moonlight.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Robert Thomas Mullen

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Robert’s work is highly influenced by his current local environment and culture, as well as places he visited on family trips from his childhood:  “My jewelry is a way for me to materialize the world I have experienced. I can take my environment and hold it in my hand, allowing me to better understand my surroundings.”

After taking two workshops in wood jewelry, Robert has discovered his love for the material and enjoys working with both native and exotic woods. During his residency at HCCC, he refined his techniques and combined wood and metal in unique ways to create his jewelry.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Susan Murphy

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Nature now comes handcrafted. When Doozie jewelry was founded, it had two intentions: To hand craft jewelry and to create jewelry that is completely and utterly distinctive, combining the beauty of nature with the look and feel of metal.

“Every petal on our Enamel collection is hand-pressed. Every piece in our Petal collection has a kinetic liveliness.  And every piece in all our collections is precise, perfect and unique. You’ve never worn anything like this. Doozie jewelry captures the unabashed, fractal patterns that can only be found in flowers by pressing them into the cold, smooth lines of metal. It’s nature, frozen in time and alive in metal.”

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Peggy Nino

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“Our daily lives are enriched by a multitude of diversity.  Each day can embody the mystery of the seemingly polar.  From repetition to singularity, stress to tranquility, from chaos to unity, we find completeness in the complexities that make up our day-to-day activity. By editing, organizing and reorganizing, we can find a harmonious calm within our life. In my work, I explore the relationship of daily life and its diverse intricacies. By simplifying shape and form, by layering color and texture, I symbolically denote the complexities in our personal experiences. These works serve as a means to express the parallel between mankind and nature and changes that are essential to both.”

Peggy Nino enjoys working with a variety of media, including sterling silver, enamel and semi-precious stones.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Mark Orr

“Since Man’s earliest history, the Raven and Crow have held a high and honored position in our mythology and spirituality. Native American tradition holds the Raven-Crow as the courier of energy flow. Northwest coastal tribes believed the Raven was the Creator of the Heavens, Earth and Sea. For Southwestern Native Americans, he was their ‘Storyteller.’  For me, the Raven and Crow represent the ‘scavenger’ or ‘gatherer’ of my found objects from the past, and they are a ‘messenger’ of the many mysteries that we call spirituality. The ‘key’ symbolizes the opening of doors and welcoming positive change into our lives. Perched on a ‘ball’ serves as a representation of living in balance.”

Image courtesy of HCCC.

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Tiffany Ownbey

“I make figurative sculpture using traditional paper-mache techniques and found objects. I begin each piece by layering antique sewing patterns around various forms (old dolls, mannequins, inflatable items, anything with an interesting shape), creating hollow shapes that are then joined with wood, wire, antique doll parts, old toy pieces, nameless found objects, covered with antique book pages and colored paper.”

The resulting sculptures speak to both doll and figure, old and new, playful and macabre. They are lively, surprising and colorful. Whether presented alone or in groups, Ownbey’s work is strong and distinctive.

Left: Tiffany Ownbey. Paper Mache Sculpture. Photo by Jack Zilker.

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Alicia P.

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Based in New York City, each of Alicia P.’s handmade pieces of jewelry creates a visual experience. Her eye-catching designs range from bold and over-the-top pieces to small and delicate items, often described as mini sculptures. Alicia P.’s unique jewelry is based on the use of sustainable materials, primarily goat suede imported from India. Her work is further representative of sustainable values by using a majority of found materials; organic items, harvested from beaches and mountain tops around the world; and semi-precious stones.

Alicia P, “Green Snakeskin Necklace.” Suede, crystal, glass, snakeskin, and gold plated chain. 14” Photo by HCCC.

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Tom Perry

“I want to create pots, whether tea cup, salad bowl, lemonade pitcher, platter, or flower vase, that, through their use, add spirit and pleasure to someone’s life. My own pleasure derives from the process of forming the vessel while the clay is plastic and malleable. I use white stoneware and porcelain clays because they produce smooth surfaces and respond well to color in glazes, in slips, and within the clay itself. I often mix colorants into the clay to integrate layered and patterned color combinations with wheel-throwing and hand-building processes. Carving into the swirling colored surfaces of wheel-thrown vessels, for example, exposes variegated patterns resembling agate and marbled cores, wood grains, and stratrigraphic earth layers, while stretching clay slabs during hand building distorts and expands original patterns into new designs. The result is always a surprise.”

Above: Tom Perry. Agateware Teapot and Cups, 2009. Colored stoneware, wheel thrown, carved, glazed. Photo by Rick Wells.

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Philabaum Glass / Tom Philabaum

Tom Philabaum built his first glassblowing studio in 1975 in downtown Tucson and opened a gallery in 1982. The following year, 1983, the Glass Arts Society (GAS) conference took place in Tucson, with Tom as the liason for the local glass community. In 1985, the present location became the new home of Philabaum Glass, and, in 1997, the GAS conference returned to Tucson with Tom as Co-Chair, and Philabaum Studio & Gallery again being a major venue for demos and exhibitions.

Tom and his wife, Dabney, ran a second gallery location in the Tucson foothills from 2002-2007. Since that time, they have re-focused their efforts at the original home of Philabaum Glass, in downtown Tucson, where Dabney runs Philabaum Glass Gallery, showing artists from across the country. Tom continues to spearhead the studio of blown glass and the more current sculptural and site-specific art, using a broad array of techniques, including kiln casting, fusing, slumping, and dalle de verre.

Tom Philabaum, “Round Blue Paperweight.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Pinzette Glass / Bill Burch

Bill Burch finds there is nothing quite as exciting as shaping and forming molten glass, a material that cannot be touched, despite the tender and intimate relationship the artist has with the medium. No piece is ever quite reproducible or predictable, which adds to the excitement and mystery of glass. Burch’s work emphasizes the process of blowing and forming hot glass using design elements that can be incorporated into the molten material. His challenge is to add these designs and still maintain the integrity of the process by capturing the beauty implicit in the simplest form, line and color.

Above: Bill Burch, “Creamer,” “Wabi-Sabi Vase,” and “Large Pitcher.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Connie Roberts

“I have a BA in art history and a MA and MFA in painting, so I’m not qualified to be a folk artist, but my work is generally referred to as folk because that is what it looks like. I don’t mind how people label me as the ‘Whistle Lady.’ This gives me a category all my own, and all of my sculptures do have a whistle somewhere in them. I have loved woodworking ever since I was a kid messing around in the garage with my dad and older brother. I have equally loved things that are humorous, from Mad Magazine to Monty Python to the evening news. I believe that the essence of good art is that it is attractive enough to draw you in for a closer look, yet has sufficient content to make the time you spent with it worthwhile.”

Above: Connie Roberts, “Cow with Teacup Whistle.” Wood. Photo by HCCC.

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Melissa Schmidt

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Melissa Schmidt’s newest work is a combination of blowing and molding techniques, which allows her to create large disc-shaped viewing vessels.  She stitches slide film together to tell a bigger story.  Melissa is inspired by natural materials, such as cotton (picked right from the plant), seeds from trees, and other riches found only in one’s back yard.  Her jewelry is made with Borosilicate glass, film, glass powder, frit, and stringers.

Above:  Melissa Schmidt, “Butterfly Film Cascade Necklace.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Caitie Sellers

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Caitie Sellers received her BFA in craft/material studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.  After graduating, she spent the summer of 2008 teaching jewelry-making lessons to women in isolated regions near Xela, Guatemala.  Upon returning to the U.S., Caitie moved between Montana and North Carolina, developing her own jewelry; working professionally as a floral designer; and assisting artists, such as Joanna Gollberg, Natalya Pinchuk, and Amy Tavern.  Caitie’s work is informed by her observations of the many places she’s lived, from rural Virginia to Central America.  She is interested in themes of urbanization, architecture, and social development.

Above:  Caitie Sellers, “Highway Ring Series.” Sterling Silver. Photo courtesy of the artist.

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Leslie Shershow

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“My work is an exploration of man’s complex relationship with objects, specifically the ownership and attainment of things. I attempt to blur the line between beauty that is inherent and inherited. I am drawn to the innate aesthetic value of certain natural objects and arrange these natural items with man-made motifs.

I transform acrylic into objects reminiscent of quilts and upholstery, as seen on objects such as car seats, designer handbags, and bedspreads. I create a repetition of forms with a hydraulic press, and employ finishes which deviate from the structural material, contradicting the form’s original appearance and tactile qualities. I create an object of desire by isolating these parts that signify status and decadence.

On the other side of the spectrum, the Wooden Jewelry series pays homage to the stingy, do-it-yourself home improver. His methods may not be clean or standard, though the final product holds a special charm. I combine many personally meaningful elements–home-made docks, fishing lures, sheds, fences, and dodgy home repairs—to create my jewelry.”

Photo by HCCC.

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Matthew Smith

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“I create jewelry as a way to combine my graphic design career with my love for materials and fabricating objects. Most pieces are originally conceived as two-dimensional designs, then extruded into three-dimensional objects. Graphic elements such as line, weight, color and pattern are translated into silver gauge, tinted resin and wood grain. I explore various proportions and geometry within the different elements with the goal of creating a dynamic but balanced design.”

“My work is informed by the Modernist jewelers of the mid 20th century, favoring the use of simple materials combined with a strong sense of design over the use of precious metals and gems. I find this approach to jewelry design leads to pieces that are accessible, familiar and modern.”

“Most of my designs contain three materials: sterling silver, wood and resin. Silver will tarnish over time and should be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth. Avoid silver creams or liquids as they will damage wood elements. Pieces containing wood should avoid exposure to excessive amounts of water. Water will cause wood to expand, damaging the jewelry. Remove jewelry when washing, bathing or swimming. If wood begins to look dull, rejuvenate it by applying some furniture-grade paste wax. Follow instructions provided with the wax. The wax will not damage the resin or silver components and will actually reduce silver tarnishing.”

Above: Matthew Smith. Pulse Ring, 2011. Sterling silver & cast resin. Photo by Matthew Smith.

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Kari Stringer

The vivid colors, interesting typefaces, and wonderful subjects of vintage tins inspire Kari Stringer.  The varied appearance of the tins—some with deeply saturated colors and others with beautifully romantic subjects—embody both sides of the artist’s personality.  Her current work is a combination of geometric shapes that are all hand cut, displaying beauty in their imperfect silhouettes, as well as the distressed nature of the tins.  By narrowing the subject matter into something as simple as a circle or rectangle, Kari gives her pieces new life by changing the context in which they are viewed.

Above:  Kari Stringer, “Blue and White Chandelier Earrings.” Vintage Tin. Photo by HCCC.

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Janet Taylor

Craft is a struggle between trying to lead and trying to follow…a passionate dance at best. Janet Taylor’s work has been a process of listening and following. After years of learning about textiles, cultures, techniques and art making, her work seems to be a melding of all of the above.

Textiles have always been opulent, intriguing, a sign of royalty, elegance, setting women and men apart. It is with all of those things in mind that her work evolves, providing enjoyment every step of the way.

Janet Taylor, a recognized artist, speaker, and educator for more than three decades, received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA from Syracuse University’s School of Art. Upon receiving her degrees, she simultaneously began a career in teaching and a career as an exhibiting artist.

Janet Taylor, “Purple and Green Scarf.” Fiber. Photo by HCCC.

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Matt Thomas (Thomas/Work)

Matt Thomas was introduced to woodworking by his father when he was 14. A few years later his parents urged him to participate in a jury session at Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia’s retail gallery. Jeff Fetty, a Tamarack juror and local blacksmith, invited Thomas to apprentice at his shop from 1998 to 2002. Thomas slowly increased his skills and responsibilities, eventually contributing design ideas.

Matt launched Thomas/Work in 2002. Each of his designs begins as a sketch, then is adapted to three-dimensions on the computer so he can view it from all angles. From there he creates a prototype. Successful pieces are added to one of his three lines: the traditional inspired line, the contemporary line and the hybrid line refers to pieces that merge wood with iron. “I want people to appreciate and enjoy timeless design.”

Matt Thomas, “Small Serving Board and Bowl.” Wood and metal. Photo by HCCC.

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Demitra Thomloudis

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“My work connects visual and physical elements that exist within our daily periphery. The jewelry I create embodies my own adaptation of architectural language, which organizes and constructs elements within each work. I choose to visually and physically preserve, translate and cherish these attributes through the objects I create.”

Originally from the greater Philadelphia area, Demi Thomloudis received her BFA in metals and jewelry from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2007 and her MFA in jewelry and metalwork from San Diego State University in 2013. Her work was featured in two recent exhibitions at HCCC:  SPRAWL and La Frontera.  Demi’s jewelry can be seen in publications such as 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs:  A Groundbreaking Survey of a Modern Material and The Art of Jewelry: Plastic & Resin: Techniques, Projects and Inspiration, both published by Lark Books.

Demitra Thomloudis, “Landscape Cameos Brooch.” Mixed Media. Photo by HCCC.

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Amber Tiemann

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“For as long as I can remember, I always loved to create. I started off painting, and I have always been drawn to working with color. I love working with metal and using vibrant, bold colors in my work, with the use of colored stones, enamel and resin.”

“Design inspiration comes to me in so many different ways. Sometimes it’s from architecture and the clean graphic lines of industrial design. And I am always inspired by the different variety of artists around me.”

“I have been taking classes at the Glassell School of Art for a number of years under Sandie Zilker and, more recently, with Jan Harrell. I live in Clear Lake, Texas, with my husband, Jonathan, and our dog, Cooper.”

Above: Amber Tiemman, Gold druzy tear necklace and Red coral earring. Silver, coral, enamel, and swarvoski crystal. Photo by HCCC.

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Vetro Vero Glass / Michael Schunke & Josie Gluck

Vetro Vero is the collaborative design and glass-blowing studio of makers Michael Schunke and Josie Gluck. The idyllic setting of their repurposed dairy-farm studio is just the place for Michael and Josie to envision and create their signature designs, which are revered for their exceptional quality and meticulous craftsmanship. Each hand-blown glass object is made through practicing the core values that brought them together:  honest work, pure materials, fresh designs, and respect for the skilled glassmaking tradition in which they were both trained.

Above:  Vetro Vero Glass, “Petite Flat Pitcher.” Glass. Photo by HCCC.

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Lisa Wilson

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Lisa Wilson was born and grew up just outside of Columbus, OH. She earned a BA in theater and drama, in addition to a BFA in studio art, metalsmithing and jewelry design. Eager to continue her studies in metalsmithing, Lisa attended graduate school at Miami University in Oxford, OH, where she recently earned her MFA. As an emerging artist, Lisa has exhibited work in local, national, and internationally competitive juried exhibitions and has been awarded on several occasions.

Image courtesy of the artist.

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Rebecca Zemans

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After making sculpture for many years, Rebecca Zemans realized shrinking the scale to jewelry size would allow her to make art that is more accessible. Strong yet delicate, ancient but modern, her designs are contemporary with a classic look. They derive from Rebecca’s fascination with the similarity of biological organisms viewed through a microscope and celestial bodies viewed through a telescope.

Rebecca creates comfortable, everyday jewelry that complements and expresses the exceptional qualities of the individual. Each piece tells its own story; every blow of the hammer, every bent curve of silver or gold, every precious stone collected from a far-away land becomes part of a one-of-a-kind, wearable work of art.

Image courtesy of the artist.