Artists by Name

Tana Acton

,

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: Gold cuff by Tana Acton. Photo by HCCC.

Nicole Aquillano

Fascinated by the potential of place to define and connect us, she uses subtle narratives on functional work to elicit memories of past experiences. Nicole Aquillano establishes a close personal relationship with each piece; influenced by a nostalgia for her childhood home. Architectural imagery drawn from my photographic collection – inlaid with intense attention to detail directly into the porcelain clay becomes blurred by the movement of glaze. Aquillano is driven by a desire to hold onto that which will inevitably be lost. Her memories and experiences are carved onto objects intended to be both used and collected.

Jeremy Ayers

Jeremy Ayers

Jeremy Ayers strives to make pottery that celebrates the joy of eating, drinking and creating a special relationship between the owner and the object. In the 21st Century, in a world of homogeneous, mass-produced products, Jeremy believes that a handmade piece of pottery in your hand is a choice that states you want to slow down and enjoy the beauty of the moment. He makes his pottery to help accomplish that goal. Jeremy’s pottery becomes a witness and participant to the routines of your daily life. From his hands to your hands, this pot sits and waits for you and is glorified by your use of it.

Ashley Buchanan

Ashley Buchanan

,

As a maker, it is Ashley Buchanan’s intention to challenge the conventions of handmade jewelry through the use of inexpensive materials and new approaches to design and surface decoration. Because silhouettes allow Buchanan to reduce objects and images down to their most basic form, she is able to reference the history of jewelry but with a clean, contemporary aesthetic. This is reinforced through the use of powder coating, a process commonly used on an industrial scale to coat or color large metal objects with a durable, uniform finish. By using a limited color palette of black, white, grey, and the occasional pop of yellow, Buchanan alludes to common colors of metal such as silver, gold and oxidized metal.

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.

Carfora, "Self-Contained"

Christina Carfora

,

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.

Kimberley Chalos

While sculpture has always been a defining part of her artwork, Kimberly Chalos realized making a living from her sculptures was not an easy accomplishment. During her time working as a furniture maker she became interested in primitive art of different cultures. While making a reproduction of a northwest coast Tlingit rattle she noticed the rattle sitting upside down on her work table and thought of what a unique handbag it would be. From that thought came a whole line of beautiful hand carved handbags which are all are totally functional, fully lined inside and will catch everyone’s attention.

Above: Kimberley Chalos, “Little Jimmy Bag.” Wood and leather. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Jon Clark

Jon Clark

Jon Clark works with office supplies he manipulates to interpret nature’s process of intrinsic mathematical and divine proportions. The Divine Proportion is the base line equation for Clark’s creative process to unfold. Found in nature from the furthest stars to our fingertips, it can be used as a tool for discovery and understanding of regenerative and harmonious forms. Experiencing the balance of the relationship of parts to the whole, he is able to explore endless creative possibilities. Clark enjoys the history of the proportion’s application in the arts and architecture because it subliminally references an inclusive relationship between us and nature.

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.

Coupee

Nikki Couppee

Nikki Couppee’s work examines jewelry in terms of class, value, and emotional connection. To accomplish this, Couppee substitutes mundane materials for gemstones and precious metals in the hopes of making her work more accessible to the broader public. Plexiglass and brass are used as industrial counterfeits for finer, more traditional jewelry making materials. Her goal is to create pieces reminiscent of antiquity, but much more obtainable to the average person. Couppee utilizes low-cost materials to produce pieces available to everyone and can use as a means to express emotion outwardly through physical adornment.

Gretchen Diehl

,

“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.”

Gretchen Diehl, “Toucan Necklace.” Plastic and silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Dobbratz

Amanda Dobbratz

Amanda Dobbratz has a well-developed affection for complex surfaces and experimental modes of working. She hopes that her work exhibits a successful marriage between the whimsical and the practical. Dobbratz’s background as a painter provides a trove of techniques she applies to ceramic surfaces including gestural elements, heavy patterning with geometric shapes and symbols, unexpected contrasts in luster and luminosity, and painterly color combinations. The sources for Dobbratz’s surface treatments include the desert landscape, body ornamentation, and historical textiles.

Maria Eife

Maria Eife

Using new technologies combined with traditional craft skill and values, Maria Eife creates jewelry that is an exploration of materials, processes and structure. Her most recent collection, Loops and Cages, is the result of virtual, three-dimensional play. Using CAD software, Eife creates complex forms that are reproduced in plastic and metal. 3-D printed nylon is a flexible, and lightweight material suited perfected for jewelry. The precious metal line is designed in the same fashion, but is then printed in wax and cast using the lost wax technique.

Melle Finelli

,

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.

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.

Tarina Frank

Tarina Frank

Tarina Frank is a Houston-based artist who works primarily in metals and paper.  She began drawing and painting as a child when living and traveling on a 30-foot sail boat with her parents. Frank’s interest in jewelry and mechanisms has led to a series of work that revolves around ideas of constant change and identity.  She explains, “Our current generation is addicted to the fast pace and instant gratification of the internet and the ability to broadcast information about themselves on social media. In the online world, we are celebrities, and everyone can see what we ‘like,’ who we are dating, and what we are eating.  My jewelry allows you to wear your status updates, your relationships and your political views on your chest.

Julia Gabriel

Julia Gabriel

Julia Gabriel received her BFA in Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked with a variety of materials from glass to metals in school, but never any fibers until she started her own studio. Gabriel designs handmade accessories with striking geometric silhouettes in a bold palette based on the architectural principle of the Golden Ratio. She also has a history in ballet which also influences her decisions in structure and composition. Her studio is based in Houston where everything from dying to cutting to sewing is done by hand, and made-to-order.

Heidi Gerstacker

,

Heidi Gerstacker uses traditional goldsmithing techniques 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. Gerstacker has begun to think about color as form. She is inspired by the ordinary being extraordinary. A stroll through an urban neighborhood provides a variety of visual influences. Some may be natural–others are man-made–but either can spark an idea. Gerstacker takes these impressions and transforms them into a modern line of jewelry to share her vision with the wearer‘s style.

Gesser

Erin Gesser

Gesser is a Louisiana native and contemporary jewelry artist. She has experienced a lifelong, daily desire to create art in various forms. Her passion for creating wearable art in the form of jewelry led her to study at metalsmithing schools throughout the United States and Italy. Her techniques include hand forging and hand fabrication. All of her work is assembled and finished in her studio. Gesser likes to express herself with a large palette of materials to create elegant, wearable art in the form of jewelry. Simple geometric shapes often define many of her pieces. Gesser prefers working with sterling silver, fine silver, precious and semi-precious gemstones. In addition she often incorporates Keum-boo, an ancient Korean gilding technique used to apply thin sheets of 24kt gold foil to fine silver.

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.

Jenne Giles, “Coral Scarf.” Felt. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Adam Gruetzmacher

Adam Gruetzmacher

Adam is a studio potter living and working in Minnesota. His work is inspired by industrial processes and the American studio pottery tradition. Adam takes great joy and pride in making every-day objects that work well and are crafted with care and consideration.

He hopes that his objects can be comfortably employed in one’s life; beautiful in its ability to accomplish a given task and agreeable enough to do it every day.

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.

Terry Hagiwara, “Lattice Basket Vase.” Ceramic. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Henry

René Lee Henry

,

René Lee Henry’s jewelry is inspired by the stylized architecture from the modernist era as well as exploring the effects of time and decay on man-made structures. Combining these two influences, this body of work encompasses geometric and biomorphic forms, using hard lines along with organic colors and textures to create an architectural environment declined by age and neglect. Using polished surfaces marred with corrosion, the pieces reflect a once hopeful future that has been left in ruins.

Above: Interconnected Series #5 by Rene Lee Henry. Photo by artist.

Hoag

Clara Hoag

Clara Hoag builds figure sculptures that reflect, and reflect on, the nature of the human condition and the “lived” urban experience. Hoag integrates architectural motifs into human forms, often referencing medieval grotesque images for the facial features of her distinctive ceramics. Hoag’s sculptures are built in parts and combine those parts with construction adhesive, epoxy, and mortar. In this way, her sculptures take on the personality of a built environment: each piece is greater than the sum of its parts. Within each of Hoag’s figures are elements of human struggle and celebration, human vulnerability and strength.

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.

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.

Maia Leppo

Maia Leppo

,

Maia Leppo is a contemporary jewelry artist who seeks to question the traditional forms found in jewelry. By deconstructing the shape of the gem, and reconstructing the resulting template into fabricated jewelry, she questions the perception of value and the ways that value is assigned to these products. Specifically, how this value changes based on materials, trends, and personal preference.

Wyatt Little

Wyatt Little

Growing up Houston based ceramicist Wyatt Little used to watch a lot of ‘Saved By The Bell’. “I remember carrying around those brick phones, like the kind Zack had on the show,” they were bulky and huge–not exactly the sleekest technology. The combination of these nostalgic items, and learning how to cast led Little to pursue ceramic art. Little’s designs begin with a memory or a treasured object. The results are decidedly quirky, whimsical objects that can be scattered throughout an apartment as standalone bits of décor, or, like his phone vases, used as catchalls for knickknacks or treasured flora. “My designs are my way of immortalizing the things I’ve always cared about,” Little says.

Jera Rose Petal Lodge

,

Jera Rose Petal Lodge is a jewelry designer working to create steel and silver wire-based artworks. Her pieces range from small scale production and limited edition work to large scale sculptural jewelry pieces. The forms Lodge uses are frequently geometric in nature which utilizes patterns and repetition to create bold, graphic shapes. Design and function are her primary concerns and the strength and durability of steel allows her to create forms that are lightweight and visually delicate yet sturdy and easily wearable. Lodge often uses cold connections to introduce elements of motion, sound and playfulness into her jewelry.

Above: Jera Lodge, “Asymmetrical Necklace.” Steel and silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

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.

Didem Mert

Didem Mert

Didem Mert makes connections between the utilitarian object and its counterparts; the user and/or the object’s environment through Geometry, texture, and functionality. Different textural surfaces are created in Mert’s work by using pinched marks juxtaposed between smooth, defined lines and edges. Bright colors or luster shapes paired against a soft earthy color palette create high-contrast focal points in the work. The simple line-work on the pots showcases food in its presentation. Mert’s work strives to bring forth a sense of tranquility in its minimalistic design.

**The use of luster glaze makes these pieces not safe for use in the microwave**

Ayala Naphtali

,

Ayala Naphtali draws inspiration from ancient alphanumeric systems, contemporary architecture, and her own personal cultural history. She is intrigued with balance and proportion and feels as if each piece must find its axis on the wearer. The work is designed to be elegant with minimal and bold forms. Naphtali’s work is an exploration of form and materials: each equally important. She is committed to the use of materials for their color, texture and versatility. Coconut shell, dyed andcarved, is used to achieve such rich color and texture while forging, fabricating and casting are used to create pieces with dimension and volume.

Above: Ayala Naphtali, “Lampin Brooch.” Coconut shell, silver. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Scott Nelles

Scott Nelles

For over three decades, Scott Nelles has been producing objects of beauty in cast bronze. From toys to candlesticks, his work displays a childlike playfulness, elegant design and superb control of his medium. In his foundry and studio located in northern Michigan, Nelles is inspired by nature and industry. He uses the timeless methods of sand-casting and hand-finishing to create objects of beauty, strength and whimsy. Nelles’ work represents the latest in a line of hundreds of objects he has created over the years. The work has been exhibited worldwide and purchased by individual collectors as well as by trade.

Olson

Peter Olson

As a professional photographer, Peter Olson has traveled the world many times over. From corporate culture to religious iconography, Olson finds meaning in the repetition of human expression. The images encasing each ceramic piece are left by ink from photographic prints that when fired, burn away leaving a permanent and detailed image from the iron oxide in the ink. These expertly collaged individual pieces give way to a fixed visual narrative, a kaleidoscope of imagery than spans centuries and continents. When joined this way, each motif contributes to a network of increasing complexity.

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.

Piatti

Denisa Piatti

Denisa Piatti was born in Slovakia, where she studied goldsmithing with a focus on traditional techniques in jewelry making. After completing school Piatti travelled extensively, eventually landing in Scotland. It was there that Piatti was introduced to a wide range of jewelry featuring atypical materials, which she applied in her own work. Currently staying in living in Washington DC, Piatti combines precious with non-precious materials to form one of a kind jewelry pieces. Piatti aims to stimulate the wearer to ponder about what makes jewelry precious, and believes her jewelry is for anyone who appreciates unique design combined with a high level of craftsmanship – Someone who sees value in things other than just the sparkle of diamonds and gold.

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.

Gillian Preston

Gillian Preston

,

Gillian Preston’s process begins by first blowing a plate in a hot shop where she chooses and applies layers of color that will serve as the canvas for these glassy wearables. The images start as drawings that are sandblasted into the surface of the glass. Glass powders are inset into these sandblasted areas and fused to the plate in a kiln. A few firings in a kiln and some grinding complete the process as each piece takes its one of a kind shape. Broken Plates makes reference to the work’s origin as each wearable was cut and created from a piece of hand blown plate. The result is a highly unique line of jewelry that captures the qualities of blown glass.

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.”

Connie Roberts, “Zombie Lady.” Pine wood. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Caitie Sellers

,

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 Earrings.” Sterling Silver. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Smith

Delaney Smith

Delaney Smith is a visual artist working primarily with paper and bookmaking to create sculptures and interactive books. With a focus on aligning process and inherent qualities of material, she explores the ideas of accumulation and transformation through repetition. Her interactive books develop as the viewer alters the pages, creating a unique story of marks and questioning expectations of how one should approach a book. Delaney was an artist-in-residence at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft in 2013, and is currently an artist member of Box13 Artspace.

Stearns

Eric Stearns

Eric Stearns creates sculptural, pierced raku art. Stearns’s work strikes a chord with the viewer that conveys a fragile and fleeting existence.  He uses the raku process to accentuate the intersecting fragility of life, passionate connections, and the pain of betrayal, using the matrix of the objects to allude to those concepts.  With a strong interest in mathematics, Stearns creates patterns that explore relationships between glaze color, and texture, to elicit emotional responses. “Each piece created is an attempt at a reflection of who I am as a person and as an artist at the moment my hands touch the clay and then continues through the glazing and firing processes.  In this reflection, my hope is that a viewer can find a connection to their own experiences on this journey of life.”

Amber Tiemann

,

“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.

Eugene Watson

Eugene Watson began Watson Woodworks in 1990 within an old 1,200 square foot loft just outside of Chinatown in Chicago, Illinois. Prior to woodworking Watson designed the electronic components for black boxes in airplanes. Watson holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronics Technology from Southern Illinois University. He chose to pursue woodworking over an electronics career because he is able to express his creativity with his hands by designing innovative pieces in a relatively short period of time. Trapezoid box is finished with three coats of lacquer followed by a top coat of paste wax with fine sanding and steel wool between coats. The drawers are lined with genuine Ultrasuede leather. No stains have been used on any of the woods. The Scallop box is finished with three coats of hand-rubber lacquer and lined with genuine Ultrasuede and features abalone/Paua shell for the inlay.

Above: Eugene Watson, “Helical Box.” Wood and abalaone. Photo by Amanda Shackleford

Rena Wood

Working primarily with textile materials and processes, Rena Wood’s work gives physical form to the ephemeral sense of memory. Often using vintage materials, she combines her own history with that of a previous maker. The time Wood spends working is marked by each stitch, each knot and each repetitive act of her hands. She constructs and deconstructs materials to show suspension: formation and ruin, remembering and forgetting, the passage and stopping of time.

Above:  Rena Wood, “Shibori Scarf.” Silk. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.

Laura Wood

Laura Wood

,

Laura Wood makes jewelry to express her creative interests which, for many years, has been the human body. Wood began her career in the arts studying dance. This led her to make adornments for the body, activating pleasure and enjoyment through wearing. Each piece is very much an effort in creating body-conscious work. Material exploration and the lineage of jewelry history also inspire Wood to challenge herself in the work while evolving alongside a world with new technology and processes. Wood strives to enhance the silhouette of the body and create work to be worn as a celebration of performance and adornment.

Xu

Shiyaun Xu

Shiyaun Xu explores natural forms at the microscopic level with her own interpretation of scientific facts. Xu’s pieces reveal the diversity and beauty of unnoticed tiny things. Primarily working with porcelain paper clay, Shiyaun hand builds structures with slabs and coils to create intricate forms. Xu’s chaotic lines create a harmonious volume within a single form, generating a unified whole. Experimenting with various glazes Xu applies layer after layer, to form and freeze the growing motion. Through her sculptures, she wants to deliver an appreciation for nature and life

Dustin Yager

Dustin Yager

Dustin Yager received his BA in studio art from Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota, and his MA in visual and critical studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Yager has exhibited his work most recently in the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction’s juried art show in Bloomington, Indiana. Yager’s work draws attention to the fact that we are both consumers and producers of culture. Culture exists on a variety of scales, from incredibly personal experiences to the values embodied by our material belongings, creations, displays, and actions.

Rebecca Zemans

,

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.

Rebecca Zemans, “Infinity Cuff.” Gold fill wire. Photo by Amanda Shackleford.