Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iridescent Snowflakes

Recently, I referred to an artist friend, Jeanne, who is a polymer clay maven. I wanted to showcase a piece she gave to me last year as a Christmas present.

This maven knows her medium! She creates individual snowflakes with iridescent colors painted on polymer clay. Punctuated with Swarovski crystals, this delicate design is unique to each piece she handcrafts. Individually designed, signed, and numbered by the artist.

Update: Get yours from Jeanne herself now before the flurries fly out of her studio.

Fine Art ReDiscoveries

Initially, my premise for going to Lazy Days was essentially to check out the booth the Carolina Mix Media Guild had installed. After chatting with my good friend Jeanne at the booth, I also ran into a few of the folks I hadn't seen since one of the two meetings I actually attended this past year.

Moreover, I happened upon a former instructor of mine whose work I absolutely prize: Woody Chaimongkol. His charcoal dust technique is impeccable and I was lucky enough to have taken one of his first courses at Jerry's Art-a-Rama here in Raleigh.

His Web site ( is currently defunct, but I think I'll encourage him to get a few of his pieces up and showcased -his work is too good not to be seen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Just Say No to Spec Work

An article by writer Mark Evanier is about out working on spec. In his
article, Evanier refers to "Unfinanced Entrepreneurs"

He is quoted,

Unfinanced Entrepreneurs exist because of a fiction about creative people, so widely believed that even some of us writers and artists accept it. The fiction is that writing and drawing are not assets...they are things we whip up out of thin air and which cost nothing to create. If someone steals your work from you, you can always bat out another for nothing.

If you believe this, it's your right, but you do our profession a grave disservice. Every time someone tramples on our work — ruins it, changes it, mauls it, damages it — it's because they have no respect for it. And, generally speaking, they have no respect for that which cost them nothing.

They think writers and artists "just knock it out" but we don't...not really. And even when it seems like we do, it's because of a lifetime of developing whatever skills we bring to each project. My best pal, Sergio Aragon├ęs, once was selling some sketches he'd done. A browser was interested in one but blanched at the hundred-buck price tag.

"How long did it take you to draw that?" he asked.

"About a half-hour," Sergio answered.

The man was horrified: "You expect me to pay you a hundred dollars for a half-hour's work?"

Sergio showed uncommon restraint — at least for Sergio. He calmly said, "You're not paying for the half-hour it took me to do the drawing. You're paying for the forty-one years it took me to learn how to do that."

The most important admonition I can offer is to steer clear of those who want to exploit you. Even when you think you have no better prospect, avoid the Unfinanced Entrepreneur. They not only steal your work...they embezzle a little bit of your soul.

Mark's Link:

Monday, August 21, 2006

How to Stretch a Canvas

Ever wonder how to stretch a canvas… correctly? Utrecht's has posted a full-page of the "How To" on page 9 of their Art Supply Fall Catalog. I'm a big fan of diagrams and they've immediately won me over. to get on their mailing list.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Who Do You Stalk?

Last weekend Andrew and I attended (walked) a slew of tradeshows in NYC that included the Int'l Gift Fair, Directions, and the Textile Show. We've been walking various shows now for about 3 years. Other shows might include Atlanta Giftware Show (Jan), National Stationery Show (May) and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) that runs concurrently with NSS & Surtex -a show at which we exhibit.

The ICFF, in our minds, is just way too cool. If you want inspiration on several levels, be prepared for a surreal onslaught of some of the most talented artisans in the world. This creative collective bunch are an awesome array of industrial designers creating functional casegoods called furniture. One might also see softgoods for the home and accents.

Walking these various shows says much about the consumer. Designer egos are on the chopping block for shoppers and showroom buyers have to seek out the edgy -but not too edgy- for their clients and hope that the trickle down effect actually works. I've been in all 3 positions and I understand the sweat and fear that goes into each. In the end I ask myself -is anyone going to die because of my decision making? Probably not, so don't sweat it, just enjoy and buy what you like.

Meanwhile, I seek out the newbies of the floor. You know them because they've got the smallest booth but have packed a punch in their introductory designs they offer. I ask them how the show is going for them and they all usually reply in the same manner, "Oh, pretty well. Tired but excited to be here."

Wait a few days and return to them and ask the same question and you'll get a variety of responses. Some great, mediocre, and those who don't want to show their grave disappointment but it's clearly written all over their face - we know, we've been there (Atlanta 2005).

We are genuine when we wish them luck (because we like to see good and talented people succeed) and they can feel it -giving them a little boost in their step because we've just revealed our affinity toward their product and appreciate the lonely step in cold waters.

The following year we reintroduce ourselves and congratulate them on returning the second time. It's evident that they either had a decent turnout the last 12 months or have enough passion in their product to realize that they've got a solid winner but just need a few more years to get it out the gate and down the lane. Either way, we wish them luck again and watch their editorial submissions get print time in the popular industry mags and mention, "Hey, I remember your introduction -it was in Dwell!" Just before I leave their space, I'll confess that they're on my radar and they're one of the artists I stalk, "...but not in a bad way," I conclude. I just like to root for the little guy.

It's been my experience that artisans love to be told that they've got a following who is actually watching their career, it's gratifying. I know, I'm there.

Cross-posted from SAVANTBlog

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Summer Sailing

Shew! Finally have my Summer Sailing Show Installed at EVOO as well as on Bijouxlled.

Thoughts are always welcomed.

More Venues We Enjoy

Two places we love to frequent while in the city, since it's all about the food:

87 Macdougal Street, Greenwich Village

See! We told you it was tiny! They always have my favorites: Chicken Ravioli in a creamy tomato sauce and a warm chocolate flourless cake with ice cream. Man, we hurt when we leave that place. Oh so good, though.

152 Spring Street

Don't know what it is about this place that we save for last. More Northern Italian Fare; just can't get enough.

Oh! And at the very end, we stuff ourselves with chocolate gelato from Rocco's Pastry Shop.

What I Enjoy

We just returned from a long weekend in NYC. Yea! We love recharging our batteries in the Big Apple -so much to see & do. Actually, we were walking the NY Gift Show & other trade shows for the biz and it's terrific to write it off.

Here's my list:
1) NYC
2) Sephora
Due to the 'no liquids' policy on airlines, I completely forgot to pack my special facial soap (DDF-Glycolic) I've found perfect for my combo skin. A Sephora location in NYC was gracious enough to give me a sample of a similiar soap (Salicylic Wash - my choice) to complete my trip. It was easy, free, and a great way to maintain a great customer relationship. Yes, I will be going back to purchase that Salicylic Wash I fell in love with.
3) A pair of shoes I purchased at Hudson-Belk that I didn't have to break in; they kept my footsies comfortable thru-out the weekend sans blisters!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Happy Anniversary to Us!

I don't know what's sweeter: Life with Andrew or our Anniversary Cake we request Jennifer to make for us each year.

See our Wedding Cake & Previous Anniversary Cakes