Tom Stoenner has hand blown fine glass for over three decades. Working out of his studio in the scenic Hudson Valley, he makes functional glassware for home and table. Each piece is individually crafted using traditional tools and centuries-old techniques; yet, his finished objects are informed with a contemporary sensibility. His work has been shown nationwide, and he was a recipient of an American Craft Museum Design Award.
“I have always believed that things made by hand offer a shared experience between the maker and the user. A simple object can forge connections.”
“I began blowing glass back in 1994. As it happened, I went to college to pursue a basketball scholarship, but as fate would have it, a work study in the art department introduced me to glassblowing. I remember that jaw dropping moment, seeing the molten material rotating on the blow pipe, the creative energy, the improvisation, the dance, the sweat, the teamwork. All these things at once. This was something I had to do. After 2 years, I walked off the court, and into the hotshop to take my first class. The rest, well is art history.
“The college glass experience was one of a exploration, trial and error, and a “see what happens” approach. This is how art is created, through a willingness to explore the material and make mistakes. When I graduated, I received a fellowship at a renowned Craft School. This experience focused my attention to the fine details of glass blowing, crafting the perfect object, great technique, and the understanding of the process.
“As my tenure ran out, I was approached by a gallery that wanted to open a glass blowing studio. This entire process, from building the equipment, laying out the space, designing the glassware, teaching workshops, demonstrating to the public, proved to be a invaluable experience, and led me to my current adventure.
“In 2002, I began my own business, Thomas Spake Studios. While glass is my primary materiel of choice, I also create large site specific sculpture, fabricate custom gates, railings and fences, design jewelry, teach glassblowing workshops, and make awards and gifts for various businesses and organizations. My work can be found in museum shops and galleries or find me on the road traveling to a fine art festival near you.”
Coming from a long line of artisans, it was a natural choice for Sarah Richardson to follow her passion for art. Sarah studied Metalsmithing at Rhode Island School of Design, with further design studies in Germany. After graduating, Sarah moved to New York and designed custom jewelry for a fine jewelry gallery in the West Village, taught metalsmithing, and focused on fine art jewelry. In 2006, she returned to CA and set up her own studio. She has since expanded to a new studio in San Rafael, CA.
Sarah Richardson’s jewelry is a process of evolving designs. Drawn to the organic quality of each individual pod, a repetition of these elements creates geometric form. Using traditional wax carving techniques, each piece is hand carved, then cast in 18KY gold or sterling. Using heat to bring the fine metal to the surface, each piece is then polished on the edges creating an interior glow.
All pieces are finely crafted using recycled sterling, 18K gold & platinum and ethically sourced stones. Any pieces which are vermeil are plated in a heavy 18K gold over sterling, with gold fill chains, to ensure long-lasting quality.
Growing up in Oregon in a creative family, particularly with a father who was a printmaker, painter and art professor, I have always had artistic influences in my life. While studying Art History and Fine Arts at the University of Oregon, I took my first metalsmithing class in 1990 and loved it. After graduating in 1991, I returned to the U of O to receive a BFA in Metalsmithing in 1993. I moved to Portland in 1994 and the city, its buildings and environment inspired me to pursue architecture. I moved to Raleigh, NC to attend North Carolina State University’s Master of Architecture Program and graduated in 1999. Since graduating, I have had the opportunity to work as a project designer for a couple of great architecture firms in the area, winning several design awards for many of the projects, but my love for metalsmithing has always been in the back of my mind.
In the fall of 2009 I launched my own jewelry and metalsmithing line, Spark Metal Studio. Each design is original, laser cut stainless steel that is hand finished and hand colored with epoxy resin. The forms are both architecturally based and drawn from nature with a linear graphic quality. I currently live in Raleigh, NC with my husband Brian and son Ben, both of whom offer great support and a critical eye.
John Tzelepis has been dedicated to the art of jewelry and metals for 20 years. He received his undergraduate degree in Jewelry and Metals from Skidmore College and his MFA from Arizona State University.
Working in his studios in Arizona and New York, he has devoted himself to the research, development, and refinement of techniques to produce jewelry that exceeds the character and quality his customers demand. The line, form, color, and texture of these designs are a reflection of his passion for redefining both the art and function of jewelry-making. He currently is the Department Head of the Metals and Jewelry program at the Phoenix Center for the Arts.
One-of-a-kind bronze constructions are welded, forged, machined and oxidized with hot process patinas. The process has evolved in my 40 year dialogue with materials, and I have learned when to impose my will and when to listen. I want my pieces to look “made” and to retain evidence of my hand and thought. Working in series creates a slowly accumulating momentum, wearing away the non-essential to reveal what is authentic to a personal and particular aesthetic.”
In her work Ginger combines artisan skill with aesthetic finesse in making jewelry and small vessels in her downtown metals studio. Her skills at the bench, including forging, fabricating, etching, hollowform construction, creative stonesetting and texturing – when linked with her eye for contemporary but organic design – generate a unique and expressive body of work that conveys the mark of the human hand.
“I discovered felting about 9 years ago just by chance when having coffee with a friend. “It was her birthday and her mother sent her a present from Germany where she grew up. When she opened the package, my eyes flew opened. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew right there, what I could do with it. ” My background has been in design and fashion. I’m a serial crafter that would embrace anything done by hand. This lead me into a very successful career as a children’s clothing designer for many top firms in the US but at the time I saw this package, I was a stay at home mom looking for something creative to do (other than redecorating). “My friend said that my face changed. I ran home and ‘Googled’ ‘felted scarves’ and ‘felt artists’. I went through every website there was but no one was doing pattering or dimentional flowers. And so it began…. ” Using wool and water, I started to create roses and leaves that popped off the scarves. After drying 20 or more pieces all over my dining room, my husband asked what was I going to do with all of those scarves???: