Nancy Gardner

Nancy (Gardner) is an award winning potter with an extensive exhibition record and with work published in The Best of Pottery 1 and 2, The Ceramic Design Book, The Contemporary Potter (Rockport Publishers). Burt (Isenstein) is a sculptor and college art professor. We have been collaborating on our pottery since our first son was born in 1988.

Julie Girardini

“I believe it is my responsibility as an artist to keep telling stories of our histories. I am obligated to observe the word around me and make some sense of it through visual means.  Successfully doing this gives meaning to the social concerns and heightens awareness in each of us.
 
I’m influenced by the journeys we take in our lives.  I am interested in how we travel from one phase of life to another.  Sometimes it involves a physical move.  Other times it is an emotional shift.  How do we make it feel like home?  When do we know we are ready to move on?  Do we get stuck on concepts of safety and security, or do we honor the opportunity for growth?
 
I symbolize this through my use of iconic forms: boats, nests, houses…for me these forms hold histories.  Where we have been and where we are going.
 
My primary use of steel gives permanence to these structures, but I push the boundaries by mixing in elements of glass, wire, paper and encaustic to bring a feeling of fragility and the ethereal nature of life.”

Takashi Ichihara Yume Studios

Takashi and his wife Terry met at a wood fired kiln site in 1983 and knew immediately they were destined to work together. They decided to break away from Japanese traditions and came to the United States in 1985.
“We were starting on a wonderful journey, and decided to name our studio YUME because of the dream we shared.
When we first came to Massachusetts, we did slideshows and lectures explaining the ancient traditions and modern movements in Japanese ceramics. We always look back to those traditional foundations for inspiration as we create our own vision.
Even after more than 25 years of making pottery we continue our dream of creating pieces that people enjoy and make a part of their lives. Our greatest joy is hearing how our work has enhanced the lives of those it has touched.”

Suzanne Schwartz

“I first discovered the freedom art could bring when my grandmother taught me to sew and knit. Even as a child, textiles inspired me with their variety of patterns, textures, and movement and opened my eyes to art’s boundless possibilities.

“As an adult, my creative medium moved from textiles to metals, but the stitching came with me, as seen in my current Interwoven Collections. I love texture, form and intersecting lines and find inspiration in everything from nature to architecture,  fabric, design, lines and texture. All of these spur my personal aesthetic and style.

“I stitch with gold or silver wire on metal shapes, giving my work a three dimensionality while honoring the basic design sense of each piece. Stitching is a way for me to create texture in my jewelry. I love using the texture of the line. Silly as it may sound, I love playing with lines.

“But what I love most is seeing my finished work on other people. Even   though it came from my hands and my inspiration, I see it in a new light. It takes on a life that wasn’t there before and to their personality as if just made for the wearer. It’s exciting and truly gratifying.”

Suzanne Schwartz

ryan j. greenheck

A structured composition is vital within the framework of my vessels.  The rim and feet of my pots are strongly defined areas, while the space in between lends itself to be broken down in parts.  I incorporate a repeated pattern over the surface to assist in accentuating the volume within the forms.  The surface of my vessels is constantly explored.  Sensitivity in the glazing process must be attained in order to preserve the essence of the piece. – Ryan J. Greenheck

mary + louann

“We create fun, modern jewelry intended to delight. Everything is designed and hand crafted by us in our studio.  Our current body of work is inspired by architecture, geometry, texture and patterns in form and color.
Our work is born from a collaboration that is always evolving in its details. We thrive on the development of work through a constant exchange of ideas and the perpetually growing vision of our joint body of work.
Our choice of materials include sterling silver, and powdercoated base metals.
Our collaboration began while attending the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque where we were both completing BFAs. We have shown our work in galleries, museum exhibitions, art festivals, craft shows and exhibitions in print. We currently live in North Carolina and have been collaborating for over 20 years.” mary and luann

Lauren Markley

Lauren Markley is a native of Kansas currently living in Raleigh, NC. She began studying metalsmithing in 2007 and has taken classes in New York City, Penland, NC, and Iowa City, IA. She maintains a studio at The Carter Building in Raleigh and exhibits at numerous craft shows every year. Her jewelry can be found online and in boutiques and galleries throughout the United States. 

Richard Jones

Richard Jones: “I have been blowing glass for over 25 years and over that time I’ve come to realize a very simple thing, vases are meant for use. Making a vase is not just making another object of home decor, but creating an exquisite frame for flowers. It is an opportunity to engage a dialogue between vase, craftsman, landscape, flower, arranger, and guest. It is a bridge between human built architecture and the natural landscape.
My life as an artist began early with drawing lessons from a small town neighbor and propelled me on a path that lead to a BFA in glass from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1988. I’ve since worked for and with other glass artists and in 2006 took over full ownership of Studio Paran.
When I’m not blowing glass, I try to learn a few things about this world,  current obsessionsinclude Ikebana and a life long commitment to drawing as meditation.”

Five Ply Designs

Five Ply Design is an award winning multi-discipline design studio based in Seattle, Washington. Our name reflects our commitment to viewing design and creative problem solving from multiple perspectives and scales. While many traditional design firms rely on a single approach to design resolution, Five Ply Design embraces the full spectrum of design sensibilities in order to solve our clients needs.
Five Ply was founded in 2006 by Peter Benarcik, an award winning designer and educator. Our team includes experienced architects, interior, furniture and graphic design professionals who work collaboratively to provide seamless integration of design disciplines.

Renee Sonnicsen – Hardwear

Based in Portland, Oregon, the company is owned and operated by Renee Sonnichsen, an artist and designer. She strives to create a line of strong, sexy, and smart handbags that easily transition from day to evenings. Inspired by her vision of today’s woman, the line of handbags proves durability need not be dowdy, nor femininity fussy and fragile, that’s hardwear, and that’s you.