Mark turns his wonderful vessels mainly from green wood. His sculptural touches for example, notches, the wood he uses, and the beautiful colors he adds to his bowls make his functional pieces works of art.
Melissa Stiles received her degree in Architecture and worked in the field for ten years before founding her jewelry company. She makes modern jewelry that combines the discipline of her architectural training with the exploration of industrial materials and processes. Her work expresses modern simplicity and flawless execution with the illusion of effortless design. She strives to expose only the intentional form without gratuitous details. The result is design that celebrates the simple and pure form in beautifully wearable color combinations.
Stiles works in various materials including hand-pigmented resin, laser cut stainless steel, brushed aluminum, powder-coated enamel, and silver. These materials lend themselves to blending different means of fabrication resulting in a collection of minimal, durable jewelry in cheerful colors with bold graphic designs.
“Becoming a metal smith was less than a direct path for me.
Like most of us, I began making art at an early age, and because I was encouraged, I continued to create. In my undergraduate work at Indiana University, I co-majored in the BFA sculpture program and psychology. Although this path was interrupted, I was able to reunite these passions in my clinical graduate degree, MAT, Master of Art Therapy.
“After 18 years in private practice, I decided to retire and devote all my energy to the arts. I’m now 11 % in “jeweler” years and still forming my identity. Primarily self-taught, my work is based on formal concerns, design and function. Coming from a fine arts perspective, function is a new and important dimension for me. Coming from a psychological perspective, I make jewelry because of the intimacy the function allows. I use metal and stone (river rocks) because they are inherently strong materials. The combination of metal and stone allows me to integrate the industrial and organic elements of our world. These materials are rich in their historic value, and intrinsic to our growth as a civilization; their abundant character, separate or in relation to each other, offers me infinite possibilities as a language.”
Three Wheel Studio is a ceramic studio and gallery which features a mix of fun, eclectic, and functional handmade ceramics and gifts from a variety of artists, including proprietor Dwo Wen Chen. Unique, one-of-a-kind pottery is made on site.
Yuh works with several quality textiles and processes
including silk and Shibori. Yuh creates stunning surfaces
which project three-dimensional illusions.
Soft with flow and energy, her scarves are fun and fanciful contriving features of coral and sea animals immersed under water.
Yuh gained her basic design skills in Tokyo before coming to the US and completing her education at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has shared her ideas and taught all over the world.
In the late 90’s Yuh’s distinct ability and flair began attracting prominent clients. Her expertise and work was sought by fashion and fiber art. Her creations were included in Donna Karan and Martha Stewart. Shortly thereafter, TextilesYuh was born.
Eric Cruz studied architecture and worked as an architect for several years before discovering glassmaking. He studied with Curtiss Brock at the Appalachian Center for Crafts and Frantisek Janak at SUPSS in the Czech Republic.
Tomo Sakai studied glass at Tama Art University in Tokyo, Japan, and then went to the Czech Republic for advanced training in glass engraving and coldworking. She worked closely with Peter Rath of Lobmeyr, in Kamenicky Senov, Czech Republic.
In our work, we are passionate about exploring the beauty of glass through experimentation and technique. Our goal is to combine a high level of traditional craftsmanship with a modern design sensibility – a fusion of materiality and simplicity.
Located in Alexandria, Virginia, Estelle has been handcrafting jewelry for over 25 years.
Her jewelry designs are influenced by both the visual and the tactile.
Whether it’s the leaves on trees, the roughness of tree bark, or the intricacies of Japanese textile design, she distills these images into her jewelry with an elegant simplicity.
Estelle’s work is textural being pleasing to the eye and the hand at the same time, and currently involves several surface techniques. The gold painted work involves melting 14k wire onto the surface of the sterling silver in a painterly fashion and then using an iridescent patina. In another technique, she creates unique textures utilizing original photographs she has taken in our National Parks. She etches the design into a texture plate and then roller prints or embosses the design onto the metal. Each piece of jewelry in the Yellowstone and Bryce series is embellished with 24k gold keum boo accents and then oxidized to fully develop the contrasts between the blackened metal and the gold.
Estelle has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, most notably at a show in Seoul, South Korea in 2005. She has been a member of the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths since 1988 where she was president from 2000 through 2003. She is currently a member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) and is a resident artist at The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia where her work can be seen in Studio 201, Metallum.
Estelle received her jewelry education at Montgomery College, Maryland Institute College of Art, and Touchstone Center for Crafts. She is continuing to perfect her craft through workshops given by the Washington Guild of Goldsmiths and studying under acclaimed instructors John Cogswell and Mary Ellen Trozzo.
As the middle of three daughters growing up in New England, I inherited the right brain skills of my mother and grandmother. While my sisters were playing outside, I was knotting macrame and making yarn dolls. As I pursued an MBA and a 30-year career in finance, sewing with colorful fabrics or testing a new chocolate cake recipe provided a welcomed diversion.
Although I played with polymer clay with my young children, it was not until 1994, after participating in a workshop at a local arts center, that I discovered my niche. What started as an avocation became my occupation over time. I am fortunate to be able to pursue my art full-time in Philadelphia.
Why vessels? I have always been drawn to small containers, particularly those with colorful, intricate designs: a ceramic bowl from Turkey, a box made from mother-or-pearl. Often they would hold a few perfect shells, a pair of earrings or those tiny gold toned safetly pins. Always, the container intrigued me more than its contents.
Exploiting the properties of polymer clay, I translate my love of color and pattern into vessels of many sizes and shapes. Using the Italian millefiori technique, I layer hand blended colors of polymer clay to create designs which run through the entire length of the “cane”. Canes can be combined endlessly, then stretched without disturbing the integrity of the interior design. I build the vessel on a form, juxtaposing slices of canes of contrasting colors, shapes, patterns and complexity; often I incorporate open space between the slices as part of the design. After curing in a convection oven, I sand the outside of the vessel and release it from its mold. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. The result excites me, and I am gratified to share it with others.
My current ceramic work reflects an investigation into several areas of interest and an attempt to unify solutions to various visual problems. One interest is in the vessel as an abstract sculptural form and its many associations, both literal and metaphoric. Another is pattern and color and how a collection of abstract elements can create various feelings or impressions. A third is an interest in the investigation of surface pattern and three dimensional form. The technique that I use, which results in a penetration of the pattern through the thickness of the wall so as to be visible on both the outside and the inside, is a partial solution to the problem; but from a strictly two dimensional standpoint I am also concerned with how the pattern relates to the form as seen in the profile.
A certain degree of illusionism of depth is created by some color/pattern combinations and I enjoy the play of this implied visual depth vs. the “flat” modulating surface of the pot vs. the real depth that is present in the interior space. My aim is not, however, to create strong illusions nor representational or abstracted pictures on the pots.
My initial attraction to the nerikomi technique came from its organic union of pattern and structure. Rather than the former being applied to the latter, as in most decorative pottery traditions, the two are one and the same. The natural world abounds with this sort of union and as a result, offers endless inspiration for pattern making. The other aspect that was particularly attractive to me was the translation of the physical properties of clay into a visual format. By this I mean that the very plasticity of the clay is made visible in the way that an imposed pattern is altered. Straight parallel lines are created by stacking up slices of various colored clays but in the manipulation of the resulting soft block of clay, the lines become undulating or are perhaps made to taper down to hair’s breadth. Porcelain, of course, shows off this quality to its greatest extent but the principle is the same with any clay. I think of my patterns as being a collaboration between my imposed structure and the clay’s wise alteration of that structure.
In addition to the natural sources, I have found inspiration for patterns in a number of other areas. Fabric design has recently been of great interest to me as well as a variety of non-ceramic craft traditions. Graphic Design of all sorts serves as visual stimulation and color ideas can come as easily from a magazine ad as from a rock, shell, or flower.
After exploring many different mediums in my art, I have devoted the last several years to making one of a kind prints. In producing a monoprint I combine a matrix of printmaking processes, such as collograph, monotype, solar plate etching and chine colle. I am fascinated with layering multiple images to create an abstract expression. Through these provocative layers of line, color and forms, intriguing patterns and textures emerge yielding great richness and depth to the surface.