Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Found: Mr. Gorey & Ms. Hosmer

By Jen of Parrish Relics

This is my first blog post for Boston Handmade, so happy to be a part of this group of talented local artists!

The other day my husband and I went into Boston to visit City Hall and pay a parking ticket we never knew we had. (boo!) The train schedule was a bit spaced apart, so I suggested we make it a fun trip by stopping by the Boston Athenaeum to see the Edward Gorey exhibition before it disappears on June 4.

Needless to say the Exhibition itself was just as delightful as expected. A perfect collection of sketches, toy prototypes, tiny books and fastidiously inked illustrations that epitomized his unique and twisted view of the world set up in two rooms by chronological order. It was interesting to see the changes in his work and fascinations as time went on, never losing his dark sense of humor (Loved his “Self Portrait with Floating Cats” so very much!).

What struck me most at the Athenaeum however, was a sculpture in the main information lobby. Commanding attention at the center of the room, a marble child-creature with wings on top of his head was playing leapfrog over an owl. I am a huge fan of owls and was immediately drawn to the amazing detail in the owl’s feathers, the strange and slightly creepy expression on the face of the boy-beast. I went over to the information desk to ask about it, as I could see no brass title generally seen near sculpture in a museum. The helpful woman at the counter had to look it up in her notes, and told me it was sculpted by a local artist by the name of Harriet Goodhue Hosmer.

Surprised that I hadn’t heard of her before, or wasn’t familiar with her name, came home and immediately looked her up. Sadly there isn’t much to be found other than in books that are now on my Amazon wish list! What I did find out from simple google searches was that she grew up a doctor’s daughter in Watertown, a nature lover who was encouraged to spend much of her time outdoors after her brothers died from tuberculosis. Her father created a gondola for her to ride down the Charles in, much to the horror of the gossiping neighbors who felt she was terribly spoiled and did not act like a “proper” young lady. She continued to fight against social barriers by studying anatomy, fairly unheard of for a woman of her time. Later she went to Rome to study sculpture, and when her father ran out of money and asked her to come back she became determined and found a way to support herself with her Art.

She lived from 1830-1908, and created some incredible sculptures…hoping to visit as many as I can in person. Her work, Sleeping Faun is on view at the new “Art of the Americas Wing” at the MFA Boston, next on my list to see up close.
I encourage everyone that can to visit the Gorey exhibit of course, but also to take the time to get to know the work of a lesser known female artist while you are there. I believe it is a part of the permanent collection so you don’t have to worry about missing it!

Also a nature lover, I will be participating in the upcoming “Winslow Shire Renaissance Faire benefitting the Winslow Farm Animal Sanctuary in Norton MA on June 25 & 26. Please stop by and visit my booth (and the adorable goats!)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Mosaic: Red, White and Blue

Curated by Lynne of Cozy Cottage Creations

1. Garnet gear pendant , by Purpleshiny Creations
2. Small Sapphire blue wide brimmed Dupioni Silk , by Elephunk's Trunk
3. Limited Edition USS Constitution Serving Dish , by Arthur Halvorsen
4. Summertime Vintage Fabric Bunting Red White , by Merriweather Council
5. Aloha Pendant , by Nancyrosetta
6. Japanese Blue Vintage Chiyogami Pocket Mirror , by MaJenta Designs
7. Vintage 8x10 matted print , by Kerry Hawkins Photography
8. Rose 220 yard of Peruvian Highland Wool , by Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design
9. 2 Blue Rope Inlay Stoneware Mugs , by City by the Sea Ceramics
10. Dragonfly Brooch Red and pink , by Stray Notions
11. red chairs noteset , by cricicis design
12. Modern Pattern Pillow Red Silkscreened on Khaki Twill , by Not Without Merit
13. 1957 Jaguar XK140 Red and White , by Fraske Designs
14. Beside Beneath mixedmedia OOAK , by Reclaimed to You
15. Inman SQRZ T-shirt , by Evan Webster Ink
16. Maya monkey by Monkey Shine Studio

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dedham Open Studios Report

by Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography

I am the co-chair of Dedham Open Studios, along with Jen Barsamian. It started as just an idea, "maybe we could have open studios in Dedham." Dedham has never done this before. Dedham doesn't have much in the way of artist studio lofts or warehouses but we were determined to have some kind of art event. The decision was made to have large group spaces, have businesses host artists, and include home studios. The thought was since it was our first year that we may just have about 40 artists but, it the number climbed to over 90 artists. You never know how much talent you have in your area until you try to put something like this together.

I was lucky to be able to participate in the Open studios, as well. Boston Handmade members, Nancy of nancyrosetta and Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics joined me. It was nice to have a Boston Handmade presence at the open studios. We had a large crowd stop by to see us and the other artists in the Community House. There were painters, photographers, doll makers, print makers, jewelers and more...

The open studios was a huge success and we are already planning for next year's event. We have learned so much putting together this kind of event. It was tons of hard work but, well worth it. I look forward to next year.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Interview with Merritt Kirkpatrick

by Merritt Kirkpatrick of Not Without Merit

Hi there! I am so honored to be one of the new members of Boston Handmade! This introduction was a lot of fun to do, and I hope it gives you an idea of who I am and what I do. Thanks!

BH: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Kirkpatrick: My name is Merritt Kirkpatrick, and I live in Salem with my husband Kris and our two Siberian Huskies Lilly Munster and Damien the Terrible.

BH: What is your background?
MK: I grew up all over the place (my mom has a serious case of wanderlust!), but we stayed east of the Mississippi, except for a brief stint in Missouri. My childhood was in the Midwest, my teenage years were in the DC suburbs and my twenties were spent between Baltimore, Philly and Memphis. Kris and I moved to Salem in February of 2008. I have a BFA in Fiber Arts/Textiles from the Maryland Institute College of Art. My MA is in Museum Communication from the University of the Arts in Philly. I currently run two small museums in Peabody.

BH: Apart from creating things, what do you do?
MK: Read, plant things (I am finally having success with keeping them alive!), and work on renovating our giant Victorian-era house. I love a good craft beer and am currently working on brewing at home. Oh, and I am on some arts and history boards.

BH: What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
MK: The first thing I remember making is when my grandmother taught me how to crewel when I was seven. I know I made things before then, but that is the first real memory that I have. I have not stopped embroidering since then! Textile work is in my blood it seems, I have a collection of quilts, tatting projects, embroidered pillows, etc. going back several generations from my family (I guess that is how I got into museums!).

BH: What's your favorite color?
MK: Favorite color? Gosh, that is a hard one. I am obsessed with plum lately, as you might notice on my logo. I am also into slate, avocado, eggplant and anything yellow. I am kind of a color nerd, I took color theory three times in art school.

BH: What inspires you?
MK: The houses in Salem are my current obsession. I love just walking around my neighborhood with my camera. I love the little architectural details on each house, like how brackets on stoops seem to be like snowflakes, I have yet to see two just the same. Houses used to be made so beautifully, with such craftsmanship, and I find that to be really inspiring.

BH: What do you love most about what you make?
MK: I like the reaction from people. True, I love the hours spent drawing, printing and sewing, but what really excites me is seeing the expression on someone’s face when I give them their new pillow! A good friend in grad school screamed in the middle of the street when I gave her a pillow with her beloved Lionel Richie embroidered on it. I will never, ever forget that joy!

BH: Are there other mediums you’re not working in that interest you?
MK: I am so interested in ceramics right now. We just opened a ceramics studio in Peabody, and I am so excited about getting to do some work there. It was the only medium in art school that I completely failed in trying. I am so envious of ceramic artists!

BH: How do you promote your work?
MK: I think word-of-mouth is the best thing for me, so far. The history community has been good to me, with custom orders coming from fellow board members and other museum folks. Luckily, I have good connections to local newspapers, because of my current day-job, so that has been helpful too—The Salem News just wrote a piece on Not Without Merit, Inc. I tried Twitter, but I am so terrible at it—I don’t really get the format of tweets. Facebook is much better for me, but I have to remember to update it.

BH: Why should people buy handmade?
MK: Oh, wow! This is something I talk about almost every day. One thing, you are supporting an individual, and not some big corporation (I will stop there with that one, no need to get into my political beliefs!). Two, handmade is almost always better made than store-bought--there are a few exceptions, though. Three, you are supporting someone in your community, whether that is your local community, or online community. If it is in your local community, your tax dollar stays in that local community, which is great if you want your streets fixed and good schools.

BH: Name your top five books and musical groups
MK: Books- Shadow of the Wind, The Historian, The Peabody Sisters, House of Leaves and Heart-Shaped Box. Music- Tom Waits, Sigur Ròs, The Pixies, Laura Marling, and Neutral Milk Hotel. My husband says that I listen to the most depressing music ever, and tries to make "happy cds" for me (the bird and the bee, and almost anything 80s), but I still go back to these favorites!

BH: If you are a tree- what kind of tree are you?
MK: I would totally be a manzanita. I had no idea what one was until I went to Southern California to visit my parent’s new condo. They are everywhere! They have this beautiful smooth plum-colored bark. My little brother lives on Manzanita Street in LA, and I love it whenever I send him a package and I get to write his address—he makes movies and I make a pillow based on each script he writes!

BH: What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?
MK: Driving up the coast to Maine with my husband, Kris. We usually end up at this great little bagel shop in York, and then wander around some beach.

BH: Is there anything about you that would surprise people to know?
MK: I have a terrible fear of publicly speaking in front of people I know. People I don’t know, I am completely fine with, though! Kind of backwards, right?

BH: In ten years I'd like to be...
MK: living on the coast, making pillows and designing fabric full-time.

I will be participating in the 4th Annual Boston Handmade Marketplace, and have five dates at Sowa, so I hope to meet you all this summer! -M.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Beautiful Wedding Photography

by Allison of Fraske Designs

We photographers here at Boston Handmade love a great photo, and give credit where credit is due! The wedding blog Style Me Pretty recently posted an article highlighting some amazing wedding photography. Some of the shots are simply stunning. Below are a few selections. More can be found here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Photo Credit in the Boston Globe

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

The Sunday Globe no less! Earlier this month, my photos accompanied an article about a business that provides houseboat rentals in Charlestown, MA. I had taken the photos for the company already so when the Globe asked them for pics for the article, they contacted me. Sweet! Unfortunately, the photos did not make it to the online version of the article (boo!) so I just took some pics of the paper itself-

As a photography student, I've become interested in editorial photography so this was pretty exciting. Hopefully it will be the first of many!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Intro to Evan Webster Ink

By Evan of Evan Webster Ink

Hello world! My name is Evan Webster and I'll be introducing myself to you in this blog post. I did a little self-interview, check it out:

1. About YOU:

- Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Evan Webster and I'm from Brookline, MA. I currently live in Brookline and anticipate staying in the Boston area area for a bit. The area has given me so much and I have a lot to give back to it. But it's cold here.

- What is your background?
I have a background in Hispanic and Latino Studies - that's what I studied in college. I spent a formative year abroad in Argentina learning about others, myself and steak. I have two great parents and a little brother who goes by "Muffins". While less important to who I am than my family, I have had jobs before. I worked at the CVS down the street when I was in high school. In that job I learned something that has been reinforced every moment since: it's hard to make money while keeping your sanity. During college I worked as a host at a tapas restaurant and started to be aware that communication matters as much as action. After college I worked in an office in Cambridge which to put to rest any aspirations of a traditional corporate life - most especially when they laid me off. I currently work at Evan Webster Ink where I'm learning creativity and empathy from the best teachers in the world.

- Apart from creating things, what do you do?
This is a difficult question. Most of what I do is create. I'll change the question and ask myself "Besides creating things professionally, what do you do?" Well, I like to hike and bike, ideally combined with cooking, hopefully with my girlfriend, friends or family. And I'm hoping this year to get better at swimming and to brew a batch of beer.

2. About being an artist:

- How long have you been doing your artwork/craft?
I received a book about screen printing on December 25th, 2008. That's when it all began.

- What first made you want to become an artist?
Being an artist is merely something I've fallen into while trying to improve myself as a person. So I guess that means that becoming a better person first made me want to become an artist because artists create invaluable gifts.

- What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
The first thing I created by hand was probably a sand castle. I probably made it because I couldn't think of anything better to do with my hands. When I was small moving small objects like grains of sand was an exciting feat. Today it's equally impressive.

3. About your artistic process:

- Please describe your creative process.
The majority of the work I'm associated with is made by squeegeeing ink through stenciled mesh onto knit cotton. I do this every week and it's still interesting to me, amazingly.

- What are your favorite color combination(s)?
Red, black and white or Blue, blue and orange.

- What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from the desire to create solutions. I'm inspired by people who work for themselves along with space, the environment and libraries.

4. About your work:

- Describe your work.
I work at Evan Webster Ink, where I try to take customer's visions and make them into something tangible. The ability to listen is my most valued tool.

- What do you love most about what you make?
I love that they are completed. This to me is a great success. And it allows me to move on and pursue future successes.

- What is your biggest obstacle with it?
My biggest obstacle with my work is my next idea. And I'm always thinking of new things, which is a major problem!

- Are there other mediums you’re not working in that interest you?
Not at the moment.

5. About your business:

- How do you promote your work/business?
Primarily by doing good work, being empathetic, charging enough to allow me to do a good job and thinking about ways to solve my customer's problems. I also write a blog, post on Twitter / Facebook, participate in events and would like to start a garden to promote my business.

- What advice would you give to someone starting a small business?
Get customers first. Read what the experts say but then trust yourself more than anyone else.

7. Randomness:

- Name some favorites: books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites
My favorite series of books is The Golden Compass, favorite movie is The Usual Suspects.

- Tell us something we don't know but SHOULD know about you!
I don't think anyone should know how bad I am at singing. If you ask to hear me sing I will refrain out of concerns for your safety.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ParkARTS 2011

The 2011 ParkARTS schedule has been posted to the city of Boston's website:


ParkARTS is a program initiated by Mayor Menino 15 years ago that offers free art workshops, theatrical performances, and concerts held in parks throughout the city all summer long. Landscape watercolor painting, photography, Shakespeare on the Common, and island yoga are just a few of the many activities being offered through ParkARTS this year.

For further information on the workshops and other ParkARTS programs, please call (617) 961-3051 or visit the Parks Department online at www.cityofboston/parks/parkarts or www.facebook.com/bostonparksdepartment

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here Comes the Sun! (hopefully)

1. bus trip postcard , by cricicis design
2. Sunshine Onesie , by Elizabeth Brennick Designs
3. 5x7 Print You Are My Sunshine , by Fraske Designs
4. Felted Wool Tulip ,by Cozy Cottage Creations
5. Union SQRZ T shirt , by Evan Webster Ink
6. Big and Little Spoon in Love , by Merriweather Council
7. The Pouch A Leash Bag in Honey Bees , by Cody's Creations
8. Felted Wool Sunflower Brooch , by Stray Notions
9. Annatto Seed-84 yards of handspun Masham wool by Lady Dye Fiber Arts and Design

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Items For The Market

By Beth of Elizabeth Brennick Designs

Here are some new items for my show season this summer at the Providence Open Market. I crocheted round, granny square, and shell blankets as a part of my kids line. Though the round blankets I used chunky yarn that would also make an awesome bathroom rug!

So come on by Saturday June 11th for opening day at the Providence Open Market from 10am-2pm. Located at Lippitt Park East Side of Providence, RI (corner of Blackstone Blvd and Hope Str). Also joining us is an incredible farmers market!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Mass Market TODAY

by Kerry of Kerry Hawkins Photography

I will be here showing my photography and representing Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics. This is my first Mass Market at Mass Art in Boston. I am looking forward to showing a "new-to-me" venue.

I am so pleased that two other Boston Handmader will be particpating as well, The Merriweather Council and Not Without Merritt.

Come by this TODAY, Saturday, 11-5pm and enjoy some local art.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Flash Forward Festival

From June 2-5th, Boston will be hosting the second annual Flash Forward Festival at theFairmount Battery Wharf in the North End. Started by the Magenta Foundation, the festival is-

"...aimed at both professional art makers and members of the general public with an interest in contemporary photography.

Hosted at Fairmont Battery Wharf, Boston, the Flash Forward Festival concept is unique among North American visual arts events. Through a carefully developed program of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions and receptions, festival participants will make connections with important industry personalities, gallerists, content developers and potential patrons, all while gaining insight into the state of the contemporary art scene.

Whether you are an emerging or established photographer, an arts-based media professional — or just a lover of photography — this festival experience is for you."

And best of all- it's free! I will be volunteering at the event on Saturday, June 4, and I think it will be fun! See you there.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Brimfield Antique Show

By Leah of cricicis design

This week I was lucky to make it out to the famous Brimfield Antique Show twice- Tuesday (opening day) and Friday (the nicest day of the year so far). The show takes up about a mile of space on both sides of Route 20, in Brimfield, Massachusetts. If you love old things, weird things or rare things, or love design history, Brimfield is a great place to stroll through for a day (or two or three). It's almost overwhelming how much there is to look at. If you missed this show, check out the next which runs July 12-17. Here are some photos of things that caught my attention while I was

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Graffiti Art: Art on the Street

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design

I am spending the next couple of weeks out in California and during my first full day in Long Beach, my good friend Dee and I took a trip out to Los Angeles to see and incredible art exhibit on graffiti art. The exhibit was titled Art in the Streets. Art in the Streets is part of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and is the first major historical exhibit of graffiti and street art to be organized by and American museum and it shows the origins and history of the movement in the United States and traces its influence as it spread around the world.

I am a huge fan of graff art and to be able to see so many graffiti pieces in one location was absolutely amazing! One of the great parts about the exhibit is not only the pieces of art displayed but the replicas they had displayed of graffiti art sub-culture in New York City, Los Angeles, London, and several other cities around the work. In some areas, you felt as if you were walking right along the streets of these majors cities during the rise of graff art in the 1970s and 1980s.

All I have to say is what and ice cream truck. I would totally get ice cream or candy from here. The art work on this represent the current urban Latino sub-culture of East Los Angeles.

This photo was too large to take in a full shot put someone sketched it in first and then painted it. It's truly an amazing piece of art!

Here are some photos from the exhibit:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dale Chihuly at the MFA Boston

by Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics

The other day I had a few minutes to quickly check out the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the MFA titled "Through the Looking Glass" I have to say that I wasn't expecting much as prepped myself to go into the show, but WOW was I wrong! I had always seen his work either in photos in books or online and I didn't think I was going to like the work in person, but I loved it!

This was the first installation as you walked in. Chihuly has done a number of great things not only for the world of glass, but also the craft world in general. He started the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, where it is world renowned as a top glass school. They offer summer classes and a number of different residency options. I would love to go to see some day and try my had at glass blowing.

This was my favorite installation in the show, combining the purple glass rods coming out of the logs that looked as though they had been clear cut and awaiting to go to the mill to be made into 2x4's and to me the glass represented the trees spirit taking on another form and leaving behind the lumber.

Another really cool interior (I know its an installation too, but this was the room above your head) was the "Persian Ceiling" so much fun to walk underneath and it caught me off guard by me discovering little surprises hidden under the glass forms like a star fish, octopus and other random forms under the bigger forms. Seeing this show has me thinking of someday doing a large scale installation of my own work and making environments for my work to live in.

If you're in the Boston area you should totally see this show when you get the chance! I want to go back and spend a longer time imaging what if for me and my own work when I go back!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Find Out How Many People Are Subscribed to Your Etsy Shop's RSS Feed

By Danielle of The Merriweather Council

Sooo, in the most bootleg terms possible, RSS feeds supply the quick and simple version of either blog posts or some other thing gets updated frequently. When you subscribe to an RSS you can read it alongside others in what’s known as a “reader”. You don’t have to go around to each blog you want to visit, you just subscribe to their feeds and the posts come to you anytime the blog is updated. Its not an email, it’s something you check in on anytime you want. And just in case this is important: it stands to Rich Site Summary.

Okay, first, pull up your Etsy shop and scroll down to where the Tweet button and Facebook "like" buttons are. Under that you will see "Subscribe to feed" - click that.

Now highlight the address from the window that opened and copy it!

Now go log into whatever account you use for your Google reader and find "reader" in the navigation bar up top on your gmail page, and please click it.

Now see where it says "add a subscription"? Click that and paste the address you copied from above and click the "add" button

Now you will see your feed in your reader. Go over to the right hand side of the screen and click "show details"

Now you can see some stats about this feed including how many people are subscribed to it! There are a whopping 4 people subscribed to mine!

For more tutorials, come visit me on my blog!
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