Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mudflat Gala September 9th

By Arthur of Arthur Halvorsen Ceramics

You have heard me talk about the new building for Mudflat before and it is FINALLY time for us to move down the street to the new building! We are so excited! I'm especially thrilled because it'll be the first time since college that I'll have my own studio (I am sharing my studio with 3 other people but we are gonna be great I just know it!) Anyway I wanted to tell you about an exciting opportunity to see the building.

Inspirational Clay: A Gala Auction to benefit Mudflat Studio
Friday evening, September 9, 2011, 6:30 pm
You are invited to this premier clay event! Our gala auction celebrates 40 years of Mudflat Pottery School and Studio and supports us in our new state-of-the-art building. This exciting clay auction features the artwork of over 60 nationally known ceramic artists. Bid at live and silent auctions, while you enjoy music, light food and desserts, and a wine & beer cash bar.
Tickets: $100 per person ($85.00 if purchased before August 22nd)
For information or to purchase tickets:
617-628-0589 or

Grand Opening Celebration
Saturday afternoon, September 10, 2011, noon – 4pm
Join us to celebrate the opening of our new building. Ribbon cutting at noon with Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone and other dignitaries, live music, pottery demonstrations, and an exhibition of claywork by Mudflat studio artists. Hands-on fun too - Help us decorate a giant clay pot for our new building.
Free, everyone welcome!

So make sure to save the date the Gala is going to be one to remember and if you buy your ticket in advance you get a little bit of a price break! On my blog and on the Facebook fan page for Mudflat we have been posting images of ceramic pieces that have been donated and 100% of the proceeds are going towards paying off the new building. Become a fan of Mudflat on Facebook and play along as we Name That Potter!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Designing for Museum Shops

by Jen of Parrish Relics

I was lucky enough to be contacted by the British Museum in London last year to create an exclusive line of jewelry to coincide with their "Italian Renaissance Drawings" Exhibition. It was a dream come true to work for one of my favorite museums visited on a trip a few years back. How they found me is a mystery, so thankful for the exposure and instant access the internet provides.

Early this year they came to me with an even more exciting offer, to work with them on designs for "Treasures of Heaven: Saints, Relics and Devotion in Medieval Europe". Reliquaries and Medieval Stained Glass have been some of my biggest inspirations for many years, so this was quite a thrill for me.

The best part of working on these projects is getting the idea boards from the Museum Shop design department. They send over images of pieces that will be in the collection, their own designs that will adorn mugs and t shirts, before everyone else gets to see them. I look for design elements that call out to me, and make a few samples to show. They then choose what they like from my designs and the fun begins!

This time around, the order was around six times larger than the first. Panic was my initial reaction, then determination as they all have to be handcrafted by me alone and shipped before the deadline of the Exhibition opening! It was about a month of very long days of nonstop work, neglecting all else (sorry to the husband, pets and the gym!). I had nightmares about not completing my mission in time or the order getting lost in the shipping process, but other than a nail biting stay in customs they all got there just in time. Whew!

Cats just aren't much help in the studio!

Shopping for supplies at Wolf E. Myrow ~ a must-see-to-believe shopping experience for anyone who uses glass, filigree, random bits & vintage pieces for their work!

All lined up and ready for shipment!

The hardest part of this experience is not being able to run off to London to see all of these amazing shows! The museum staff has been kind enough to send pictures of my work on display, you can see them and a closer look at the collections here.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Social Networking Sometimes Equals Sales

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

Recently, I re-connected with a girl I went to elementary school with on Facebook. It was really great to see current pictures of her and her family, and to be back in touch after 30 something years.

A couple of weeks ago, she convo'ed me through Etsy asking if I could make her and her best friend some pendants. She asked for a simple heart with an initial in the center. One with an 'H' and one with a 'C'. I was so happy that she liked my jewelry enough to ask for a special order!

I told her that I would draw up some sketches and she could choose which ones she liked, and she poopoo'd that idea saying that whatever I made she would love. So I made her the pendants in the pictures below, and I thought I would take some pictures as I went along.

First, I drew my designs out in some sterling silver sheet.

Then I rough cut the design out to make the silver easier to maneuver, and drill little holes to get ready to pierce out the design.

Here, they are both pierced out and ready for some sanding and a lot of filing.

And here they are finished!
I sent her the pictures, and she loves them! I mailed them today. I can't wait to hear how the 'H' was received by her best friend!

Social networking is more than just connecting with lost friends, it's a way to get your work out there to a massive amount of people who wouldn't know what you do otherwise.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Versatile Brooch

By Beth of Elizabeth Brennick Designs

A brooch known in ancient times as fibula, has been dated back before Christ and is defined as decorative jewelery designed to be attached to garments. Back then they were primarliy made out of metal and now in the 21st century brooches are still made out of metal but has expanded in so many other mediums. I've seen them made out of ceramics, wood, paper, glass, gemstones, recycled materials, and my favorite fabric and yarn. Different styles of brooches range from flowers, animals, art, photos, feathers, etc...

I enjoy making brooches and find my customers enjoy them too, either purchased for themselves or as gifts. You can't go wrong since you can pin them on anything and they can be worn all year round. Above on the jacket is two flowers made out of felt in red and burgandy. Below is a crocheted cowl with a crocheted flower and leaf.

Attached to the hat below is a flower made out of satin fabric. I've also made flowers out of organza, jersey knit fabric that was recyled, and a yo-yo style made from fabric with a button in the middle. Brooches are also fun to teach kids to make. You can make a very simple brooch for cheap money. For the past two Christmas's the women in my family have gotten brooches made from yarn and organza fabric, both flowers in their favorite colors.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square Somerville

The Somerville Arts Council and Boston Handmade present an ArtsUnion Event: The Boston Handmade Marketplace for the 4th year running, in Union Square, Somerville (at the intersection of Washington, Prospect & Somerville Ave.) THIS SATURDAY, July 30, 2011, 3-7pm (rain date Sunday, July 31).
Pictured above, 2010 exhibitors returning this year:
City by the Sea Ceramics, Stitch House Dorchester, Lucie Wicker Photography

The Boston Handmade Marketplace is an outdoor art and craft exhibition featuring work by New England artists and members of the nonprofit arts organization Boston Handmade. This event promotes local independent businesses and individuals creating one-of-a-kind and limited edition handmade works in small studio environments. More than 25 locally grown artists, artisans, and craftspeople will be showing and selling handmade jewelry, ceramics, textiles, handspun yarn, paper goods, hand blown glass, and more.
Pictured above, 2011 exhibitors: The Merriweather Council, Cody's Creations, Little Wishes

In addition to the individual exhibitors at the 2011 Boston Handmade Marketplace there will be live performances by local musicians, One Happy Island, and the Weisstronauts, along with craft demonstrations throughout the day featuring the Common Cod Fiber Guild, Creative Union, and Stitch House Dorchester.

We are so grateful to all our sponsors for supporting The 2011 Boston Handmade Marketplace: the Somerville Arts Council, the Massachusetts Cultural Council,, and our Exclusive Media Sponsor, GateHouse Media New England.

Visit our website to see a full list of exhibitors and for directions to the event: We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Collaborative Wedding Gift

by Sharon Fischer of Stray Notions

While making/creating is a sometimes solitary pursuit their are opportunities for collaborating which I love to explore. Back in April I asked if any Boston Handmade members or alumni would be interested in collaborating on a quilt to give to Crystal Hanehan (now an alumni and soon to be Sloane). I tried to leave the options open: Create something on your own, or with my help and supplies in a group situation; No sewing required; Use traditional techniques or not... make it your own, make it with love. Have some fun and see what we can make together. I had so much fun coordinating this project and think that the final quilt is really fun and represents the range of talents beautifully.

Can you guess who created each block? If not each has hot link to the creator's online shop.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Urban Biking Handbook

by Merritt of Not Without Merit

I have the most amazing little brother, I really do. He has like three jobs, runs his own business and volunteers at a really cool place called "The Bicycle Kitchen." As of today, his latest accomplishment is available to the public. I thought I would take this opportunity to brag (as any big sister would) and to share his awesome new book, that I am sure a lot of you would enjoy! I interviewed him below:

Merritt Kirkpatrick: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Charles Haine: I'm a filmmaker living in Los Angeles, California with the firm Dirty Robber ( I have been riding bicycles my whole life, and fixing them in various ways for the last 13 years. I spent 7 years volunteering at the Bicycle Kitchen in East Hollywood teaching others how to repair their bicycle.

MK: What do you do when you are not writing?
CH: I write books, ride my bicycle, direct commercials, music videos and book trailers for Dirty Robber, and teaching at Los Angeles City College.

MK: Do you have a day job as well?
CH: Partner in my production company.
MK: How did this project get started?
CH: My wonderful editor Rochelle Bourgault from Quarry Books got in touch with the Bicycle Kitchen looking for volunteers who would be interested in writing a DIY/City Culture focused book on bicycling, and I was instantly excited. We talked for several months to develop a solid
outline for the book and really got on the same page in terms of what we were looking for.

MK: What can you tell us about the book?
CH: Well, I think the book is the ideal balance of knowledge about both cycles and city cycling
along with technical info and DIY repair stuff. It's not as dry and diagram filled as a traditional repair book and it has more focus on things that can be done at home without a lot of tools, and the kinds of repairs and whatnot that you might run into with a vintage thriftstore bike as opposed to a brand new hybrid.

MK: What do you hope that people gain from the book?
CH: I hope people gain both insight in and enthusiasm for the bicycle as a part of a full life. The bicycle is a world-changing tool and I think that a lot of people who would be more likely to ride, and would ride often, if they knew what simple machines they are.

MK: Any books on the horizon?
CH: Not at the moment, but someday.

MK: Who has the best sister in the world?
CH: Craig Robinson! Just kidding, me:)

MK: Thanks, Charles! I am totally giving this as a Christmas gift to all of my bike-loving friends! :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Looking for something to do this weekend?

by Kerrie of Cody's Creations

I am really looking forward to this weekend; Saturday, July 23rd will be my first day at the new Greenway Open Market that opened on July 9th and on Sunday, July 24th I will be back at SOWA.

The Greenway Market, located on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, boosts 60 art and craft vendors, tree-lined promenades (which will be handy for some shade on sunny days!), yummy food trucks, and the Ring Fountain to cool off in. I will be premiering a couple of new designs at Greenway so come on down and take a look!
Sunday I will be at SOWA, Boston’s Original Art and Indie Design Market. Over 90 vendors will be in attendance for some fabulous shopping, and of course you can grab a bite to eat at one of the yummy food trucks. Don’t forget to check out the Farmers Market for some amazing local products and the Vintage Market.

The weather forcast calls for hot sunny days this weekend, so don’t forget your sunscreen!

To connect with Cody's Creations, join us on Facebook.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How to: Encaustic Image Transfer

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

Over the years I have increasingly utilized encaustic medium in my mixed-media artwork.

Basic encaustic is a combination of beeswax and damar resin. Artists who paint with encaustic add pigments to create a full palette of color. Encaustic is applied to an artwork in a fully melted state, a liquid, and becomes a solid as the surface cools.

Because my artwork is photo based collage, I use encaustic without added pigment to fuse paper to surface, and paper to paper.

In my creative process I combine found paper elements, clip art, vintage paper, and original photography. After I've developed the subject matter of a new piece, I prime a wooden panel to begin my college process.

The panels I use are either plywood remnants or wooden canvases. I first paint the panel white; two coats total: one coat in one direction, let it dry, then I lightly sand the surface, and then I paint a coat in the other direction. Not a purist, I use any paint I have available. Most recently I have been using flat interior wall paint.

After the panel is painted I make sure to have an ample supply of un-pigmented encaustic on hand. I make my encaustic by melting approximately 85% raw, white beeswax with approximately 15% damar resin. My studio is pretty bare bones; I use baking tins for mixing my encaustic, and I melt on an electric griddle using brushes with natural bristles.

The next step I take is to paint the primed panel with a solid coat of encaustic.

For either paper fusing or image transfer, it's important to have a smooth base surface. To achieve maximum smoothness I paint on a coat of encaustic and as it cools I re-heat the surface to both fuse where the wax overlaps itself, and to smooth surface texture created by brush strokes.

Recently I purchased a heat gun which makes this process fairly quick. However, previously I used a super hot hair drier and that worked too, it just took more time.

This is an especially important step for encaustic image transfer. Without a smooth surface your images will not transfer evenly.

Once your surface is fully prepared you can begin to transfer your images.

I have found that transfers with the best image quality come from black and white or color photocopies made from high contrast images. I've also made successful image transfers using vintage print, though this is rather a hit or miss prospect.

Before beginning the transfer it's helpful to warm up the surface. Onto the warm, smooth encaustic surface, place a photocopy, image-side down, and burnish evenly. You could use an actual burnishing tool, or use a solid table spoon like I do.

More important than what specific tool you use is that you apply even and strong pressure to all areas of the photocopy. Circular motion works best. The pressure actually integrates the ink into the encaustic which remains there after the paper backing is removed.

The paper is removed from the now transferred image by simply soaking it off with plain water.

I use pieces of an old, clean hand towel, and soak them in a bowl of room temperature water. I find that it's helpful to have a few small cloths handy so a clean one is always available.

Soak the back of the burnished photocopy with water, while gently rubbing away the paper. Go slowly.

What is left after the paper is removed is the ink from your image, transferred onto your encaustic surface.

To fuse your transferred image, and to magically make any white paper remnants disappear, lightly go over your image with your heat gun or hair dryer.

Please keep in mind that the method described in this blog post is how I create image transfers as part of my encaustic collages. As with most artistic techniques, there are many variations out there in the world. As you experiment with encaustic and transferring images I encourage you to research other techniques and find your own best working method. Here are a few things to keep in mind when using any encaustic technique:
• Ventilate your space.
• Have all your materials on hand before you begin working.
• Molten wax is hot! Take appropriate precautions.
• Enjoy and have fun!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More on the Photowalk

by Nancy of nancyrosetta

A couple of months ago, Kerry of KHawkinsphotography led a photowalk around the streets of the North End. Kerry blogged about it, and I thought I would share some of the pictures I took as well.

The night was full of Bruins fever as the 7th game of the playoffs were being held in Vancouver. But we were in Boston, and so were hundreds of people in Black and Gold.

A picture of the pergola at the new Rose Kennedy Greenway.

I had to take a 'Kerry Hawkins style' picture in a bakery window. Hey Kerry, we can see you!

I can't wait for another of these Photowalk workshops. I had a lot of fun and got to see a part of the city in a very intimate way that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Planting Seeds

By Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design

The little garden

Are you enjoying your summer?! We are all out there spending time with family, going on vacation, catching up on our reading book club, and of course working. I have had a very busy summer thus far with my work that pays the bills and the work that feeds my passion. In the midst of it all, I have had a couple of minutes this week to take a step back from the four-letter word and focus on something new that I have now successfully done and that is gardening.
Yes ladies and gentleman, the work now that makes me get down and dirty in the ground allows me to plant my seeds and grow. I enjoy watching my basil, cherry tomatoes, and chard blossom each week and look forward to my radishes to come up.

With that being said, I encourage everyone to take a step back from what you are doing this summer and find something new to do. As artists, we are in our studios working on our craft to get ready for the holidays or we are busy each week getting ready for a show. Just be cognizant that there’s always something new out there to learn from. Enjoy your summer!

The basil is growing fast!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Boston Handmade Artisan Fair

On July 7th Boston Handmade participated in the Jamaica Plain First Thursdays monthly neighborhood festivities, with our 5th annual presentation of The Boston Handmade Artisan Fair.

It was a beautiful evening and a great location right in the center of JP at the corner of Centre and Green Streets.

Missed us at the show? That's ok, we'll be there again on August 4th, 6-8pm, so mark your calendars! You can find us at 633 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. See you there!

Photos by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Recent Custom Projects

by Danielle from The Merriweather Council

Most of my recent sales have been custom orders, which I really enjoy doing. Here are some of my most recent commissions.

Patchwork Mini Pennant Bunting

"Safe and Warm" text embroidery hoop

State of Massachusetts Necklace

Three Hearts Necklace

Like I said, I really enjoy working on custom pieces and I love hearing people's ideas! Always open to chatting about custom projects.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Natural Wonders, My Backyard

By Kerry Hawkins of Kerry Hawkins Photography

I grabbed my camera today and my Nikkor Micro lens and searched my garden and yard for subjects. Pretty easy this time of year. With all this rain and a healthy garden I was all set to photograph. I wanted to do some extreme close-ups. Keep everyone guessing. I am sure some of these you can guess but some you may not.

1. Home Grown Lettuce
2. Fresh Farmer's Market Garlic
3. Rosemary
4. Rose
5. Cucumber Plant
6. Hydrangea
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