Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Guest blogger: Merritt Kirkpatrick of ArcWorks Community Art Center

Founded in March 2011, ArcWorks Community Art Center, located in downtown Peabody, Mass, is an all-inclusive art center. What does that mean? Well, everything we do is for everyone in the community, period. ArcWorks CAC is governed by the Northeast Arc, which provides life-long support for individuals with disabilities. There is a lot of confusion when I mention that to people. Some folks ask if they can still participate in our programs if they do not have a disability (answer: YES!), others just do not even bother asking, confused by what that relationships means.

We are very lucky to have an art gallery, tons of great classes and an amazing gallery shop. In those ventures, we offer the opportunity for artists of all abilities to participate in a myriad of ways, whether it is exhibiting in the gallery, taking or teaching a class, and selling in our lovely shop! Our all-inclusion does not only apply to the individuals Northeast Arc serves, though. It means that young and, well, not so young, can make art together; that people from all walks of life can come in to our art center and discuss the current exhibit, or anything else they desire; that we welcome artisans from all over the North Shore and beyond sell their wares in our shop. Our hope is that when people make or experience art together, that we all find that our differences are not that great.

That being said, I welcome you to sign up for one of our upcoming workshops, to stop in an check out the amazing show we have up until May 5th, Create: the Art and Craft of Boston Handmade, or to pop in to the shop to say hello to our new Gallery Shop Manager, Elise Snow. We are currently working on updating our website, so in the meantime, Facebook is the best way to keep up-to-date on ArcWorks Community Art Center.

If you have any questions about our art center, or about what all-inclusive means, please feel free to contact me, Merritt Kirkpatrick, Director, ArcWorks Community Art Center, at or 978-531-7146

ArcWorks Community Art Center is located at: 22 Foster Street, Peabody, Mass 01960

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

White, Black and Shades of Gray at the South Shore Art Center

by Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics

This Friday, March 30, there is an opening reception at the South Shore Art Center in Cohasset for the exhibit White, Black and Shades of Gray. The multimedia exhibit includes the work of over 50 artists from around the country, though many of them are from Massachusetts, including myself. The exhibit juror was Dina Deitsch, theAssistant Curator of Contemporary Art for the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, one of my favorite museums in the area. The exhibit is up until May 6, and I really encourage you to make the nice drive, the gallery space is so nice. I'm really excited to see the show on Friday, I hope you can make it too!

The South Shore Art Center is located at 119 Ripley Road, Cohasset, MA 02025. For more information visit:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cristina Hurley Trunk Show

Join jewelry artist, Cristina Hurley on Saturday March 31st from 3 to 6pm for a jewelry trunk show at the Dedham Square Artist Guild.
One of Cristina's many creations
Cristina's work bench were she makes her wonderful jewelry

Cristina designs and fabricates her own original line of silver and gold jewelry, created in her Canton studio. Cristina designs rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and bracelets

Her influences are architecture, with an emphasis on the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt and Central America, and nature, especially butterflies, flowers, and weather. 

For more jewelry designs and information on her work please visit her website

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Membership Applications Now Being Accepted!

Our Spring Review has begun! Boston Handmade is reviewing membership applications from now through April 27, 2012.

Boston Handmade is a group of independent local artists and craftspeople helping each other by sharing business and marketing skills, art and craft techniques, and networking activities to increase one another’s sales and market exposure. The members of Boston Handmade regularly gather to talk, share new work, get feedback on ideas, demonstrate techniques, and produce shows. It’s the frequent meet-ups that keep the membership connected and builds strong relationships. We know that we can rely on one another for assistance and advice in a multitude of situations; we believe in helping our fellow artist.

Our membership represents a wide range of media including metals, paper, fibers, found and fabricated objects, clay, paint, wax, gems, and more. Artists and craftspeople join Boston Handmade in varied points in their careers. Some are just getting serious about their work, some have been engaged for decades. The variety of media and professional background exemplifies the wealth and breadth of experience that each member can share with the group. Members benefit from one another’s triumphs, struggles, and experiments.

For complete information on membership responsibilities, benefits, and our online membership application please visit:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The NEW Boston Handmade

Way back in the year 2006 the great website was launched, and with it's inception the lives of many artists and craftspeople changed forever, and for the better. Suddenly we were able to take greater control over the sales of our work, easily and inexpensively reach a global audience, and connect with other independent creative people who were previously working largely in seclusion.

In 2007 Boston Handmade was founded to help support local creatives in their new online sales adventures. The original idea for Boston Handmade was that if we could help each other by sharing business and marketing skills, art and craft techniques, and networking activities, we could harness the power of the group to increase each others sales and market exposure, and thus work together to grow and strengthen our individual businesses.

For several years the activities of Boston Handmade filled a much needed void. Believe it or not, in 2007, there were not art and craft fairs happening every weekend all over the Commonwealth, crafters did not have their choice of meet-ups every day of the week in neighborhoods dotting the landscape, and there were not classes and workshops offered to artists to help make the most of online networking. In 2007 we weren't Tweeting, Pinning, Liking, posting, and texting between rows of knitting and before our morning coffee.

So much has happened in the past five years!

Many aspects of daily life and commerce have positively changed for those of us making a living through lives dedicated to making art. There is now greater respect for shopping local and buying handmade, and our options for selling our wares via live venues, on consignment, online, and through wholesale have radically improved. It's no longer a question for dedicated artists and craftspeople whether or not they will have successful businesses, it's now a question of which avenues to take to make their business shine. In addition to Etsy there are now several well respected online handmade shopping portals such as BigCartel and Supermarket, and great online shopping cart providers like Shopify for creating your own online marketplace. We now have our choice of how to wirelessly accept payment for art sales through services such as Square and Intuit, and we can choose to market to our customers with printed postcards or eblasts using Constant Contact, MailChimp, or a myriad of other similar services. It is almost impossible to believe that we did NOT have all of these choices at our fingertips just a few years ago.

With all of these exciting improvements in the lives of creative businesses many of the activities produced and hosted by Boston Handmade might have become as little, well, redundant. In our first two years we were producing frequent small craft shows because there were very few other opportunities for our group members to participate in such events, now there are hundreds annually. In our first three years we practically had a meet-up scheduled each week for our members to get together to craft, talk, teach, learn, and share, but now there are endless places to go to meet with other crafters, and so many professional opportunities that we even publish a monthly newsletter listing local offerings. Along with these changes, we are changing too.

As Boston Handmade enters our sixth year of supporting local creative professionals we have restructured to provide our members with what they want and need the most. We are focusing less on what is available elsewhere, and focusing more on what makes us unique as a group. Over the next few weeks and months we will be sharing what's new through our blog, so please check in. There's lots to still do, lots to still share, and lots of growing ahead. We hope that you stick around, share your voice through blog comments, send us emails about what you'd like to see from Boston Handmade, and celebrate the handmade life with us and with your own creativity every day.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

i See- The eyes of VII in the hands of Hipstamatic.

by Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography

Like taking photos with your camera? Addicted to Instagram or Hipstamatic? If so, you should check out the Griffin Museum at Digital Silver Imaging's latest installation called i See- The eyes of VII in the hands of Hipstamatic.

The exhibit features photos taken by 19 photojournalists from the VII Agency which specializes in conflict photography. The photos were taken while on assignment all over the globe in war-torn and struggling countries, all shot on smart phones using the Hipstamatic application.

From the event's website-

"Utilizing a reflexive instrument which captures and transmits an image in seconds in the hands of these highly trained and skilled masters yields amazing results. There is an irony in the freedom found by the restriction of choice - one touch snaps the shot on an iPhone. The Hipstamatic application allows the layering of filters to add subtle effects to tone and focus. VII photographers continue to experiment and explore storytelling with whatever means technology affords."

More Information:

4 Clarendon Street Boston, MA (Map

i See The eyes of VII in the hands of Hipstamatic
March 15 - May 5, 20121
Gallery talk Stephen Mayes April 26, 7 PM

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Celebrating the Irish in all of us with these photos by Kerry Hawkins.
Some local green above, and a view of Northern Ireland below.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring is in the Air

by Anne-Claire Regan from HibouDesigns

Here are a few pieces that were inspired by the beautiful weather here in Boston.

A whole new batch of "Voodoo Dolls" in bright Spring colors...
Yes even voodoo dolls follow fashion trends :)
Coming soon on Etsy!

A fresh bouquet of plush scissors!

And don't forget to say it with a plush... "You're the Apple of my Eye"
Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yarn Bombing, Arcworks, Peabody, MA

by Kerry of Khawkinsphoto

On Saturday I took a ride up to Peabody, MA to drop off my artwork at Arcworks in Peabody Center. I am involved with a show of Boston Handmaders at ArcWorks Community Art Center called Create. I happened to get there just on time to see the Yarn Bombing going on at the Center. The Yarn bombing events are lead by artist and director of Arcworks, Merritt Kirkpatrick.

It was fun to see all the colors on each object, so much colorful yarn. The tree was especially cool and very photogenic. Despite the cold weather the artist were happily sewing their knitted creations onto the fence and stair railings. Very fun to see this in action.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

by Jen Parrish of Parrish Relics

I recently visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, one of my favorite places for Art and dreaming in Boston. I was a bit nervous about seeing the new wing for the first time, not being a big fan of modern Architecture and having very mixed feelings about changing a place so close to my heart. I loved it just the way it was, and wondered if Isabella would feel the same.

I went during the Gardner After Hours experience in February, and was happily surprised that the new wing didn't detract too much from the magic of the old space. A new glass corridor lined with trees outside that got closer together as you get nearer the entrance of the Palace cloister made the transition an interesting one.

Drinking Bellini cocktails and enjoying live music flowing from the courtyard makes you feel magically transported to Venice for an evening. The tapestry room was restored beautifully, many pieces that were obscured by the stage are now in full view and made it well worth the trip. Will go soon again during the daytime to explore the new building further, but it was wonderful to revisit this Boston treasure that I had missed so much while under construction.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Create: The Art and Craft of Boston Handmade

It's time for the first Boston Handmade show of the year! Eight of our members are exhibiting this month in Create: The Art and Craft of Boston Handmade to celebrate March being National Craft Month. The exhibit is on view at ArcWorks Community Art Center in Peabody from March 15 until May 6. The opening reception is Thursday, March 15 from 6-8pm and we would absolutely love to have you there as our guest.

Clockwise from top left: Arthur Halvorsen, Jessica Burko, Allison Fraske, Kerry Hawkins

Our exhibiting artists are Kerrie Beck, Jessica Burko, Allison Fraske, Kerry Hawkins, Arthur Halvorsen, Karen Mahoney, Lynne Parrella, and Lucie Wicker. This is a great chance to see a variety of handmade arts and crafts being made in the Boston area, as well as an opportunity to discover a community art center. ArcWorks gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10am-4pm.
Clockwise from top left: Karen Mahoney, Lynne Parrella, Kerrie Beck, Lucie Wicker

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Cute Lunchtime Creations

By Jennifer T. of MaJenta Designs

My friend got me the adorably cute book above, inspiring me to make creative and cute lunch bento box creations! Its so fun, so then I started to look around online too, and found this cute blog dedicated to bentos! Who knew that lunch time could be a place to extend your creative juices!

Here is yet another great blog that includes some instructions on making her creative bento creations too. So much fun, I cant wait to start making something cute!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Preliminary Product

By Evan of Evan Webster Ink

A lot of attention gets placed on the artist's final product. And rightfully so. But there's something to be said for thinking about and celebrating the process.

So here's a post devoted to the t-shirts that get no love. The scrap t-shirts. They've been used for perfecting alignment and testing colors. You won't see any of these on any runways in Paris but they are strangely interesting and powerful.

1. Lots of Boston:


2. Faint Tuxedo + Pink Burst:


3. Beauty and the Townies ... coming to a theatre near you in 2013.

beauty and the townies scrap t

4. Elephant Boat

Elephant Boat scrap tee

5. CrossFit Farming ... the next craze?


Friday, March 2, 2012

Knitting For Baby - yours and mine

by Jessica Burko of Reclaimed To You

With a three-month-old baby on my hip and a two-and-a-half year old toddler running around, I don't have a lot of knitting time in my day. But short time and found yarn make a great combination for small projects like baby and child sized hats. Making these tiny gems only takes a couple of hours (broken up into many short knitting sessions!) and a very small amount of yarn which is usually what I have available since I knit from found and reclaimed yarn - usually ends of other projects, or cast-offs from friends.

My kids have lots of handmade hats and they never leave the house without one - or two! These projects are so small that I can carry one in my bag and knit a few rows waiting on line at the bank, or in a doctors office, or even while nursing my baby girl. Reason #4692 I love knitting: It's low tech and portable. No batteries required :)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

by Allison of Fraske Designs

Happy birthday to those of you born in March!

March's birthstone is Aquamarine. A beautiful blue gemstone, the name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. Aquamarine comes in many shades of blue, and this is based on the presence of iron. The deeper the blue, the higher the value. Aquamarine is a popular choice for fashion jewelry because its blue shades compliment nearly all skin tones.

Legend has it that aquamarine protects sailors and guarantees a safe voyage.

Here is some handmade aquamarine jewelry available on Etsy:

Rain cloud brooch
Rain Cloud Brooch by Nesrin Duggan

Aquamarine Earrings Aquamarine Stud Earrings .925 Sterling Silver Aqua Studs March Birthstone Earrings

22K gold, Silky Aqua marine free form ring twisted wires rope band
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