Friday, April 26, 2013

Why Handmade: Trying New Things

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

My son is almost seven years old and hates to try new foods. He is terrified that he might not like it. On one hand, as long as one has a diet that is healthy and nourishing enough to sustain life, trying a large variety of foods might not be necessary. However, limiting oneself without ever at least giving things a try is very limiting to what could be a most positive experience. His point is that he might not like it, and my point is he might love it, but he’ll never know.

He is right though. He might not like something he tries. My son might not be good at everything he attempts to do. I am certainly not good at everything I have ever tried. Sports of any kind seem to have proven to be detrimental to both my health and everyone surrounding me. Nonetheless, I try new things when the opportunity strikes in order to better myself and achieve new goals.

For a quite a long time there were many different arts and crafts that I dabbled in.  For the most part they went well. Watercolor painting and portraiture were both successful. I proved capable behind a sewing machine, though I never felt the passion for it that my mother experiences. I am fairly satisfied with my computer graphic design abilities; however, there are other crafts that did not fair well at all.  Knitting proved to be a disaster, though my recent crocheting attempt faired slightly better. My attempt at oil painting in college was, in my opinion, grotesque, though my husband enjoys keeping one of them hanging on his office wall to mock me. However, if I had stopped at one of the skills that I was good at, I may never have found my passion.

The oil painting that mocks me - Prunella's Workshop
The idea of trying new skills brings me back to when I was in college. I majored in liberal arts with a focus in graphic design. The liberal arts portion required me to take a variety of classes, and my parents had the foresight to encourage me to take classes not because they were easy, but because they would be eye opening. I took their advice, and I took French for my language requirement and guitar lessons instead of music appreciation. I had never taken a language past Sesame Street Spanish nor had I ever played a musical instrument. To this day I still can do neither. I tried though. I listened to those French tapes though I was so confused I was trying to determine the gender of all the la tables around me. I caused my poor Monsieur Guitare Homme great pain as I strummed the cords on my guitar incorrectly. He made me promise I would never pick up a guitar again if he gave me a B for effort and promised I was better at drawing. I made the promise. These experiences made me a well-rounded person with a better appreciation for others’ skills.  I am astounded by those who speak multiple languages when I have only accomplished English, and I bow down to musicians. Not only that, I had a great deal of fun trying.

For fun, I opened up this discussion to my fellow Boston Handmade members, as I assumed I was not the only one who found there were certain crafts that just did not work for them. I found I was not alone in my issues with knitting and/or crocheting. Jessica admitted she has had no success when it comes to crocheting, and Kerrie of Cody’s Creations noted issues with knitting, including an allergy to wool, which can always damper the potential of a new craft. Still more, despite the number of people I have heard state they could never do anything artistic or creative because they cannot draw, Liz of Lush Beads, Bev of Linkouture, and Diane of Lady Dye Fiber Arts all confessed that they do not believe they can draw. My fellow members did not stop with their admissions there, however.  Sharon of Stray Notions shared she is unable to throw clay on a potter’s wheel or take a half decent photograph, and Lucie of Lucie Wicker Photography explained that she cannot stand screen printing as it reminds her of fingernails on a blackboard.

However, the point is not what these fine artisans cannot do. We are all human with our own limitations. Every one of them has tried their hand at several things and learned where they have found a true passion and talent and where they do not excel quite so much. I encourage you to check out their work. We have found our way by being open minded to trying and experience new things. We also can appreciate better those who do excel at these skills. So what new thing will you try today?
My first completed jewelry outside of a class.  There was great room for improvement, but it was much more enjoyable than oil painting had been for sure! - Prunella's Workshop

Monday, April 22, 2013

Art and healing on Earth Day

Today's Monday Mosaic features handmade art and craft that utilize found, reclaimed, recycled, upcycled, or similar such materials that were saved from going into a landfill, and were instead turned into something wonderful.
Tote bag by Sharon Fischer of Stray Notions
Sewn paper collage by Jessica Burko
Metallic pendant necklace by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads
Crochet broach by Diane Ivey of Lady Dye Fiber arts & Design

Photo by Lucie Wicker, Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, finishing in 1st for the elite women, photographed at the 2013 Boston Marathon finish line less than two hours before the bombings.

The city of Boston and it's citizens, our city, our neighbors, ourselves, have been through a tremendous amount of turmoil and tragedy during the past seven days. Today marks one week since the devastating bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon and we are still reeling, still trying to make sense of it all, and still healing many types of wounds. Today is also Earth Day, a day to celebrate life and recognize what we can do together to heal and sustain our world.

Boston Handmade recognizes the duality of these events and we are coming together today for earth friendly and cathartic creativity in Jamaica Plain. Members of Boston Handmade, alongside other local artists, will be leading art and craft activities utilizing recyclables and found objects. This community outreach event is free and open to the public and will encourage creative exploration for people of all ages. We hope that younger participants can learn about valuing resources and how they can make art, toys, and musical instruments out of everyday household objects, and that more mature participants can find the creative process as a means of expression and release during this time of stress and mourning. We hope you can join us:

Earth Day with Boston Handmade
TODAY, Monday, April 22, 2013
10am - 4pm
Jamaica Plain Branch Library
12 Sedgwick Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

"Lap Guitars" made with salvaged shoe boxes

Special gratitude for making this event possible goes to...
The artists who chose to spend this day sharing their vision and inspiring us all to create:
Amy Hitchcock, Bev Feldman, Carol Johnson, Cristina Hurley, Jessica Burko, Lauren Teller, and Stephanie Putland.
The Boston Public Library for providing a welcoming community space.
Harvest Co-op Markets for contributing dry goods that we are using to make percussion instruments.
City Feed and Supply for saving their egg cartons for us to craft with.
Stride Rite for collecting shoe boxes for making "lap guitars" and spirit boxes.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Handmade: Why Boston?

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

My artistic muse has been feeling rather quiet this week. Believe me, I have tried very hard to find that voice that tells me what to create, whether it be with metal or with words, but the silence has been deafening. This blog column focuses on our being a group of artists and craftspeople, and why we do what we do, but today it seems more important that we are Boston Handmade.

On April 18, 1775, men such as Samuel Prescott, William Dawes, and Paul Revere, were dispatched to warn that the British were on their way to Concord, MA, to capture both our military stores and Samuel Adams and John Hancock. Every good student in Massachusetts recalls Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem in which he wrote “one if by land, and two if by sea,” describing the lanterns to be hung in the Old North Church in Boston, signifying just how the British would arrive, starting the Revolutionary War that led the United States to a country of freedom. On April 14, 2013, men dressed as these men started out on horseback to make the ride again, lanterns were hung and the battle was re-enacted the following day, as it has been every year that I can remember. Boston is at the very heart of the beginning of how we came to be the country we are today.  Indeed, many of the founding forefathers, were right here, deciding it was time to fight for their freedom.

Photo Courtesy of Minute Man National Historical Park
However, Boston is more than just that to me. It is my home. I have never lived directly in Boston, but it is a place I hold dear. I have memories of going in for the day with my mom, two of her close friends, and their daughters who were the same age as me. We went for a ride on the swan boats, and then headed to the Frog Pond where Meredith ended up soaked to the skin. We had ice cream. I remember yearly trips to Faneuil Hall to go Christmas shopping, my very best friend at my side. There were the awful (yes I said awful!) school field trips to the Museum of Fine Arts when I was just too young to understand the importance of what I was seeing. 

I have taken my son to Boston to share similar experiences. We like to go alone for a mother/son day. I am sure I will do so with my daughter when she is older. My husband is from “away” so we leave him home. Last year we went before the Frog Pond had opened for the season, though it was scorching dangerously hot. My son had me take him through the old cemetery where we could see the graves of so many of the patriots, and I told him some of the history as I had learned it, making him a Bostonian too.

Last year my son went to the Boston Marathon to see his uncle, my brother, run. He stood with my parents at the end, cheering him on. The Marathon is a special event for my family. When my brother was 17, he suffered from Ewing’s Sarcoma. A wonderful man volunteered to run the Marathon for Dana Farber, and sponsor my brother. They became great friends, and are so to this day. This man ran for Dana Farber for 10 years and then passed the torch on to my brother, who has since run two marathons, his wife, one. This year my brother decided to not run, but participated extensively with helping other runners train and he was at the marathon to cheer them on. As such, my son was home safe with me, instead of at the finish line. My brother, for whatever reason, did not stay at the finish line after the elite runners had passed, and later went home safe and sound. Who would expect any thing different?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Earth Day = Craft Day with Boston Handmade

Next Monday is Earth Day and Boston Handmade has been planning a celebration of community, art, and the earth. In light of our recent local tragedy we considered canceling or postponing this event and then decided to keep our plans as scheduled in an effort to unify our community. When discussing our potential cancellation with local artist Carol Johnson, who is planning an art activity for Monday's event, she said, "I feel even stronger about providing a creative arts experience for people, children and adults alike. I would like to help with healing." We would like that too.

We hope you can join us in Jamaica Plain at the JP Branch Library (12 Sedgwick Street, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130) on Monday, April 22nd from 10am-4pm for an art and craft upcycling extravaganza, as we make art together from recyclables. Transform egg cartons, old magazines, shoeboxes, water bottles and more, into musical instruments, toys, and art. Activities will be led by members of Boston Handmade and local Jamaica Plain artists. This is an all-ages event, free and open to the public.

Boston Handmade is a group of Massachusetts artists, artisans, and craftspeople who embrace the concept of Earth Day every day. As independent creative business people the members of Boston Handmade produce and sell art and craft locally, each working from a small studio which reduces our own the carbon footprint and those of our customers. Through our choice of materials, methods, and the mindset we keep, “reduce, reuse, recycle” means more to us than a slogan on a blue box. Conserving resources is something each one of us keeps in the forefront of our minds, and harnessing the power of our own hands propels us.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston is Crying

Less than 48 hours ago our city changed forever. An annual tradition of endurance, sportsmanship, and camaraderie was marred by tragedy, and we will never be the same. We are mourning, we are broken, we are stunned, and we are begging to know why anyone would perpetrate this act of extreme violence and hate.

Monday was a holiday in Boston. "Patriot's Day" celebrates the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and is observed by Massachusetts and a few other states. This is a day when schools are closed, large sporting events take place, and everyone gets a chance to enjoy the beginning of spring. At the time of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings my immediate family was safe at home 4.5 miles away from the devastating blasts. Our children were in their beds sleeping for their afternoon naps, my husband was in the kitchen cooking, my mother visiting from out of town was reading on the sofa, I was catching up on work at the dining room table. A neighbor called to see if we were alright, and we had no idea what he was talking about. The next hour was frantic as we scrambled on phones, computers, and iPads to locate a sister, two nieces, and a nephew who were spectators at the race, and a cousin who was running. We breathed a huge sigh of relief when we finally got word of their safety, and then broke down when we learned of the deaths, destruction and severe bodily harm that befell so many other families.

It's also April school vacation week in Boston, a time to take advantage of good weather after a long winter and to visit the many public places and attractions that our vibrant city has to offer. But not this week. We cancelled trips downtown in favor of playing in the back yard, baking carrot cake, and painting rocks found in the garden. We don't have a TV, and don't want our small children to hear the brutal details being described over and over on the radio, so we sneak peeks at websites, blogs, and Twitter to stay informed, but the news remains grim, and we remain horrified, angry, and full of fear.

How can we process all that is happening? How can we comprehend the unimaginable injury and loss that so many of our neighbors are suffering? How can we not flash back to 9/11 and relive that era of terror and sorrow? I don't know. But I know we can try. I know that I am taking solace in big hugs from my children. I'm grateful for the amazing Boston community and all the immediate offers and actions of assistance provided to the victims, their families, and the thousands of marathon visitors to our city. I am writing, and creating, and making art to help me process it all, and I'm encouraging others to do the same.

Pick up a pencil, grab some paper, and let yourself go. Get out that box of collage parts from the back of your closet and see where they take you. Roll some play dough. Paint a rock. Grab some friends and create something together. It may sound small; an inconsequential endeavor when larger more important things are competing for space, but while we can't always understand what is happening in the world, we can help ourselves, and those around us, heal. One way to heal is through creative exploration. Reach out to those around you and connect. Share and come together through creativity as we all try to make sense of the irrational.

For everyone directly and indirectly affected by this deep and shocking heartbreak, know that our whole city is crying with you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Monday Mosaic: Perk up your ears - the Jewelers of Boston Handmade

Sterling silver spiral earrings, Prunella's Workshop
2. Oxidized Silver, Itty Bitty Earrings, Cristina Hurley Designs
3. Silver Nut "Glamour" Earrings, Lush Beads Industrial
4. Pale Pink Pearl and Silver Chainmaille Earrings, Linkouture

Friday, April 12, 2013

Why Handmade: The Dreaded School Vacation

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

The main goal of this column is to discuss why we make handmade items, and why people buy them; however, I am going to stray just a bit. No worries, my intent will come back to the overall theme. I run my business from my home, with two children under foot. The youngest is with me all day every day, but the older child is in school for most of the day. This arrangement has its challenges, but they are consistent to the day to day routine. Then school vacation comes along and blows everything out of whack. Add to that mix grandparents coming for a visit, and it sounds impossible that any actual work will get done, right?


First, as a professional artist, I cannot afford to not be working at my craft in some way. Secondly, being an artist is so much a part of my identity, that taking time off is insanity. Most importantly, however, there is no reason to take time off.

How did artists become artists in the first place? We created as children. Our parents handed us crayons. They let us play with clay and finger paints, when other parents said no, it's too messy. We made necklaces out of macaroni and sewed little stuffed animals. Kids today only get an hour a week with an art teacher in school if they are lucky. A whole week off from school is an opportunity to maximize creative time.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Mohney, Prunella's Workshop
Kids do not need to be restricted to "kids' crafts." There are a lot of things kids can do that are "real" art. Personally, as a metal artist, there is much in my line of work that is not safe for a six or seven year old, as I work a great deal with an open flame. However, there is also a great deal I do which is perfectly safe for kid to try out, such as filing, sanding, and even playing a bit with a hammer. One just needs to think out of the box a bit.

Bringing kids into our crafts will help perpetuate our skills to the next generation. No one wants to see what they do become a dying art. It starts simple. We let them see us creating things and answer their questions to invoke curiosity. When they offer an idea, we run with it and create it. As they continue to watch what we do, we can hand them the reigns a little bit. It may slow down production temporarily, but your child will have more respect for what you do, more respect for what other people make, and may even become proficient in your craft. Better yet, they may become proficient in a completely different but equally admirable art. Meanwhile, you managed to continue to get some work done even during school vacation.
Floral Copper bracelet created by Lynn Mohney, inspired by idea suggested by 6 year old son; Photo courtesy of Duane Mohney.  Prunella's Workshop 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Business Tips for Artists and Craftspeople

Boston Handmade is brimming with successful artrepeneurs of many types, working in various media, and at differing levels of capacity, from home studios, off-site work spaces, and the occasional lap. Maintaining any business has its challenges, but establishing and sustaining an art business can pose very specific hurdles to vault and we'd like to share a few of our favorite business tips with you to help with the navigation along your path. 

Sending Photos
Tip from Jessica Burko
"When fulfilling a photo request from the press, sending photos as part of an application, or posting photos of your work to a blog, make sure the file name is your name or your business name. That way it's not misplaced and will be identifiable, and searchable. Sample file name: Burko_EncausticCollage.jpg."

A Year of Goals
Tip from Dana of The Patterned Peacock
"I start each new year by making a list of goals and priorities for the next 12 months. So when an unexpected opportunity arises, I can refer to my list and see if they mesh. My list helps keep my business goals clear and realistic. Otherwise I would constantly be distracted by all the shiny new possibilities and never have the time (or discipline) to follow through."

Making Multiples
Tip from Lynn of Prunella's Workshop
"As artists, we tend to prefer to make one of a kind very unique items. However, as a business, our time is money. It is good to have a few repeatable designs in our back pocket that can be recreated easily. It is even better, if the design plan is easily altered in such a way that it can be repeated timely for the artist and yet appear different to the customer."

Checklist for Shows
Tip from Karen of City by the Sea Ceramics
"I use a checklist for each show I apply to, to keep track of all the details from beginning to end. It begins with dates I applied and paid fees. The day of the event I run down the checklist to make sure I don't forget anything I need at home, and afterwards I write down my sales, tax collected, and any other notes I have about the day that I think will be handy later like the types of shoppers that were there, weather, organization, and so on. I staple the carbon copy of sales for the day to this page so I can look and see exactly what had sold."

Daily To Do List
Tip from Bev of Linkouture
"As a self-employed creative business owner running my own show, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending list of things to get done. In order keep on top of everything and not lose my sanity, I start by doing a brain dump and making a to-do list in Evernote of every little thing that I need to get done. I then like to lump things together by categories, such as social media, blogging, listing on Etsy, making jewelry, etc. and block off chunks of time in my Google calendar when I am going to work on these things (and try my hardest to actually stick to it). I also schedule in things like going to the gym and taking a lunch break since they are important but are easily overlooked. A girl's also gotta take a breather!"

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Following Your Passion: A Practical Guide

by Dana Garczewski of The Patterned Peacock

Photo ©Chris Devers
I recently finished So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. The book is based on the idea that “follow your passion” is bad career advice. While I was averse to the initial premise–what maker wants to be told that following your passion is a waste of time?­–I found there’s a lot of helpful guidelines for crafters like me who are looking to make a full-time living out of their art.

My issue with the book is that Newport seems to believe that those who “follow their passion” also assume that success will come quickly and without effort. This attitude usually just leads to frustration and disillusionment and we both agree on that. I feel it doesn’t matter whether your endeavor is a life long passion or a career that you’ve chosen for other reasons. As long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and discipline, the possibility of finding meaningful, fulfilling work exists in either scenario.

I recommend reading this book in its entirety. There are many details as well as real-world examples that explain his argument further. However here is a brief summary of his key concepts.
  • Choose a career based on a skill you’re good at (as oppose to determining your one true passion and finding a job that matches it). The rarer and more valuable the skill the more leverage you’ll have in finding meaningful work.
  • Then adopt a “craftsman mindset” in which you devote roughly ten years or ten thousand hours towards perfecting this skill. Newport points out that time alone is not enough to make one a master. You also need to incorporate deliberate practice (pushing yourself past your comfort zone) and constant feedback to make real progress.
  • Newport defines a dream job as one that possesses the traits of creativity, impact, and control; with control being the most important of the three. It usually takes time–mastering small mundane tasks–before moving on to something truly interesting. “In other words, you need to be good at something before you can expect a good job.”
  • Furthermore, it can be dangerous to pursue a career with these traits before we have something just as valuable to offer in return. This was my biggest lesson from the book. Courage is crucial when finding meaningful work but not the kind of courage that means blindly stepping off the beaten path and believing that somehow everything will work out. It’s our expertise (or track record) that gives us leverage and without it we’re more likely to fail.
  • So where does courage come in? When you want to take the leap and you will need courage to assess whether you’re truly ready or not. It can be hard to admit that you need more time before stepping out on your own. (This is were I am now.) It can also be hard to stand up to those who are resisting your move towards more control. But in either case you need to do what’s in your best interest. How do you know when the time is right? Newport presents the “rule of financial viability” as a way of determining this. In our capitalist society, money is an indicator of value. If someone is willing to pay you than you must be offering something of value. (Please note, his definition of payment takes a variety of forms from small business loans to paid time off.)
Have you read his book? Do you share his opinion? I’d love to here your thoughts and comments.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Why Handmade: The Strive for Perfection

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

As an artist who has showcased my work to the public, I have been approached by a number of admirers and examiners of my work on a regular basis, who have a variety of feedback to provide. It is never easy to receive criticism, of course, but we can learn more from the negative than we do from the positive. Other comments are yet more of a reflection of the observer than the observed. The three statements I have heard most as an artist are: "Wow, I can't even draw a straight line," "I can do that myself," and my personal favorite, "I can get that at (insert your favorite department store in bad need of a dress code for its patrons.)" I plan to discuss the first two people today, and allow the third to go shopping elsewhere for the time being.

My answer to both people is yes, you can! Ok, perhaps if you want a perfectly straight line, you ought to use a ruler. I need a ruler to make a straight line as well. (Fig. 1) The beauty in art is that the line appears to be straight when it is in fact not straight. (Fig. 2) Maybe you are not able to create what I create. Maybe when you try to make jewelry, all you end up with is a great big mess of melted silver. However, you may be able to knit, or sew, or sing like an angel. I tried many different crafts and art forms until I found a certain few that simply worked for me. I will tell you, knitting was a disaster, and people should pay me to stop singing. However, until we try something, we will never know what we are good at.

Fig. 1 Rulered straight lines by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop
Fig. 2 Hand drawn "straight" lines by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

We also are not always going to be good at something the first time we try. There is the old adage of beginner's luck, but the truth is we are always perfecting our craft. If it always came out perfect the first time and every time, the craft would become dull to the artist and craftsman. Our purpose is to do it better each and every time. We do not necessarily enjoy sharing our disasters, but those mistakes were valuable learning tools. They show us what not to do or repeat. In our strive for perfection, we do not like to admit our failures, but perhaps it is necessary for them to be seen to help others be more confident in their own learning process.

Ring by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

I created the above ring in 2006. It was not the first ring I ever made with a stone setting. It is perhaps not the most disastrous mistake I have made, either. It was, however, perhaps a dumb mistake. I measured the bezel wire too high (I actually do not think I measured it at all!) and was unable to push the wire over the surface of my cabochon. Had I been able to push the silver wire, you probably would not even be able to see the cabochon. I am certainly not proud of this work. One of the beauties of silver, however, is you can melt down your mistakes and start all over, which I certainly have done before. I have chosen to keep this piece as it is currently, and I keep it on my work bench as proof of how I have grown and improved over the years. I know full well this is not an error I would make today, and it helps me grow beyond myself and remain confident in what I am doing.

The ring also reminds me that we are not good at everything we set out to do. The cabochon in the center is my attempt to learn lampwork beading, a skill I have utmost respect for. Nothing horrid happened when I tried my hand at this, and with more practice I may have become proficient. There was no pleasure in making the bead and I gritted my teeth the entire time. Regardless of whether you are capable of making a lampwork bead or drawing a straight line, if you do not enjoy doing it, there is no shame in enjoying others who can.

Sterling Silver Ring by Lynn Mohney; Photo courtesy of Duane Mohney of Prunella's Workshop
When we do enjoy an art or a craft, beautiful creations will come forth from our very own two hands. The more we practice the better we will become. We are merely human, and our work will never be perfect, but we will always strive to be better than we were. So, if you think you cannot even draw a straight line, try it before you give up on yourself! If you think you can do something, what are you waiting for!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring Trunk Show Fever!

by Cristina Hurley

Spring is coming, and what better time is it than to get out and go check out some great art, while mingling with friends? Two of our members, Cristina Hurley and Liz Stewart, will be having trunk shows for Boston Handmade artists through the Spring and Summer. This month, check out beautiful 2D art by Jessica Burko and Jewelry by Liz Stewart. Light refreshments will be served at both events. Feel free to bring friends and family, all are welcome.

Jessica Burko will be doing a trunk show this Saturday, April 6th, at Liz's Shop Lush Beads in Lowell, MA. Jessica Burko has been a working artist since 1985 and an independent curator and arts marketer since 1997. Burko’s artwork has been exhibited in venues including the Danforth Museum, the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, NH and Samson Projects Gallery.  Jessica is originally from Philadelphia, and currently works from her studio in Boston’s South End.

Boom Boom, 2012, Encaustic mixed-media collage by Jessica Burko

Using encaustic, mixed-media, and paper quilts, Burko explores non-linear, autobiographical narrative created through upcycling and combining found ephemera with original imagery. The stitched, collaged, layered aspects of life, pieces of domestic space, and non-traditional portraits, are both real and imagined. Through this work discarded materials are unified as a way to reclaim the past and blend it with the present.

Do You See, 2012, Encaustic mixed-media collage by Jessica Burko

Lush Beads is located at:
122 Western Avenue, Studio A-313
(In the Western Avenue Studios building)
Lowell, MA 01851
Perch, 2012, Encaustic mixed-media collage by Jessica Burko

The second show happening this month will be for Liz Stewart of Lush Beads. This show will be at Cristina Hurley Gallery on Friday, April 12th from 4-7pm.

 "Simplicity" Necklace and Earrings, 2013

Liz has been making jewelry since 2000. What started out as a stress-relieving hobby turned into a full-time job in 2004 when she opened Lush Beads. She is mainly self-taught.  She is an active member of her artist community at Western Avenue Studios in Lowell, and is the chair of the Lowell Open Studios committee.

Liz creates work to suit many tastes - from delicate and romantic to sleek and modern. Her Industrial line of pieces made with new and repurposed hardware are sleek and modern, and a nod to her geeky past as a Computer Science major at WPI.  Her Morse Code necklaces and bracelets combine the past with the present and create a unique piece of jewelry with a secret message.

Cristina Hurley Gallery is located at:
554 Washington Street
Canton, MA 02021

Hope to see you at these exciting events!
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