Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Handmade Halloween

Painted and decorated pumpkins by the Gee-Burko family
Wishing everyone a very happy handmade Halloween, and we'd LOVE to see your handmade costumes and decorations so please post links to photos in the comments!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Handmade for Kids: How to Make a Journal

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

I remember in elementary school "publishing" a handmade book. The story was written and illustrated on a booklet I had made sewing the pages of the story together and then constructing the cover using cardboard, wallpaper scraps and colorful tape. I could not tell you what the story was about, but obviously the project itself made quite an impression on me. Over 20 years later I can still envision the light blue wallpaper and yellow tape and the pride that I took in constructing that book. 

Whether your child wants to write a book or just have something to draw or write in, you don't necessarily need to have wallpaper scraps on hand to make this handmade journal. At a minimum you need some cardboard and some scrap paper and a few other key materials. Older children will enjoy making the journal themselves with some guidance from you; younger children will need assistance with the construction process. 

For this craft you will need the following:
  • A piece of cardboard (in this case I used a cereal box)
  • Scrap paper with at least one blank side
  • Thread that matches the paper
  • A needle
  • A pair of scissors
  • Glue
  • Some sort of tape (I used some decorative duct tape)

1. Cut two rectangles out of the cereal box. Make sure they are each a little bigger than the scrap paper folded in half (or cut down the scrap paper if needed).

2. Fold the scrap paper in half. Take a piece of thread at least twice the width of the paper. Thread it onto the needle and double up the thread and knot at the end. Starting at one edge of the crease, sew the thread down the crease so that the papers are secured together into a booklet.

3. Cut a piece of decorative tape the height of the two pieces of cardboard. Connect the two pieces with the tape, leaving a small gap between them. These pieces will be the outside cover of the journal.

4. Take the sewn booklet and place it in the inside of the cardboard pieces, sticky side of the tape touching the booklet.

5. Glue the outer edges of one the pieces of the cardboard cover. Take the outer piece of paper from the booklet and firmly press it onto the cover. Repeat the same on the back cover. This will help secure the paper booklet to the front and back covers.

6. Let the glue dry and it is done! Your child can decorate the front of the cover, or leave it blank.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Monday Mosaic: Tricks and Treats


Tote bag - Giant Vintage Orange flowers and bouncy ball fringe, from Stray Notions
2. Little Fox Art Print, from The Patterned Peacock
3. Beaded Spider Earrings - Orange and Black, from Lush Beads
4. Enameled pendant - Van Gogh's Alternate Dream, Prunella's Workshop

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why Handmade: Homemade Halloween Costumes

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

The Mohney Children go to Davis Farmland; Costumes by Roberta Burkey

The golden full moon hangs high and large in the big dark cloudy sky. Leaves of amber, gold, and rust crunch beneath the tiny pitter-patter of feet. The crisp cool autumn air is filled with excited anticipation for witches, goblins, and sweets. Child-like imaginations are filled with ideas of vampires and zombies.

That’s right. Halloween is back.

Liz of Lush Beads goes trick or treating as a pirate, with a hat and eye patch made by her mother; photo courtesy of Liz Stewart

With Halloween, comes the need for the absolutely perfect costume. It is a night where we can become anything, and be anybody. We can hide behind scary masks, or transform into beauties. Amidst store bought costumes that barely replicate Batman or Cinderella, come the requests from our children for more unusual transformations. Really, the only limit is our own imaginations. Boston Handmade members take their costumes very seriously.

Cristina Hurley is up for any challenge presented by her daughter; photo courtesy of Cristina Hurley

For example, last year, my son could not make up his mind between being a wolf or a ninja. My then one-year-old daughter was going to be Little Red Riding Hood. It was a perfect costume for the cool New England weather, as it came with built in warmth; specifically a hand knit red wool cape. Every part of her attire could be worn after Halloween as well, making it practical too. Finally, he chose to be the Ninja Big Bad Wolf; which actually made my life easier. A ninja mask with wolf ears. A ninja outfit, complete with a tail. The best part? A necklace made of teeth and a bag of big eyeballs.

Clockwise from the top: Tinkerbell from Peter Pan; Max from Where the Wild Things Are; The Big Bad Wolf Ninja; Little Red Riding Hood.  Max was created by Roberta Burkey. All others were created by Lynn Mohney of Prunella's Workshop

I won’t lie. I have purchased mass produced children’s costumes. I have even purchased them after Halloween for an extreme discount to allow the kids the opportunity to play dress up. However, I have found them, in my opinion, to be highly commercial and the quality is not there. I have found more value in the costumes we have made. By moving away from store bought costumes, I have found we can move away from the perception of certain characters and still be identified. One can still be a Cinderella fairy tale princess without subscribing to commercialism, which opens the door to so much more imaginative play.

Cinderella of Prunella's Workshop; Costume by Roberta Burkey

Also consider dressing up your children as their favorite literary characters. You can promote reading books at the same time as providing fun for all. Picture books especially can grant you some wonderful ideas.

Costumes by Sharon of Stray Notions; photo courtesy of Sharon Fisher

Costumes can be simple, or quite detailed. Some of the must ingenuous costumes are made from very little and do not require any sewing or artistic ability. For example, one year, as an adult, I wanted to be Tinky Winky from a children’s television show, Teletubbies. I donned a purple velour dress, purple high-top sneakers, an upside down purple hanger on a headband, and a red purse, and I was ready to go. The only thing I purchased was the headband; everything else was in my closet, including the purple hanger. Others in Boston Handmade have gone as broccoli and spinach – green taffeta petticoats, tights, and body suit, green pants and shirt, green face paint and hair spray, organic stickers, and they were ready to go!

Laurie Lynn of Beryllina and her husband are ready for a night on the town; photo courtesy of Laurie Lynn Berezin

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Maine Tourmaline, Amethyst, and Beryl Jewelry Designs

by Laurie Lynn of Beryllina

In designing and fabricating jewelry using only gemstones that are mined in America, I often use stones that were mined in Maine, which has a rich variety of gorgeous stones from which to choose...a rainbow of tourmaline, amethyst, and beryl to name a few. 

In a beautiful moment of synchronicity, I connected with the folks from the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum (MMGM), which will be opening in 2014 in Bethel, Maine. This world class museum will be focused on preserving and exhibiting Maine mineral specimens, gemstones, and historical documents that tell the story of Maine's mining history. I am honored to be creating jewelry for the Museum's gift shop that features their beautiful Maine gemstones.  

After receiving a lovely little package of precious stones from MMGM, I got to work designing. First, I made several sketches for each stone, then I selected my favorite design for each and emailed the Museum for approval. Once I got the go ahead, I headed to my studio to get started. I fabricated each piece by hand, using all recycled sterling silver, and embellishing with hand engraving, hammering, or oxidizing. Each piece also features my hallmark, a hummingbird, and a 925 stamp to indicate sterling silver. 

Now that the first four are complete, I'm on to the next round of sketches. The stones are so beautiful, they are such a treat to design for!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Why Handmade: Special Family Edition; An Interview with Duane Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

Our families and our upbringing can have great impact on who we are as artists as well as the future artists we may create and inspire. Every once in a while I plan to interview an artist regarding art in their family, both current and growing up, to shed light on the different places artists come from.

Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Duane Mohney, the other half of Prunella’s Workshop, as well as a member of my family – specifically my spouse. Duane is in a unique position as he did not enter the handmade lifestyle from an art background. Duane has a degree in computer science and he is a full time software engineer; however, he is an integral part of Prunella’s Workshop, a business that may have otherwise never existed without his input.

Needless to say, it was an interesting experience to interview my own husband, as I had to be cautious to not finish his sentences for him! While the majority of the interviews have been performed via cyberspace, Duane Mohney was present during his interview, and I have done my best to capture his responses as he stated them. I hope you enjoy!

Duane Mohney working at the jeweler's bench

 Prior to meeting me, would you describe your family to be creative/handmade/artistic?

“Artistic is not a word that I would associate with my family. Craftsman would be more appropriate.”

Which of your family members inspired you to pursue a craft?

“I would say my father, the handyman, who has always had a “do it yourself attitude” has been the best inspiration towards my being crafty, specifically, woodworking. Interest in woodworking led to the photo printing classes in school, and a general introduction to craftwork. My father taught me you do it yourself or you do without. It was a financial necessity growing up, but it was still inspirational.”

(Duane’s father should be the poster child for the handmade movement. He helped his grandfather build his mother’s house, and when Duane’s father was ready to settle down himself, he built his own.)

A Do It Yourself (DIY) project done in our home. Duane built the mantel piece and I tiled the fireplace.

“My maternal grandmother did counted cross-stitch as referenced in an earlier post. Counted cross-stitch is a craft more so than an art and she was exceptionally skilled in her craft. At one point she had met one of the pattern designers for one of her larger works. The designer was so impressed by the quality of her work, that she asked her to do a couple more of her designs.”

How did you come to find yourself immersed in metal work?

“We had just met Liz Stewart of Lush Beads and you had wanted to make some jewelry. You picked up a lot of supplies and made some beaded things, but it wasn’t what you were looking for. We were at dinner with our friend, Anton, who had his chasing work with him. We began talking about classes, which led me to do some research on Metalwerx and Worcester Craft Center, as well as what would be required to be able to do this in the house. I bought you a class at Metalwerx for your birthday, and the instructor gave you homework. Watching you make metal jewelry at home made me realize it would be a nice small scale way for me to “do it yourself” in the condo and get out my own crafty itch. From there, it has just spiraled, or as they say in traditional wood working groups, ‘It’s been a slide down the slippery slope.’”

What is it like being part of a creative team with your spouse?

“My role in the creative team is more of a craftsperson. I implement your vision, and research what is needed to apply that vision to become reality, so that you have the resources needed. Given that, the 90% of the time that I am carrying out the artistic vision of the designer, it works well. It can be frustrating when I’m having an original moment and I don’t like the input I am receiving from you. I can’t be a diva and throw a fit because there is no where to go but to the rest of the house.”

Pendant by Duane Mohney; Photo by Duane Mohney. Duane is also a skilled photographer

Was there someone in your life who, while not necessarily crafty in their own right, pushed and encouraged you on your path?

“Craft is not a career for me; therefore, I would not expect someone to push me in that direction. By day, (and night sometimes) I am a software engineer, and drive a keyboard most of the time. Craft is a physical and mental break for me and I can direct my creative release in a business-positive manner, which is an added bonus.”

Do you feel your skills as a software engineer come into play with your craft?

“I don’t feel that my skills as a software engineer come into play specifically, but I certainly feel that some of my educational background effects how I think about problems in the studio. I have a very engineering detail oriented approach to jewelry making.”

Do you feel it is our responsibility as craftspeople to pass along our skills and knowledge to future generations?  If so, how?

“I do feel it is our obligation as skilled workers to pass on the tips and tricks that we have learned so that future generations can discover something new. We invite our son into the shop and let him participate in safe parts of our jewelry making. We participate in online forums discussing problems and solutions.”

Passing our skills down to our next generation; our son hammering a new pendant

How do you pass along the love of what you do to other people?

“When we are out trying to sell our work we tell our customers the story of ‘why handmade.’ Why did we do something this way, how did we do it, and what is our vision.”

Do you feel it is more important to pass along your specific skill set?  Or a respect for craft/art in general?  How can either be achieved?

“My specific skill set may or may not be worthy of passing on, but an appreciation of craft needs to be passed on. As craftspeople, we can help this by educating our customers in the benefits of locally produced handmade goods, and why keeping it local is important.”

Duane Mohney at the jeweler's bench

Silly question for fun – what was it like to take a fine art drawing class?

“My past education included both technical drawing as well as CAD, which forces you to think about objects as you know they exist, whereas fine art wants you to draw it as you see it.  My lizard brain is technical and I don’t see the foreshortened image in my head. When I analyze what is before me, I see the isometric view. It was really hard for me to see the foreshortened image.”

What is your favorite part of metalworking?

“Molten metal. It is the juxtaposition of the fluid state and the solid state. Flowing yet ungiving.”

Cast Viking Turtle Brooch by Lynn and Duane Mohney; Lynn designed the turtle, and Duane cast several pairs. Photo by Duane Mohney 

What other DIY crafts are you involved in?

“As I alluded to in an earlier question, traditional woodworking is another interest of mine. By traditional woodworking I mean hand tools not consuming electricity. This choice to not use power tools is two fold; first it is possible to do more in a smaller space with hand tools and secondly it is safer.”

Why do you do more than just metal?

“Because I can. Woodworking would be the first craft that I practiced in a serious manor, and when I moved east, I didn't have the space to have a shop and borrowed shop space when needed. The research into jewelry instruction lead me down many side paths, and I discovered the traditional woodworking movement by accident. It struck a chord, and I've follow the path, not as seriously as the metal work, but certainly sliding down the slope.”

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Art in Unexpected Places

by Jessica Burko

I recently had the occasion to walk through parts of Boston that I don't normally frequent and the bonus surprise was finding some hidden works of art in the corners, shadows, and right in front of my nose.
Painted glass panel located in an office building at 1 Milk Street in Boston. This piece was relocated here from the Immigration Museum, artist unknown.

These discoveries made me realize how thoroughly surrounded by creativity we are here in Boston, and how grateful I am for it.

A tower of plastic bottle caps by sculptor George Sabra can be found tucked into a corner of the main lobby of Boston City Hall.

Have you found any unexpected or hidden art in your travels here or elsewhere? Please share your discoveries with us in the comments, thanks!

Metal safety pin in cement surrounded by brick, located on the sidewalk of Webster Street in Brookline. Artist unknown.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Natick Open Studios - October 19th & 20th

by Kerrie Beck of Cody's Creations

Natick Open Studios is celebrating it's 12th year  this weekend, October 19th and 20th, from noon -5pm. 

This year, Open Studios will include painters, photographers, jewelery makers, ceramic artisans, sculptors, woodworkers as well as paper, fabric, glass and garden artists.

Cody's Creations studio is located at 43 Main Street #2.  At this location you will have a chance to meet some amazing artists: Liliana Bead with lampwork glass jewelery & sculpture, John Holtz with sterling silver jewelry, Deb Sayre with jewelry and mosaics, and Marie Craig with photography. 

At 5:30 on October 19th at 43 Main Street, David Zaltzberg will be giving a talk on the History of Stained Glass Restoration in North America.

I am excited to participate in my first open studios.  I hope that you will stop in and say hi!

Please visit Natick Open Studios website for a full listing of all artists and events happening this weekend.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Monday Mosaic: A thing for rings

1. Recycled sterling silver twist ring handmade, from 
2. Sterling silver and onyx ring; Black Abyss, from Prunella's Workshop
3. Light Gray Beach Stone Ring // Bezel set stone from Lake Michigan, from Linkouture
4. Oxidized Sterling Silver Unisex Wide Band Havanero Ring, from Cristina Hurley

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Designing New Yarn

by Diane of Lady Dye Yarns

I am so glad that Fall has finally arrived! I spent the last couple of months restructuring the way that I dye my yarn as I move to grow my business by getting into more yarn stores. I have created ten new dye lots of my yarn and I am happy to share with you a couple of signature yarn creations.

I realize as a longtime knitter and instructor in knitting, that many people who knit, often times want to purchase the same yarn. I have had many knitters over the course of the year contact me to purchase additional yarn that they have purchased from me in the past. This is a huge step in growing my business. I am proud of the colors that I have created. I look forward to sharing more photos of my yarn with you in the upcoming months.

Lemon n' Lime



Friday, October 11, 2013

Why Handmade: A Special Wedding Gift

by Lynn Mohney of Prunella’s Workshop

I’ll never forget the way my eyes welled up with emotion when I opened her gift.

I have been married for eleven years now, yet my wedding day is as clear in my memory as if it happened only two weeks ago (my anniversary). I recall being surrounded by my new husband’s family in the most beautiful garden on a cool autumn day. I didn’t know them very well at the time as they all live out of state, but they clearly were happy about the occasion. I felt like a princess, dressed all in white, and flowers in my hair. My mother-in-law and her two sisters brought their mother up to see me, a large package in hand. They explained to me I was about to receive a very special gift, and I needed to open it in person. It could not wait until later, and of course I could not refuse my husband’s grandmother who had been nothing but sweet to me.

The three younger women were holding their breath. This was some sort of family tradition. Their own daughters would know and expect this gift, but I was an outsider. Would I understand the love and thought that was put into this gift? I could sense that even my husband knew what was coming.

So far the day had been like a dream come true. My family had made things happen I had not expected, but there was one thing they had missed, and here it was, right in front of me. For years, I had been in love with counted cross-stitched pictures of brides and had wanted one of my own. The picture was beautiful, every stitch taken perfectly, made with love. I ran my hand across the glass protection, marveling in the workmanship of every stitch. My eyes welled with tears and I looked up at the expectant elderly woman, and asked her how she could have possibly known how much I had wanted one. Apparently, she had made one for each of her grandchildren.

To this day, I consider this to be one of our most treasured wedding gifts. I know that every stitch was made with my husband and his future bride in her heart. I knew then that my new family took crafting as seriously as I do.

If you are married, have you received a special handmade wedding gift? Or, what handmade items have you given as wedding gifts? Do you think handmade gifts are better than say toasters? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Join Boston Handmade - Apply for membership today!

A recent Boston Handmade Skill Share Workshop: Basic Chainmaille Techniques with Bev of Linkouture, pictured here with Susanne of Enchanted Hue. Photo by K. Hawkins Photography
Since 2007 Boston Handmade has been connecting local artists and craftspeople, encouraging dialogue, and harnessing the power of many to strengthen the success of each creative individual. By bringing together arts professionals in all stages of their careers working in a wide variety of mediums, we can learn from one another and broaden our overall creative experience.

As a group, the membership of Boston Handmade is dedicated to working collaboratively for mutual inspirational and professional benefit, regularly producing exhibition and educational opportunities for one another and the Boston arts community. As individuals, our members are committed to succeeding as working artists, creating their original work by hand in small studio environments.

In our efforts to maintain diversity of media and technical experience we occasionally close membership to a specific category in which we are already well represented. We are currently accepting applications through November 10, 2013 in all media categories except jewelry. If you are interested in applying to become a member of Boston Handmade please read our full membership information on our website and submit an application:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

On Making the Leap

by Dana Garczewski of The Patterned Peacock

I started The Patterned Peacock in 2011 and from the beginning I knew I wanted to make a full time living from it. But what should you achieve before quitting your day job and devoting all your efforts to your business? I spent the past two years wondering exactly how one makes that transition. Do you have 100 Etsy sales a month? Do you make thousands of dollars at every craft show you do? Do you have 50 wholesale accounts? Does Real Simple stumble across your web site and include you in their holiday gift guide?

All of these things have yet to happen for me but I am happy to say that as of September 25 The Patterned Peacock is my full time job. Why did I decide the time was finally right? Well, to paraphrase Megan Auman of Designing an MBA: it’s hard to build a full time business on a part time schedule. At some point, if you believe in what you do and are willing to work hard at it, then you simply need to take the plunge. But here are a few things that I did to help ease the transition.

Got a handle on my product line: I needed the first two years to experiment and make a lot of mistakes. There are so many products that I’ve tried and then discontinued for one reason or another. I’ve learned what I can produce profitably and with consistent quality. And what items–as much as I love them–are just too time consuming to make them worth my while. I’ve also received a lot of feedback by doing craft shows and gotten a better understanding of which pieces people gravitate towards and which are ignored. All of this information has helped me refine my product line. And while there is always room for improvement, I now feel confident about what I offer.

Got my finances in order: I paid off my debt (which would not have been possible if I had a mortgage.) I also determined a monthly budget that included both my living and business expenses. Then I made sure I had enough money in my savings to cover a year’s worth of expenses before I quit my day job. This is the biggest reason why it took me so long to leave the corporate world.

Surrounded my self with supportive people: It can be hard for those who love you to understand why you’d want to leave a steady paycheck for to pursue a dream that has such a high failure rate. They may question your decision or try to talk you out of it. That’s okay; not everyone is going to get it but it’s crucial to have people who believe in you as well. I had many conversations with my boyfriend about leaving my job. It was important that he was on board with my decision not only as a boyfriend but also because we live together and share household expenses. Luckily he is incredibly supportive of my dreams and even gave up his office in our home so I could have a studio.

I don’t have many friends who are entrepreneurs or in the creative field. So joining Boston Handmade has made all the difference to me. Not only am I surrounded by people who understand and support what I’m trying to do, but they are more than willing to share their time, expertise, and hard-earned knowledge to help another person achieve their dream.

Identified multiple revenue streams: I am a big believer in diversification. I figured I could reduce my risk of failure by determining multiple ways to make money with my business. If one revenue stream goes south or takes longer than I thought to pan out, the whole business doesn’t suffer. But it’s a bit of balancing act to identify enough avenues to make your business well-rounded but not so many that you’re over extended. For 2014, I’ve chosen to focus on e-commerce, wholesale, and licensing as my top priorities with craft shows and teaching as secondary objectives.

Established long-term goals: If I only focused on the next tweet, shipment, or product listing my business would stay exactly as it is today and not grow into the bigger venture I want it to be. So I established some long-term goals to help me focus on the bigger picture. I will be exhibiting at Surtex (which is a tradeshow in NYC for surface pattern designers) in 2014. This is a huge commitment in terms of both time and money and the thought of doing this show scares me a little. But I know it will motivate me to raise the bar on the work that I create. And because I have to make so much new work for the show it will force me to stay disciplined by sticking to the strict preparation schedule I’ve set.

Got supplemental work: In the end, I decided I couldn’t go cold turkey. I thought the best way to make the jump from the corporate world would be to get a part time job. It took me awhile to find the right position but I was able to land a job close to my house, in a creative field, and working for a small independent company.

I also asked my fellow Boston Handmaders for their advice on this topic. “Make yourself a routine or a schedule and stick to it. There is no time clock anymore,” said Lynn of Prunella’s Workshop. She also added, “You are the boss and the employee. Give yourself a day off and don’t be such a slave driver. It can be easy to be a bad boss.” Bev of Linkouture suggested, “Find a space where you are comfortable doing your work so that there is some separation between home and work life. Change up your routine and get out of the house once in awhile to do some work in a coffee shop or with some other people.”

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Meet the Artist Series at Cristina Hurley Gallery with Diane Ivey

This Saturday, October 12, 2013 from 12-5pm, Cristina Hurley Gallery will continue its "Meet the Artist" series with Fiber artist Diane Ivey! Diane spins and dyes her own yarns, and is an experienced knitter as well. She makes beautiful, colorful skeins of yarn that will make any project, even the simplest, burst with color! Come meet this talented artist and get to know her work, ask her questions about her process, and enjoy good company surrounded by beautiful fine craft!

Lady Dye Fiber Arts & Design, LLC, an eco-friendly street-art inspired yarn business. "My yarn has a strong message to a growing population of people living in metropolitan areas that knit, crochet, create graffiti art and are graffiti knitters." As a brand, Lady Dye is continuing to establish a presence in the street art culture in Boston.

Diane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Suffolk University. As a member of Boston Handmade, Diane spends time promoting her work at various art venues and teaches fiber arts classes at the Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts, JP Knit & Stitch in Jamaica Plain, and elsewhere. A knitter for the last ten years, and a dyer, spinner and crocheter for six years, Diane looks forward to expanding her business.

Meet the Artist Series: Diane Ivey
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Cristina Hurley Gallery
554 Washington Street
Canton, MA 02021

Hope to see you there! Free event, refreshments will be served.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Lowell Open Studios

by Liz Stewart of Lush Beads

On the first weekend in October, the artists of Lowell celebrate creativity and imagination during Lowell Open Studios. LOS happens this weekend on October 5-6, and runs from 11-5 each day.

This year, we have over 180 artists participating across 14 venues.  It is our biggest year ever!

Artist Lolita Demers demonstrates ceramics
at The Brush Gallery & Artists' Studios.

This is my second year as chairperson of the committee. Being part of this group makes me realize how much work goes into putting together a great Open Studios event. It's not as simple getting people registered, printing a brochure, and *poof* we have Open Studios.  There's grant writing, fundraising, handling registrations and payments, graphic design, publicity, marketing, logistics, and balancing the needs/wants of all the participants without going over budget.  I encourage you to become a part of your local Open Studios planning committee - they would welcome your help and enthusiasm!

Crosshatch Bracelet - Bits and Pieces
by Liz Stewart, Lush Beads Industrial
I hope you will join my city, Lowell, in celebrating our love of art and artists this weekend.  I'll be in my shop at the Western Avenue Studios in studio A-313.  Please stop by and say hello!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Introduction to Chainmaille Jewelry at Cabot Street Studios

by Bev Feldman of Linkouture

Have you ever been at a craft show and wondered how the artists make what they do? Here's your chance to get a glimpse into how I make some of my handcrafted chainmaille jewelry and try it out for yourself!
I am very excited to announce that on Friday, October 11 from 7:00-9:30pm I will be teaching Introduction to Chainmaille Jewelry at the new Cabot Street Studios in Beverly, Massachusetts. You will learn chainmaille basics, including two weaves, and will leave the class with a pair of earrings (similar to the ones pictured above, or put your own spin on them!) and a keychain. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn a new skill and have a Friday night out with a friend in this awesome new community space.
For more information and to register, click here. Spaces are limited and are filling up!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

City by the Sea Ceramics: Going West

by Jessica Burko

Karen Mahoney of City by the Sea Ceramics has been a dynamic member of Boston Handmade since 2010. She was awarded the coveted Member of the Year award in 2012 for taking a leadership role in our group's online social networking and participating in almost every exhibition, meet-up, and networking opportunity available.

Karen is a tireless champion of independent artists and exemplifies living the handmade life as she works full-time as a ceramic artist, self-managing all aspects of running a small business while also exploring and learning new techniques and expanding her knowledge of her craft.

The City by the Sea Ceramics studio has been located in various towns throughout the Commonwealth since she moved to Massachusetts in 2008, with it's most recent location in her North Grafton home.

The Boston Handmade group show at the JP Open Studios was Karen's last exhibition in the Boston area and she is in the process of moving to the West Coast. We will miss Karen deeply, and we look forward to keeping informed about all of her successes on her blog, via Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

I'm delighted to say that I had a chance to visit her studio and made a few purchases before she packed up the truck. I will cherish my City by the Sea Ceramics always.
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