Category Archives: ceramics

Tenting It

The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!

There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!

This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!

The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.

She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)

www.natural-sur.com

Booth A17

I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.

Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Booth A4

I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.

www.baysidewoodproducts.com

Booth E15

It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.

www.barbaraconte-gaugel.com/

Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!

www.drawnmetalstudios.com

Booth F13

Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.

www.beeZbyScranton.com

Booth C12

Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).

Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.

The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.

www.michelledarinjewelry.com

Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3

They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.

Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.

They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/

Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.

OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.

Booth C1-2

https://dalerogersstudio.com/

Paula, Mary & Allyson

I visited Cazenovia Artisans. This is a co-op where the artists take turns working the sales floor. Yesterday, that artist was Paula Burke. Paula is a Syracuse University graduate specializing in ceramics. She studied there under Margie Hughto and David MacDonald, among other amazing professors.

Her work is primarily focused around nature. She loves the lyrical aspect of the ginkgo leaf and utilizing glazes that have iridescent effects coupled with a matte finish.

Mary Padgett popped in – she was rearranging her display. She is selling glass mosaic pieces that shimmer in the light, as well as framed paintings of landscapes. She enjoys flipping the media, working on paintings and the three dimensional items sometimes within the same week.

The artwork is united by color – both styles work in unison and would create harmony in many home collections.

There is also a visiting artist program. Allyson Markell is this month’s featured artist. She creates colorful painted collages.

Cazenovia Artisans is located at 39 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Call (315) 655-2225 for more information and store hours or visit their web-site, which includes an online shopping experience.

Every Second Sunday

I visited City Market at the Everson Museum of Art on Sunday. Walked around before it rained and met some new-to-me vendors, as well as old friends.

Randy Casciano of Salt City Salvage creates tables from vintage filing cabinets and bird houses with wine crates, among other repurposed items. He does not have a website yet (working on it) but his email is Randy@SaltCitySalvage.com. I love his work. I want everyone of these birdhouses, especially the copper roof one!

Barbara Floch had a beautiful display of her papier-mache crafted jars, sea shells and jewelry. She has a space at the Delavan Center and calls her company Gypsy Girl Designs. Find her at www.gypsygirldesignsandcreations.com.

Ken Nichols and his lovely wife Kris sold his handmade ceramic bowls and mugs. When I stopped by, they had a large crowd of fans gathered around. Ken is at this event every second Sunday, of the month 10:00 am-5:00pm, May through October 2021.

Goodies Mediterranean Grill & Cuisine was represented with to-go versions of their delicacies. As the sign indicates, they are located at 3605 James Street. Call (315) 433-1003 for more information.

David McKenney of GBD Studio (glass by Dave) presented his glassworks. He can be reached at (315)373-3078 if you would like to make a purchase.

Jane Zell was the musical guest. She is FABULOUS! This video is on my http://www.youtube.com channel. Yes, I have one! <3

On the Fringe

I am currently in a post St. Valentine’s Day love affair with the home goods/home decorating/interior design firm and store Fringed Benefits. It is a manifestation of clever, inspirational design and good taste.

The brainchild of Interior Designer Amy Burns, who has established herself in the business locally for over twenty-years, and her partners Michelle O’Connor (business) and Kate Burns (designer), this venture is a stunning array of home decoration brilliance.

The store is located in the plaza adjacent to Wegman’s DeWitt (6825 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville, New York 13066). It is closed on Sundays but operates every other day of the week. (Check their website for more information)

The venue is set up like a one-bedroom studio apartment with living-room, bedroom, office and dining-room decor supplemented by areas of small accessories, art, floral arrangements, gifts, candles and plenty of pillow options.

Retailer Glory took me on a tour including the back room, which is Burns’ design studio and offers personal assistance in home decorating including selecting fabrics and wallpapers. Glory’s enthusiasm for the products and budding business acumen made me want to make a purchase. It was a wooden heart ornament (pictured below) that I will cherish.

I had been a Facebook “Top Fan” of this place, but had never wandered in until today. It is an amazing store! You must go to there. Bonus if you tell them I sent you. <3

The Japanese Collection

The collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics, displayed in the Everson Museum of Art (lower level) is a breathtaking representation of experimentation and whimsy in clay.

The beautiful thing about this exhibition, as with the previous one in this space, is the circle of trust – trust that visitors will not touch; trust that nothing will break. Some pieces are behind glass, like caged animals and others roam free on mirrored and lighted shelves, allowing patrons to appreciate the details up-close-and-personal-like.

It is incredibly inspiring to view the concepts unfolding within decades, the mastery of cut, shape, form and glaze application.

For many years, the Everson Museum of Art was known for its ceramics collection, the largest in the nation. Now they are going forward with American art, I think, although maybe that is just with regard to the upstairs holdings.

The Floating Bridge: Post-modern and Contemporary Japanese Ceramics is on view through May 9, 2021.

Call (315) 474-6064 for more information.

EVERSON MUSEUM OF ART HOURS:

SUNDAY 12-5
MONDAY CLOSED
TUESDAY CLOSED
WEDNESDAY CLOSED
THURSDAY 12-5 (12-8 EVERY 3RD THURS)
FRIDAY 12-5
SATURDAY 10-5

Soflea Sophie

My sister owns two businesses: Syracuse Yoga (6181 Thompson Road, Suite 803, Syracuse, New York 13206) and Soflea, a small store operating in the basement of Wildflowers (217 S. Salina Street, Syracuse, New York 13203).

Sophia Tashkovski is part of the McCarthy Mercantile. Her collection of flea-market finds and antiques includes her signature horseshoes, brass trays, statuettes and wicker baskets, as well as furniture and rugs.

Items are one-of-a-kind gems and so, there are always new finds to covet, which always makes the shopping experience a fun adventure.

Hours of operation: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. It’s open today!!! (you’re welcome <3) Enter Wildflowers then head to the basement where the collective of shoppes is housed.

Water is Art

The Erie Canal Museum (318 Erie Blvd. East, Syracuse, New York 13202) is host to a ceramics exhibition, one installed in February 2020.  The museum is currently closed due to the world-wide health crisis – that makes interacting with the clay vessels (created as site-specific art) nearly impossible.

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photo cred – Jocelyn Reynolds

This is an irony because the idea behind the work envelopes the scope of human life, as it interacts with the forces of nature, the forces of water and the history of the man-made canal.  The humans in question are every socio-economic level of local and regional society.  All races of people who, in some way, have interacted with, associated with or had some understanding of what the Erie Canal has meant in our history, as well as those who have no idea but in fact, have been, inadvertently, affected by the legendary waterway.

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photo cred – Shane Lavelette

Artist Linda Zhang was the 2017-2018 Boghosian Fellow in the School of Architecture at Syracuse University.  She came to Syracuse from Europe and knowing no one, she spent time meditating (think deep thought) on designing the curriculum for this relatively new fellowship.  She proceeded to think about and create strategies for the design of her position, ideas that would ultimately catapult her educational journey to include making art and teaching electives at the college, which led to philosophical-infused artwork and the idea of making meaning in terms of one’s personal vortex.  This path included an interdisciplinary union with Errol Willet, Associate Professor of Art (ceramics) and Biko Mandela Gray, Assistant Professor of American Religion.

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graphic design – Im Burrow

Although Zhang is currently a professor at Ryerson University in Toronto, The Story of Water pairs the artist with her SU educational cohorts.  The clay vessels in this exhibition were slip cast and formatted utilizing water from the canal.  There is a transformation – water crafts and the art is manipulated to create a phenomenological transcendence – art as symbolism.

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Taking an idea and moving it through time, so that the result is present while encompassing a larger whole – this is incredibly interesting on so many levels. Fortunately for all, nothing is truly impossible.  This exhibition can be viewed remotely.  Zhang will be offering a lecture on her process via an on-line Zoom meeting.  This event takes place on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 1:00 PM.   Click on the link above to join the party or check out the same link by way of the event’s Facebook page.

The event is free, however; donations to the museum are welcome.  <3

*from the Erie Canal Museum web-site

Weighlock Gallery

February 3-April 16, 2020:The Story of Water: The Erie Canal as a Site of Untold Stories

“The Story of Water” is a collaborative project between Linda Zhang, Assistant Professor of Architecture at Ryerson University, and Biko Gray, Assistant Professor of Religion at Syracuse University. This exhibit features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures, transformed by the introduction of Canal water before the firing process. The resulting clay models symbolize the transformative effects, positive and negative, that the Erie Canal had on the lives of those who built it, used it, and lived near it.

*Details from Facebook event page

Join artist Linda Zhang and Syracuse University Professor Biko Gray at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 18 for a live, online talk about ‘The Story of Water,” an exhibit of abstract art that is at the Erie Canal Museum. It will be hosted on the Zoom meeting app. Click on this link to register and you will receive an email confirmation: .https://ryerson.zoom.us/meeting/register/u50vcuGsqTwsjUGXxhFl1-DgYZPFHN2lzA.

Zhang will discuss the artwork, her creative process, and what inspired her and collaborator Biko Gray to develop this exhibit. “The Story of Water” features clay vessels based on 3-D drone scans of Erie Canal structures in Central New York. The artist introduced Canal water to the pieces before the firing process, creating models that symbolize the transformative character of water and the Erie Canal.

The Museum is currently closed to the public to protect visitors, volunteers, and staff from Covid-19. We’re working diligently to serve you by offering programs by alternative means, and greatly appreciate your help. You can make a donation to the Museum through the link in the “Get Tickets” box below,

We look forward to seeing you on April 18 for this thought-provoking talk!