Artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, innovation, and honest sustainability.

The best and brightest artists and thinkers coming together to promote fine crafts, original thought, and honest sustainability.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Native Vermont Studio - AKA Ryan Fowler

Is it weird that I get extra excited when I get to write about boys? Maybe it's because Etsy is such a lady-land.... I crave contrast! 

Anyway, today's artist, Ryan Fowler is just pretty darn awesome. His work has an understated and whimsical vintage sensibility that is just utterly charming. If you are an animal lover, you will totally love the way he captures the sweetness of animals without being cutesy about it. I personally love that I can just as easily envision his work in a hunting lodge as in a toddler's bedroom. That's not an easy blend to pull off.
Enjoy!
-illana
Featured Artist:
Name: Ryan Fowler
Business Name: Native Vermont Studio


The Basics:
I'm an illustrator and photographer. My work is inspired by the view out the window in Salisbury, Vermont, walks in the forest, or long days sitting on the dock at the lake.

Though many of my pieces are Vermont related, I also create a wide range of other graphic pieces using both drawn images and photographs. Many of my pieces can be customized and I create commissioned pieces when my schedule allows. Thanks for visiting my site!



1.  What five words best describe you? 
Frenetic, Optimistic, Adventurous, Obsessive, Risk-taker.

2.  What five words best describe your work? 
Personal, Graphic, Whimsical, Contemporary, Heartwarming.

3.  What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
When I was young I drew quite a bit. Drawing is the basis of my work.  As an adolescent I took up photography and pursued it through graduate school. I received my MFA in photography from Rhode Island School of Design. I teach photography and still make photographs, but I started NVS last year by returning to drawing.

4.   What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
Growing up, I had a landscaping business and greeting card business with my twin brother, so my first “real” job was when I began teaching 5 years ago. I always enjoyed working for myself, so I can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad job.

5.   Is artwork your full-time life?
Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative? I teach in the visual arts, so between my teaching job and making my own artwork, being creative is full-time. More than full-time!

6.   What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Be patient and persistent.  Things started off slow for me, and then they took off. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll reap instant rewards, and if you start to earn some money, then it’s just icing on the cake.


7.   What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I have my work on Etsy and in galleries and stores across the country. I really enjoy the interaction I get to have with customers on Etsy through Convos and feedback.

8.   What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?  
American Suburb X, Twitter, Etsy, NY Times Lens Blog, PGATOUR.com, http://www.scarletandsterling.com/

9.   Favorite artist? 
Andrew Wyeth

10.  Guilty pleasure? 
Play golf. Poorly.




~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~





Ryan has generously offered one winner: 
A special gift of this amazing customized 12x12 Dog Canoe Co. giclee print. The winner can choose between a black, yellow, or brown dog, and customize the name and location. 

TO ENTER:
- Go to Ryan's Etsy shop. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in a comment below!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.
jjj


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Late blog feature:(

Hey happy people... This is a quickie to let everyone know that this week's artist feature will post first thing tomorrow, and will be AWESOME! Life got in the way this week for both me and the featured artist. Look for a killer giveaway in the morning. Hint...are you a dog-lover?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Carrie Bilbo Art Jewelry

I suffer from New York envy. This week's amazing artist is a lovely lady named Carrie. Carrie lives in Brooklyn and looks at a navy shipyard all day (see below) while creating her work...and it shows. 
Her work has a natural feel, with a hard edge that is decidedly urban. I think people in New York are just cooler than me. It's really not an inferiority thing, I'm just pretty sure that living New York actually makes you better than me. I am totally ok with that, as long as you keep making amazing things and letting us Californians who's studios overlook cu-de-sacs enjoy it! 


In all seriousness, Carrie's work is beautiful, architectural, unique and full of life. I sincerely hope you enjoy it!
-illana


Name: Carrie Bilbo 
Business Name: Carrie Bilbo Art Jewelry 


www.carriebilbo.com 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/CarrieBilbo?ref=seller_info


The Basics (This is actually Carrie's full bio... it was such a good read, I didn't ant to trim it! -ib): It is the physical contact with the materials and the possible metaphysical implications that most excites young jewelry artist Carrie Bilbo. How a primal psychological experience can be evoked from the personal display of natural forms is the subject of her most recent collection of works, The Attachment of Fear. Her wearable sculptures, based on human phobic fears are painstakingly natural. Silver branches, gleaming cicadas and bejeweled spiders offer nature’s beauty while dramatically attaching themselves to the body physically as well as psychologically. Connecting and interacting with the body through texture, color and sound, these pieces become attached to the very bodies that instinctively fear them. Nylon Magazine described the collection as “ridiculously edgy and chilling, but also impeccably crafted and wearable.”

A graduate of Pratt Institute, Carrie Bilbo studied painting and drawing before discovering her most expressive medium was in metal. She graduated with honors with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing in 2009. While studying jewelry design, she worked summers and school breaks in her hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio as a jeweler for a custom jewelry shop, creating pieces in gold and precious stones. At just 22 she has already received numerous awards and honors. At Pratt she was named a finalist in her class foundation year, was the third place Junior Jewelry Review winner and received the First Place Senior Jewelry Award. She was named a finalist for the Windgate Fellowship and since her graduation she has shown in juried exhibitions and shows including the National Enamelists Society Show in San Jose, California and the 2009 Craftforms exhibition in Philadelphia where her work was selected for the jurors choice award. She also exhibited at SNAG’s 2010 No Boundaries show and Exhibition in Motion in Houston, Texas. Recently Carrie was named a NICHE award finalist.Her work has been shown in Vogue Magazine, Nylon Magazine and Art Jewelry Forum.

Organic and expressive is how Carrie describes her work. Each piece is a well- crafted work of art. This style stems from her interest in painters like Gustav Klimt and the German/ Austrian expressionist movement as well as the Art Nouveau movement and jewelers like Rene Lalique. Jewelry is more than just decoration, it is wearable pieces of art, and what better canvas is there than the human body? Carrie has joined her love of creating, painting, the human body and mind, and expression to create her unique and enticing art jewelry style. 

Carrie now resides permanently in Brooklyn, New York where she continues to create her organic and expressive sculptural jewelry made of precious metals and stones.



1. What five words best describe you? observant, perfectionist, intuitive, reliable, determined


2. What five words best describe your work? Organic, Expressive, sculptural, pensive, detail


3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
It is hard to say which art form was my first, because I grew up around art and doing crafts. My mother is an art historian and runs a college art department, and when we were little ran a summer art program for kids as well. So I was always drawing, painting, and doing crafty things growing up, like creating sculptures from trash and old boxes in our basement. When I began to get on a more serious level about art though, I got really into colored pencil work, which led to painting. Painting turned into my passion and was my original major in college, until I took my first jewelry class. Painting is still my passion and, although I don't do it as much as I would like too, I do indeed still paint.


4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job? I can't say I have ever had a 'worst' real job. I have enjoyed, for the most part, all my jobs I have ever had. But my least favorite of my jobs I guess was working for this person, where I just worked production and made his/her jewelry line for him/her. The only reason I disliked this most is because I have a hard time respecting and working for someone who knows much less about jewelry then I do and does not make any of their own work. So when I'm not paid very well either, it is hard to do this day after day.


5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative? Artwork is my full-time work for the most part. In February I official started my own company and since then that is what I have been doing. I do have some other random jobs on the side though. I work with a ceramicist once a week, I do freelance jewelry design work for companies every once and a while, and I was a census worker for about 2 months. If something short or part time comes up, I will do it, but for the most part my main focus is my jewelry business. My favorite part about being a full time creative… is being a full time creative. It can be a lot of work and a lot of stress, that is always there, but I can't complain because I am doing something I love as a full time job everyday and not everyone can say that.


6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out? Probably one of my favorite lyrics and the quote I live by, "Hold on, Dream Away." Basically don't give up, hold on to yourself, and hold onto your dreams. Don't let anyone tell you differently. If doing art is your passion, never let that go. If you need to take a waitressing job, or something of that sort, to survive and pay the bills for a while, then do so, but don't let go of your dreams and your passion. Keep working, creating, and making things…. always.


7. What is your favorite way to distribute your work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why? As of right now I sell online through Etsy and 1000 Markets and also at several galleries and boutiques around the country. I love both Etsy and selling at boutiques, but as Jeweler with a fine art background I really love making larger more sculptural and conceptual pieces and having them shown and sold in gallery shows. 


8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
I feel like I am one of the only people, these days, who does not have blogs they look at constantly and daily. So when asked this question I am always blank. I am totally guilty though of checking my Facebook and Gmail about 10 times a day. My most frequented websites would have to be Facebook, Gmail, Youtube, Hulu and Netflix. I do like my friends' design blog www.the-twentyten.blogspot.com and one of the boutiques I sell at in Phili has interesting things on their blog as well, www.ihearttopstitch.wordpress.com. Then for jewelry you can not go wrong with www.klimpt02.com. It is always amazing to look at.


9. Favorite artist? Very hard to pick just one. It is a toss up between Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. 


10. Guilty pleasure? Twilight…. I know so bad, but so good.




~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Carrie has generously offered one winner: 
A special gift of this amazing twig ring (in silver) in your choice of aquamarine or smoky quartz (or the winner may claim a $40 gift certificate for Carrie's Etsy shop instead):



TO ENTER:
- Go to Carrie's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in a comment below!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist: Ozetta

This is my first official "YAY FALL!" post. I love fall, and love winter even more. Why, you ask? Because I get to wear all things made of yarn and/or cashmere..... and because it means the end of clothing that fits on a postage stamp.

I could not possibly pick a more amazing artist, who's work I totally covet, to help me dream of fog and rain, and chilly mornings, and hot tea. 

Allow me to introduce Hailey, and her beautiful knit line, Ozetta. As a reward for all my lovely readers, Hailey is offering a 10% discount for the week that she is featured (9/14 - 9/20).  Just send her  a message through her Etsy shop when you order and tell her you are a ZIPANDRUTH reader, and she will apply the discount.

Enjoy!
Your Name: Hailey

Your business name: Ozetta


ozetta.etsy.com
ozettamade.blogspot.com


The Basics:
Ozetta handmade knits is inspired from my great grandmother. My grandmother taught me how to crochet, among many other things, and most importantly she showed me to lead by her example in life and that was to do what makes me happy. Each item in my shop is knitted and crocheted exclusively by me. I live in a small town in Oklahoma where there are beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and that’s about it. I married my high school sweetheart, Nick and we were blessed in October with a little boy, Easton Hank. I started crocheting when I was ten years old, but took a long break from it and picked up knitting. However, crocheting is my true passion now.

1. What five words best describe you? 
Organized, Creative, Shy, Loving, and Bookish

2. What five words best describe your work? 
Big, Warm, Unique, Comfortable, and Soft

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it? 
Writing. Yes, I still write daily on my blog, ozettamade.blogspot.com

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job? 
When I was a junior in High School I worked at a local business that restored gas pumps, cars, etc. They also had a lot of old signs and mainly things that had to do with cars. I worked in the shop outside organizing, checking in inventory, cleaning, cleaning, and cleaning. It was a complete man job and I had to work hard every day to keep up.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your favorite part about being a full-time creative? 
Yes, Ozetta is my full-time job. But I would hardly call it a job. It’s the best thing I have ever decided to do. I have a college finance degree, but decided this is my true passion. Making things ultimately makes me the most happy. The best thing is being my own boss. A lot of the times I work 12 hour days and it gets even crazier around the holidays, it’s challenging but completely worth it. Another thing is being able to raise my son, there is nothing greater than being able to take care of him and watch him grow.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Don’t give up. And if you really want to get serious about your passion then you have to invest a lot of time in your business. What I realized the most was “a dream deferred will hurt you over time”-Michael Emerson (most of you may know him as Ben on the TV show LOST). When I heard this quote I was even more determined to make my dream reality. What was I waiting for?

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
Online, particularly Etsy. They are truly a wonderful community. I have met so many people through Etsy; some that I consider best friends. It is a wonderful way to get your name out there.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
Etsy.com, Cocoabeans.etsy.com (my mom’s shop), Kalie Garrett, Amazon, and Flickr

9. Favorite artist?
Coco Chanel

10. Guilty pleasure? 
String Cheese

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weekly Featured Artist & GIVEAWAY: Nesting Emily

I am super happy to present an amazing ceramicist this week. I am a big fan of Emily's because her work uses the traditions of fine pottery and mixes them with both modern and organic sensibilities. Her work is unique, engaging, and totally unexpected (and I am always a sucker for stuff I TOTALLY can't do). Enjoy! -illana




Name: Emily


Business Name: nesting.emily


http://www.etsy.com/shop/nestingemily

The Basics:
I am a simple person with a simple mission- to take over the world using nothing but clay, felt, wood and chocolate. This mission came to me in a moment of great clarity brought on by my first use of a potter’s wheel over 20 years ago. I have worked to solidify my plan by watching loads of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and meeting up with fellow craft doers. When I grow up (and takes over the world) I would like to open a shop (what else would a world leader want to do) filled with great yummy crafty-arty treasures. While pottery, knitting and felting are my sports of choice I also like to listen to old Stevie Wonder, barter for cool stuff, collaborate with other crafters and eat chocolate (big surprise there).


1. What five words best describe you?
Oh that is tough…I guess bratty, creative, opinionated, loving and sensitive (typical Cancerian really).

2. What five words best describe your work?
Well the tags I love to use on etsy are simple, organic, textural, mixed-media, and graphic. I would love to think my work is these things.

3. What was the very first art form you fell in love with, and, do you still do it?
My first memory is my mother weaving and I think my love of textile came first. Textiles are like a life long friend but my first time on the potter’s wheel was like finding the love of my life. That is why I like to mix them.

4. What was your very worst ‘real’ job?
Most have my jobs have been great but I was a telephone solicitor for a very short time. That sucked.

5. Is artwork your full-time life? Or, if not, are you planning to make it that way? If so, what’s your
favorite part about being a full-time creative?
Right now it is not. I would like to create and run my own shop full time- a mix. I love promoting others work too. Right now I pot part time and run a shop full time (not my own) which is part of a public gallery. I do get to sell a lot of amazing artists work so I am not too far off.

6. What do you think is the single most important thing you could tell an artist just starting out?
Relax about finding your own style and your place in the creative world. It takes time and on the journey it is okay to be inspired by others, confused about your own voice and to not sell anything. Trust your inner voice and above all do what you love!

7. What is your favorite way to distribute our work (craft shows, online, galleries, etc…), and why?
I like them all for different reasons. Craft shows I get to meet some amazing people and trade with other artists, online I meet amazing people and get to know my work goes far away. I am not in any galleries but I am in a shop in Toronto called Blue Bird. And I have my eye on a couple others I would love to be in but that is all so new I don’t have an opinion yet.

8. What are your five favorite blogs and/or websites?
http://bookhouathome.blogspot.com/ Arounna has such a beautiful blog which features lovely work including her own, which I love.
http://www.larabeeandliza.com/ Laura is an astounding talent and very generous with her work. I am thrilled to tell you she is designing me a tattoo.
http://poppytalk.blogspot.com/ Amazing eye candy and I am always learning about new artists.
http://www.uppercasegallery.ca/ As beautiful as their magazine- and boy is that saying something!!
http://rikrakstudio.blogspot.com/ So much fun and treats!! And run by the best craft cheerleader ever!
And etsy and flickr and Zip & Ruth of course!!


9. Favorite artist? 
The only area I can name a favourite is in music- Stevie Wonder. I love so many artists for so many reasons. I could do my 10 favourite Canadian ceramic artists in no particular order but that is the best I could do. For someone who calls themselves opinionated I am coming off like a waffler aren’t I? Can I pick mother nature???

10. Guilty pleasure? 
Watching a show on MTV called 1 girl 5 gays with my daughter. We laugh, we cry, we learn, we blush.


~~~ GIVEAWAY ~~~

Emily has generously offered one winner: 
A special gift of this amazing vase (or the winner may choose anything under $25 from Emily's Etsy shop):



TO ENTER:
- Go to Emily's Etsy page. Find your very favorite item.
- After that, come on back and leave a comment below telling us what your favorite item was and why (the 'why' is the part we really look for when deciding on a winner... so be creative! Tell us how you would use it, why it appeals to you, what you find unique about it....that sort of thing).

You may enter only once (but keep reading for the loophole on that). The contest is open until 4pm Pacific time on the Monday following the original feature (so it's open for about six days). Winners will be posted on Tuesday morning, along with the new featured artist's piece. If you have any questions, please contact me, not the artist.

IMPORTANT: If you want to be contacted (if you are the winner), you need to leave your email address in your comment (I suggest spelling out the @(at) and the .(dot) to avoid spam from internet crawlers, or you may also leave your Etsy screen name, if applicable. If you don't leave either, you need to check back and contact me by the Friday following the contest ending to see of you won, and will need to email me (see Winner's Box in the upper right sidebar).

Bonus Entries- **You can earn an extra entry for each of the following: Follow my blog and/or follow me on Facebook. Both links are on the right-hand sidebar. Just make sure you note that you did these in a comment below!**

Please note: The winner is chosen by me and the featured artist based on your responses...so make 'em good! We make no claims that the selection is random:) It is between you and the featured artist to coordinate the getting of your loot. I make no personal guarantees about time-frame for delivery, value, or condition of the winning item.