Over the summer, little time was logged in the studio. Much of it was spent considering how and why I create, and whether my goals had changed. It wasn’t pretty and at times, it was downright distressing. The bottom line is that there is no way I cannot create. Metals – and now melting glass on them – is a true love of sorts that has to be honored, nurtured, and shared with others.
One of the ways I do that is by teaching classes. With each one, information and skills are given freely with no expectation of return. At times, it is magically intoxicating. Another is by simply talking to other artists and visiting their spaces. Through awareness of creative synergy, one can grow by observing their processes, being awed by the incredible art they create, and especially each discussion track or brainstorm.
In the coming months, both of those will take center stage. I am both thrilled and to be honest, a little terrified, to announce that painter Camille Inman and I will soon move our studios into a shared commercial space near downtown Hickory. We both will gain much needed room, and it will enable me to move closer to those goals that were struck years ago. Soon, EBS will offer expanded metalsmithing classes, and I will finally start pursuing wholesale accounts. Depending on how things play out, opportunities for other artists may evolve as well. Look for more information to come!
I also am absolutely honored and delighted to announce that EBS has been awarded a Regional Artist Project Grant. The funds will purchase an enameling kiln and a 35mm SLR camera that will be used to shoot pieces for sales and marketing. This fabulous program is funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Caldwell Arts Council, Hiddenite Center of Alexander County, Rock School Art Foundation of Burke County, Burke Arts Council, and McDowell Arts Council Association. I cannot say, “Thank you,” enough!
It’s August? What in the heck happened? The last post was written in March, and the last calendar update was made in April. Hmmmmmm. Maybe it was the new job. Maybe it was putting classes on hold for the summer. Maybe it was the typically hot Southern weather and not having insulation and air in the studio. But then again, maybe I was just slack! Truth be told, it was a little of all of that.
Now in late August, I have been working long weekends trying to catch up. The last few weeks have been quite productive. About 60 feet of 10 and 12 gauge copper wire was coiled, cut, soldered and forged to make approximately 6 feet of chain necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Copper sheet is being cut and enameled while silver sheet is being crafted into rings and backs for some of the enamel pieces. Yeah, my tongue is hangin’ out like a dog’s but I love it and wonder why it has taken so long to get back in the groove. New inventory will start rolling out to retailers by Labor Day.
The calendar is starting to look alive again as well. Classes are being scheduled including a new opportunity at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library here in Hickory. They invited me to teach once a month as part of their public programming. It is a wonderful thing because I am compensated for my time and effort but people take the classes for free. Yep, F-R-E-E which I think is AWESOME! See the calendar for details. Also, Bottega in downtown Hickory wants to host classes and some will probably be set again for Hamilton Williams Gallery in Morganton. Other than an art crawl or two, not much on tap at this point for festivals and shows but as always, that can change so check the calendar often.
Also, don’t forget the fab, fun Girls’ Night Out parties that you can host in your home. These events are appropriate for ages 12 and up, are NOT limited to women, and can be a cool alternative for “just because,” birthdays, bride’s maids parties, etc. Click for details.
Thanks again for your appreciation and support in what I do. I sincerely appreciate it.
It is hard to believe that we are already into March. Here in Western NC, daffodils and maples are starting to bloom, and we’ve had a few unseasonably warm days. Although we usually get some of our worst winter weather this month, part of me is ready for spring. Between frozen stuff falling from the sky and cold temps, studio time has been fairly non-existent in the uninsulated and unheated space. Yes, there is a propane convection heater but because of fumes, it only runs for 15 minutes at a time (better than nothing). Heck, new tops for two work benches have yet to be cut and installed! Talk about slack…
Now on to other things. I am excited today because the Copper Development Association’s article featuring EBS has published. Written by Jennifer Hetrick, the interview was conducted in early February and was originally slated to publish at the end of this month. See it here.
On the class front, new locations and schedules have been added to the calendar. Starting later this month, projects will be available at Turnip the Arts in Hickory, Iredell Arts Council in Statesville, and Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir. At the end of May, I will also teach a class at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum. In addition, a new format is being kicked around with the folks at Hamilton Williams Gallery in Morganton for a basic fabrication workshop. It would be held a few hours a week for four weeks. With so much going on, do stay tuned for updates, check the class schedules often, and call early to reserve your spot.
Well a lot happened toward the end of 2014. The biggest is that I was out of commission for almost two months due to having surgery before Christmas. That meant that I didn’t participate in the Harmony Arts Market ~ Holiday Edition which was organized by me. Talk about a major disappointment!!! It also scrapped the open studio sale planned for the Saturday before Christmas. The upshot is that recovery went well, and I am once again back in the groove! Now to catch up…
The last month has seen a lot of changes in the studio. Things like camping gear that were being stored have been moved to a storage unit to make way for two fabulous new workbenches! It doesn’t sound like much but for months, equipment that needs to be mounted on a secure work surface has had nowhere to go. It also will open up one dedicated space for enameling, and I cannot wait! A small convection heater has been added as well to take the edge off of the winter cold in that uninsulated space. That said, I may be working out of my kitchen this winter, especially during these lovely Arctic blasts.
As far as updates go, plans are being made for the next Harmony Arts Market this spring which will once again be held at Hickory’s SALT Block. On the website, the retailer list has been updated, new class locations are in the works, and I FINALLY have launched the Girls’ Night Out home parties. Be sure to check out those pages for information.
Another exciting bit of news is that I was interviewed yesterday by a writer for Copper in the Arts, an online magazine published by the Copper Development Association out of New York City. It should publish in late April so stay tuned for when it becomes available.
In closing, I want to give sincere thanks to everyone who sent prayers, healing vibes and good wishes while I was in the hospital and recovering. I also send A LOT OF LOVE to those special friends who camped out with me during the hospital stay, helped take care of the critters, washed laundry, swept floors, took out the trash, carried the heavy stuff, and brought food. Y’all are incredible, and I count myself extremely fortunate to be your friend. You know, it makes life so much more meaningful…
For Immediate Release
A new fine art and craft market has been announced by long-time artist and event producer, Ellen Ball. Scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 13, 2014, the Harmony Arts Market ~ Winter Edition will be held in the lobby and Keiser Community Room of the SALT Block’s West Wing.
“For years, I have thought that most people are unaware of the depth of artistic talent in the region,” Ball said. “Now that the economy is moving forward, it is the perfect opportunity to help market all of us by launching Harmony Arts Market at the SALT Block.”
Just in time for the holidays, buyers will find a variety of handcrafted wares from the area’s best artists and craftspeople. The roster includes:
- knives and chain maille by Brock Martin
- glass and mosaic assemblages by Laurie Childres, Sandi and Wayne Bowers
- jewelry by Ellen Ball, Ana Cristina Godoy and Laura Hampel
- paintings by Steve Brooks, Camille Inman, Joe Lafone and Terrell Miller
- sculpture by Harold Humphrey
- pottery by Alison Mackey and Varian Swieter
- mixed media fibers by Beverly Mihelich
- hammocks by Jeffrey Childres
- turned wood by John Inman
- furniture by Jarrett Soles
Dates for the Harmony Arts Market ~ Spring Edition will be announced in early 2015. For more information, visit www.harmonyartscollaborative.com or the Harmony Arts Market ~ Winter Edition Facebook event page.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged ALison Mackey, Ana Cristina Godoy, art, art show, arts & crafts, Beverly Mihelich, Camille Inman, craft show, Ellen Ball, fine craft, Harold Humphrey, Jarrett Soles, Jeffrey Childres, Joe Lafone, John Inman, Laura Hampel, Laurie Childres, SALT Block, Sandi and Wayne Bowman, Shannon Brown, Steve Brooks, Terrell Miller, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Varian Swieter
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Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Brasstown, NC for a week-long enameled jewelry class at John C. Campbell Folk School. Between the learning challenging processes, the lovely grounds, fabulous food and wonderful fellowship, it was an incredible … Continue reading