artesprit

squam lakes rockywold deephaven dining room

squam lakes rockywold deephaven dining room

Squam Art Workshops is an annual, four-day arts retreat whose mission is to offer an inspiring and supportive environment that will nurture creative individuals so that they might produce inspiring original work that both celebrates and expands the imagination. In particular, SAW has been created to support people from all walks of life, not necessarily those who make their living as an artist. It is a chance for people who do not have the opportunity to pursue art full-time to develop and expand this important aspect of their life.

SAW welcomes writers, visual artists, photographers, printmakers, mixed-media artists from all parts of the United States and abroad. As of July 2008, over 100 people from 27 different states and 2 Canadian provinces are coming to this lovely corner of New Hampshire. Part of the allure of SAW is that it couples a quiet retreat of extraordinary natural beauty with the opportunity to share and learn from exceptional teachers and fellow attendees. Some highlights of the evening activities include:
~ Grace Bonney of design*sponge will be our guest speaker on Wednesday night.
~ Bonfire Wednesday night will have live music from NYC singer/songwriter Jonatha Brooke
~ Thursday night will feature a discussion/seminar called “Taking Flight into the Creative Life: an inspiring panel discussion” led by artists Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough
~ On Friday night, book launch party for Santa Monica artist Christine Mason Miller will launch her new book Ordinary Sparkling Moments.
In particular, there is a Vendor Night on Saturday, September 13 in Sandwich, NH where artists (many of whom have been featured in magazines, books and on websites and sell their work in galleries and on Etsy) will be selling their beautiful handmade work in the following categories: paintings and prints, bags and purses, books and zines, ceramics and pottery, vintage dolls, jewelry, knitting, music, needlecraft and hooked rugs, and paper goods. Information on all aspects of the event are at the website SAW.

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tumbler by stacey esslingerStacey Esslinger has been creating hand built porcelain ceramic functional ware since 2005. Her work is often the first thing other ceramic artists notice when they come into our gallery at artstream. Really show stopping!
A little bit about her:
Stacey Esslinger received her B.F.A. in May, 2005 from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY. During the summer of 2002 Stacey traveled to China to study traditional Chinese ceramics.
Her process:
Using a variety of fabrics, textiles, and molds of knitting I texture a flat slab by pressing the fabric into the clay using a rolling pin. I then cut out patterns which I have developed by trial and error, and let the porcelain slab dry enough for handling. Using techniques similar to sewing the seams and darts are joined together creating a three dimensional form. The last step is to add rims, feet, handles, and spouts. The pieces dry slowly, are bisque fired, glazed, and then fired again. All my work is functional and food safe, and can safely be used in the microwave and dishwasher.
The fabrics I use for texture have a variety of origins. The knitted textures I have knit myself, after the knitting swatch is completed I make a plaster mold of it and the slab is pressed into the mold. This extra step of making the mold enables the clay to take on the positive form of the knitting. Many of the embroidered fabrics are handmade. I am always on the lookout for new textures, at yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, and fabric stores.

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whipup in artful bloggingWhip up in artful blogging

A sweet little interview with our fearless leader Kathreen in the latest issue of Artful Blogging. It has a nice photo spread with some artists whose work has been featured on Whipup and links to their blogs and portfolios.

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foamboard face/masks

At artstream, we use a lot of recycled objects as well as bonafide art materials to create with. Here is an easy reuse of the freebie foam core which most frame shops throw away. Go ask for some at your local shop. They will be happy to see you!

To make these mask/faces we sorted the bits into a few bins of small, medium and large shapes. For the actual “head” we had the children draw on a larger piece and we cut out that shape for them with adult size scissors. They glued on the features and used wooden skewers and toothpicks for hair. The foamcore board accepts the skewers easily on the edges as it comes with premade hole like formations. Paint, markers, or inks could be used to add color, as well as beads, ribbons and yarns added to the “hair”. Everything was glued on with a white glue although if you were in a hurry to finish, an adult could use hot glue. More photos of this process right here at flickr.

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map collageThis is a fun exercise in finding shapes, both complex and simple for children (and I am guessing adults too!) using paper maps as your guide. Last week some of my students made these fun and fantastic artworks using a simple process with the maps I gave them. I asked them to open the maps and look at the rivers, railway lines and borders by squinting at them to find new shapes. Then they took a sharpie marker and drew the objects or shapes they were able to find. Then they cut out the new objects and used oil pastel on them to accent what they had found. Finally, they glued the new pieces down to large pieces of paper and finished off their collages. I was simply amazed at the variety of work which came from this project. More photos of this process are at my flickr.

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