Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Smoke & Fire II

On May 9 from 5-8 pm we are having another ArtWalk in Downtown New Bern.

It's a great time, stroll the streets, look at great art work, meet your friends, eat dinner and HAVE FUN!

At Carolina Creations we are having a raku and pit fired pottery show called Smoke & Fire II. Over the next few days I'll introduce you to some of the artists whose work we have in the show.

The first artist I want you to meet is Mary Dewey and her cats.

"My cats are handmade of clay and the colors and patterns are produced by an ancient method of firing called sawdust or "pit" firing.

Once the piece has been bisque fired in a kiln, it is buried in sawdust and the sawdust is burned. The smoke from the sawdust produces the permanent colors in the clay. Sizes vary slightly and color patterns are random.

I am owned by one cat, Kaygee, which is short for "kiln god". It is a tradition among potters that a new kiln have a kiln god made of clay to ensure successful firings. Kaygee came marching through the woods on the day of the first firing of the new kiln...he has stayed to watch over the production ever since, and has been the inspiration for many of the Dewey cats.

Mary Gates Dewey was born and raised in southern Florida. Upon high school graduation, she moved north to attend the Cleveland Institute of Art, where she majored in painting. She first studied ceramics at the University of Alabama where her husband was teaching, and found a real affinity for the diverse applications of clay.

Mary and her family moved back to Ohio and she continued working in clay, opening a gallery and studio in Zanesville in the early 70's, and teaching ceramics and sculpture at Muskingum College in New Concord.

She was forced to make a major life change in 1980 when her teaching job was eliminated, and she was separated from her husband. She moved to Athens, in the foothills of the Appalachians, to begin her ceramics work in earnest. Athens provided an inexpensive lifestyle, and her studio and house were built in the midst of the woods, one mile from the nearest road. With no electricity or running water, she began her work. She came upon the idea for the cats purely by accident in 1982, and today it is only cats that leave the studio.

The cats continue to evolve with each passing year, and although Mary's house and studio have moved and have become what some would call more "civilized", complete with flush toilets, she still finds peace and inspiration in the woods and hills of southeast Ohio, with Kaygee by her side.

Come in & meet Mary's friends!

Other artists I'll introduce you to are Brian Evans, Chris Moses. Brenda Townsend (covered jar left), Heather McQueen, Bruce Johnson and Andrew Berends.

Why shop at Carolina Creations?

1. Our gifts are handmade.

2. You don't have to drive far away.

3. We have a great selection of gifts.

4. We have gifts to fit all budgets.

5. If you can't find the piece you are looking for, we can often make it or have it made!

6. We gift wrap for free!

7. Many of our gifts are one-of-a-kind.

8. All of our art and jewelry was made in the U.S.A.

9. We have gifts for all ages.

10. You can't find our gifts anywhere else in town!

11. We ship.

12. We have a friendly staff.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

New for Mothers Day

I just realized that Mother's Day is only a couple weeks away.

I've been making tiles for a few years with this saying on them but I hardly ever have them in the gallery because I'm doing so many things there is no way I can keep everything in stock.

I have them when someone comes in and asks for one! Not a good way to do business I know.

So yesterday I put one of my paintings (a detail from the newish piece I have of the garden shop at the Palace) together with this piece of calligraphy, and shezaaaaaammm.... a new print which will always be available.

The print only is $9, in a gold metal frame, $24. The print measures 5 1/2 x 5 1/2".

Another new things we just got in this week are these wonderfully scented gel candles.

They come in 2 sizes and with & without shells. Made in the USA of course!

My favorite is the one with shells.

We have another Artwalk coming up on May the 9th from 5-8 pm. We are having a raku show. Much of the work you'll see has never been shown in the area before.

I'll post photos and more information about this show in the next few days. For now mark your calendar May 9th, spend the evening in our beautiful Downtown New Bern. Email me if you want more info!

It is beautiful today in New Bern. Here is a photo I've taken from my porch.........I love it!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


This is just a note to say that the bags we package your purchases in at Carolina Creations are either recycled or are made to be used over & over.
The flat bags we use are paper that is from the fabric printing industry. When they're getting ready to print on fabric they use paper first to make sure the registration and color is right, once that all checks out they switch to the cloth. In the old days they just threw that paper away, now they make it into bags.

Our frosted plastic bags are made from recycled milk bottles.

Our black bags are made from scraps left over from a variety of manufacturing companys what they are made of is called "non woven" fabric.

These bags are very sturdy. Sturdy enough that you can use them over and over again. A customer came in today that just returned from spending two years overseas. She said she used Carolina Creations black bags the entire time she was gone to carry her groceries home in from the store.



Monday, April 21, 2008

Work in Progress

In a previous post you saw two new New Bern paintings I've been working on, here is the progress I've made. I normally do these waterfront paintings in a horizontal format but for a change I'm doing this as 2 verticals. They measure about 28 x 44" each.

Also if you were on the home tour and visited our studio (will I ever move on from that tour!??) you saw me working on a New Bern pot. It is a one of a kind pot that you would probably use for plants.

The size is 10" wide and 8 " tall. It will hold a fairly large plant. The price for this piece is $165.


Sunday, April 20, 2008

Life After Home Tour

It's always amazing to me how fast time goes! We've spent this week getting caught up after spending the past few months finishing our home so it would be ready for people to tour, and so we could finally say our new house is finished! Well almost.....

I still need to do the back splash, which I'll be starting on shortly, we have lights for above the bar being made, they'll look something like this.

I've got tiles to make for the windows in the entryway. And then there is the wall sculpture I've shown you photos of in previous posts.
The wall sculpture made it through the bisque fire, I'll post a photo of it tomorrow. Also the bird on the pole sculpture made it as well. This weeks project is to figure out how to glaze them both.

We just got this beautiful bench with storage in from Sticks. And their clocks make memorable wedding gifts. We've got 3 to choose from.

Every day now we are getting in new work from our wonderful artist friends.

We've got cute ECU, UNC, & other college goblets, hand painted in Greenville. They make a great college graduation gift.

T Rader just brought in this beautiful seascape oil painting.

And raku is starting to arrive for the raku show which is coming up in May.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

We Made It!!

We had a BIG weekend! The home tour was Friday & Saturday, we had well over 2000 people go through our house.

Then on Friday night we had the ARTWALK, Jim Bisbee demonstrated throwing his pots in front of the gallery & Joyce Kell played the harp.
The Jazz & Blues Festival were Friday & Saturday as well.

When we got done with the home tour and went down to the gallery there was not one parking spot on the streets and our Gallery was full!

During the home tour both Michael and I demonstrated, we both got quite a bit of work done. In addition we sold some pieces of the new lines of furniture we're carrying.

This wonderful steel & glass line

We've got quite a few pieces in our home.

The quality is outstanding. And we love the contemporary look!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Wow! Where does the time go?

We've been very busy getting ready for this weekend with the home tour, ArtWalk, demos at the Gallery! But in my spare time I've been working on a pair of paintings of our waterfront.

They don't look like much at this point, the way I paint in watercolor is kind of like watching grass grown. I sketch out my scene, then slowly build up the color.

I may work on these paintings some during the home tour.

I've done quite a few paintings of the waterfront but this time I've included a several things I've never featured before. Like, the Galley Store at the base of Pollock Street, you'll see just a corner of my house, and the Ada Mae North Carolina Skipjack that has been docked by the Galley Store.

You can barely see the outline of the skipjack in the foreground.

Also I normally do horizontal paintings of the waterfront, these are two verticals.

In the second painting you'll see the trolley, the steeple of the fire hall and I've never shown the watertower before.

There is SO MUCH to paint in New Bern, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I'll try to post more photos as these paintings progress.

An update on the wall sculpture. Well it won't be done by the home tour, I am firing the first pieces right now. Since our kilns are fairly small it will take me quite a while to get it all fired.