Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Meet the Artist - Steve Fabrico

Have you seen the sculpture "Exterrestrial Totem" in the sculpture park at the corner of Middle and Broad Street? It won first place in the scupture contest last year winning $10,000 and a place in our city's sculpture collection which will be along the Riverwalk as it develops.

It was created by Steve Fabrico. I met Steve about 5 years ago and we've been friends ever since. Steve also does functional pottery in addition to his sculpture which we've been carrying at Carolina Creations. At the same time I met him he told me he was getting ready to have a workshop at his studio. I said "sign me up!"

He's a great teacher and a real character. I learned a lot at the workshop and have created my own totem using what he taught me at the corner of our driveway on East Front Street.

Here's what Steve has to say about himself and his work:

I decided to become a potter by accident, in the early 70’s when I happened to walk by the ceramic room in the college I was attending. At this point in my life I was only in school because the Veteran’s Administration was paying me to be there.

Ceramics looked like something I could handle. Before I could sign up for a basic ceramics course I was already hanging out watching students throw and also attempting it myself. The following semester I had my first ceramics course and knew more about it than my instructor, who was a painter and had never taught ceramics before.

So, as they say; the hook was set, and the world of pottery/ crafts reeled me in slowly. Five years later I had earned a BFA in Ceramics and have made pots full time ever since. Over the years I have made many changes in my work. I feel this ability to create new designs, style and forms has always kept me from becoming bored and burnt out.

After 25 years of making pots I still can’t wait to get to my studio every day for work.The current body of work I am producing is a combination of functional and non functional ceramics. The majority of the work is made in an alternative method which involves separate sections of clay pieced together in a similar way a patchwork quilt is made.

This technique allows for a visual change in every piece since no two pieces can be put together the same way. The influences of nature and abstract art are woven together in this work. I find this method of producing work a challenge to my design sense because it leads to endless possibilities in how I produce my work."

Stop in at Carolina Creations to see his work or visit his page on our website.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Homegrown/Handmade Book -Just Out!

Hot off the press book, Homegrown/Handmade: Art Roads and Farm Trails of Eastern North Carolina.

A couple years ago the North Carolina Arts Council and the North Carolina Carolina Cooperative Extension got together to promote the unique arts, farms, b&bs and Museums in Eastern North Carolina.

They started with a website which has been up for some time Homegrown/Handmade and just this month a book has been published so it's easy to follow the tours they outline.

Of course Carolina Creations is in the book on page 97, and on the website!!

You ask what exactly is in it? It's 16 self-directed driving tours through Piedmont and eastern NC counties, offering information about art galleries, artists studios, performing arts, farms, you-pick organic produce, favorite local restaurants and festivals, music and crafts, farmers markets, specialty shops and foods, vineyards and wineries, museums, historic houses and sites, and bed-and-breakfasts.

You can purchase one by coming in to Carolina Creations or calling us 252-633-4369 & we'll ship it right out. $19.95.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vollis Simpson

Today we took a ride up to show my sister the whiligigs near Wilson. If you've never been we think it's a pretty special place.

You can see in the first photo how big these are! That's my sister standing near the gate.

We arrived just as Volis was getting ready to leave. "I'm goin home to git some supper. Just enjoy yourselves lookin around."

These whiligigs were created by Vollis Simpson. He's become quite famous in the last few years.

Just a few miles off Highway 301 South of Wilson, there's a spot where 5 roads come together.

Mr. Simpson has filled a field there with huge whiligigs made from found objects. Some are as high as 30 feet.

There are horses pulling a wagon, two men sawing, a dog wagging its tail, bicyclists that pedal their bikes, several airplanes and lots more.

We were lucky today that it was very windy. It is a sight to behold and the sound on a windy day is energizing as well. We hadn't been in a while and were pleased to see that new ones had been planted. Mr. Simpson, now that he's retired, works almost every day building smaller whiligigs in his workshop adjacent to the field.

We purchased a small ones a few years ago and haven't had a chance to mount it on our new house yet. I think the trip today will be the motivation to get it up. Look for it on the corner of our third story porch.

We've never been there at night, I'm not sure I could FIND it at night, but we're told that the fence and the whirligigs are covered with tiny reflectors and made an amazing sight in your headlights!

Here is a link to all the photos I took today Photos

On YouTube there are several film clips of him and his work, I think this is the best one. The locals call the field of whirligigs Acid Park. Or at least a portion of the population does. Here's another video from YouTube play it!

You may have seen one of his windmills outside the American Visionary Art Museum at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore.

If you want to go it takes about an hour and a half to get there from New Bern, well worth the time.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My Sister

I'm a little slow posting this week because my sister is here from Michigan. We've lived here almost 20 years and it's the first time she's visited!

Meet the Artist George Wazenegger

We've carried George's wonderful assembledges for quite a few years, but did you know he'll also do commissions?

This is what George says about his work:
"I create wood collage of charming and quaint architectural structures. I do this because of the nostalgia and love of these places which are slowly disappearing. The structure could be a stately lighthouse, old farm or the waterfront cottage you always dreamed of having. Those uncommon shapes can be transformed into a single building, a landscape or a seascape. I feel that I am on a creative journey which will include many more wonderous places along the way.

I have been creating my wood collage since 1970 with the use of wood, acrylic paint, and other selected materials. I can create just about any architectural image you can think of in various sizes and price ranges. My work is in corporate and private collections and I have been honored with numerous awards."
You can see a few more of George's pieces on our website by clicking here.
If you'd like information on how you could have George do a collage of your favorite spot, email me at janet@carolinacreations.com

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

We spent the day in Downtown New Bern Painting!

We had two great days painting in Downtown New Bern! Our workshop with Mike Rooney just got over about an hour ago. It was great!

There were 13 of us in the workshop with all levels of expertise. And everyone came away with something!

We started out painting behind the projects.

Then we moved to Jack's Island in Lawson Creek Park. I have to admit I've lived in New Bern almost 20 year and I've never been out on Jack's Island. It was like being in the country and we were more or less right downtown.

Those of you that know my work know I am generally not a loose painter but it was a lot of fun and will have an influence on my work I'm sure.

We were exhausted at the end of day 1 but eagerly came back this morning.

Today we spent the day at the Sheraton.

You know I live right around the corner from the Sheraton and I have a fabulous view but as I sat there today I wondered why I don't go there more often. It is so scenic! And it was fabulous painting (or trying to) paint the boats.
Boats are one of Mike's favorite things to paint.

We then had lunch on the deck at the Sheraton.
The food was beautifully served and delicious.
They will be serving lunch on the deck every day.
While I was there I ran into Owen and he showed me the new dining room and bar. The bar opens tonight and the new restaurant next week.
Have you ever been to Jazz on the Trent on Sunday afternoons? The schedule is listed on our website on the Downtown New Bern Page. Here's the link

There is also the Cabana Parties on Friday nights. We never get to those because we're open late on Fridays but we've heard it's a lot of fun.
After we finished for the day we went to Carolina Creations and sat outside in James Reed Lane and had a critique.

We all found good things in our paintings and what could use some improvement. It's how we all become better painters.
We always have some of Mike's paintings in our gallery.

You can see some of them our website by following this link http://www.carolinacreationsnewbern.com/NewFiles/mrooney.html

We will certainly do this again!
Thanks to all who participated.

Monday, May 12, 2008

This Week Downtown

Our plein air painting workshop is tomorrow & Wednesday. Looking at the weather it looks like we'll luck out! We'll be painting in the historic district. Can't wait.

Other things going on this week are:

African American Lecture
Location of Event: Tryon Palace Visitor Center Auditorium
Date & Times: May 15, 2008 at 7:00pm
Ticket Prices: Free
Contact Name: Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens
Contact Number: (252) 514-4900 or (800) 767-1560
Website Address: http://www.tryonpalace.org/
Organization Name: Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens
Organization Address: 610 Pollock Street, New Bern, NC 28560
Brief Description: Come enjoy guest speaker Dr. William Anderson, Professor of History at Western Carolina University. Although most people are familiar with how the Native Americans adopted the white man’s culture and became “Americanized,” many are not aware of what we borrowed from the Indians. They affected virtually every aspect of our lives today including language, government, literature, recreation, medicine, hygiene and food. European impact on Cherokee culture was most devastating to nature. Europeans also influenced Cherokee politics and society and threatened their entire belief system. Their influence also brought dramatic changes in population size, settlement patterns and men’s and woman’s traditional roles. Although some European influences were positive, most were negative, and much of the Cherokee culture was lost forever.

Tour Behind Closed Doors
May 17, 10-4.Would you like to see the view from the top floor of the Elks Building plus 8 other interesting sites?
Take the “Tour Behind Closed Doors” presented by the Preservation Foundation,
Tickets $10 and can be purchased at NBPF, Historical Society, Bank of the Arts, or Harris Teeter. Other sites to see include The Fenner House, Judge Nunn Office, NCNB Bank Building, Blondies, The George Street Mews (3 houses) and the Old West Street Library. More information call NBPF 633-6448.
Photo is from the Sun Journal
Charles & Carolyn Peterson, Foundation Coordinators, 252-633-6448, Fax: 252-633-4428, For more info http://www.newbernpf.org/

5/18 Tryon Palace South Lawn Concert Series – Pack a picnic and join your family and friends for the first concert of our 2008 South Lawn Concert Series. Enjoy a performance by our very own Craven Community Concert Band. Please bring your won chairs and blankets, but leave pets and alcoholic beverages at home. For more information please contact Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens at (252) 514-4900 or (800) 767-1560 or visit their website at http://www.tryonpalace.org/.

See you on the streets!! Jan

Saturday, May 10, 2008

ArtWalk Success & Mother's Day

Last nights ArtWalk was fun with lots of people on the street. Many folks that had tickets to the Gathering in the Garden at the Palace came down afterwards. At Carolina Creations our show "Smoke & Fire II" will run through the end of June. The show will evolve as we sell pieces out of it we will add new ones.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day! We still have cards for her & we'll be open tomorrow from 12-4.

We know it's a challenge parking sometimes, if you call before you come - 633-4369 - we'll park your car for you & go get it when you're ready to leave. Valet parking, just like in the big city!

Off to another exciting day at Carolina Creations!

This is going to be a hectic and fun week. My sister Betsey is visiting from Michigan for the first time ever (we've lived here 20 years) and we're sponsoring a 2 day painting workshop with Mike Rooney on Tuesday & Wednesday. I'll post some photos of the workshop next week.

We just saw a bunch of Corvettes, a jag & another old car go by the house headed to Union Point. They're having a car show there this morning I think.

I love seeing how much Union Point gets used, even with the bridge out.

This is a print I did not too long ago
Union Point, New Bern, NC

Friday, May 09, 2008

Downtown New Bern on Carolina Creations Website

I have a new page on our Carolina Creations website where I will list what is going on that I know about in Downtown New Bern. The address is http://www.carolinacreationsnewbern.com/NewFiles/Downtown%20New%20Bern.html.

That's kind of long to remember so there will be a link in the link section of this blog. It is on the right side of your screen at the bottom of the list. So when you want to see what's happening you can click that link and go directly to the page. As I go along I will also have links to other shops website on that page as well.

The above is a print from an original watercolor depicting downtown from the Neuse River Bridge. For more information (and if you might want to purchase one!) click this link.
Today on the Downtown New Bern page there is information about our raku show, A book signing next week at The Next Chapter, Behind Closed Door Tour, and the Haunted Evening coming up.
I've just created this so it will take me a little while to get it more inclusive.

Smoke & Fire II - Raku Show at Carolina CreationsAt Carolina Creations we're having a raku show, we've got beautiful pieces from 10 artists. Show runs through the end of June. During our regular hours Mon-Sat 10-6, Friday until 7 (sometimes 8 or 9!), Sun 12-4. 317 Pollock Street, New Bern. For more info on this show click on this link. So mark the dates and come join the fun!!!

Art Walk Tonight!! Downtown New Bern.

Book signing
Saturday, May 24th, 1 – 4 pm, Tom Lewis will be here to sign his newest book, “My King The President”. Intrigue, murder, and treason in the White House, with exciting twists and turns, ending in a highly explosive climax. Anyone who has read “Sunday’s Child” and Hitler’s Judas” knows what a treat is in store for them---and anyone who is new to Tom Lewis’ books, are you in for a good read!The Next Chapter, 320 S Front St, New Bern NC 28560, 252-633-5774

Tour Behind Closed Doors
Would you like to see the view from the top floor of the Elks Building plus 8 other interesting sites?

Take the “Tour Behind Closed Doors” presented by the Preservation Foundation,
May 17, 10-4. Tickets $10 and can be purchased at NBPF, Historical Society, Bank of the Arts, or Harris Teeter. Other sites to see include The Fenner House, Judge Nunn Office, NCNB Bank Building, Blondies, The George Street Mews (3 houses) and the Old West Street Library. More information call NBPF 633-6448.

Charles & Carolyn Peterson, Foundation Coordinators, 252-633-6448, Fax: 252-633-4428, info@newbernpf.org
For more info http://www.newbernpf.org/

Haunted Evening
An Historical Drama in New Bern7:30 & 8:30 p.m. performances
Friday, May 30

Enjoy an evening of spirited fun from New Bern’s historic past. The New Bern Historical Society invites you to experience the mysteries, shadows and phantoms of the Attmore-Oliver House by candlelight.Haunted Evening’s tour of this 19th century house brings you spirits from the past, southern funeral customs, life in New Bern after the Civil War and recent paranormal investigations of the Attmore-Oliver House.

Tickets are $12 in advance and $14 at performance. Advance tickets are recommended as space is limited to 20 persons each performance.

A Drama/ Dinner Package is available for $37 per person, including southern dinner entrée, tax and gratuities.

For additional information & tickets, contact the New Bern Historical Society at 252-638-8558 or Craven County Convention & Visitors Bureau, at 252-637-9400 or 800-437-5767. New Bern Historical Society, 512 Pollock Street, PO Box 119, New Bern, NC 28563, 252-638-8558
Email: nbhistoricalsoc@newbernmail.com
Website: http://www.newbernhistorical.org/

Links to things to do in Downtown & the Area
Paddle Trails - We have lots of water around us - get out on it! Follow this link to a map of paddle trails.
Vist galleries, artists, & other sights of interest by visiting the Home Grown Hand Made Website
Haven't been to New Bern? You can get a peek by seeing these videos
North Carolina Weekend Video Link
Take a look around New Bern by watching this video

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Smoke & Fire II - Meet Bruce Johnson

My passion for pottery began in 1983 when I began my study of Ceramic Art in North Carolina.

Upon graduation, I returned to Wisconsin to accept a position with one of the nation’s largest producers of handmade pottery. During my 10 years of experience there, I refined my throwing skills and was given the title Master Potter, of which I am honored.

Today I draw from these experiences to design and create Decorative Ceramic Art. The spontaneity of the American Style Raku process allows for the combination of fire, clay and air.

Raku represents my desire to provide an interactive and meaningful part in others’ lives. The success of this technique is based as much on my intuition as it is on science. . . and since the coloration and patterns come from the action of the flames, no two Raku pots will ever be alike!

Copper Flash” Raku is created by applying a “copper matt” glaze to the bisque-fired clay. Each glazed piece is returned to the kiln until the proper temperature is reached. One by one, each pot is removed from the kiln with tongs and immediately submerged in a container filled with combustible materials (such as sawdust and/or shredded paper.)

The materials ignite, and something magical occurs. As the flames lick up against the pots, they react with the copper matt glaze, producing colors that are nearly impossible to achieve with standard glazes. The process is ended by putting a lid over the container at the proper time to extinguish the flames.

See Bruce's work and that of many other artists at Carolina Creations, 317 Pollock Street, New Bern, NC 28560 - Join us Friday, May 9 5-8 for ArtWalk!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Smoke & Fire II - Meet the artist Chris Moses

Raku sculpture and whistles are Chris's forte.......

When asked how she became interested in clay Chris replied:

"I discovered clay as a young child in the tide pools of the Maine coast, or perhaps I should say that it discovered me. We would go with pails at low tide to gather snails, starfish, crabs and the cast off shells of native mussels and clams.

Tide pools were a source of wonder and changed from tide to tide all summer long.

During one of these explorations, I was surprised to see a slick gray substance on the bottom of the pool. I gathered some into my little tin bucket and brought it home to see what I could do with it.

To my delight, and that of my dolls, I found that I could pinch it and poke it into shapes. These shapes, once baked in the sun, became my dolls' first dish set. Later, I would paint these little dishes with poster paints, and delight in their simplicity and usefulness.

In the summer of 1968 I attended my first pottery class at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, N.C. Here I discovered the thrill of putting this slick material on a potter's wheel and making it grow into a cup or a bowl, or if less fortunate, turn into a mass of mud before my eyes. Paulus Berensohn taught me how to pinch this material and make it grow into soft and sensuous shapes.
I have been very fortunate to have had many gifted teachers over the years. My first teacher, the tide pools, sent me on to be instructed and nurtured by Cynthia Bringle, Paulus Berensohn, Paul Soldner, Andrea Gill and other known and unknown artists.

I have learned over these last 60 years that clay is my perpetual teacher, as it has led me on my own journey of self discovery. Having begun my career making dishes for dolls, I continue with the same thread of child's play. I find that I am still pinching and poking at clay, but instead of dishes I am making whimsical and colorful animal sculptures.

It is my hope that these pieces will speak to the child inside of all who view them. The majority of my pieces are raku fired. The process of raku is what I call a dance with fire. It allows me to be spontaneous in the firing, explore a large range of colors and textures, and, most importantly, provides an intimate experience of the transformational fire.

Without the fire, clay is only dirt. With the fire, this humble material is only limited by the imagination of it's handler.

In the summer of 2000, I moved my home and studio to Weaverville, N.C., which is adjacent to Asheville. Every day I sing my praises to the beautiful mountains that surround me, and in the summer, I still slip away to pay homage to the tide pools of the Maine coast. "

Don't miss our raku show that opens Friday, May 9 and runs through the end of June. Read more about it by clicking here ...... and purchase Chris's whistles by visiting our website ........ and we'll ship one right out!
Have a great day!! Jan

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Kayaking this morning

I went kayaking this morning. It was beautiful. Did you know that there is a paddle trail system and the maps are on the Craven County website?

I most often go on trail number 9 because I can roll my kayak across the street and put in at the end of Pollock Street behind the Galley Store.

I went down to the railroad track and then back around Union Point and checked out the bridge.

Can you beleive that it's been almost a year that the bridge has been closed?

I've kind of gotten used to it but will be glad when it's back open. At a Swiss Bear Board Meeting the local engineer from DOT said that the bridge is ahead of schedule.

I was pretty impressed with what I saw this morning. On the James City end they are starting to put the decking on. I looked on the DOT website and it said the scheduled progress as 31% done and in actuality they are 33.18% done. So there is a long way to go yet.

Here is a photo of it that was taken by Charlie Hall of the Sun Journal.