Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Glorious Garden

We are getting ready to put up our next show.

Garden Stakes
Blown glass hummingbird feeders
Garden paintings
Garden sculpture
Tiles with flowers
Pots with flowers on them

Here are a few new paintings by Brenda Behr, interested? Give us a call! 252-633-4369.

I just love her watercolor style, very fresh, very unique.

Don't forget ArtWalk May 8 5-8 pm.

See lots of new work.

Refreshments. See your friends too!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Finally!! Sculpture installed

I've been talking about this sculpture for a year!

I started it last year and those that came on the home tour saw it in progress. It took quite a while to dry because in some place it's 5 inches deep.

The reason I'm talking about it so much is that I am pretty much a 2d person, painting, tile making, you know, flat. But the past few years I've really had this urge to do sculpture. I've done some in the past, like my church tower clocks, but never had the time to really pursue it. I still don't really have the time but this year I got off a couple boards and made a resolution to spend more time creating.

As usual I come up with these ideas and Michael gets to figure out the logistics of finishing them. Thanks Michael!

I've got some garden sculpture "ladies" in the kiln I want to get finished for our upcoming show "The Glorious Garden." One is in the kiln as we speak. Guess I better hurry since the show opens in 10 days.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Carolina Creations has "green". This year more than ever we've been thinking about recycling and using renewable resources. Here are some of our artists that use recycled materials.

Socks - Everyone at Carolina Creations wears these socks! Using yarn made from scraps left over from making cotton t-shirts they are not only good for the environment they're great for your feet.

Originally, we started our business making several different lines of jewelry - Copper Jewelry, Riverstone Jewelry (now revisited in our Soulstone line), as well as Seaglass.

The original Seaglass was a gift from a friend who collected it in the Bahamas. At that time we were living over a liquor store. People would discard broken bottles in the alley behind the store. It was gross! As we cleaned up the alley for safety reasons we realized we could recycle the glass and make Seaglass in our studio out of the pollution. We have expanded and now use scrap glass, antique glass and art glass for added colors.

Boy it's hard to be green when you use metal! Mining is one of the harshest things we do to the planet. Knowing this, we must work hard in other areas to compensate for what we call our "Eco Footprint." White Light uses Harmony metal, which is recycled, not mined metal. That's less wear and tear on our earth.

We just got these clever folding baskets in that fold flat. They are made from recycled chopsticks (cleaned and sanitized of course!).
Available in 4 sizes
from $8 to $27.
This is the product that chopsticks were meant to make. These amazing folding bowls are great!! Opened they can be used to hold fruits and vegetables, bread, nuts, household items, etc. They can even be used to wash fruits and veggies or as a colander. When not in use they fold up into the size of a fan. Because they fold up they are not only great for home and office, but are also great for camping and picnics. You will LOVE these!

This is just a sampling of the recycled and green art we have!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Niche Top Retailer, Best Customer Newsletter, Best Website


We've just received notice that we've been nominated for the Niche Top Retailer, Best Customer Newsletter, and Best Website in the nation!!

Sponsored by NICHE magazine, the Top Retailer Awards annually recognize American and Canadian fine craft galleries and retailers, arts nonprofits, museum stores and guilds for growing and strengthening the North American craft community. Each year, the program begins with nominations cast by craft artists.Nominations open February 13 and close March 31, 2009. Nominations are based on the criteria outlined in NICHE magazine’s Retailers’ Guide to Best Practices . The guide details the characteristics of craft retailers who are committed to fair business practices.

Award categories are:

  • Top Retailer (24 winners, plus one Retailer of the Year)

  • Best Arts Nonprofit

  • Best Visual Merchandising

  • Best Customer Newsletter (print or web-based)

  • Best Advertising/Direct Mail Campaign

  • Best New Store (less than five years old)

  • Best Museum Store

  • Best Guild Store

  • Best Website

  • Best Community Outreach

  • Best In-Store Event (exhibition, trunk show, demonstration, etc.)
Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held during the summer Buyers Market of American Craft, August 1-3, 2009, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

With all the great galleries there are across the country we are always thrilled when we receive a nomination.

In the past we have won Top 25 in 2006 and Top 100 in 2005.

What an honor.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Welcome back Meg and Vicky - Fused glass faces

We'd like to welcome back Meg Branzetti and Vicky Kokolski and their one-of-a-kind contemporary fused glass and metal masks, wall hanging and sculpture.

They have been designing masks since 1995 and enjoy every moment.

We carried their work about 8 or 9 years ago and then lost track of them. We were thrilled when they called and said they were passing through and asked if they could stop and see us.

Their work has continued to evolve.

We have one of their great lamps and wall hangings in many sizes all the way up to 30 x 40"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Home Tour Friday and Saturday, April 17-18 and Creative Hands at Carolina Creations

You won't want to miss the home and garden tour and Creative Hands. To read all about it go to our previous post by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

View from the porch - Tea Party Day

Today was tea party day.

"On April 15, be part of the Taxed Enough Already (TEA) party rally in your community

On the day you pay your taxes, Wednesday, April 15, join others across the country and in your hometown who will be participating in TAX Day TEA party rallies in front of their city halls."

Tea Party

I was speaking on the phone to a friend in Florida and saw the police pull up and stop traffic. I wondered what was going on .

Then I saw the first of the marchers, I was impressed by the number of people marching, I said "There must be 100 people marching." We continued to talk and I said, "There must be 1000 people marching!"

Someone said to me the other day that it must be a real pain and intrusion to live on a street where festivals, parades and other disruptions take place. Not so, we LOVE it.

This Week

This time of the year things get ready hectic around here!

On Monday I drove to Bath to get photos of a house I'm doing a painting of.

I've been working on some sculptures for our upcoming show "the Glorious Garden", working on the backsplash for our kitchen and on Friday and Saturday is the Home Tour.

Friday night I'll be demonstrating how I design my tiles and Brenda Behr will be demonstrating her plein aire watercolors at the Gallery, 317 Pollock St, from 5-7 pm.

Here is one of Brenda's watercolors.

Hope you'll come! If you can't make it Friday evening our show will be up until April 30.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Meet our new artist Cindy Biles!

Cindy Biles

With a formal education in biology and anthropology, Cindy maintains an intense passion for the natural world. She lives on a small farm near Burlington, NC, and the inspiration for much of her art comes from resident wildlife and her own furry crew—dogs, a horse, cat, and three pot bellied pigs.

Cindy likes to incorporate whimsy in her art, as evidenced by her playful dogs and cat fish. Her other work, including Garden Spirits and sun faces, more directly explores the interconnectedness between Man and Nature.

Cindy’s art has been recognized on the national and international levels. She is a member of Carolina Designer Craftsmen, Alamance Artisans Guild and Carolina Clay Guild. Cindy has been published in Clay Times and Best of North Carolina Artists.

See more pieces at
Carolina Creations.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Family jewelry

Steve Swift has sent us family pendants just in time for Mothers day!

They are sterling silver and available in many family sizes.

We have one parent with 1, 2, 3 or 4 kids and two parents with 1, 2, 3 or 4 kids, on a sterling silver chain.

Call for more information 252-633-4369 or go to our website for more information or to purchase.

Backsplash project step 2

A couple days ago I showed a photo of my kitchen where I am going to install a back splash.

Step 1 is to decide what it's going to look like, which I have. It will mostly be neutral color with scattered blocks of bright color.

In photo number 2 you see the clay. I slice off pieces and put them on the slab roller which rolls the clay 1/4 of an inch thick.

Because the panel is so large I have pieced the clay together, used a blade to smooth it out, then cut it into the sizes of tiles I want.

I have to remember to roll and cut the panel out larger than I want it to end up because the clay shrinks quite a bit as the water evaporates out of it and then shrinks again when it's fired.

Next I put dry wall over the tiles to encourage the pieces to dry flat.

This panel is the far left panel for the backsplash, which is about 1/5 of the whole project.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Pewter for the kitchen as seen on Paula Deen and Oprah

Who says common, everyday kitchen tools can't also be beautiful?

We've represented the work of Jim and Deborah Chapman for 15 years in our gallery and just lately their work has gotten the attention of the media.

I'd like to tell you a little bit about them and their work.

Tin Woodsman Pewter was born in 1985, when Jim and Deborah's closest friends decided to shut down their pewter studio to pursue other interests. Deborah leapt at the idea of learning pewtersmithing from them and turning their business into a hobby of her own. Within three years, it was obvious that Deborah's "hobby" was taking over the Chapman home. In time, the family became full-time pewtersmiths.

In true renaissance fashion, Jim and Deborah have brought diverse backgrounds to the company that has inspired their lives and influenced their designs. Deborah holds a masters' degree in French Literature from The University of Oregon and Jim graduated from Notre Dame University's Great Books Program. Deborah studied abroad in Belgium, Turkey, and France. Jim volunteered for the Peace Corps in western Africa and worked for three years in Venice, Italy as a writer, translator, and guide.

Creating pewter products together has been a natural extension of their individual artistic explorations - Deborah in ceramics and costume design, and Jim in woodworking and bookmaking. Both have been able to meld their knowledge and experiences into the pieces they produce - one reason why the designs are so unique.

Over twenty years later, Jim and Deborah feel blessed to work together in such a satisfying venture that allows them to express their creativity. Even their children have been involved, with the youngest declaring (at age six) that she would be the future "boss.

A new piece of Tin Woodsman Pewter is created using a number of different artisanal techniques. An original design is crafted by hammering, cutting, bending, shaping, welding, and carving. The original is then baked in a pressurized rubber mold. Once it has cooled, channels are cut into the mold.

A ladle of molten pewter (at a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit) is poured into the mold while it is spun at high speed in a centrifugal casting machine.

After a short cooling period, the newly cast piece is removed and sanded. The piece is then darkened to highlight the design details and polished to create the unique tone of pewter that collectors love.

Some of the questions we get asked the most:

What is pewter? Pewter is a white metal alloy consisting principally of tin, with small amounts of antimony and copper.

Is there lead in pewter?
Early pewter did contain lead, but all of the pewter products we carry at Carolina Creations are LEAD-FREE, as required by the U.S. government.

Does pewter tarnish?
No. However, over time it will patina, or darken in color. This unique aging is what endears many people to pewter. Its original luster may be preserved with the finest steel wool (0000) and a gritty toothpaste.

Why is pewter so cherished?
There is something incredibly special about a metal that has been in constant use by countless civilizations (including the ancient Chinese and Egyptians) for the past 2000 years. In 18th century America, pewter tankards, plates, and other serving ware were a vital part of most households and taverns.

Are Tin Woodsman measuring pieces designed to be used?
Both the spoons and cups are designed to be used! They are accurate for both liquids and solids. However, cooks and bakers should restrict their usage to scooping and measuring and never use them over any type of heat source.

Can pewter be put in the dishwasher?
Our pewter is dishwasher safe. However, there are new detergents and rinsing agents on the market which can alter the finish of the pieces. For those who wish their pieces to retain their original luster, they may choose to wash their spoons and cups by hand.

Want to see more? Click on this link.

Bon Appetit!!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Another project

We've been in our house 1 1/2 years now and think it's about time to do our backsplash.

You know what they say about the cobblers kids, I've done 4 backsplashes since we moved in, but none were for us.

Most of them I've done for others were scenes of the New Bern waterfront or fruit and vegetables.

I think ours is going to be just colors.

I'll keep you posted on this blog as it progresses.