Friday, December 31, 2010

A few more snow photos on the last day of 2010

It is funny that we are so enthralled with snow here in New Bern, we lived in Aspen before we moved here where we got over 300 inches of a snow a year - it's just that it is a rare occurrence here.

This is the last day of a great year for New Bern - we had many wonderful events and achieved a lot of goals.

breathe deep

drink to the future

but savor the past

sing an old song

say a blessing


Happy New Year
Jan francoeur

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's on Tap for the first half of 2011

We'll star out the New Year with an art walk in January - we haven't done that in many years - but this one will be special. We'll be promoting the empty bowl project to feed the hungry. January 14 5-8 pm. We'll be selling Blessing Bowls for a $20 donation. We'll deliver the bowls to the Arts Council as a donation in your name. If you go to the fund raiser in February you will get a bowl to take home. I'll post more details next week.

We'll also have the Valentine cards up for our annual fund raiser for the Craven County School Art Program.

The following Thursday, January 20,  will be an opening for the public and the school children for the Valentine show. Original Valentines, $3 each, all funds donated to the School.

The March ArtWalk will feature a booksigning for Karen Dodd's new book and perhaps a lampwork demo (still working out the details on that)

I have a show in Carrboro at the North Carolina Crafts Gallery in May, while Jude Lobe of Mebane has a show at Carolina Creations.

The July ArtWalk will feature paintings by all our gallery artists.

Personally in addition to my show in Carrboro I have lots of paintings floating around in my mind, quite a few commissions lined up and some more clay garden sculptures sketched out.

There is always too much I want to do and just not enough time to accomplish it all. But I'll never quit trying.

Jan Francoeur

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slow Blogging In Christmas Recovery

The week between Christmas and New Year's is still a busy time for us - our customers come in with their gift certificates - we have a few exchanges - but the best part is that we get to see the families of all our customers who are here to visit. We've been in business here for long enough that we've met the kids when they were small, watched them grow, now they are married and bring in their kids. It is a lot of fun.
So too busy to write much but here are a few more photos of our beatiful Downtown.

This is the view out my studio window, I LOVE it!

Our City Hall bear with a wreath for a necklace.

Across the street from Carolina Creations

Another shot across the street.

Hope you all have a happy New Year!

Jan Francoeur

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas at Carolina Creations this year and we're looking forward to the coming week!

This week we'll see the families of our wonderful customers and friends from all over the country.

Thank you to everyone on our Christmas Committee who helped make this the best ever Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown New Bern.  Me (Janet Francoeur, Carolina Creations), Lisa Edwards, - Salem & Associates,, Joan Ziemba - The Accidental Artist, Vicki Vitale - New Bern ArtWorks, Greg Smith - Mitchell Hardware, Bob Klein - The Haymaker's Wife, Rick Lang - Twice as Nice, Darlene Brown - New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce, Carol Tokarski - Craven County Council for the Arts, Nancy Fisher - Salvation Army, Mary Davidson - The Four C's.

I've posted photos on our Downtown New Bern, NC Blog of scenes around our beautiful Downtown this Christmas. Click here to see the photos.

For me the next few months is probably my favorite time of the year. It's when I get to do some painting of things I want to paint, we go on a winter vacation - this year to the Florida Keys, and it's all around just a low key three months until things start picking up again in April.

Some of the projects I am going to work on - a painting for the Spring Home Tour, I have a show in Carrboro in May so am going to do some local paintings for that of Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, I'm scheduling a show for myself at Carolina Creations for November,  some new New Bern souviners, some new clay projects including some more garden sculpture - hmmm doesn't sound too low key now that I write it down!

I also will be doing a presentation in NYC in February on blogging and we'll be going to some shows in Orlando, NYC and Philadelphia.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Jan Francoeur 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas in Downtown New Bern

Here are a few photos I shot this Christmas in our Downtown. More to come!

New Bern City Hall

One of our windows at Carolina Creations

Caroling in front of Carolina Creations

City Hall and the street lights in front of Carolina Creations

One of our neighbor B&B's

City Hall again!

In my opinion the only way to see the boat parade this year - it was freezing. This photo is taken from our living room where we sat in front of the fireplace and watched the boats sail (or power) by!

Jan Francoeur

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hand cast pewter

We have the fortune to represent many artists that work in pewter. and we have some great pieces! Some of my favorites are boxes by Don Drumm.

These tiny treasures make a fabulous keepsake.

Since our local theatre has just completed their production of "The Nutcracker" we thought it was only fitting to include this wonderful set of ornaments in our collection.

The set is created by Vilmain and is beautifully boxed.


We have just discovered House of Morgan Pewter. Kent Morgan was born in New Bern but currently lives in Mount Airy with his wife Martha. They began working in pewter after a 1978 visit to Colonial Williamsburg.


Kent a former accountant and Martha a former teacher have been making their pewter pieces full time for the past ten years.

We see Patrick Meyer several times each year and he always has something new that is really fabulous.
Patrick made his debut in 1985 as a metalsmith and jewelry designer. Having completed his studies in art and design at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Pas, he joined the world of Parisian high fashion. He relocated to the US in the mid 90s and specializes in functional and decorative cast pewter for the home.

These are just a few of our pewter artists. We also carry the work of Kaycee Binns, The Chapmans, Bonnie Bond and John Caraberi, Cynthia Webb and Mary DeMarco - we'll show you photos of their work in our next blog entry.

- Janet Francoeur

Sarena Mann Flying Papier Mache Ladies

We have featured Sarena Mann's sculpture on this blog before, but we have just gotten in some new beautiful pieces we wanted to share with you.

Sarena talks about her work "Movement, form and texture have been infused into the images I love to create. This body experience has always intreeigued me. Following the movement, using the space, and changing the materials has allowed me to continue to explore the basic issues of my life.

The fun- and spirit-filled flying women have been the mainstay of my work for 35 years. I love the whimsical, colorful, flighty figures that hang anywhere and lighten the load. They move about with intent, freedom and spirit. In the evening they cast shadows and continue their dance. Over the years they have changed; some have retired and some have returned for new adventure. Made from wire, paper, fabric, paste and patience, they each have their own identity and place in the world. These "girls" still make me smile, and challenge me to keep them fresh and reflect the changes we all share.

We have been representing Sarena for ten years and the popularity of her work continues to grow appealing to both young and old.

To see more of her pieces click here!

Jan Francoeur

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

DYNOMIGHTY Mighty Wallet

I was introduced to the mighty wallet in NYC two years ago when I met Terrence Kelleman who is its creator. A young enthuastic Terrence got his idea for the mighty wallet while working at MOMA.

These wallets are made of Tyvek which is the very strong material Fed Ex envelopes are made of. They're very lightweight and it’s impossible to damage them, since they stretch to handle whatever you’re carrying around because they are folded like oragami not stitched!
Designs range from the NYC Subway Map to a shot of the Brady Bunch, Star Trek, an AirMail envelope and lots more.

Other treats created by Dynomighty  include cute, durable luggage tags and big totes that holds up to 25 lbs.
You can order online by clicking here.

Very cool, Jan Francoeur

Monday, December 06, 2010

Carolina Creations Christmas 2010

We are all decked out for Christmas!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

December Newsletter

We now have our newsletter available online! Click here to read it.

In it we introduce
-new artists
Janet Francoeur's bowls for "Empty Bowl Project"
-give a calendar of what's going on downtown this month
-introduce our get a clue card
-give ideas for 15 gifts under $15
-talk about our featured artists for the month Shirl & Jim Parmentier and Brenda Behr
-show our 2010 Christmas card - we've been doing a New Bern Christmas card each year for the 20 years we've lived here!
-show who's on our current bridal registry
-talk about our participation in the Empty Bowl Project
-and give you an incentive for reading our newsletter each month

-Have a great day!      Janet Francoeur

Monday, November 29, 2010

Feeatured Potters Jim and Shirl Parmentier

We have followed Jim and Shirl Parmentier for about 15 years. We were thrilled to finally get the opportunity to meet them and to have some of their work for our gallery.

Shirl and Jim have been making pottery together since 1975. They work on their vessels as a team, both in design and in the making of the pieces. They live in western North Carolina.

Their vessels are made with a high fired stoneware clay body. The clay body is transformed into vessels using coils and slabs of clays.They make their coils with an extruder and roll slabs of clay and cut them into the desired shape.

The slabs are scored and coils added for the foot and neck of the piece. After forming the shape of  each vessel is altered with files and rasps while it is in the hardening state of drying then they alter the surface by carving designs into the piece.

Their pieces are glazed with ash glazes by dipping, spraying or pouring then fired in a gas car kiln which takes about 18 hours from start to finish. Slow cooling takes another 36 hours before the kiln can be opened. The glaze results with a gas kiln are always a true mystery and surprise.

These two potters have won many awards and teach whenever they get the opportunity.

See more of their pottery on our website by clicking here.

- Janet Francoeur

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crab pottery and sculpture by Dianne Lee North Carolina potter

We have been representing Dianne Lee is our gallery for many years. Diane is a Beaufort County, NC native.

Married with two children and four grandchildren, she did not pursue her hobby until after retirement. Her work includes a variety of wheel thrown and hand sculpture pottery.

Having grown up along the Pamlico River near Bath then moving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina Diane has witnessed crabbing as a way of life.

Hand sculpture crabs are her signature. Each piece is hand crafted at her home studio near Washington, NC.

Her work has progressed thru workshops with Dan Finch, master potter, and most recently studying in Italy.

She works with stoneware, raku, and porcelain clay, while using a variety of firing temperatures and methods to produce different effects.

Stop in and see the new pieces we've just received or visit her page on our website by clicking here.

Have a great day!

Janet Francoeur

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Carolina Creations is featured on New Bern Now Blog!

On Tuesday I was honored that Wendy Card interviewed me for her blog.

Wendy has a website that tells you everything you want to know about New Bern called New Bern Now.  She also maintains the New Bern Now Blog that talks about things going on all around town.

After the interview we talked about how important it is that we small businesses support each other and how we can each benefit by promoting one another.

We may get together and do some presentations on ways to promote your business online. If you might be interested comment on this post and we'll keep you informed on when that might be scheduled.

Thank you Wendy!

Jan Francoeur

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Great Promotion from American Express

A great promotion from American Express to encourage people to shop small businesses. If you have an American Express Card go to the website and register!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fifty gifts under fifty dollars

50 Gifts Under $50
At Carolina Creations Great Gifts for Him, Her, Them!   1     Hand thrown New Bern 300th Mug $24 See
2     Hand blown glass ornaments $20-$36
3     Bucky Balls $29.95 See
4     Hand dyed Silk Scarves $36-$46
5     Beeswax Luminaries $17 See
6     Onesies & Bibs
7     Earrings and necklaces by many artists $13 & up
8     Pottery deviled egg tray by Cody Jeffcoat See
9     Frog and crab paper weights by Josh Mazat
10   Nightlights - in porcelain, stained glass, wood
11   LOTS of Jewelry
12   "On The Night You Were Born" book $16.95 See
13   New Bern Glass Cutting Board $28 See
14   Recycled Aluminum JewelrySee
15   Initial Jewelry - Necklace & Bracelet & Charms See
16   "Dead Beat at the Palace" by Karen Dodd, 2nd in Riverwalk Series $13.95  See
17   Folding Chopstick Baskets See
18   Inlaid Clip Boards
19   Many pottery bowls
20   New Bern Wine Glasses $17 each See
21   Very cool hard leather coin purses
22   Blessing bowls by Jan and Michael Francoeur
23   Wood trays $44 & 54 See
24   "Taxi" wallets
25   Toyko Milk soap, perfume and hand cream $11-$28 See
26   Pottery mugs, vases and bowls
27   Wood cutting boards
28   Bags by Maruca - coin purses to back packs!
29   Clocks by Charles Elkan, Carol Bell and Marc Geiger
30   Blown glass ornaments by many glass artists
31   StoryPeople Prints $30
32   Boris the Booger Boy egg seperator See
33   Collegiate hand painted wine glasses $15 See
34   Handcrafted wood box $34 engraved ($10) allow 10 days for engraving. See
35   New Bern Tea Towel
36   River and New Bern Coasters  See
37   New Bern Wine Glasses $17 See
38   Books of Local Interest See
39   Sticks coasters $44
40   Glass windchimes by Rebecca Derby
41   Bright colored cotton socks made with NC cotton $18-$22 See
42   Hand crafted photo frames
43   Recycled Aluminum Jewelry See
44   New Bern Ornaments See
45   Beautiful glass nail files $15 & up See
46   Hand cast pewter coffee scoops $26-28
47   Designer Toothbrushes
48   Wine recorkers in pewter, glass and wood
49   Wine tags
50   Can't decide? Gift certificates in any denomination! See

and lots more!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brenda Behr paints our home

Our friend Brenda Behr has a show at Carolina Creations that opened during artwalk last Friday night. The show features her plein air oil paintings of the countryside of eastern North Carolina - see previous posts.

Brenda also does wonderful watercolors in a whimsical, calligraphic style which is fantastic.

She spent the night with us after the opening and did these two watercolors of our home which we love!

To see both Brendas oils and watercolors visit our website by clicking here. 

Jan Francoeur

Friday, November 12, 2010

Glass by Bruce Pizzichillo and Dari Gordon

When I was in New York this summer I met Bruce Pizzichillo and Dari Gordon.

They are internationally known artists who create large, colorful handblown glass vases, sculptural vessels and bowls as well as intriguing glass and mixed media sculptures. Using glassmaking techniques that are thousands of years old, along with many of their own invention, Bruce and Dari melt glass in furnaces that are designed for work in multiple colors.

They achieve a palette of distinctive colors by mixing various metallic oxide formulations containing gold, silver, cobalt and others, into the molten glass. They heat the raw materials in large ceramic pots inside a glass furnace at temperatures in excess of 2400 degrees Fahrenheit. As the molten liquid glass achieves a working temperature, the artists gather the fluid substance onto the end of a five foot long steel pipe or rod.

They blow, manipulate and shape the mass of molten glass, constantly spinning it and dipping it back into the pot for additional gathers if the piece is exceptionally large. For decoration, they apply shards, frit, bits and strings of colored glass that they have pre-made to the hot surface of the glass, and then reheat the piece to fuse the elements to the surface.

When they complete the blowing and shaping process, they remove the piece from the pipe and place it into an annealing oven, where it will cool slowly over a specific period. In general, the larger and thicker the piece, the longer the time required for it to anneal. If not properly annealed, the piece will shatter when exposed to room temperature.

Finally, the artists inspect each piece to determine if it meets their standards for first quality. They then proceed with the finishing work, which can include cutting, grinding and polishing before signing the completed piece.

Depending on the size and complexity of the piece, the artists may reject half the pieces they make, or more, for lacking the requisites of first quality.

Bruce studied at the University of New Mexico and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in glass from the California College of Arts & Crafts, where he studied with world-renowned glass artist Marvin Lipofsky. Bruce has worked with glass since 1976.

Dari Gordon, of Boston, received her B.F.A. at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia.

As a team, they developed new glass-blowing techniques by combining traditional Venetian with modern methods.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jude Lobe, North Carolina Artist

We are excited to be representing North Carolina artist Jude Lobe.

On our way back from the mountains we picked up a few of her pieces. We will have a one person show for her that opens during ArtWalk May 2011 but we wanted to introduce her work to our collectors before then.

We love her work and have a piece of it in our own collection!

Jude has degrees in Geography, Medical Geography, and Advertising and Design and is a certified faux painter.

Jude talks about her work - My artworks are predominately expressionistic. A respect for nature has been a continuous throughout my life and the major inspiration in my work. Early on I painted more realistic renderings, mainly plein air paintings. Many of those pieces, though they did not include humans, had something very human about them, like the juxtaposition of two old and worn boats side by side seeming more like old friends remembering younger and more active times.

In more recent works my desire is to evoke the emotion of the scene through colors, color glazes and lines using a rich palette suggested by the surroundings. Sometimes it's a dramatic shadow from a tree stretching across the grass, or a pond early in the morning glistening as if it is waking up and jumping for joy.

Once I start work on an idea I can live on coffee for days, thinking, researching, sketching, writing, until eventually it finally hits the canvas. My hope is that the image engages the viewer.

Stop in and see the pieces we have from Jude.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

More Paintings from Brenda Behr

We just got Brenda's show hung and it is beautiful!

Here are a couple more paintings in the show, the photos don't do them justice. Remember ArtWalk is next friday, November 12    5-8 pm.

Brenda will be demonstrating in front of the gallery that evening so be sure to come down!

- Jan Francoeur

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

November Carolina Creations Newsletter

We have finally changed our email newsletter company and now have our newsletters in an archive online. Click here to go to it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

On the Plein Air Trail with Brenda Behr

Opening - November 12, Friday - ArtWalk  5-8 pm
Demo - November 12, Friday 5-8 pm

Carolina Creations features On the Plein Air Trail with Brenda Behr – paintings in oil during November and December.

The exhibition will feature paintings of rural scenes, boats and waterways, homes and landmarks of the area in North Carolina known as the Coastal Plain.
Painted mostly en plein air (on location), the collection of oil paintings reflect the spontaneity with which they were painted. On a sunny day with the light constantly changing, the artist's challenge is to paint fast and ala prima (first stroke). Brenda's father was in the Air Force and took Brenda with him as he traveled the world. Painting lessons began at at 9 in the Philippines and she has been painting ever since. She attended high school in Goldsboro and received a degree in communication arts and design. She went on to spend the next 30 years in the field of advertising in Minnesota. 

She worked as a freelance art director, attending painting classes and workshops on the side. A family crisis brought her back to Goldsboro in 2003. 

Traveling the roads of eastern North Carolina Behr fell in love with the landscape outside her car windows and it all became subjects for her paintings. 

Stop in and meet Brenda and watch her paint during artwalk, Friday, November 12, 5-8. Her show continues through December.