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!