Sunday, January 30, 2011

New artists coming soon

Glass by Wes Hunting
Here are some pieces from some of our new artists whose work will be coming over the next few weeks.

We're looking forward to receiving their work!
William Purser Lampworking - don't know what lampworking is? During the March ArtWalk Downtown New Bern, New Bern artist Kay Rice will be demonstrating at Carolina Creations.

Susan Fullenbaum

 Susan Bradshaw Glass

Wall hanging by Andrew Madvin

These are just a few of our new artists!
We'll keep you posted as they come in.

Jan Francoeur

Friday, January 28, 2011

Spring Historic Homes and Gardens Tour poster and other things

I just finished this poster for the Spring Historic Homes & Gardens Tour. The drop shadow on my painting isn't that big (don't know why it's showing up that way here), but you get the idea.

As we have done for the past four or five years we will have a reception for the public and the tour ticket holders at Carolina Creations on Friday evening, April 8th from 4-7 pm. 

I always do tiles of all the homes on the tour and try to have a few new paintings of town for the tour as well. Haven't had any time to paint this year yet (other than to do the painting for this poster), but will soon.

We just got back from a show in Orlando where I sat on a panel about social media and gave a table talk about blogging for our Craft Retailers Association, will go to NY soon, will talk about blogging there too (for the LAST TIME - I AM RESIGNING FROM THAT DUTY!!!), did a talk at the Main Street Conference representing New Bern, have a follow up meeting about Christmas and hope to put plans in place for others to take on more of the responsibility for the Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown New Bern. Off to Philly for another show then HOME!!

Then I am going to paint and do some sculpture. I have a one person show at the NC Crafts Gallery in Carrboro in May and of course want to do new work for our own gallery. I've got lots of ideas, so need to get busy.

My goal for this year is to disengage from some of the things that take time away from my own business and artwork. Wish me luck!

We do have a  vacation coming up in the keys where I plan to get a lot of ideas on paper and maybe even get a few paintings finished.

We walk a tightrope between running our business and creating. We love both, wish there were more hours in the day.

Looking forward to a great year with more time to create.

Janet Francoeur
Carolina Creations
Downtown New Bern, NC

Monday, January 24, 2011

Orlando Trip

We just got back from a business trip to Orlando. Didn't have too much time to look around but did stay at a great hotel and had a little bit of fun.

We went to a show at the Orlando Convention Center, it is HUGE.

We stayed at the Hilton, it is said to be connected to the Center, and it is by a long walkway, but it's a hike.

That being said the hotel is one year old and it beautiful. The lighting, the artwork, all the appointments were outstanding. The pool area is huge, and even had one of those lazy rivers I always wanted to float on.

The weather wasn't hot but it was warm enough that we each got some sun and I got to float on that river.

The other thing we did that was a lot of fun was to go to a Greek restaurant called Taverna Opa. The food was great and they made fresh humus at your table. A belly dancer entertained, thousands of napkins flew through the air, there was dancing on the tables and half the restaurant got up and danced around the room. I don't usually like that kind of thing but I actually had a good time!

The other great thing we did was to meet some great new artists whose work I'll be posting over the next few weeks.

- Janet Francoeur
Carolina Creations

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mismatched socks

We've been selling cotton mismatched socks for years and their popularity does not waver! All of us at Carolina Creations have at least one pair and most of us several. They wear well (I'm still wearing socks I purchased 5 years ago) and I get lots of comments on them.

Why I'm writing about them today is to fill you in on how environmentally friendly the manufacturing process is.

The socks are knit right here in North Carolina with recycled cotton yarn. Even the nylon core is made from recycled soda bottles so the socks are made with 100% recycled content.

Not only are the socks made entirely from recycled materials but nothing gets wasted. The sock seconds are used to make hats. If a sock isn't able to be made into a hat it is sent to a weaver who makes them into beautiful rugs!. Waste that can't be used by the hat maker or the weaver is donated to humane societies who stuff pillow cases with the scraps to make extra comfy pet beds for their boarders.

You can see some of the wonderful colors and patterns and purchase socks online on our website.

Check them out by clicking here!

Janet Francoeur

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Upcoming Events at Carolina Creations 2011

We have some some great events coming up this year.

Here is a quick list, more details to come!

January ArtWalk - Friday, January 14 from 5-8 pm featuring the Valentine Benefit and bowls for the "Empty Bowl Project"

Valentine Card Benefit Opening - Thursday, January 20 4-7 pm - Valentine cards from school children from 25 Craven County schools! Cards sell for $3 each and all the money is donated back to the Craven County Schools art programs.

March ArtWalk - Friday, March 11 from 5-8 pm Lampworking (glass) demonstration by Kay Rice and booksinging by Karen Dodd and her new book

Home Tour Reception
- Friday, April 8 from 5-8 pm - Janet Francoeur will feature tiles of all the homes on the tour.

May ArtWalk - Friday, May 13 from 5-8 pm. Paintings by Jude Lobe, Mebane, NC.

Totem Workshop with Justine Ferreri - Date to be announced.

July ArtWalk - Friday, July 9 from 5-8 pm."Waterways" by gallery artists.

September ArtWalk - Friday, September 9 from 5-8 pm "Contemporary Still Life" by gallery artists.

American Craft Week - October 7 - 16, 2011

November ArtWalk - Friday, November 11 from 5-8 pm

November 25 through December 24 - A Dickens of a Christmas in Downtown New Bern!

We'll update you as the date draws nearer!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Valentine Benefit

We are currently hanging the valentines created by school children at 25 Craven County schools!

This is the fifth year we have hosted this benefit.

This is how it works. Carolina Creations purchases cardstock and envelopes and donates them to the schools art programs. During the fall, during their regular art classes, the children create art either directly on the cardstock or art that they then apply to the cardstock.

During these classes they learn new techniques using a wide variety of mediums - like paper making, working with clay, paper cutting, monoprinting, stippling, just to name a few.

They assemble the cards and we hang them at Carolina Creations, just like a show. We then sell them to the public for $3 each then donate the $3 back to the school art programs.

This is the fifth year in a row we've done this!

It's wonderful for the kids because they can see their work in a gallery setting. For the teachers it gives them a chance to earn a little extra money for their classrooms and for Carolina Creations it give us a chance to give back to the community.

We will have many of the cards hung for this Friday's upcoming ArtWalk, Friday, January, 14 from 5-8 pm. A reception for the children (public is invited too) is Thursday, January 15 from 4-7 pm.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Highlights of 2010

January is the month I look back at the year before and look forward to the next year.

These are some of the things I like to examine

- What went right
- what went wrong
- what to do better
- how to have more time to paint and pot
- what projects I completed
- what projects to plan
- plan shows for the coming year
- what shows were successful last year what ones not
- do we need to have more pottery, glass, bags, scarves, jewelry?
- what artists to add (unfortunately usually have to drop some too)

Just off the top of my head some of the highlights of last year were

- our 300th celebration was a roaring success
- we started a rewards program that has been very popular
- for our garden show we brought in 6 new artists - 3 of whom we continue to represent
- the clay workshop with Justine was a huge success and we will do another with her this year
- Carol Tokarski and I had a show together and sold quite a few paintings
- We had a great vacation in the keys and are going to do it again this year!
- My artwork was on the brochure and poster for the spring home tour and will be again this year
- we celebrated 20 years in business in Downtown New Bern
- We were named favorite shop in New Bern in the Washington Post
- I painted in oils and acrylics more this year
- I was honored to created gifts for the Swiss dignataries
- We won best place to buy art and gifts in New Bern
- I zoomed all over the country giving talks on blogging
- The North Carolina History Center opened
- I made the front page of the Sun Journal!
- Michael turned 65!
- business in 2010 was better than 2009

I always want to top the year before not only in sales but accomplishments. If I publish what I want to accomplish here then I guess I have to be accountable so I'm going to spend a few days thinking about that list before I put it here!

Jan Francoeur

Friday, January 07, 2011

Brian Evans ceramics

Welcome back potter Brian Evans.

We have represented Brian off and on for about 10 years and are always amazed at his skill in creating his pots. Both thrown and hand built.

Each piece is one of a kind and he is continually experimenting with both his forms and glazes.

Artist: Brian Evans
I graduated in 1993 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Art Studio. I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 1995. With only one ceramic course under my belt I decided to take a Continuing Education course in Ceramics at Cape Fear Community College.

There I studied under a Japanese-American Potter named Hiroshi Sueyoshi. I immediately recognized the caliber of Hiroshi’s skills as an artist and took full advantage of his instruction. I’ve also taken classes under Don Johns who has been a great influence to me.

Since 1997 I have attended many pottery workshops which include artists of the highest skill level and artistic ability.

In the fall of 2002, I began teaching Pottery Classes at Cape Fear Community College at the beginner’s level. I also became a full-time ceramic artist. Since 2002, I have received various awards at Fine Art Shows and Art Festivals. In 2003 and in 2005, I was awarded The Regional Artist Grant for New Hanover County.

I make pottery because I find the tactile experience of artistic expression in clay exciting. The feeling of the clay in my hands and the rhythm of the potter’s wheel can be quite therapeutic. I enjoy the experience of the smell, sound, and energy of the kiln while firing. I especially enjoy the comradery that the pottery community offers.

My pottery mainly consists of vessel forms. I use the potter’s wheel as my primary means of construction. I enjoy making vessel forms because they are an intimate part of the daily rituals of people’s lives. This relationship between the object and person is very important to me.

I am recognized mostly for my alternative fired pottery such as Raku and Saggar fired vessels. I draw inspiration for these pieces from classical forms, from nature, and from fellow artists. My goal is to strive for the highest quality in my work as well as to continuously better myself as a professional artist.

For more information about these pieces and to see more visit his page on our website and just click on the image.

Visit Brian Evans page by clicking here.

Janet Francoeur

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Work by Sandy Baker

Jewelry designer Sandy Baker introduces her new pieces at Carolina Creations.

As the sole designer of her own firm for several decades, Sandy Baker has carved a distinctive niche in the jewelry industry. Her talent for bringing together modern clean lines and elegance with artistry has kept her on the cutting edge of both fine and fashion jewelry design.

In 1988, Baker received the Women's Jewelry Association "Award for Excellence in Design" and in 1995, the Blenheim Award for "Continued Excellence in Design." The New York Times, Jewelers Circular Keystone, National Jeweler, Modern Jeweler and Crain's New York have acknowledged her major contributions to the jewelry industry.

 We've represented Sandy for seven years and are always excited to get her latest creations.

To see more of her pieces visit our website by clicking here.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

1 1 11 at 1 11

Couldn't resist the thought of posting at 1:11 pm on January 1, 2011    or 1111111. kind of silly I know.

What a difference a week makes.

In the 60s today! Here are a couple shots of the beautiful weather.