Friday, May 31, 2013

Strolling around Carolina Creations

Here are just a few of our displays at Carolina Creations. It's always fun when we get in new work and arrange it!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I've been having fun

I haven't had a lot of time to paint the past few years, running a business takes an amazing amount of time. I HAVE been doing a lot of pottery, it doesn't take as much time and concentration (except when I'm writing the words, gurrrr) so just to get me jump-started I decided to do some paintings on paper whose surface acts similar to the pottery I paint on.

We're having a garden show through the end of June so my timing was perfect. They aren't masterpieces but are kind of fun and whimsical. One neat thing about them is the layout, they fit nicely in those spots you've not been able to put anything in.

The are all tall and skinny.

Thank you for looking!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memorable Days

That was a memorable day to me, for it made great changes in me. But it is the same with any life. Imagine one selected day struck out of it, and think how different its course would have been. Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation of the first link on one memorable day.”

― Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I got this wonderful recommendation from a long time customer and friend. We met many years ago "in the beginning" at a class on html when people were first doing their own websites.

Dear Janet,
I've written this recommendation of your work to share with other LinkedIn users.

Details of the Recommendation: "Janet is a fantastic talented individual. She owns and manages one of the most interesting, beautiful, artistic gift shops in Eastern North Carolina. She manages the most successful shop in New Bern, NC. She spends time in her studio creating great artwork on canvas and in pottery. She hires and trains a great staff to serve customers in her gift shop.

After that she has the time to create and maintain a beautiful, well organized website to display her art and that of Carolina artisans. She also manages to publish a monthly newsletter worthy of honors by the local Chamber of commerce.

She is an "all together" driving force of the times."
Service Category: Retail Sales, Retail Management,

Thank you for this lovely note, it makes me very proud.  CM

Monday, May 20, 2013

Freds Ladies

We are pleased to announce that we are representing Fred Wiesener and his clay ladies.

Fred Wiesener creates one of a kind art deco inspired ceramic sculptures reminiscent of the graceful fashion design of the 1920's. Fred has been working as a ceramic artist for 50 years and his work is in collections  around the world. He is also the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Niche Award for clay. 

Fred Wiesener's inspiration for his clay ladies came from his grandfather, who came over to America from Germany in the late 1800's. He was educated to be a civil engineer, but his passion was design, drawing and painting illustrations. One of the first jobs that he held in America was in New York City designing and illustrating fashions for the Delineator magazine, a forerunner of Harper's Bazaar.

He continued to draw and paint all of his life, depicting his sophisticated "ladies" in relationships with their families, friends and lovers.

Fred has tried to incorporate these same concepts and themes in his clay work by using pure curves, strong primary design and with the exact subtle color relationships used by the fashion industry around 1908 -1910.

He received his MFA in Ceramics from Syracuse University, New York, NY in 1971 and a BA in Art from Henderson State University, Arkansas, 1969.

Fred says "The running theme behind all of my work is that of using light, space, calligraphic forms and reversible figure-ground relationships to create visual tensions. To achieve this I try to make the plane of space that determines a specific edge against my forms just as important to the viewer as the figures themselves."

For prices and sizes click here then click on image.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Starfish by John Gibbons and a great story to go with it!

I have to to tell you a story about how we came to meet John Gibbons and his starfish, or at least how he got on our radar. 
Michael and I were at a show in another state and got a text from one of our employees. "there is a couple here that own a gallery on Coronado, CA and they think you should get creeping starfish by John Gibbons." 
The next thing we knew - like 5 minutes later - guess who we met!
 The craft community is relatively small but this is quite the coincidence! And it is  wonderful when we all work together. 
Yesterday that same gentleman from Coronado was back in Carolina Creations and I shared with him a couple of our artists I thought they would like.
 At any rate we are thrilled to be now representing the glass art by John Gibbons!

 Here is a link that will show you sizes and prices.

Have a great day! Jan Francoeur


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

No place is too far to walk if you have the time

Her motto is "No place is too far to walk if you have the time." She completed the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on May 4, 2011, 1,000 miles across North Carolina. And she has a   blog where you can read about the whole trip.

dannysmall.jpgOver the weekend we were honored that Danny Bernstein wandered into Carolina Creations. Danny authored the book "The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina. Walking a Thousand Miles through Wilderness, Culture and History.

Danny is an avid hiker, a member of the Carolina Mountain Club (CMC) and a life member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

mtscoverShe has  hiked the whole Appalachian Trail and completed the South Beyond 6,000, all the 6,000 foot mountains in the Southern Appalachians. Just to name a few of her hikes.

What a difference from her previous life, where she was a software developer then a college professor teaching computer science at Kean University in New Jersey.

Now when  she's not hiking, she writes about the outdoors. Her book, Hiking the Carolina Mountains was published in April 2007, a second guidebook, Hiking North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains came out in April 2009 and her new book is The Mountains-to-Sea Trail Across North Carolina. She also writes regularly for the Mountain Xpress and National Parks Traveler.

The Part of the trail that is in our neighbor is the "Neusiok Trail". Here is a link to that portion.

Time. That's the thing I crave the most, as do most people I'm sure. There are SO MANY THINGS I want to do that I just don't have time for, sculpture, travel, reading, walking, riding, kayaking, sitting on the porch..... Have to figure this out!

Nice to meet you Danny!

Jan Francoeur

Sunday, May 12, 2013

7 Unexpectedly Intriguiging Places for Art from Houzz

We often hear from our customers. I love that piece! I just don't have any place to put it. I thought these were some clever ideas on some different places you can hang pieces you HAVE to have!

From the Website Houzz -
7 Unexpectedly Intriguing Places for Art
Elicit surprise and delight by displaying art in spaces where someone might least expect it

Art engages us, stirs our soul and creates debate, but it is often the final piece in a room. Although art is usually saved for last, the right piece of art can tie all the other elements in a space together. When used in a surprising place, art can be thrilling. When we least expect it, a colorful depiction from a child's imagination in a mudroom or a thought-provoking landscape over a kitchen bench delights us.

Use one of these creative placement ideas to make your much-loved artwork even more enjoyable.
by Megan Buchanan »

1. Patios. Outdoors may not be the most obvious place for a painting, but if it is well protected from the elements, why not? This bright toucan painting really livens up this porch.

Design tip: When you're hanging artwork in an area with an 8-foot high ceiling, the middle of the picture should be approximately 5 feet off the floor.
by Modern Craft Construction, LLC

2. Bathrooms. Bathrooms should be places of serenity and luxury. A beautiful piece of art will only enhance that indulgent experience. Design tip: In wet areas place your artwork under glass to avoid damage from water and steam.
by Mark Collett Design and Build


3. Kitchens. It is ideal to have a window at your kitchen sink. But if you don't have that luxury (or you would prefer the extra cupboard space instead), take photographs of some favorite personal places and have them screen-printed onto glass cabinet doors.

Design tip: Try grouping empty frames, mirrors or family photos. Symmetrical groupings add balance, formality and a sense of calmness.

4. Laundry rooms. We spend a lot of time folding, ironing and facing the walls in a laundry room, so it makes sense to be able to look at something more interesting than a blank space. Subtle but delightfully framed dresses break up the blank expanse of wall here.

Design tip: When you're grouping pictures together, shoot for about 2 inches of space between larger pictures. If they are small pictures, an inch and a half may be enough. These distances apply for the spacing above, below and on either side of the frames as well.
by Kathryn Long, ASID

5. Storage. When you're trying to organize individual spaces for the smaller members of the family, a special piece of their artwork can be great visual reminder for whose cubby is whose.

Design tip: Jazz up a children's space by framing art from their favorite books. Imagine a series of Dr. Seuss images all framed in a row.

6. Closets. Dressing rooms by nature should be decadent, so not displaying artwork would be a fashion crime. These framed shopping bags are the perfect reminder that self-indulgence is OK every now and then.

Design tip: To hang groups of pictures together, trace the frames onto craft paper first and cut out the pieces. Position the pieces and lightly tape them onto the wall. You can move them around until you are happy with the layout, without putting a ton of holes in the wall.
by Ed Ritger Photograph

7. Small spaces. When space is a premium, imagination is everything. Turning this cupboard into a study nook was genius. A piece of art helps keep a space like this tidy in public.

Design tip: If you are hanging a piece of art above a piece of furniture, keep the art's width at 50 to 90 percent of the width of the furniture. The ideal width is 75 percent. Less than 50 percent is too small, and more than 90 percent will look out of proportion.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Pieces for a Visual Feast

I haven't participated in a show outside of Carolina Creations in many years. Just not enough hours in the day to even think about it. But I was able to do these two pieces for a show called "A Visual Feast" for the Arts Council show that is being held at the NC History Center, Tryon Palace.
Both these pieces are hand made white earthenware tiles.
The top one I framed so it could be hung at the show but you could take it out of the frame and install it as part of your backsplash. This piece is about 12 x 36"
Below you see my initial sketch.
And then the finished piece.
The fruit piece is made in four sections and wired together, its about 4 x 28 (about, I forgot to measure it before I sent it to the show).

- Jan Francoeur

Thursday, May 02, 2013


This  is a scene from Pinecone Periennials
I finally got these two paintings finished just in time for our garden show at Carolina Creations

I started this painting during the home tour. Generally paint in my studio so it was fun to paint en plein aire!