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Alright ladies and gents, I’ve got it. I decided to name the new project “Worker Bird” (as in, busy as a bird). I’m not entirely sure how I plan to reconcile this space with the new space but I think it’ll all fall into place as I go. I think this blog will be used for general posts about the chickens, illustration projects, client work, life, etc. I think Worker Bird will be solely about the products I design and make under that name. We’ll see. Maybe in the end I’ll fold it all together under one umbrella.

Thanks to everyone for your ideas and suggestions. I need to get to work – Worker Bird will make its debut at Handmade Arcade on December 8.

Lastly, please visit Sweet Six to read a little interview that my friend Jenny did with me. And order some tasty hand-crafted candy while you’re at it.

I love to name things – Christmas trees, cars, plants, animals – but not anything of my own.

I am taking a leap this Fall. I am going to start – FOR REAL – making and trying to get an audience for all sorts of art and craft-related things that float around in my head but never see the light of day.

So I need a name. What should I call this venture? I welcome any ideas and thoughts and suggestions. The name I’m mulling over is “Beehive Crafted.” I love bees and their unwavering industriousness. Someone opined that this is a forgettable name (JERK) and someone else said it might be “too cutesy” (DOUBLE JERK) for the things I make. So…back to square one? Or not.

The first step in my giant leap was to apply to vend my wares at Handmade Arcade. I’ve done this show in years’ past at the L2 Design Collective table and I love every second of it. It draws a huge, selective crowd with great taste and to be accepted to exhibit is a pretty big deal. Fingers crossed.

I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks about the products I’ll be making. Of course I will feature my Love Letter to Pittsburgh series of prints on wood (along with bees, chickens, etc). But there will be other new things in the works. Standby.

And do let me know if you come up with anything magical.

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**UPDATE: My dear, sweet, best big brother pointed out that by calling people JERK and DOUBLE JERK for giving feedback might dissuade others from offering their thoughts. He’s so right. He’s always right about everything.

OK – I am NOT tooting my own horn, here. I don’t like to do that and I cringe when other people do it. What I’m talking about here is the loveliness in something – anything – that is so clearly made by hand. Yes, I did some illustrations for Wendell August but their artisans turned them into something really worth putting on your tree. I was happy with the photos I saw in their catalog and online but when I received the samples in the mail this past week, I loved what I saw. You can tell, looking at each ornament, that someone – a real, live person, touched every piece of pewter and softened the rough spots and polished the surfaces. Each piece is stamped on the back and – gasp – the stamps aren’t uniform! I love it. I am so thrilled to be a part of this great group of people in Western PA that appreciate the value of the handmade.

I have started my second love letter to Pittsburgh. (The first love letter was a project for Wendell August Forge and I’ll certainly shout from the rooftops when it’s complete.)

It is no secret that I am in love with this place. I love most everything about it and I think it’s absolutely gorgeous and, more importantly, filled with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

So I’ve had this idea flitting around in my head ever since I was lucky enough to have an exhibit at Wildcard (awesome shop if you haven’t been there – and if you have, you know of what I speak!) and since I’m an ace procrastinator it’s taken me this long to get on it. But I did get on it. Today. And I think I’ll even have a few pieces done in time for Handmade Arcade this weekend. Stop by the L2 Design Collective table and say hello, will you?

 

 

 

 

 

Wendell August Forge is America’s oldest and largest forge, producing hand-wrought ornamental metalware and elegant giftware in aluminum and other metals since 1923.

It’s here! I’ve been working with Wendell August since early this year and I’m excited and proud to announce the first launch: Gifts from the Sea. A hearty thanks goes out to Hilary Meurer for hooking me up with the great team at Wendell August and making this collaboration possible.

The first step was to create a thumbnail sketch for a 9×12 piece of art featuring shells and their names. Below is my sketch.

And here is the final illustration:

From there the craftsmen at Wendell August made their magic happen and hand-hammered the design to create a mold from which to cast the products in the collection. I am going to head up north soon and take the tour of the factory and learn more about the production but in the meantime their website says this: “This process includes Die Engraving by a master engraver, Material Selection and Cutting, Repousse (Hammering), Surface Anvilling, Edging, Carbon Coloring, a three step polishing process, and Forming. ”

I am thankful for the opportunity to work with Wendell August as so few things seem to be made in America anymore, let alone made with care by artists and craftsmen who love what they do and take pride in it.

Today feels good.

Opening Friday, NOV 19, 2010

I am busy busy busy getting ready for my upcoming show at Wildcard in Lawrenceville. I am collaging and sanding boxes and burning screens and mixing ink and printing and repeating. And repeating. And repeating. I am so thankful to Rebecca and Brian for giving me this opportunity.

Now, back to work.

More details and photos (maybe NOT from my phone?) to come. Until then…

Recently a super terrific woman contact me through my etsy store and asked if I would be open to creating four “boxes” for her son’s room. The jumping off point was this print:

She requested that I use this and another illustration of a tractor that I had already done. Additionally she wanted a hay truck and a hay squeeze. “Oh sure, a hay squeeze,” I said. Of course. A hay squeeze. Who doesn’t know what a hay squeeze looks like? I could draw one from memory, with my eyes closed – like those art class exercises where you had to do “contour drawings.”  But fret not, Fox, she was kind enough to send me some photos of the very hay squeeze that her husband drives.

I loved this project. I was super bummed to package them up and ship them off. But just last week she sent an email and said (and I’m for real quoting – hope she doesn’t mind) “they are perfect! My son and husband are completely mesmerized with them.”

I am blushing.

14″x14″ screenprints on wood. Four coats of varnish.

I have Fall Fever and a few commissions (which, I believe I have mentioned before, I LOVE) and so I’ve been busy printing. I have managed to finish a few new “box” pieces and I just put them in my Etsy Shop. Thanks for looking!

I am so excited to be taking part in a printmaking show in Northampton, MA. The show opens Friday, July 9. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the opening but I’m hoping to post pictures of the show once it’s all hung. Special thanks to Shoshana Philips of Red Horse Press for making it happen.

I am so happy to have been asked to put some screenprinted pieces into a co-op show in Massachusetts. Shoshana Phillips, of Red Horse Press, is putting the show together so it promises to be a terrific one. I will have more details soon!