Papercuts and Gluesticks, the friendly art gallery

Last night we went to Papercuts and Gluesticks located in Rocky River for a Gallery Night. I have to say, I was  impressed. The owner Kari, has quite an eye for art and has collected a very cohesive collection that looked simply lovely together. Each artist represented however brought something unique and different to the gallery. There was a vintage, whimsical feel with muted colors and dreamy artwork. Everything was placed almost meticulously, from the way paintings were displayed on the walls, to the way supplies were artistically shelved in the back of the gallery.

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Artfully displayed supplies and projects

The owner herself is simply charming. She’s instantly likable with her big smile and approachable personality. This is an art gallery where you can explore, experience and even participate in the artistic process. Kari mentioned that there is an entire listing of “offerings” that visitors can participate in. The booklet of these includes such things as soldering for newbies, and exploration making art journals, altered books and assemblage as just a few examples. Don’t expect to stand around stroking your chin or feeling snooty, as this just isn’t the place. If you want to see some lovely art in a relaxed environment though and maybe even learn something new I highly suggest you visit Papercuts and Gluesticks for yourself.

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Guests at the Papercuts and Gluesticks Gallery opening

(There were fabulous treats and wine on the table behind!)

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See how friendly they look?

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Gorgeous artwork!

Papercuts and Gluesticks is located at 20119 Lake Road in Rocky River.

 

Rising Artists Interview: Labella Designs

My latest interview was with the designer behind Labella Designs. Here’s what she had to say:

1. What inspired you to become an independent business owner?
The opportunity to be completely in control of something, to see my ideas actually come to fruition and the desire to start a business that I could continue after I retire from my “real” job as a registered nurse. I had been mulling over the idea of starting a faux painting business when I took a jewelry making class for fun and just loved it. I think it was all the beautiful gemstones and the immediate gratification you get from creating something in a relatively short amount of time that really got me hooked. And of course, what woman doesn’t love jewelry?

2. What have you found to be the easiest part of beginning your new business and what has been the most difficult?
Easiest part: Deciding on my general area of business, as making jewelry kind of picked me. I was addicted after the first class. I would also say the creative part of designing and actually making my products is one of the easier aspects for me. Most Difficult: Staying focused on the business part of things: writing a plan, marketing, keeping records, paperwork, etc. I tend to get distracted by all the creative ideas floating around in my head!

3. Explain what skills you have that you feel you have that have been absolutely necessary.

Being organized and keeping good records has been absolutely necessary. You don’t know if you are making a profit or how to price things if you don’t keep records of everything you spend money on. It also it imerative at tax time to be well organized, whether you do your own taxes or hire an accountant. I am working on being more outgoing to help me with marketing my jewelry; this does not come naturally for me, but I think it is absolutely neccessary to feel comfortable with promoting yourself and your business to the public to be successful with a small business.

4. How do you think you have been successful so far?
I think that I’ve been successful so far in that I have branded my company with a distinct look, have set up my website and my shopping site. I am curently working on a more distinct look for my product line, something that will let you instantly recognize a piece as a “La Bella”.

5. What are some of your goals for the future?
Immediate goals are to get my jewelry into 3 retail stores this year and finalize a distinct line for fall and the holiday season. In 3-5 years I hope to have my own shopping site {I will definitely keep my etsy site as long as I am in the biz}, expand the number of retail stores to 15-20 and be accepted to 2-3 high-end juried art shows a year. I would also like to have 1 article a year published in a craft/art magazine. Ongoing goals are to keep expanding and improving my jewelry making skills. Ideally I would like to learn and perfect at least 2 new techniques a year.

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Rhodolite Earrings, $40.00 

Tools of the Jewelry Trade(Part 2): What I use to make Valerie Tyler Designs

I forgot in the last post to show the raw material I often start a piece from. Here’s a shot of the sterling silver sheet that I usually place my design on and then saw to get my piece. It’s a long shot from the finished product isn’t it?

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Raw sterling sheet 

Next are the steps I’m not as fond of. Not that they are tremendously difficult, but they are time-consuming, and sometimes it wears on my patience. When I get to the point where I’m almost finished with a design I’m too excited to get to the final product! First I have to file away rough edges, and fix any errors I may have made while sawing. I have an entire set of files that come in various shapes and sizes such as round square, or flat(known as an equalling file). They’re nice when I want to file something like a curved edge or a small hole and I can choose a specific file for the task. The photo shows a piece I am working on now, and a few of the files.

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Files 

Then, comes sanding, and more sanding, and….well, more sanding. Sanding helps to take out all the rough knicks and scratches that may be in metal. This is also the stage where I may use a a steel brush to give a brushed finish to a piece instead of a shiny finish. If I want to give something a shiny finish I put a buffing attachment on my dremel, add a little rouge and polish away (This step is not pictured, and again it’s one that can take some time)

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Sanding a piece, adding a brushed finish

Sometimes instead of a shiny or brushed finished I like to give my metal some texture. One way to do this is by using a ball peen hammer and a steel block. Here’s a photo of a different piece I am working on and texturizing. There’s other methods and different types of textures that can be applied to metals as well using different types of hammers and tools. I recently bought a set of letter stamps that I can’t wait to use.

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Steel block and ball peen hammer 

Lastly, there’s finishing touches, which more people may be familiar with. Pliers such as round-nose, chain nose and flat nose as well as cutters are essential for tasks such as forming wire into jumprings, ear wires, and chain. Pictured are my basic tools from Rio made in Germany. For really high end tools, look into getting a set of Lindstroms. I also use a variety of wire gauges such as 20 ga. to 26ga. (typically I use soft of half hard wire). Making the findings to go with jewelry may also be the first step in a the jewelery making process.

Rio cutters, chain-nose pliers and 20 gauge wire

CSU 37th Annual Student Art Show

Where will the Art Addict be on Friday?  As of now, I’m planning on visiting the Student Art Show at Cleveland State University for the opening reception to the 37th Annual Student Art Show.  It takes place from 5-8 p.m. at the Art Gallery at CSU.  52 works from almost 40 students will be displayed at the show so it’s a great opportunity to catch some up and coming artists and see fresh new ideas.

Tools of the Jewelry Trade: What I use to make my jewelry

There’s literally hundreds of different tools designers use to make their jewelry(and for that matter so many different methods and types of jewelry) I figured I’d share some of the tools I personally use and give a little insight into the process I go through to design jewelry for Valerie Tyler Designs.

It begins with an idea, or a sketch. They can start off as rough scribbles and then get more developed.

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One of my favorite tools is my German jewelers saw. I actually love sawing (though it can be tough on the arms at times!) Of course, a lubricant for the laser saw blades (I use laser gold) keeps the blades lasting longer and makes sawing easier.

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This is the drill I use to add various size holes to my pieces:

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So the beginning of the process entails imagining and sketching my ideas, then getting the raw materials in order by sawing and drilling them. I’ll post more tomorrow on the detailing and finishing aspects. (By the way, don’t you love how I photograph from creative angles so you don’t see all the scrap metal pieces, dust, wax, metal shavings, tools and bits of sandpaper that are all over the table!)

Marius Watz: Electroplastiques

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It’s not every day that you have a chance to experience the work of a renowned artist for free, but when there is that chance you certainly do not want to miss out. Marius Watz, an artist who creates computer generated art is a participating 2008 Artist in Residence at the University of Akron. As part of his residency the following events are open to the public:

Electroplastiques, 3/24/08-4/23/08

Emily Davis Gallery, Folk Hall

Myers School of Art

Public Lecture, Folk Hall Auditorium 3/24/08

Light Up the Night 3/25/07-3/28/07

The outside walls of E.J. Thomas hall will come to life with projected images

3/27/08 E.J. Mix

And lastly check out the big party, following a discussion about “animated life in real and virtual worlds” on March 27 at 7:00 p.m. he will present his work in a free performance along with the DJ performance of the following tek-know artists, who will perform on a 30,000 watt soundsystem:
Pi(iT)
Random(Seed)
Truckstop Tourist
and
Zachariah

There will be refreshments and a cash bar, while you enjoy the live performances along with the stunning visual projections from Marius Watz on the walls of E.J. Thomas Hall.

Check out information from the University of Akron for more details.

Happy Easter from the Art Addict

May you have a blessed and joyful Easter!

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For those of you that love putting your wee ones in hilarious outfits:
Pink Cotton Zombie Bunny Infant Hat
$17.00 from Lazymama Designs