Meet Karen Buoncristiano from Crafty By Nature...
I can't stop making my own ceramics, lotions, and soaps. After I got married and no longer had a wedding to plan, I became stir crazy and needed a new challenge. Most years for Christmas, I began making gifts by hand for at least a good portion of our gift giving. About 10 years of dabbling in all sorts of various arts and crafts, I narrowed it down to two categories I truly loved: ceramics and handmade bath & body goods.
I am married to a wonderful husband who also loves making pottery on the potter's wheel and he is doing great, picking up lots of skill. We spend a lot of time with our two loving dogs, hiking around for some fresh air and to immerse ourselves in nature.
I have been a potter for about 8 years. I have been a lotion & soap maker since 2009. I have been creating a wide variety of art as well as crafts since about 1992. Before that, I spent my entire childhood drawing, sculpting things, and painting.
My creativity is such a huge part of me, that I think it has always been there. My parents were both artists and showed me a lot of encouragement for doing art. I was definitely raised with the idea that art has a lot of value and appeal. I thank my parents for that.
I started making ceramics in the early 1990s and have always loved it. There is only so much of your own handmade pottery you can fit in your house, so I began selling my work. The reason I got into making my own lotions & soaps was curiosity. I wanted to see if I could make lotions & soaps, and I found out I can!
How I got into selling my craft.. One year for Christmas gifts, I decided to make up my own recipe for gardener's hand salve and include it in a garden themed gift basket. People LOVED this hand salve and insisted I make more, and asked me if I would begin selling it. I said yes and the rest is history!
My creative process.. Sometimes I just make something on the potter's wheel and I feel like "it" decides what it is going to end up as. Other times I plan ahead. For lotions and soaps, I try to think what would smell really great and yet be very moisturizing at the same time. Sometimes it takes several attempts at a soap or lotion recipe before I get it good enough for my standards.
I think my most favorite item so far would be my "little bird" teapot. I really love how that turned out and it makes a great cup of tea!
I am hope is to one day be able to leave my full-time job and do Crafty by Nature full-time. I'd love to be in many more retail stores, do more craft shows, and make much more ceramics. Time is sometimes a constraint for me at the moment, but nothing will hold me back from creating!
Lastly, I'd like to thank my husband for the faith he has had in me and especially the patience he has displayed when I said "I just bought a potter's wheel," and "I just bought a seven cubic foot kiln that weighs 280 pounds!" He has been very patient with me living my dreams, and he has even become a potter himself too! Thanks Nick!
Meet Jennifer Maille from JM Photography...
My name is Jennifer Maille and I have been an elementary art teacher for 11 years (and counting). I have 2 beautiful girls, McKenna who is almost 9 and Eme who just turned 3. My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We also have 2 dogs and a crazy rabbit named Cookie.
How I got into my craft... When I had my second child, I crocheted her a little hat and jacket. From that, I began to get more interested in crocheting. Last summer, I photographed my brother’s wedding and became even more interested in getting more serious about photography. While developing both of those interests, they began to merge into what I do today. I create beautiful hats and other props intended for newborn and toddler photography.
What inspires me... I am often inspired by materials such as beautiful yarns, buttons, ribbon, etc. I also love to look at the work of other artists.
Usually whatever I am currently working on becomes my favorite item I’ve made. I absolutely love to create newborn hats and am hoping to begin creating sewn bonnets for newborn photography.
Overall, my goal is that I would love to spend more of my time taking beautiful photos and making my clients happy. It is so neat to see my hats in other photographer’s photos and know that they love my hats as much as I do. Selling my hats also allows me to go back to the craft store to look for more beautiful materials!
For more photos of my crochet as well as photography, visit my facebook page, JM Photography or my websitewww.jmphotoandprop.com.
Check out these featured vendors at the 2012 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. This eclectic show will feature over 125 of the area's most talented artisans and crafters. A portion of the show's proceeds will be donated to Columbus Ohio's Local Matters, a non-profit that teaches kids and families about healthy Ohio-grown foods, provides access to wholesome foods in local area communities, and advocates for fair food policies.
2012 Columbus Summer Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, August 19, 2012, 1:30pm-6:30pm
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
555 N. High St
Columbus, OH 43215
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