Thursday, January 31, 2013

Art That Leaves an Impression!

Meet Amy Wilson from Glass by Design... 
My name is Amy Wilson, I am a new resident to Ohio having moved here from Pittsburgh in 2012. I now live in Englewood, Ohio which is twenty minutes north of Dayton. I most recently was employed at The University of Dayton as an Operations Manager for the Student Union. I am now happy to say that after serious consideration, I resigned my position at UD to pursue my art full-time.
I have had a love of art since childhood and have been a sketch artist most of my life. About two years ago I decide to try a new medium. I have always been drawn to glass, and I thought that glass art would be a natural fit. Turns out, for once I was right and I haven’t looked back!
My work is very eclectic and so is my process. I will see something that sparks an emotion and I my art begins. I sketch everything in advance of beginning a new piece. Knowing that other people admire and appreciate my art is what I enjoy most but, I also love seeing the progression of a piece from start to finish.

I started my own business because I wanted to see if there was a market for my type of work and I absolutely love what I am doing. I think any work of art is a statement of love and passion, and that is truly what keeps me motivated!

Meet Diana DuMoit From Oakfield Naturals...
As a former Science teacher, I am fascinated with the way soap making blends scientific principles with the creative process. Initially, I wanted to learn another “old-timey” skill. I’d taught myself how to can and preserve fruits and vegetables and how to make jams, jellies, and pickles years ago. Learning another skill that would bring the benefits of products made more simply, with less commercial processing, was appealing to me. Soap making also fits into my desire to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the products offered by large corporations. I saw it as a lifestyle choice.
I really enjoy researching what qualities different oils, fragrances, and add-ins lend to the final product. It’s interesting and challenging to bring together my knowledge of the materials with the artistic nature of my craft. For me, the fun is creating recipes that produce soaps with qualities we all enjoy – sudsy, fragrant, moisturizing bars that are long lasting and minimally processed. The pleasure comes when, after patiently waiting a month, I finally get to use a bar of soap made from a recipe that I created. I feel satisfied when I have successfully blended science and art.
The products I offer are made in my home.  I use the same kitchen that I cook in every day – the same stove, the same kitchen table, the same counter tops are all used to create unique, original handcrafted soaps. I process in small batches and let my soaps cure for at least a month before “testing” them on my family, my friends, and myself.
My soaps are not meant to just sit in a soap dish.  They are meant to be used.   Whether for you, or someone else, Oakfield Naturals soaps are a practical luxury.

Meet Debbie Kent Hoekstra From The Iron Letter, LLC.
I am Debbie Kent Hoekstra, motorcyclist and photographer. The combination of these two activities led to the creation of my company, The Iron Letter, LLC. The Iron Letter markets a unique photo alphabet created from black and white snapshots of motorcycle chrome. Cross-country motorcycle trips on my Harley-Davidson provide ample photographic opportunities to make additions to my collection of chrome “letters”. Over the years, I have enjoyed designing and creating art in many forms… calligraphy, fabric, wood, watercolor, acrylic, landscape, jewelry, and photography. Since 2005, I have traveled solo over much of the US in my car, falling in love with the rugged beauty of the western states, and photographing the scenery. I am a single mom of three grown--and flown--children. Reaction to The Iron Letter has been great and I am pleased to offer art that is associated with motorcycle culture.

My creative ability must be genetic. The only highly artistic person in my family is my great grandfather. He was a poet, writer, and oil painter. Inspiration for The Iron Letter comes from my motorcycle environment. Hearing the rumble of those V-Twin engines and seeing all that gleaming chrome, one can’t help but be inspired. Focusing on the perfect letter, finding just the right angle and lighting to make that chrome “letter” shine its brightest and look its sharpest.  Viewing the finished product makes me proud to offer quality art that is truly different.
My creative process is detective-like…always on the hunt for new “letters”.  Some can be quite elusive!  Sometimes, while riding down the highway in group-formation with my motorcycle friends, I find myself eyeing the bikes in front of me as I search for letters. That’s how I discovered my first K. Future focus will be searching for letters on vintage bikes. It is very enjoyable to work with color selections and styles in the frames and mats, trying to find the “just right” combination to showcase the black and white photos.

After a particularly brutal year employment-wise, in summer of 2012, I decided it was time to stop depending on corporate America for financial support and create my own path doing something close to my heart…something creative, exciting, and different.  It was time to act on the idea that had nagged me for two years…use my photography skills to create a photo alphabet with my favorite mode of transportation as a subject!  A motorcycle alphabet with gleaming chrome letters! It would be called The Iron Letter. The Iron Letter photo alphabet is a unique way for motorcyclists and others to express their enthusiasm for motorcycle culture. 
All art work has a message hidden somewhere within it, in my work it is to get out and enjoy all that life has to offer. Don’t put it off, do it now. This big country of ours has amazing scenery to be enjoyed—it’s even more beautiful when viewed from two wheels.

Meet Julie McAnary From Koko Kreepies...
My name is Julie McAnary I am the owner and crafter of Koko Kreepies. I am an art school girl who never quite fit into the corporate world.

Koko Kreepies started on a whim, what was just a hobby turned into a dream come true. I have been making hoop art on and off for about three years now. I got into my work through mother Koko, she is my muse! My creative process is one of trial and error, with emphasis on error.
Interesting as it is  I find my inspiration in the ugly and otherwise overlooked corners of the world, resale shops and just recently PINTEREST (

I decided to start my own business on a whim. What was just a hobby turned into a dream come true. The thing I enjoy most about my work is the instant feel of victory and sense of accomplishment when a particular piece is complete.
If there were to be a message behind my work it would be "Don’t be afraid . . . to try new things". 
Koko Kreepies will be making its debut at HorrorHound Weekend Horror Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio March 22-24th. Be sure to stop by there too!

Also, Be Kreepie Like Us on Facebook: visit our new website


2013 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, February 16th 2013, 11:00am-5:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, January 24, 2013

All In The Fun Of Tutus!

Meet Rebecca Edwards From Just "Bead" It...
My name is Rebecca and I am the founder and owner of Just "Bead" It! I'm married and have a gorgeous son about to graduate from high school. I am also the mother to four beautiful Yorkshire Terriers! I have been doing glass art for about four years now. I have several kiln's and a workshop. I have never participated in an Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows before, so I am super excited for this opportunity! I have found much success in Mansfield, Ohio and have been looking at shows in surrounding areas to branch out to.  
I started my business simply because I wanted/needed to be my own boss. My time is important to me, and I grew tired of spending it with people that didn't necessarily appreciated it. Plus, my husband has fancy job that requires us to be flexible with our time. We have had to move a couple of times for his job, and I was starting and leaving jobs often. I have found that working for myself and doing something that I love has really been a blessing! 

When it comes to my creativity, ideas and thoughts truly just come to me. I draw inspiration from everywhere. I love selling my items to people who think it's clever or smart. What keeps me motivated is getting feedback from repeat customers or hearing their stories on how their gift was a hit. I really like to repurpose things and use them in a way that's not conventional. I make several items including cheese plates, bird feeders, lamps, clocks, and wall hangings, all made from old wine bottles. I also make jewelry.

Meet Peggie Meckling From Maggie Mae Designs...
I am the creative mind behind Maggie Mae Designs, I love to create beautiful things our of recycled and re-used bits and baubles from past eras. I am a crafter, musician, singer and writer. I've been crafting and making things all my life, but I have only begun selling them in the last year to the general public. 
Personally I think that I inherited my creativity from my mother, who fostered a love of the arts into all of her children. I have been crafting as a hobby my whole life. I've made jewelry and done other crafts with my mother and siblings as a child. However, I started working in ceramics a few years ago, and began working with old buttons, chandelier crystals, china and glass. Now, I'm starting to do metal fabrication.

Starting my crafting businesses happened naturally. I had always planned to do this in my retirement. But the more I gave jewelry away to family and friends, the more they liked it and kept encouraging me to make more. As I began to create more pieces, I realized there may be others out there who would also appreciate my work.
My creative process is all over the map. Sometimes I'm highly organized and know exactly where I'm going with it. Sometimes I am given a new object and I'm off and running in a new direction. I find the creative process of crafting to be unbelievably rewarding. When someone stands at my table at a craft fair and picks up one of my pieces and loves it, that's the big pay off. When I know someone really likes the piece and either wants to wear it themselves or share it as a gift, that's golden.

Meet Melissa Prozy From TuBows...

I am a stay at home mother to my little princess Gabriella who is now three. Since I had her, I was always looking for the cutest little outfits, bows, and tutus to dress her in. The price tags started to add up. Since I did not have an income to contribute to her ever-growing closet, my husband started to pump the brakes on my spending. Well, I am a stubborn Italian who doesn't like to be told no, I knew I had to think of a way to dress my daughter for a better price. When I was younger, my mother taught me how to sew, and I furthered my education in school through home economics classes. So, when it was time for my daughters 2nd birthday, and I was on the hunt for the cutest birthday outfit, I decided to make it instead. It came out adorable, and everyone asked the question, "Where did you find that?". That's when the thought popped in my head that I could totally make a great hobby out of this! With a little help from my sister and my best friend, we came up with the name and brand for TuBows. In December of 2011, TuBows became an official small crafting business. 
I get my creativity everywhere, I love sitting at the park and just letting my imagination wander. One of my favorite ways to create is to play with ribbon and/or fabrics and see where my hands take me. My creativity comes from my Grandma, she was always quilting, sewing and doing craft projects with us when we were younger. However, my inspiration to create TuBows comes from my daughter. I love dressing her up like a princess, and being able to make items she wants. Being the founder of TuBows saves us money and makes her outfits that much more special.
The thing I enjoy most about creating handmade items is the before and after process. A simple piece of tulle, some elastic, and some ribbon become a beautiful tutu.

I am currently promoting on Facebook and through an intuit website ( You can also find me on Etsy at TuBows.

Meet Savannah Norris-Jenkins From SolarFire Jewelry...
My name is Savannah, I am a wife and a mother to a cute and very opinionated two year old daughter. My jewelry business is called SolarFire Jewlery. I am a singer and musician for two local groups. My folk group is called The Song Birds, and I'm in a duet with my husband called Jinxed. Since I have bills to pay, I work full time as an Operations Manager at a bank. I keep myself busy! 
I have been creating jewelry for about a year now, but I've been an artist in one form or another since I was in high school. I draw my creativity from when I was young. Growing up, my aunts used to have my sister and I do crafts with them when we were visiting. We loved it! As I got older, I got into drawing and music as my artistic outlets. I am still a musician, and I now have a love of jewelry making as well!
I began crafting as a hobby because I had an itching to do something creative. It all started when I happened upon a beautiful pair of polished Cabochon gemstones. These jewels were just screaming to be made into a pair of earrings. I hadn't tried my hand at jewelry making before, but did some research and tried it out. I instantly fell in love with designing and crafting jewelry pieces, and have been hooked ever since. 
I made my craft into a business because there was no way I would ever be able to wear everything that I was making. I've always enjoyed going to craft shows and shopping on Etsy, so I thought it would be fun to be a vendor too. Plus, a little bit of extra income never hurts! Most of my inspiration comes from the stones themselves: their shapes, color and size sparks an idea, and I run with that. During the workday or especially after I've gone to bed, ideas will run through my head, and I can't wait to start a new project.  
I like to create unique statement pieces that catch people's attention and are easy to wear both casually, and for a night out. For me, I appreciate jewelry that can serve double duty and looks great paired with jeans and white t-shirt, or your cute little black dress.

To see more peices check out my Facebook and Etsy shop.


2013 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, February 16th 2013, 11:00am-5:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Soaps to Jewelry to Paper Collages, Avant-Garde Has It ALL!!

Meet Pat and Charlie Kramer from My Soaps...
Charlie is a retired Columbus Firefighter and a master cabinet maker. He owns Kramer Builders and does buidling when he is in the mood, and highly enjoys doing carpenty work in his workshop. Pat is a retired retailer who owned her own artistan consignment and gift shop.

Charlie and Pat got into making soaps about two years ago when Pat decided that she wanted a natural soap maker in her shop. That was when Charlie decided that he could make the soaps to possibly sell, and that he did. Thus, My Soaps was born. 

Starting off, Charlie did some research and came up with his own recipe. He decided on an unscented Jojoba lotion that might work. It did! He now does Rice Garden, Poison Ivy, and Jewel Weed scents that are a big hit.

His Problem Skin Soap is made with Neem Oil, which has been used on the skin for centuries. Charlie now makes ten different scented oil soaps, two lotions, problem skin soap, and Poison Ivy soap. In addition, he adds scents during different seasons of the year.
My Soaps began doing farmer markets last summer and art and craft shows in the fall and winter. Pat and Charlie found that they really enjoyed doing all of these shows. Talking to the customers is what kept them motivated to continue. They found that until you have used an all natural, chemical free, handmade, NOT melt and pour soap, your skin doesn't know what it's been missing. Plus, there's the added benefit of no soap scum to clean up.

Pat and Charlie found that they highly enjoy meeting people that used the soap from other shows. They also buy more because they love it!! My Soaps has recently designed a website that you can also buy their collection of soaps at:

Meet Catherine Hickman and Susan McClanahan from CatsEye Creations...
Catherine has been an artist for as long as she can remember. She painted for a bit, loves to write, and now loves her jewelry. Crafting has always been a passion of hers. She believes that there is a great artistic drive to crafts. It just takes a special person to see it's depth. 

Susan is also a very creative person. She only recently began delving into the extent of her creativity. She loves to write and create tales of glory. She is just now starting her artistic attempts at jewelry creation, and it's amazing. Together, Catherine and Susan make up CatsEye Creations. A 'business' of arts and crafts, and a passion for both. 
Catherine has been creating unique jewelry pieces for several years now. It all started after she began getting better from a severe illness. Susan began her work with jewelry this past year by assisting Catherine with her work. As it turns out, she has a marvelous eye for form and color.

Both women have a distinct eye for taking something ordinary and turning it into something beautiful. Catherine gets her inspiration from day-to-day life. Susan likes to play with colors and shapes to see how they fit together to make pretty, sparkly things.

A message is what you make of it. It is what the buyer sees in the piece that matters more than anything. Perception is a massive part of artwork. Their jewelry is meant to put a smile on a person's face and joy in their hearts. Each stone and gem that they use has a purpose and meaning. In the end it's up to the wearer to make it work.

Meet Katie Chalk from The Beadjou Boutique...
Katie Chalk has recently moved to America from the United Kingdom, with her husband and two daughters. As a military wife, Katie was used to a life of constant upheaval, and moving. However, a year ago her husband and her family were given the exciting opportunity to move to Ohio. This is their longest tour yet; their chance for some stability, so they took it!
Katie has been making jewelry and accessories for approximately two years. With more stock than she could possibly give away to friends and family, she decided to 'dip her toe in the water'. Katie attended her first local craft show last summer. About two years ago, she attended a series of evening classes on the basics of jewelry making. From the first lesson, she was hooked! Katie started making pieces for herself, her friends and her family, and she began experimenting with new designs and techniques.
Having left her teaching job to move to America, Katie found she had time on her hands to indulge in her love of ‘antiquing’ and crafting. Rummaging through antique stores and flea markets for vintage finds, she combined them with contemporary materials. This resulted in unique pieces of jewelry, and became her new ‘day job’. Unsure whether her designs would appeal to an American audience, her friend asked if she could take some pieces into work to show/sell to her colleagues. She returned with an empty box and requests for more! From there, Katie decided to try her hand at some local craft fairs and establish a Facebook page, to display her latest designs.

As most of her jewelry and accessories contain vintage and upcycled elements, they are often difficult to replicate. This ‘uniqueness’, is the thing Katie enjoys most about her designs. After all, no one wants to be wearing the same accessories as the person standing next to them.

Meet Judi Young from Whoop Dee Doodle...
Judi Young is an artist out of Galloway, Ohio. She attended Capital University and received a degree in professional writing. She worked at The Columbus Dispatch in town for a number of years before discovering her true passion for making art. Judi left The Dispatch when her daughter was born. She is also an animal lover and this is a major influence in her artwork.
Judi has been making torn paper collage pieces for eight years now. She began when her daughter was a baby. Judi saw a print at a discount store that looked to her like ripped paper. After leaving the store, Judi went home and tried to replicate it herself by using scrapbook paper she had around the house. She now uses all sorts of new and recycled papers, including scrapbook, wrapping paper, wallpaper, magazine clippings, yellow/white pages, junk mail - you name it!
Judi started her own business because she simply loves making art and other people seem to like it too. It makes her happy when she sees someone walk up to her booth at an arts festival and smile. When it comes to her creative process, she basically sees something that puts an idea in her head. She then collects these ideas in a sketch book, and when she has the opportunity, she begins her collage.

Judi has a sense of satisfaction when she makes something that hasn't been done before, and she likes providing people with this original art. For everyone who comes up and says "I could buy this at Target cheaper", another comes by who says "Wow!". What she likes to show in her work is harmony between animals and people. Judi likes to envision a world where everyone gets along. A world full of joy.

2013 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, February 16th 2013, 11:00am-5:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

There is Art That You Can Wear, and There is Art Everywhere!

Meet Sharon Butcher from The Wristbandit...
My name is Sharon Butcher, I am the creative mind that lies behind The Wristbandit. I am a Columbus, Ohio native, OSU graduate, and a retired Art teacher for the Columbus Schools. I started my business "The Wristbandit" but I have been creating for years. I consider my jewelry to be wearable art, a small painting, relief sculpture or a collage. 

Making wearable art (jewelry) has been an interest of mine for years. While attending OSU I took several jewelry and metal smithing classes. The cost of materials when teaching moved me towards finding less expensive ways for students to create wearable art (jewelry). It was only natural for me to think in a direction, non-traditional materials, for my jewelry. While Shopping at one of my favorite thrift stores, I discovered the beauty of old leather belts and the rest is history. My materials come from thrift stores, garage sales, and friends. I use upcycled leather belts, reused costume jewelry parts, found objects, and hand-painted images and designs. Most are one of a kind.
I believe that I get my creativity from my childhood. I was taught to be a problem solver and to find ways to entertain myself. So, I made houses and furniture for my dolls from everyday items, puppets from old socks and paper dolls from catalog pictures. My parents never discouraged me from doing anything creative. 

My creative process is like a feeling I get of needing to create, and this is when I do my best work. I don't create everyday but I work everyday at some aspect of my business. When I sit down in my studio I am surrounded by lots of materials, what catches my eye might be the shape of a piece of leather or a found object and the process begins. 
I began my business two years ago. But I have been creating for years. When I started making wearable art it was just for the experience of creating. Later on I started giving it to friends as gifts. I enjoy the experience of sharing my art and running a business. I opened an Etsy in December 2010 and started doing shows in April 2011. I have since expanded into consignment shops.. 

Meet Ron Clemons from RNAphotos...
My name is Ron Clemons and I am the creator of RNAphotos. I work in tech support as my day job, and I use my photography as a chance to get out and escape from behind the computer. Nature provides a perfect contrast from my day-to-day life, so I particularly enjoy driving into the country and getting lost. Finding things that catch my eye enough to take a moment to get that perfect angle is really the driving force behind my art. I focus a lot of my work on old barns as well as nature because I see them as a relic of days gone by and of simpler times.

I developed my interest in photography about ten years ago, but it has only been within the last two or so years that I have started to seriously see photography as a hobby, rather than just a passing interest.
My creativity come from finding things that few people have seen. If I see a side rode that looks like it doesn't get much traffic, I assume that there are hidden treasures to be found that few people have seen. I may have a day where I take fifty good pictures, followed by a day that only yields two or three. The hunt is a big part of the fun of taking landscape photography.

The message behind my work is to not let nature pass you by. There is a lot of beauty to be found in nature and along the side of the road. A lot of the time it just seems that we are all too busy to actually see what is around us. I hope that my photography allows people to take a moment to appreciate the world around them.

Meet Wendy Wren from The Glass Loft...

My name is Wendy Wren and I am the crafter of The Glass Loft. I have been a crafter for as long as I can remember. Sewing, making candles, embroidery, painting, wire wrapping, etc., then I became hooked on glass crafting!

I have been doing glass crafting for about two and a half years but according to my dad, I have always been creative. He says I would see a game or toy and come home and make one myself. He said I did it to either improve it, or just say I made it! I have always loved glass, whether it was stained glass in a window, fused glass, sea glass or just colorful glass dishes.

My creative process changes, sometimes I look at a bottle and an idea just pops into my head. Other times I have to contemplate a while to decide the best use of a particular bottle.

True story on one of my first projects.. One of the first bottles I slumped had a rather large half bubble form under it. I even tried re-slumping it to get it flat, which didn't work. I ended up laying it on my work table to decide what to do with it later. When I revisited it I realized I placed it upside down so now it was a bowl like impression!........When I looked at it again, I had an idea! I covered the top surface in glue, covered it in sand, glued a couple of shells in the sand and put a votive candle in the "bowl"!  Viola! A beachy themed candle holder! It didn't want to be just a slumped bottle!
I enjoy working with glass because it is unique. Even if I try to do two exactly alike, they usually come out at least a little different. I believe that the message behind my work is that there is another life in an object just waiting for someone to bring it out. Crafting & creativity don't have to be expensive, look around and use your imagination!

Meet Bob Corby from Back Porch Comics...
My name is Bob Corby I am the owner of Back Porch Comics. I run the Small Press & Alternative Comics Expo (SPACE) in Columbus each year and have been a small press comics publisher since the mid-80s. Some of the comics I produce are hand printed linoleum cuts which is what will be featured at this show. I also produce Oh, Comics! an annual comics anthology which features many local Columbus area artists and writers and number of different minicomics.

I have been doing comic conventions since 1986, and started SPACE in 2000. I have also done a few craft shows in the past. I have been drawing comics since I was a child. I build ideas from the absurdity of daily life. I got interested in linoleum printing in high school, and was reintroduced to it as an advisor with the Art Explorer Post 407.

I began doing this as a business because I wanted people to read my work. It sparks from something within my imagination that I just want to share with others. I enjoy this hobby because I have a somewhat stressful regular career, so doing something handmade is very therapeutic.

The message that lies behind my work is don't let anybody stop you.

2013 Columbus February Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, February 16th 2013, 11:00am-5:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
Visit us on: