Friday, April 26, 2013

Beads and Buttons, Arts & Crafts that Have a Story

Meet Lisa Edwards from Edwards Galleria...
I was lucky to be born to an artistic father, who encouraged my creativity and allowed me the freedom to express myself starting at the age of 3. My grandmother was a fine seamstress, whose skills I admired greatly. I took all that I could learn from them, along with my desire to create beyond the norm and hone my skills into what they have become today.
Growing up in New Jersey has provided me with many life experiences and the ability to share cultures of many ethnic backgrounds, all of which I have reflected in my style of art. Although my art may not be for everyone, I create what I see and feel, bringing a style all its own.
2013 brings many new challenges and adventures. Up until October of 2012, I have been balancing both a full time company and exhibiting through out the State of Ohio with Edwards Galleria. I can now focus all of my energy, creativity and time into Edwards Galleria and finally bring my dream to its fullest extent. I will always travel exhibiting in shows, I love meeting new people and the travel. Although, within the next two years I hope to add a permanent location where my customers can come and see me. I have been traveling Ohio doing shows for seven years. I believe May will make my 5th show with Avant-Garde Art & Craft Shows.
Some of the greatest compliments are when someone says, “Well, I’ve never seen anything like that before.” I pride myself on the individuality of my work. I only create one of a kind pieces; I do not duplicate nor make prints. Simply, I am thankful that every day I get the opportunity to share a gift from God that I have been blessed with. The message behind my work is to see beauty in everything! Be unique, be you and no one else!

Meet Carol Wass from Studio Wass...
I am a practicing commercial real estate broker that spends every spare minute in my thrown together studio. I am a first time "Nana" to my grandson Charlie (now 11 months old). I am married to my wonderful husband David and we have 3 children, Caroline (husband Andrew), David Jr. and Robert. We currently reside in New Albany, Ohio.
I have been an artist nearly all my life. In high school, I spent a lot of my time in the art department. Upon graduation, I received a scholarship to attend CCAD (Columbus College of Art & Design). I went for one year and then got busy with life; I shelved my talents for quite some time. 
Every couple years my creativeness would pop out. Several years ago, our daughter was getting married and she asked if I would help design her wedding invitation. That did it! Now I cannot seem to stop getting new ideas out of my head!
I keep a small journal with me all the time so I can sketch things or write down ideas. My only real issue with being an artist is that I just never seem to have enough time. I can spend hours in my studio and lose track of time. I hope I can keep at this for as long as my fingers and eyes will let me.
I like trying new things and as with any art given some practice, it always gets better. I love drawing, watercolors, polymer clay, paper crafting, jewelry and most recently I have been experimenting in wire work.

Meet Michelle Whited of OH, Button!...
I'm a seamstress, artist, crafter, and theatre maker. My education is in graphic design, and by day (and many nights), I help run Available Light Theatre, a Columbus-grown theatre company focused on creating new and original work. I've been sewing for about as long as I've been talking; I was raised by a long line of crafty, creative people. This will be my second Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show as a vendor, and third as a shopper! 
I've been working specifically with buttons for about 2 years. It started with the greeting cards. I made Christmas cards with buttons, and fell in love. From there, my button collection grew from a jar to a box, sorted by color, size and shape. Now, my collection is massive, and I'm constantly experimenting with new ways to use buttons.
For me, creating and crafting is my outlet/stress reliever. After a busy work week, my favorite thing to do is sit down in my workroom and play with buttons. I draw inspiration for the work from everywhere. Mostly, the materials inspire me, from the buttons themselves, to the reclaimed fabrics I use for my sewn items. But, sometimes I see jewelry in a store, or on a person, and think I could create something similar with buttons. 
Most of my family is creative. I have a grandfather who is an amazing woodworker and another who was a singer. My grandmothers were excellent seamstresses, and many of my aunts and uncles are artists, either drawing or painting, crafting, sewing, or performing artists. My father is more artistic than he would admit; he helped me create a lot of my booth displays. Probably the most influential, however, is my mom. She made a lot of my clothing growing up, including my prom dresses. She also decorated cakes, made dresses, and fixed sewing machines for people all throughout my childhood. She's the one I call when I need help thinking through an idea (and when I'm having issues with my sewing machine).
My creative process usually begins with the materials. For jewelry, I start with a pile of buttons that I think look beautiful together. Then, I start wiring them together, letting the buttons inspire the outcome. For my sewn items, it begins with the fabric. I use only reclaimed fabrics, and scraps from other projects. If I don't like something half way through, I take it apart and start over. It's not uncommon for me to tinker with a new design for hours until I get it just right. 
The message behind my work is about beauty in, and story behind, the unexpected and common things. Buttons are so simple, and they're everywhere. We hardly notice them most of the time. But some of them look like little jewels. And, my favorite buttons to work with are the ones that have a story. Like the jar of vintage buttons passed on from my grandmother, who sorted through them with me and told me which garment each button came from. Most vintage and reclaimed materials have a story, whether we know the story or not. The beauty and stories surround us. I think we should embrace that more. 

Meet Carol Crawford...
I am retired from a local insurance company. My husband and I have two adult children and two grandsons. I am from Pennsylvania originally and relocated to Ohio in 1986. 
From the time that I was a child I have always enjoyed crafts. Today, I find that crafting gives me a sense of satisfaction. When I can take a piece of fabric and with thread turn it into a unique creation, I find the process to be delightful and good for the soul. 
My father was skilled at taking odds and ends and turning them into wonderful results. Also, he wanted to have his own business. I was always intrigued with his talent. I like to think that I have carried on his talent and also that I have brought his small business goal to fruition. I am somewhat like a sponge. I have a tendency to soak up ideas from many sources, ponder them for a while and then see how I can turn them into my own unique craft.
In five years, I see myself continuing as a small business entrepreneur in the local community. I am a one-person operation offering one-of-a-kind handmade items at very affordable prices.

I craft with fabric primarily and try to offer something for everyone. When participating as a vendor in shows, I thoroughly enjoy chatting with customers and providing insights on how I make my items. Likewise, I listen to customers, and I value their suggestions.
2013 Columbus Spring Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show

Saturday, May 11th 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm

St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Cooper, Event Coordinator at
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