Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Show Time!

Meet Heather Warner from Heather Warner Designs...
I was born and raised in Connecticut, and came to Ohio the first time to attend Miami University, where I earned degrees in History of Art & Architecture and Housing & Interior Design. After graduating I worked in the Interior/Retail/Architectural Design world for a decade. By then my
husband and I were living in San Francisco and trying to decide where to go next. After much contemplation, we decided to return to Ohio. We now live in southeast Ohio where we are having the time of our lives raising our two beautiful daughters in the beautiful countryside.

I began experimenting with gourds and various art techniques over nine years ago. But it was not until we moved back to Ohio that I began to really focus on gourd art. In 2011 I started my business and have been focused on Gourd Art ever since.

This is my first show! I have had the pleasure of shopping one in the past, and can’t wait to exhibit at one.

I get inspiration from all aspects of my life, but truly most of my inspiration is derived from nature. Many of my pieces are of animals. I find that the organic shapes of gourds lend perfectly to the organic shapes of critters. Often the gourds tell me what they want to be, just by their shape.

I am the type of person who has to be creating/making something. I can’t go too long without making something of some sort, and I like to try lots of different things. That’s why I love gourds so much, you can do anything with gourds. You can carve them, burn them, paint them, fill them, hollow them, the list goes on and on. Creating art out of gourds satisfies my creative itch in so many ways.

I have been making and designing things since I was a little kid. When I discovered gourds, and all of their possibilities, they not only met my desire to dabble in different techniques and styles, they also pulled from my educational and professional background in Interior & Architectural Design. I discovered that making sculptures out of gourds was a natural process for me, since I am so used to envisioning my designs in three dimensions.

I am big on coming up with ideas at any given time or place, and I often sketch up designs and ideas I have so that I can revisit them when I am in my studio. However, after years of working with gourds, I have discovered that you really need to start with the gourd itself. It doesn’t matter what your idea is, if the gourds doesn’t want to be what you want it to be, then the piece is not successful. I record my ideas and then go to the barn to search for a gourd that will fit the bill. Many times, however, I end up coming back with a gourd that has nothing to do with my original intent, but ends up being a piece that is even better than I planned on creating. You have to work with the gourd, instead of trying to force it to be what you want it to be.

My hope is to continue to grow my business as my children grow. I imagine I will still be doing shows from time to time in 5 years, as I rely on the input I get first hand from shoppers. However, the reality of doing multiple shows ever year is difficult with an active family life. Soccer games, dance recitals and such can’t be rescheduled so I have begun to shift my focus more on offering my pieces in galleries and shops. At the moment you can find my artwork in three Ohio galleries/shops. I hope to increase this number in the next five years, and even expand beyond Ohio.

Being green and environmentally conscious is always important to me, in both my artwork and in my life. I even grow my own gourds and personally search out natural bases such as driftwood and stones in nature. However, I have to say that art as a personal expression, as a personal need, is even more important to me. There is an excerpt from Agatha Christie’s autobiography that has always stuck with me: 
One does feel proud to belong to the human race when one sees the       wonderful things human beings have fashioned with their hands. They have been creators- they must share a little the holiness of the
Creator, who made the world and all that was in it, and saw that it was good. But He left more to be made. He left the things to be fashioned by men's hands. He left them to fashion them, to follow in his footsteps because they were made in in his image, to see what they made, and see that it was good.” 
To me this quote helps put into words the need so many artists feel to create, and at the same time validates the need. It conveys art as more than a frivolous act. 

Meet Jodi Malloy from MJM Creations...
I am a mother of two, who loves family, friends, fall weather, and of course the Buckeyes! My mom was always very crafty, and we would do little craft projects growing up, and that rubbed off on me. I love making things and being able to add my own little twist to them. I am a perfectionist in everything I do, and love meeting and talking to new people.
I actually just started making headbands, sandals, and tutu’s this year. I had a little girl a year ago and I started making her headbands, and tutu’s for our impromptu photo shoots. It was something I enjoyed doing and then I hurt my hip in May and had to have surgery so I was off my feet for a while. I figured this would be something to keep me busy, turns out I love doing it, and people seem to love them too! 
As I mentioned above this is all new to me so I am happy to say this will be my first show!
Hands down my kids are my inspiration for all my creations.
I have been into crafting since I was little. My mom and I would do a lot of baking and craft projects together, and I even took craft projects to the fair through 4-H. As a little kid I can always remember my mom letting me help her make a wreath for the front door, or making apple and rhubarb pies. Her crafts would always turn out so pretty and ask my brothers, the pies were to die for! I always thought that someday I hope I am as good as she is at making things like that! Well turns out her baking did not rub off on me, but her creativity did!
I don’t know if I would say I discovered any kind of talent, I would just say I discovered that I enjoy making things and seeing a nice finished project that I can say I did and be proud of.
I would describe my creative process as organized chaos! Every night after work I pick the kids up, and make supper, play with the kids, and then when it is bed time clean everything up. Once all of that mess has been cleaned up, I start my own mess. I get my craft bins out and get to work on any orders I have. Normally, I will spend an hour or two working on these each night and then I will clean it all up and go to bed. When I am working there is stuff everywhere, I like to see all my colors and options laid out, but at the same time what has not been pulled out is very organized by color and everything has a place. I try all sorts of color options and patterns until I find what I think is the perfect combo, and then I get to work on it!
It is hard to say where I see my business in five years because this is my first year doing craft shows and festivals. So far I enjoy it, so I am hoping 5 years from now I will be a regular at some of these shows and my daughter will be able to start helping with some of my crafting just like I used to help my mom.
The message behind my work is FUN!! I have fun making them, and little girls have fun wearing them. This is something I do for the sheer pleasure of it. I love watching how happy a simple headband/tutu make a little girl and her mom! It is fun and people have fun with it, so my message would be to just have fun with it!
Meet Theresa Cho from Theresa Cho Designs...
My name is Theresa Cho, I'm originally from Philadelphia PA and have recently moved to the Columbus area. I have a background in Fashion Design and was on an episode of TLC's 'Who's Wedding is it Anyway' while I was an Assistant Bridal Designer. When the economy took a turn, I changed careers to jewelry design. I get mistaken for 10 years younger all the time. I don't get it, but I guess it's a good thing.
I was an engagement ring designer/jeweler for the largest jewelry store in the tri-state area (Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware) for 4 years before I decided to start my own line of costume jewelry and accessories. I Started my own line a little over 2 years ago.
I've actually never participated in a craft show.  I did have my own store last year, and that was the plan for Ohio, but when I heard about the great craft shows Ohio had to offer I decided to try my hand at it.
Honestly, I love all things sparkly.  Maybe it's a Philly thing, but I love everything cute, sparkly and unique. I'm an extremely visual person. I get these ideas of things I want and I make them. When I was little my first book I decided to read was a children's encyclopedia on gems and minerals.  English is my second language, so I was able to bring my own book to my ESL class and my teacher was surprised I chose an encyclopedia, but it was the photos that fascinated me and I wanted to learn more about the photos.
I wouldn't consider the jewelry design a craft hobby because I did it as a full time career.  I do make hair accessories for little girls and that definitely fits in as a hobby of mine.  I'm at that age where all of my friends are having babies and I have the baby fever thing going. I started by making them as gifts, and people loved them so much I made them to sell at my store.
I have been making things since I was little.  I had a great big imagination and I would take scraps of paper and fabric and make my dolls clothes. I am pretty good at making all sorts of things. Except making food.
I often see things and think to myself that would look better if.... I am also a stickler for quality.  Nothing drives me crazier than overpaying for poor craftsmanship and quality and often I find myself designing and making things because what is available on the market isn't as nice as it should be.  It's a lot like a problem solving process to me. Sometimes I finish things and take a step back and think it's not quite right, and I'll add something else to complete it and sometimes it takes me a long time before I come up with what was missing.
I would love to open my own store again for sure. It is definitely harder than I thought to move and start all over again. I have something really big in the works with my children's hair accessory line right now, and hopefully that blows up even bigger in the next 5 years.
The message behind my work is quality and affordability.  I try really hard to make sure everything has been thoroughly inspected and is as nice as it can be. I have gone all over the world to find the best materials.  I don't believe in charging people more than I would pay.  If I have to charge someone more than what I think it's worth, I won't make it.  I want everyone to have the opportunity to wear something nice.  I think most designers love hearing "that's so pretty" or "that's so cute". My intent with all of my designs is to make sure the wearer is complimented on it every time they wear it.

Meet Tracie Bayer from Blessed Beginnings...
My name is Tracie Bayer. I have a wonderfully supportive family. I was a pediatric nurse for 7 years until I was diagnosed with 2 major illnesses that caused me to have to stop practicing nursing. About 5 years ago, my grandmother taught me how to sew and I found out that I loved it, just as she always had! 
I sewed with my grandmother until she passed away a couple of months ago, when I inherited her sewing machine, and I have since continued her hobby, as well as taken on quilting. This will be my first Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show. I am most inspired by my 7 year old son. He has an amazing eye for color and fabric combinations, and he loves picking out decorative stitches on my machine for my projects. 
I especially enjoy creating children's items and fun blankets for kids. In fact, I spend most of my time quilting for a non-profit organization in Delaware. We donate baby quilts to Grady Memorial Hospital for the newborns born there. I love looking through fabric remnants and finding pieces that match that I can quilt together in fun designs. In the future, I would like to spend more time learning and practicing new sewing and quilting techniques.

2014 Columbus Fall Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Saturday, September 20, 2014 - 10:00am-4:00pm
St. Agatha's Parish Hall
1860 Northam Rd
Columbus, OH 43221
For more information, contact Becki Silverstein, Event Coordinator at
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