Friday, June 26, 2015

Inside the Studio: Mary Harding

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Congratulations to Carolyn You've won a $20.00 Gift Certificate to Woot!  Email Heather  to claim your win!!
Welcome to My Studio!!  It is a beautiful sunny summer day today!!  I have been working hard on three fronts lately and I will give you a brief peek into all of these doings.

Front Number 1
I have been doing a lot of glazing in the last few days.  I was having difficulty getting these toggle clasps to stay on the skewer sticks because the stringing holes are just a bit too big.  In desperation I came up with using my fingers to touch up the clear glaze!! 
            Not recommended unless you are in a pinch for something to hold your pieces!!!  LOL!!
Why so busy you ask???
I have been making work to take to a very special art festival in our area called The Mare's Wares Art Fest.  It hashappened every year for the past  7  years on Canada Day!!  That means July 1.  This year that is a Wednesday.  Lots of folks cross the St. Lawrence River on one of several bridges, depending where they live in Canada and come on over.  It is a very fun event with many vendors, live bands, demonstrations and fun activities.  I will have an assortment of my ceramic pendants ready to turn into a simple necklace

Some of the ceramic pendants I will have for simple necklaces.

Continuing with the Leaf theme this month, I made these little leaves all with the same texture plate I made from a small Oak leaf.  I plan to turn them into earring.  Love how they came out.
It has been quite a while since I did a show, so I am a bit nervous.  Luckily I know many of the artists who will be there.  I am looking forward to a fun day.

Front Number 2

Tonight is the  opening of the St. Lawrence County Arts Council Members Exhibition at the Gibson Gallery on the  campus of Potsdam College.  I was so pleased that our arts council collaborated on this event.  It has been an opportunity for all members to have their art work exhibited. Each member was eligible to have one piece shown and then possibly a second or third one would be juried in.  I am pleased to have two of my necklaces on display.

Flamenco necklace by Mary Harding
 Necklace by Mary Harding      Mrs. Senn's Fish  Inspired by a short story titled Mrs. Senn
                                                     written by Jumpa Lahiri

I credit our arts council with getting me going on selling my work.  They were so encouraging and best of all they gave all members a venue for selling by opening a store front.  They taught us about the business of selling.  Now that they no longer have  the shop,  they have found other ways of providing artists in this area with opportunities for being seen and for selling work.  Tonight being one of them.  I am so grateful for their work.

Front Number 3
I am taking an online class with Keith Lo Bue called Steeling Beauty through Artful Gathering
.We use  this humble annealed steel rebar wire for all of our lessons.( see picture below)

                                                             steel rebar wire

I just love this wire since it is soft and fairly easy to work. And the way it looks when it has been forged and polished is next to sublime!!

Keith is a wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor.  This is my second on line class with him.  I hope to share some of my creations in a post later in the summer.  So far I have watched all the videos and done some experimenting.  Nothing yet too enlightening.  But I really enjoy forging on my steel anvil.  So satisfying.

Well that is a quick look at what has been happening inside my studio so far this summer.  Now on to the question we ask each time:

When I was writing about our arts council, I thought I would like to know more about how other art councils work .  

So here is my question for today.   Are you involved in your local/state arts council?  How do they extend help and services to artists in your area?  I would really be interested to know.Your comment can also be about any kind of group that helps out artist since I don't know if all states have arts councils.

All related comments will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a $20.00 gift certificate to my  Etsy shop.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.


Kathy Lindemer said...

I had to google Delaware Arts Council to see if we have one here. We do, however, I am not clear what it does. We do have lots of local Art Leagues and I am active in several. They offer classes and shows that I participate in.

Terri Del Signore said...

I am in a really rural area in Canada. I know these artist groups exist in the major cities. They put on shows and do other events. I have always felt a little too far off the beaten path to benefit from these groups. I have debated it though. I'm sure there would be benefits! Maybe it's really the writing of an artist statement that intimidates me and distance is my excuse lol!!

Terri said...

Not involved in the Local/State art council...I think I would be interested in how the extend help to artist in our area...good question!


I wasn't even aware of the existence of such councils, I'm more than intrigued to inquire about and participate in one, after reading this post.
Beautiful work, I adore your flower pendants, thank you!

Despina Veneti

Rising Designs said...

Hi Mary, it's always so nice to see your posts. You have such a down to earth approach to jewelry making that so appeals to me. Even though your pieces are meticulously and artistically created.
Thanks you for always being so helpful and endearingly friendly throughout the years.

thecolorofdreams said...

Currently, I am not involved with the local art groups, but a new facility has opened in the area and I would like to investigate the possibility of what they do.

Katherine Thompson said...

Same as Terri I haven't thought that far ahead though there are several Art Fairs in our area I'm not sure I'm ready for that...Yet!

Linda said...

I don't belong to any art councils but we have some less formal groupings of artists helping artists, such as an extended neighborhood group that hosts a garden tour an art show, a local Etsy group and then just a close knit group of local artists that help & support one another thru conversation and sharing.

Elizabeth said...

I'm sure Texas has an Art's Council but I've never seen them active in my part of Texas (El Paso). I'm sure they focus on the Austin area. Anyway, locally we have lots of active groups. El Paso is such a blend of cultures and being on the border makes for unique opportunities on both sides. We have a very successful Art in the Park event every April-ish that brings together local artists and crafts people to network and sell. Our Junior League also puts on a nice event for Christmas around October. Ft. Bliss (which is a big part of El Paso) has an event each year that brings artists together on the base.

All in all for a dusty, desert town we do alright artfully speaking.


Mary Harding said...

Thank you one and all for your interesting comments. I am pleased that my question might result in looking into your area arts council. In my experience they are not competitive and are there to help all artists. I was happy to read that some of your have local support from less formal associations, as well.