Handmade Crafts » Handmade Art http://www.mountainmade.com/blog The blog of West Virginia handmade art and handmade crafts. Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:48:29 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.5 en hourly 1 New from WVU Ceramics Studio http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-from-wvu-ceramics-studio http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-from-wvu-ceramics-studio#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 20:21:26 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1163 Before West Virginia University broke for Spring Break, MountainMade stopped in at the Ceramics Studio and discovered a treasure trove of affordable, functional pieces for you. The WVU Ceramics program is a 3-year intensive program dedicated to teaching traditional pottery making and providing their students with the techniques and skills needed to work as potters.

We selected a few place settings offering dinner and luncheon plates as well as a selection of bowls, cups, mugs, ramekins, mugs and bake ware. These student made pieces are functional, beautiful and just feel good in your hands. Complimentary glazes allow for a few select “sets’, but eclectic collections that you will enjoy using as much as we do. All pieces are sturdy, stoneware pieces that are dishwasher, oven and microwave safe.

This IS the next generation of potters. Built with the integrity and character that can only be found in West Virginia. Enjoy and use well!

New pottery from WVU Ceramics Studio.

New pottery from WVU Ceramics Studio.

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Tuesday after Cyber Monday http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/tuesday-after-cyber-monday http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/tuesday-after-cyber-monday#comments Tue, 30 Nov 2010 13:25:41 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1069 MountainMade’s elves are busy updating its website daily adding new products and restocking items. We’re featuring lively handmade holiday items like the Snowflake Snowman, beautiful and functional pieces such as the wooden jewelry case created by Thom and Sue Anne Kellam and a whimsical Duck Dish by Herb Weaver.

Our staff hopes you will find our website easy to navigate and the source of many holiday treasures. If you should have a question about a product, please give us a call and one of us will be glad to assist you.

From now until December 20, MountainMade is offering FREE UPS Standard Ground Shipping except for furniture purchases. Rich has packed and shipped our artisan works domestically and internationally pleasing both the gift giver and receiver. If you ordered over the weekend, the package was on its way Monday.

Make your holiday giving special with a gift of West Virginia fine arts and crafts from MountanMade. West Virginia artisans appreciate your support.
cyber monday

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Packing up and Heading to Fairmont http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/packing-up-and-heading-to-fairmont http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/packing-up-and-heading-to-fairmont#comments Tue, 16 Nov 2010 18:42:49 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1063 Rich and Carrie are busy picking out and packing up its artisan products for the Holiday Market this weekend at the historic High Gate Carriage House in Fairmont.

For those of you who can’t make it to Thomas to do your holiday shopping, come to High Gate Friday and Saturday November 19 and 20 between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.

We’re bringing a selection of product specifically chosen for Fairmont including popular potters Tygart River Pottery, Lambros, and Brian Van Nostrand among others; and glass pieces by Blenko, Ron Hinkle, Appalachian Glass, and Lynn Gundry. Other artisan products will also be available including holiday items, bath and beauty products, toys, photographs, original art works, wooden bowls and utensils, food items and music. We’ll also have a few pieces by Mary Olive Jones.

If you can’t make it to Fairmont or Thomas, we’ll be in Morgantown at Arts Mon

A sampling of the artisan works coming to Fairmont.

A sampling of the artisan works coming to Fairmont.

on High Street December 9-11. Happy Shopping.

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MountainMade Adds Spice to Your Thanksgiving http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-adds-spice-to-your-thanksgiving http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-adds-spice-to-your-thanksgiving#comments Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:45:03 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1057 Thanksgiving maybe two weeks away, but in many homes, preparations are already underway.

As you prepare for the holiday, add a Ron Hinkle’s glass pumpkin to brighten your table. The orange color will be enhanced by MountainMade’s natural taper candlelight. These natural candles also come in votive and tall pillars and are carefully created by MountainMade’s Heidi Haldeen.

Add a new food product to your dining table. Ordinary Evelyn’s Cranberry Walnut Jam or Thistle Dew Farm’s Cream Cranberry Honey will be a tasty complement to the turkey and dressing.

Visit the Food

Only a few of MountainMade products to enhance your holiday.

Only a few of MountainMade products to enhance your holiday.

section on our website for other West Virginia food artisan products to add spice to your Thanksgiving table.

Bon Appétit!!

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MountainMade now located at Cafe Cimino in Sutton, WV. http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-now-located-at-cafe-cimino-in-sutton-wv http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-now-located-at-cafe-cimino-in-sutton-wv#comments Wed, 29 Sep 2010 12:30:01 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1006 Tim and Melody Urbanic at Cafe Cimino

Tim and Melody Urbanic at Cafe Cimino

MountainMade has another home and it’s right in the center of West Virginia.  Café Cimino Country Inn in Sutton is now featuring the fine arts and crafts of some of West Virginia’s best artists. Now, when shopping for MountainMade artisan gifts, one can also enjoy their “new digs”.

Café Cimino Country Inn offers 10 elegant guest rooms in an exquisite Colonial Revival Estate, circa 1898. Gracefully situated on the Elk River, the Inn affords discriminating guests casual elegance and a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere for their getaway. Guests of the Inn also enjoy spa services and recreation on the Elk River and Sutton Lake. The grounds are spacious and inviting, offering several little “nooks and crannies” where you can relax and talk, read, enjoy a meal or just “be“.

Café Cimino Country Inn’s restaurant is a leader in West Virginia’s “Farm to Table” and the “Slow Food” Movement. As in Italy, dining at Cimino’s allows one to enjoy the whole experience and linger for hours with friends and family. The Inn features fresh food grown on the family farm and by local growers. The chefs at the Inn have been trained by Executive Chef Tim Urbanic, an old world chef, whose reverence for food and of the dining experience has made this property one of West Virginia’s premiere destinations.

The Urbanics say that the addition of MountainMade to the Inn’s amenities is a “perfect fit” since both businesses’ share the same clientèle.  ”I think that our demographic/target markets are the same people; ones that know, appreciate and demand quality in whatever they do in life”, adds Melody.

Melody Urbanic
Chef Tim Urbanic

Café Cimino Country Inn

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MountainMade Partners With Café Cimino Country Inn http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-partners-with-cafe-cimino-country-inn http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/mountainmade-partners-with-cafe-cimino-country-inn#comments Wed, 22 Sep 2010 19:54:29 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=1002 The staff at Café Cimino Country Inn waits to delight visitors to Sutton, West Virginia.

The staff at Café Cimino Country Inn waits to delight visitors to Sutton, West Virginia.

Café Cimino Country Inn is pleased to announce that MountainMade will place a selection of West Virginia fine arts for sale in their restaurant and Inn located in Sutton, West Virginia.

This partnership is a natural fit for both Café Cimino and MountainMade.  Café Cimino is a place of casual elegance in the heart of West Virginia.  Owners Tim and Melody Urbanic have been supporters of the arts especially the dramatic art and culinary arts for many years.

“We are thrilled to offer MountainMade arts and crafts here at our Inn,” says Melody.  ”We feel that it gives our guests just one more reason to come to our little town of Sutton.  Over the years, our guests have shown their impeccable taste; they appreciate the fine food, accommodations and atmosphere we offer and we know they will also appreciate the fine arts and crafts that the MountainMade brand represents.

MountainMade, headquartered in Thomas, promotes West Virginia fine arts and crafts.  “Seeking new retail locations is one of the tools we are pursuing to develop a strong artisan base in West Virginia,” according to Becky Henderson, General Manager.  “Featuring our West Virginia artisans at Café Cimino will give their guests the opportunity to see how the art might look in their home or office.”

Melody agrees, “Café Cimino Country Inn has always been committed to promoting West Virginia artists and we’re excited about this new partnership which allows our guests to purchase original MountainMade works of art on display throughout the Main House, Cimino’s Little Dishes, and the Guest Rooms. We invite our guests to come take a little bit of West Virginia home with you.”

Melody and Tim are working with MountainMade’s staff to select the artisan work for display.  The artisan works will continually change with all photographs and two-dimension work changing with the seasons.

Café Cimino is located in a lovely historic mansion at the end of a quiet main street-gracefully situated on the banks of the scenic Elk River in Sutton.  It offers world Class gourmet dining, luxurious lodging and comfortable southern hospitality.

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Natural Beeswax Candles From MountainMade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/natural-beeswax-candles-from-mountainmade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/natural-beeswax-candles-from-mountainmade#comments Mon, 06 Sep 2010 05:00:24 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=985

MountainMade offers a variety of natural, handmade candles.

MountainMade offers a variety of natural, handmade candles.

MountainMade began making beeswax candles in 2005. We had a full-time candle-maker who perfected the craft. She created an amazing stock of inventory. Traditional tapers, votives, pillars and jar candles are available as well as signature candles like our River Rocks and Candle “Sticks” and Log Pillars.

Beeswax burns cleaner and longer than traditional paraffin candles. It will burn in a pool and drip less, a great plus for any candle lover. Better yet, no overwhelming fragrance. Beeswax emits a natural honeycomb fragrance all its own. We also add balsam fir and cranberry scents to some of the candles we create.

We now make candles as needed. I have been the MountainMade candlemaker for 3 years. I have made thousands of River Rock and Stick candles, by pouring (and back filling) beeswax into the silicone molds. It’s a lot of fun and I can make dozens within an 8-hour day.

I have recently gotten back to dipping tapers. This is challenging because Natalie, the original candle-maker, perfected her craft by making them every day. She set a standard that demands that our tapers be long and smooth (no bumps or lumps). This sounds simple, but can be harder than you think. And that distinguishes our tapers from other hand-dipped tapers. Most have imperfections that you can see and feel.

The dry rack we use will hold 56 pairs of tapers. Eight racks are strung with a cotton wick before marking (each taper is almost 10 inches long) and dipping into the “hot box.” The smooth texture is created by dipping several times according to the temperature of the waxed surface. This takes a while and then the candles have to dry or cure before each pair can be cut from the rack, cleaned and packaged. Then you clean, rewick the racks and do it again.

Patience is key to making a beautiful candle. Jar candles can be a challenge, too. Like the River Rocks the wax is poured and I back-fill several times. The glass changes the chemistry of the wax and achieving a smooth top that doesn’t sink can be hard. Patience and practice. I’m gearing up now for winter and the much loved Tree Tumblers and Tree Jar candles.

Making candles is a little messy, but it’s lots of fun and achieving mastery is a great kick.

MountainMade also sells candles made from Soy (The Soy Shoppe) and Hemp Oil (Home Towne Candles). Like beeswax, they burn cleaner and longer than paraffin candles.

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Being Blessed — I Am MountainMade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/being-blessed-%e2%80%94-i-am-mountainmade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/being-blessed-%e2%80%94-i-am-mountainmade#comments Tue, 31 Aug 2010 05:00:30 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=977 Most days, you'll find Heidi Haldeen serving artists and guests at The MountainMade Gallery in Thomas, WV.

Most days, you'll find Heidi Haldeen serving artists and guests at The MountainMade Gallery in Thomas, WV.

I have been very blessed to work at MountainMade. I am surrounded every day by a quality, excellence and a committed group of people who believe in what we do: We represent West Virginia artists and craftspeople by knowing and promoting their work.

I am on the front-line. I have other duties, but I am often one of the first people to greet you when you walk in the door, email or call with a question. I don’t always know the answer, but I’ll find out and get back with you as soon as I can.

The “gift” is the relationship(s) I have with our customers.

We meet new people every day, but many of you have become friends. The Gallery is an open, intimate space that invites lingering exploration. I’m here to answer your questions and guide you in your search for the perfect gift, but “it’s got to be the right fit.” We get to learn a bit about your stories and your passions and preferences. We learn what’s most important to you. Your trust and commitment to quality, handmade goods keeps us alive and growing.

I am reminded of this every day. Today it was the couple who had been in 6-plus weeks ago and seen a Beth Crowder pastel and came back just to see her exhibit. Needless to say, they’ll enjoy a few of Beth’s whimsical critters and her detailed landscapes for years to come. To answer the phone and be serenaded by an artist who knows that today is my birthday is delightful. The customer who meets me at the grocery and makes the connection — MountainMade! This IS the good stuff.

But, the winning recent memory is the gentleman who shook my hand because I helped him and his wife create the perfect wedding gift for a young man who made a life and death difference to their family. A custom-made piece of glassware that will be used and cherished for a lifetime. To hear your story, makes mine better.

I AM MountainMade and part of a greater whole. I keep good company. Yours.

I look forward to serving you.

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It’s Never Too Early To Think About Holiday Markets http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/its-never-too-early-to-think-about-holiday-markets http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/its-never-too-early-to-think-about-holiday-markets#comments Mon, 30 Aug 2010 05:00:04 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=970 Arts Mon and the High Gate Carriage House will host two holiday markets with MountainMade.

Arts Mon and the High Gate Carriage House will host two holiday markets with MountainMade.

For those of you who can’t make it to Thomas to do your holiday shopping this year, MountainMade will hold Holiday Markets in Fairmont and Morgantown.  The MountainMade team recently visited the two locations to discuss details.

On November 19 and 20, MountainMade will partner with Vandalia Heritage Foundation to host a market at the historic High Gate Carriage House in Fairmont.

High Gate, an architectural treasure, is a popular venue for community events and private parties.  Laura Kurtz Kuhns, President of Vandalia, gave us some of the history of the building an it importance to the Fairmont.  During our recent visit, final arrangements were in process for a weekend wedding.  MountainMade will set up in the foyer bringing a selection of product specifically selected to sell in Fairmont.  High Gate is located at 830 Walnut Avenue.

Beginning December 9 through 11, MountainMade will partner with Arts Mon for a holiday market in Morgantown.  Arts Mon promotes public appreciation and interest in ALL of the arts including, but not limited to: dance, dramatic and performing arts, literary arts, music of all types, and visual arts!

Arts Mon will provide a perfect venue for MountainMade to showcase its talented artisans.  Visiting with Jeannie Kuhn, Executive Director, we discuss how to display the product for the holiday market.  To support their programs, MountainMade will pay Arts Mon a percentage of sales from the three-day event. Arts Mon is located in historic downtown Morgantown at 201 High Street.

If you would like for us to bring a specific product to one of these markets, please send me an email, and we’ll do our best to bring it.  (bhenderson@mountainmade.com)  As the date approaches, please check our website for additional details.

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A Visit To WVU Ceramics Studio http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/a-visit-to-wvu-ceramics-studio http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/a-visit-to-wvu-ceramics-studio#comments Fri, 27 Aug 2010 05:00:48 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=963 Artists using the WVU Ceramics Studio create a steady supply for The MountainMade Gallery.

Artists using the WVU Ceramics Studio create a steady supply for The MountainMade Gallery.

Carrie, Rich and Becky recently visited the new WVU Ceramics Production Studio.  Relocated from its former home in the Creative Arts Center to Baker’s Ridge Road, the new studio provides retail and studio space.

Chris Brown, Production Studio Manager, took us on a tour of the studio and described the process they utilize and their equipment.  Chris describes how the new kiln works, which he designed with the input from experts, and the amount of product they can fire.  Their product is handcrafted by students, faculty and staff and is dishwasher and microwave safe.

The ceramics program at WVU places a strong emphasis on traditional pottery making and the techniques and skills required to be sound, versatile artist/potters.  “We are one of the few programs in America that are using semi-industrial products to help students prepare for realistic jobs,” Brown said.

Carrie and Rich purchased mugs, casseroles, fruit bowls and other pieces.  We expect to make another trip as the product is flying out of the store before we can load it to the web.

Be sure to check out the ceramics section of the online store, too!

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