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 Discover These MountainMade Artists For Fall http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/discover-these-mountainmade-artists-for-fall http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/discover-these-mountainmade-artists-for-fall#comments Wed, 01 Sep 2010 05:00:25 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=981 Come see the fall foliage for Leaf Peepers Festival, and swing by the majestic Blackwater Falls.

Come see the fall foliage for Leaf Peepers Festival, and swing by the majestic Blackwater Falls.

The nights are getting a bit cooler and kids and teachers are going back to school. Ready or not, fall is upon us. The trees are a-bloom with apples and there’s a hint of fall colors beginning to emerge.

September is around the corner. There’s still time to come in and find a great deal on acrylic/pastel artist Beth Crowder, and botanical artist Bruce Wilson will soon be exhibiting in the Gallery.

Bruce makes much of his own papers and using flowers, leaves, fibers, etc., to create. An archivist by trade, he elegantly mattes and frames each piece in archival glass.

Whether for your home or office check out Matt Thomas’ shelves (24” and 32”). Handcrafted using West Virginia oak, cherry and walnut, Matt’s shelves offer a lasting elegance and and much needed space to your workspace.

It’s the perfect time to plan a get away to Thomas. There are some great room rates and lots of fresh air. Don’t forget Leaf Peepers Festival, Sept. 24-26, 2010.

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West Virginia’s Very Own Marble King http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/west-virginias-very-own-marble-king http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/west-virginias-very-own-marble-king#comments Wed, 14 Jul 2010 20:19:40 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=933 Marble King

Becky Henderson (far right) of MountainMade launches a Marble King marble down one of the toys at the gallery.

West Virginia is known for its rich tradition in fine art glass and marbles. Did you know that Marble King, Inc., was founded in 1949 by Berry Pink and Seller Peltier in St. Mary’s, W.Va.?

The factory didn’t move to Paden City, W.Va., until 1958 when Manager Roger Howdyshell relocated the factory after the original one was destroyed by fire. Howdyshell, who purchased Marble King in 1983, was the first to create cat’s eye marbles and veneering marbles.

Marble King, Inc., is still owned and operated by the Howdyshell family. The factory is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year and is touted as “The world’s best known and best loved quality marbles.” Marble King marbles have been featured in the movies Goonies, Hook and Home Alone.

Marbles aren’t just for tournament play. MountainMade is proud to carry Marble King Marbles and several Mountain Craft Shop toys, heirloom toys that family and friends will enjoy for generations.

Made from real wood (no plastic!) harvested here in West Virginia. Simple treasures and mind teasers like the Marble Trick, shuttle Puzzle to the beloved Marble Trees and Marble Chutes.

There is fun for kids of all ages. Of course, when you pick up the Marble Blister Pack of Marbles you’ll learn how to play those old marble games and what a “mig” is and why a shooter is called a “taw.”

So, what are you waiting for? Get your game on!

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Lights, Camera, Action At MountainMade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/lights-camera-action-at-mountainmade http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/lights-camera-action-at-mountainmade#comments Sun, 11 Jul 2010 22:00:05 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=924 On Camera At MountainMade

Working at MountainMade provides a constant source of challenges. On any given day, there are new details in running a retail business.

This winter presented additional problems brought by the record snowfall in Tucker County. However, taping the video pieces was a completely different challenge for one who prefers to take care of business without much attention.

First of all, I am not a MountainMade artisan. What I know about our artisans and their art I have learned from them. I hope and worry that the way I have related their craft, skills and history is correct.

Second, I have never been a thespian. At times, I can still be anxious before giving a talk or presentation. While filming these videos, I strove to clearly relate the details of the artisan’s skills and keep my knees from knocking.

And I worried about my appearance. How did my hair look? Did I slouch? In the midst of it all, I could hear my mother saying “stand up straight.” Of course, this had nothing to do with the quality of the video.

I hope the artisans are satisfied with my comments on their craft that I related in the video pieces. I am truly in awe everyday when I see what their talents can create.

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July Exhibiting Artist: Charlotte Gerlach http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/july-exhibiting-artist-charlotte-gerlach http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/july-exhibiting-artist-charlotte-gerlach#comments Tue, 06 Jul 2010 22:00:14 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=916 Charlotte Gerlach and works

Charlotte Gerlach is a marvel and a West Virginia treasure. Self-taught, Charlotte’s ability to capture the fine details is little short of amazing. She works in oil paints. Her exhibit will be a collection of original works, prints and giclee’.

A nationally recognized artist, Charlotte has earned numerous awards and had her work commissioned. She is widely published.

Charlotte is known for her intricate, life-like work. “I want the viewer to feel a sense of being able to walk into the scene, touch the wildlife and enjoy our wonderful world of nature,” she said.

A generous spirit, Charlotte has contributed her talent and work to causes close to her heart: People’s Hospice, the American Lung Association, Duck’s Unlimited, West Virginia Health Right, Inc. and the Clarksburg Historic Society. She is a member of MountainMade and Tamarack.

Her work can be seen throughout West Virginia in various state parks (i.e Blackwater Falls) and select galleries.

Charlotte’s work is on display in Washington, D.C., in connection with fine art paintings she has been commissioned to paint for prestigious real estate developers.

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June Exhibit: Gerri Wilson Photography http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/june-exhibit-gerri-wilson-photography http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/june-exhibit-gerri-wilson-photography#comments Tue, 01 Jun 2010 22:00:04 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=886 Gerri Wilson photography exhibit in June at MountainMade.

It was no surprise that photographer Gerri Wilson became a juried artist. She and her husband Bruce pursue their shared and joint passion in their Deer Run Studio in Canaan Valley, W.Va.

A fine art nature photographer working from her home and studio in the Canaan Valley of West Virginia, she specializes in vignettes, close-ups and landscapes of native flora in the Allegheny Highlands.

Gerri has spent much of the last year documenting the flora of the Beall Farm Tract I in the Canaan Valley for the National Wildlife Refuge. She currently captures images on a Canon 30D digital camera, most often from a tripod, and processes images using an iMac using Photoshop CS4 and Lightroom 2 and prints from an Epson R1900 printer.

Gerri pursued photography after a long career in music education. Accustomed to “stirring the pot” of the creative process with her students, she brings the same expectation of possibilities to nature photography.

Gerri is attracted to wilderness, hence her interest in native species and visible signs of natural progression in time and topography. She has studied technique and composition from Kent Mason and Ed Heaton and pursues her course of self-education in all parts of the process.

Gerri has won numerous awards in competition at the Canaan Valley Refuge, including taking first, second and third place for Refuge Scenery.

She is one of the winners of the 500th Wildlife Photography Contest at Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge honored in the June West Virginia Magazine. Be sure to check out Gerri’s full-page spread.

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May Exhibit: Mary Hurst (Fine Art/Oil) http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/may-exhibit-mary-hurst-fine-artoil http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/may-exhibit-mary-hurst-fine-artoil#comments Tue, 04 May 2010 22:00:30 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=775
Mary Hurst (new juried artist)

We first met Mary in a MountainMade Studio class (Encaustic Painting with Michael Doig). It was no surprise in November 2009 when Mary’s work was juried in. She thinks “BIG.” Mary’s chosen medium is oil paints, abstracting from the plant life in her native Appalachian Mountains.

She tries to convey the sense of spirituality that can be felt while visiting a forest. She isolates and combines moments of particular appeal. Mary intuitively reacts to the colors and design elements within the forest floor, allowing them to evolve naturally.

Mary lives and works in her hometown of Fayetteville, W.Va., near the famed New River Gorge. Her oil paintings explore the wonder and spirit that she says are present in the world, especially the natural world.

She uses recognizable imagery, but distorts and combines it to create abstract compositions. Mary is currently developing her body of work related to the forests of the New River Gorge. This is her first Gallery exhibit with MountainMade.

She has also shown her work at Black Bear Burritos and the Paul Mesaros Gallery in Morgantown. We can’t wait to see what Mary Hurst can do!

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Celebrate Graduation With The Perfect Present http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/celebrate-graduation-with-the-perfect-present http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/celebrate-graduation-with-the-perfect-present#comments Mon, 03 May 2010 17:00:39 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=740 It’s been a cool spring here on the mountain, but we are ever reminded of the evolution of time. For many here in West Virginia and around the United States, a new journey is about to begin.

Students are preparing for final examinations and graduation. Many are preparing to venture into the work force in pursuit of their dreams and others still will be continuing their academic careers.

It is a time of mixed emotion for the student, family and friends. All of these graduating individuals will soon be starting anew and needing all the help they can get as they begin to make their mark in the world.

We wish these young adults an adventurous and joyful road ahead. We have selected a few items that may help make their transition from youth to adulthood an easier one, all beautifully made tools for the home and office.

Four lamps by Annie Simcoe, in three colors and two patterns, are available through MountainMade. Let the light shine in and remember the threads that bind us together. Each lamp is priced at $150.

Nature-inspired officeware

These three affordable pieces are (l-r): Leaf Letter Opener by Jeff Fetty ($29); Leaf Key Chain by Thomas/Work ($12.95); and Nature Wrap Key Chain by Thomas/Work ($12.95).

Journals by Jill Jarom with Coptic Binding

Record your travels through life with these three Journals by Jill Jarom (l-r): Coptic Binding/Dk Brown Tree ($75); Coptic Binding/Lt. Brown Tree ($75); and Coptic Binding/Reddish Straw ($65).

Case Book Journals by Jill Jarom

Also by Jill Jarom, three blank books for notes or adventure diaries (l-r): Case Book/Paste Paper ($50); Case Book/Lt Br. Cloth Tree ($50); and Case Book/Gr. Flax Falls ($50).

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Next Stop, Blenko Glass http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/next-stop-blenko-glass http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/next-stop-blenko-glass#comments Mon, 26 Apr 2010 14:58:28 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=715 Rich and Carrie recently took a whirlwind trip to meet with artists in Central and Southern West Virginia and made a stop at Blenko Glass in Milton.  What they brought back was an amazing sea of rich color and textures.

We are delighted to have 11 colors of Water Bottles and an array of bowls, vases and decanters! There is crackled glass, rich diamond cut pieces and floral and ribbed bowls.  And if you haven’t seen the pieces in Blazing Red yet, look out. These are sleek and sassy!

More amazing still is the affordability of these pieces. Bowls start at just $18 and vases at $25.  We were blown away. It is an amazing mix of traditional and contemporary.

And from this girl’s perspective it is a real treat to walk into the Gallery each morning and watch the light play on the amber, greens, blues, red and golds.  Affordable beauty anyone can appreciate.  They won’t last long …

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New Hinkle Glass for Spring 2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-hinkle-glass-for-spring-2010 http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/new-hinkle-glass-for-spring-2010#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 14:30:55 +0000 Heidi Haldeen http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=658 It’s spring time and Ron Hinkle and his team at Hinkle Glass have been fast at work!

There is a fresh batch of tumblers (8 and 12 ounce) that are beautiful, sturdy and just feel good in your hand. He spoils us with small groupings of different colors and patterns that are lively and eclectic.  I had a couple in over the weekend who have been collecting. They have an eclectic set of 12 different glasses that they enjoy using every day for everything: water, iced tea and wine.

They loved the color, the feel and the integrity of each piece, and said, “We don’t worry about bumping and breaking.”  
We think Ron might be gearing up for a garden party as he shared three new pitchers with us: a Rainbow, Purple Swirl and Watermelon, each of which can stand alone or be paired with matching tumblers. What a great gift idea as wedding season is fast approaching.

And don’t forget about the return, by popular demand, of Ice Screamers. Fashioned after Hinkle’s Martini Glasses (we have a nice selection of those too), these are gorgeous little dessert dishes that make every day a special occasion.

There are a number of specialty items that make great and affordable gifts for the glass collector on your list: 3D paper weights, apples (paperweights and table top sun catchers), shot glasses (many customers use them for tooth pick holders too), vases and a new piece, the Nuclear Windstorm Bowl. An amazing swirl of reds, blues, black and more surrounded in a neon green. You’ve got to see it to believe.
And that is just in the Gallery.

Slip down to the Country Store and there’s more! Pick up a $6 Kiss or ponder a flying pig (available in two sizes for every pocket book), dolphin paperweights, soap/lotion dispensers and Hinkle’s ever popular child’s vase.

The bottom line is that beautiful, collectible glass should be affordable for everyone and Ron Hinkle has done just that. Enjoy!

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The History and Secrets about MountainMade’s Buxton & Landstreet Gallery http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/the-history-and-secrets-about-mountainmade%e2%80%99s-buxton-landstreet-gallery http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/the-history-and-secrets-about-mountainmade%e2%80%99s-buxton-landstreet-gallery#comments Wed, 24 Mar 2010 13:07:47 +0000 Becky Henderson http://www.mountainmade.com/blog/?p=468 The Historic Buxton and Landstreet Building house MountainMades Fine Art Gallery and Studio Art Classes

The Historic Buxton and Landstreet Building house MountainMade's Fine Art Gallery and Studio Art Classes

The MountainMade Fine Art Gallery and Studio Art Classes are housed by the historic Buxton and Landstreet Building of Thomas, WV. Placing our MountainMade’s Artisan Gallery in this building brings the Buxton & Landstreet Building back to its mercantile roots and provides an ideal display setting for fine art.

Constructed in 1901, Buxton & Landstreet Building served as company store for the Davis Coal and Coke Company. Company employees were paid in script, which they spent in the company store.* Today, the MountainMade Gallery prefers you pay for fine art in legitimate US currency, but we may be willing to bargain.In its day, the building was considered the finest building in the county. Its size is approximately 27,000 square feet and features glazed bricks, ornamental tin ceilings, hardwood floors, graceful support columns and electric lights.

     The Buxton and Landstreet Buildings high ceilings and tall windows allow the art displayed in our fine art gallery to be flooded with natural lighting. Its an ideal setting to view the variety of art, furniture, pottery, glass, and all that MountainMade carries.

The Buxton and Landstreet Building's high ceilings and tall windows allow the art displayed in our fine art gallery to be flooded with natural lighting. It's an ideal setting to view the variety of art, furniture, pottery, glass, and all that MountainMade carries.

Besides a beautiful building, the Buxton and Landstreet Building also holds some mystery. The building is located across the street from the Davis Coal and Coke Administration Building. A local story has a tunnel running between the two buildings, and as legend has it, that’s how the mine workers’ script was returned to the Administrative Building. Although I’m not totally sold on the currency transportation uses for a tunnel and have never gotten to explore this said tunnel, based on the winters here in Thomas, I believe there is a high likelihood that this legend is true.

While its life as a store ended in 1953, thee B&L continued being used as a woodworking shop, a warehouse for a beer distributor, and a mini-mall, then sat empty for approximately ten years. From 1985-1997 the B&L was used as offices for Power Construction and Maintenance. The Vandalia Heritage Foundation purchased it in 2000 and restored the building to its current codition. The hardwood floors and tin ceilings are original, and the large windows bring in natural light which enhances the artisan products showcased. Also located in the B&L Building are MountainMade’s studios where classes are taught and artisans can work.

The Buxton and Landstreet Buildings high ceilings and tall windows allow the art displayed in our fine art gallery to be flooded with natural lighting. Its an ideal setting to view the variety of art, furniture, pottery, glass, and all that MountainMade carries.

We are lucky to have access to such an ideal building in our Thomas, WV location.

By its location in this restored and renovated building, MountainMade is helping to protect our environment. Instead of building a new building for our artisan displays, we are utilizing the embodied energy of this historic building. Please stop in and let us know what you think about the MountainMade Fine Art Gallery housed in Thomas’s Historic Buxton and Landstreet Building.

*If you want to learn more about Appalachian Coal Towns, you should check out this wonderful documentary: The Appalachians. It’s a three hour DVD that explores Appalachian coal culture, cultural roots, and music. Also, it includes an exclusive extended interview with the late Johnny Cash.

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