Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Show May Be Over, but the Holidays Have Just Begun!

We've broken down booths and packed up our goods, but we want to say one last THANK YOU to everyone who came out for our 2012 Cville Holiday Craftacular!

A bustling market.
 Your loyal support of the arts and love of locally-made goods helped make this year's show a tremendous success. Nothing makes crafters happier than a crowded CitySpace!

Happy crafters.
We here at Craft Attack know that just because one show ends does not mean the gift-giving--or making!--ends. 'Tis the season for parties and tinsel, candles and trees, bells and bows: all the trappings of a happy holiday.

One Last Important Thank You

So before we wrap up this year's story, we want to applaud each and every one of the skilled artists who contributed their beautiful work to our show. Without your talent and hard, hard work, our corner of the world would have a lot less sparkle.

Therefore, in no particular order, we present one last time:

The Artists of the 2012 Cville Holiday Craftacular

This list doubles as a shopping guide. :) 


Andres Zapata of Zapata Designs

Rick Miller of R. L. T. Miller Designs


Thank you to this incredible bevvy of artists, and happy holidays to all!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Three Cheers for Local Love!

Photo by the talented ByCary.
She, too, will be at the show tomorrow.
Hey there, local lover!

Just a quick thank you and shout-out from the girl behind the scenes. My name is Elizabeth Derby, and I am a freelance writer, marketer & PR gal here in C'ville. I've been coordinating the promotions for our spectacular Craftacular, and I can't tell you how happy your love of local has made me.

Thanks you to you, we were able to spread the word about this crazy band of artisans in ways we only dreamed of. From a few hundred Facebook likes and a 501-person "reach" in late October, we've grown to 910 likes and counting, with a almost-ridiculous-sounding reach of 17,425 people. My favorite number, though, is the invitees to our Holiday Craftacular: 1,500.


I can't predict how many people will show up this weekend, but I know I'm excited and grateful for every single one. Thank you for supporting the arts and this sweet little town we live in. Thank you for sharing your holiday spirit to lift the dreams of others. I'm proud to be a part of this year's event, and you've officially made it a success.

See you at the show!

Nancy Hopkins of Silver Muse Studio

Many small business owners balance parenting and their craft, and Nancy Hopkins of Silver Muse Studio is no different. "I am the mother of two active boys--ages 8 and 20," she says. "Because of their age difference it is like having two only children, and they keep me busy in their own ways. Making jewelry is a great creative outlet for me and helps keep me sane!"


Lucky for the rest of us! Nancy's beautiful work includes bracelets, earrings, and rings. Her jewelry features sterling silver in sculpted into a variety of delicate forms, often oxidized to bring out unique shades in the metal.

"Ever since I was a little girl, I have enjoyed making things - whether it was a poster for a school project or jewelry out of brightly colored telephone wires my father brought home one night. I used to love to watch my father use his power tools in his workshop. I was amazed at what he could create with his hands and a few tools. Today, I really look forward to going to my studio and using my own power tools to create wonderful jewelry."

To learn more about the Charlottesville-based artist, be sure to visit her Etsy store, and catch Nancy with the fruits of her labor tomorrow at CitySpace!

Win It Today: Hammered Silver Cuff

It's the last day before our Cville Holiday Craftacular and the last day for free gifts!

We wrap (ha) our three weeks of giveaways with a beautiful piece from longtime Cville Craft Attacker Nancy Hopkins. Nancy makes and sells handcrafted silver jewelry and accessories through her shop, Silver Muse Studios. Today's gift is a narrow sterling silver cuff with a delicate hammered texture.

Retailing for $75, this elegant bracelet could be yours for FREE! Follow the link below to enter now through 11:59PM tonight.

Please note that winners must be available to pick up their gifts during the 2012 Cville Holiday Craftacular on November 30th and December 1st at CitySpace.

If you win, you'll be notified by email first thing tomorrow. We want you to have enough notice that you can pick up your gift!

Click this link to enter: I Want to Win!

Good luck, and see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Roslyn Nuesch of Two Owls Pottery

Roslyn “Ros” Nuesch of Crozet, VA, makes functional ceramics out of white clay. She’s been creating pottery for over ten years, and a wide variety of her beautiful work can be found on her Facebook page at Two Owls Pottery.

We asked Ros how she learned the craft of pottery, and here she shares her stories, including her greatest influences and influence of her birthright on her brand.
How did you learn pottery?
I began taking a class at Albemarle High School with Becky Garrity.  She suggested I go to PVCC and take class with Tom Clarkson which I did for many years. Tom has been my greatest artistic influence, along with my talented classmates.
What motivates your art?
My mother in heaven motivates me. She was very elegant and I like to think my pottery has the same elegance.  Whenever I get stuck, I think about her and her enthusiasm for life and blocks seem to dissipate.
What item are you proudest of and why?
A large textured bowl that is my newest item as well. I find bowls the most difficult to make properly.  The inside curve is hard to get smooth and to match the outside and then to have the foot in the right place and size.  I struggled with this but think I am finally getting the hang of it.
Why do your customers shop with you?
My customers love that my pottery offers different colors, shapes and textures while remaining functional.  They say my prices are very reasonable. 
My studio is only open a few times a year right now, so people see my sign on the roadside and come in out of curiosity.
What are your most popular items and why?
My large mugs. People love the texture, size and the way the handle feels. My medallions are popular as well—people are attracted to them, and then I tell them how they originated.
My medallions began when I inherited my mother’s jewelry and began impressing it into the clay to keep her spirit alive. She was very much a people person.  I found two owls among her possessions and began stamping my pots, at PVCC, with these as my signature.  Unknown to me, my professor, Tom Clarkson, was trying to figure out who was using that stamp.
One day he came in and saw me with the stamped pots and said, “So you’re Two Owls.”  Well this just resonated with me because I had recently found my birth family and discovered that I am Native American. Native Americans are named at birth according to what is happening around them at the time of their birth, usually associated with nature.  Later in life, society bestows them a new name, one that is earned by their life experiences and accomplishments. So thank you, Tom!
What helps you concentrate?
I love the mornings in my studio with a classical music station on to help take me to my creative place away from reality for a while.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was adopted, and my birth mother is a self-taught artist. Also I was a jockey, riding since age 6, and never thought of myself as creative or artistic.
What is your favorite holiday?
Thanksgiving because it brings family and friends together in gratitude and love.

You can find Ros' work on display at our Cville Holiday Craftacular, and for her newest creations and upcoming shows be sure to visit Two Owls Pottery on Facebook.

Robert Wade of Pure Light Candles

The holidays just don't feel right without flickering candles accenting our festive decor. Richmond-based chandler Robert Wade, who has been making scented candles for several years, has a simple formula for success: quality.
"We buy bulk soy wax, the essential oils and 100% cotton wicks. We hand melt and hand blend every candle one at a time. We don't use chemicals or dyes, so our candles are visually identical. We pride ourselves on the simple, elegant look."
Robert's brand, Pure Light Candles, is sold throughout suburban DC, Richmond, Alexandria, and Charlottesville. "Our style," he explains, "is very simple. We say 'Naturally Elegant.'" Here, we asked Robert for a bit more information on his experience, fragrance selection, and what it takes to stand out from the candle crowd.

How did you learn candle making?

Lots of trial and error…especially the trial part. It really is just mixing and blending and taking candles to market to determine what exactly the customer really wants from a fragrance perspective.

What motivates your art at the moment?

Honestly? It’s really all about getting out every Saturday and Sunday and relating to the customer…giving them exactly what they want every week. It doesn’t get better than that.

What is your newest item?

Our autumn and holiday fragrances, which include berries, pines and spruces, pumpkin, cinnamon and spices.

What are people’s favorite fragrances?

Our top selling candles year round are White Tea & Ginger, followed by Grapefruit & Mangosteen. They really are special, although on opposite ends of the fragrance spectrum. The White Tea & Ginger is subtle, almost sensual, while Grapefruit & Mangosteen is a surprisingly pleasant blend of citrus (the grapefruit) with a light sweetness (the Mangosteen). We usually sell out of these at every market we do. Then in September, we start selling the popular autumn scents. The most popular of these are Cranberry Marmalade and Mistletoe.

Why do your customers shop with you?

We hear it every single week. Whether we are in Georgetown, Charlottesville, Richmond, Alexandria or Bethesda…our customer really appreciates 1st) the quality and 2nd the value of our candles. They know that they consistently will get the best product available every time.

What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

We are very humbled by it, but we hear it several times each week. We have many repeat customers, and they are not shy about telling us, or telling nearby customers that ours are the best candles they have ever burned. The ultimate compliment: “I came to market just for the candle”.

Do you pursue any other forms of art?

My other art is similar to candle making. My other real passion is cooking. I love to cook for others, and I am guided by the same principles: make exceptionally good food that I would eat every time.

Catch Robert and his scented delights this Friday and Saturday at our Cville Holiday Craftacular!

Win Them Today: Pure Light Soy Candles

Robert Wade of Pure Light Candles makes luxury candles in a variety of tempting scents. Today is your chance to win two best-sellers: the year-round favorite White Tea & Ginger, and the most popular seasonal fragrance, Cranberry Marmalade.

White Tea & Ginger and Cranberry Marmalade

These handmade and indulgent candles could be yours FREE with your entry into today's giveaway.

Please note that entries must be received today, and winners must be available to pick up their gifts at the Cville Holiday Craftacular on November 30th and December 1st.

Click now to enter: I Want to Win!

 Good luck!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tavia Brown of taviametal

Tavia Brown is the founder and artist of taviametal, creates one-of-a-kind and custom jewelry in sterling, gold and titanium using lost wax casting, cold and hot fabrication, die-forming, etching, raising, and stone-setting.

She explains her work, which includes rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets, as “both industrial and delicate, edgy and sweet. Inspired by the dichotomy of life, my style of elegance with an edge connects me to this duality that exists within my life.” Being both a mother and an artist, Tavia says, is a balancing act between two opposite yet similar demands. 

“My inspirations come directly from life experiences, namely family and memories, but they are also derived directly from the material with which I am working—the tactility of textures coupled with the awe I have for nature.” 

Tavia began her work as an artist at Appalachian State University, where she discovered her love of jewelry and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals in 1998. She then worked as a bench jeweler for a high-end jewelry designer for nearly five years—an invaluable experience for her growth as a metalsmith and a business owner. 

Tavia began her business part-time, helping her husband in his own entrepreneurial endeavors, until 2007. Now a mother of two, she is constantly working to keep taviametal a perfect match for her and her family.

Lindsey Mears

On the other side... Artist's book by Lindsey Mears
Lindsey Mears is a Charlottesville-based studio artist who creates handcrafted bags and books from vintage goods. Many works in her portfolio are artists’ books, a term with which your correspondants were unfamiliar and will therefore explain now. According to Stephen Bury via Wikiedpia:
Artists' books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.
Here Lindsey talks with Craft Attack about the lost art of bookmaking, using found objects in her work, and fulfilling her childhood dream with Duran Duran.

I do hand-bookbinding and traditional leatherwork with a twist—my materials are largely recycled/upcycled. My leather bags are made with leather leftovers from upholstery and saddle-making. My book covers are made from library discards and old floppy discs, among other things.
Details from Wants a Situation, an artist's book by Lindsey Mears

She felt the weight of the aurora daily but would never see its light...

I learned bookbinding in 1999, in a night class at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. Truly, as soon as I finished my first book, I knew that I wanted to spend my life learning everything about books—binding, printmaking, letterpress, papermaking, inks, all of it.
I also make mixed-media work combining found objects with photographic prints I make using 19th-centuries processes I’ve studied—daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, and gum bichromate printing.
My inspiration comes from a bunch of places—hand-painted business signs on buildings, great old fonts found in unexpected places, like the entrance to the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and on detective office doors in film noir films, in nature as I walk the dogs each morning, and in old Montgomery Ward catalogs and other vintage ephemera. The inspiration for my leather bags comes from the Pony Express era of simple rugged utilitarian satchels, and early train conductor bags.
Ask again tomorrow...
At this point in our culture, what motivates me is keeping alive obsolete technologies of printmaking and bookmaking. There is no better feeling than spending all day setting lead type, inking up the Vandercook’s massive rollers and discovering the impression it makes on a sheet of cotton paper. It connects me to printers throughout time, and all over the world. That is magic.
I’m most proud of my leather bags made from scraps of upholstery and saddle leather—each one is unique, and totally handcrafted. I spend so much time with each, making them the old-fashioned way—punching each sewing-hole with an awl and sewing each stitch by hand with two heavy-duty needles and linen thread. They are built to last.
I met with a client recently to discuss making an edition of books of his photography. At the end of our time together, he said that I had somehow verbalized and sketched out what he’d had in his imagination for years. It was the greatest compliment!
One thing most people would never guess about me is that I jumped onstage at a Duran Duran reunion concert and kissed John Taylor and Simon LeBon, fulfilling an elementary school dream.
Visit Lindsey’s website to see more of her incredible portfolio work, and be sure to drop by the Cville Holiday Craftular this weekend to marvel at the details in person!