The Potter & Woodsmith – Nature Inspires Handmade Art

A small budget and an empty new home fostered the birth of “The Potter & Woodsmith” – a duo of artists who, while filling their own home with handmade art, decided to turn their passion into a full time business. Sara and Steve Kozak (the couple behind the business) renovated their tiny garage into a ceramic studio to begin creating their on-of-a-kind pieces.

Potter and Woodsmith MugsUsing reclaimed wood and ceramics, their art takes on a personality all its own. Many of their pieces begin with a stoneware clay body. Then elements of different wood types are added in to create the handles of a coffee mug or roof of a birdhouse, to name a few.

The inspiration for their craft and tools of their trade can often be found right in their own backyard. Much of the wood used in their pieces comes from nearby tree trimmers or local businesses that throw pallet wood away. And while nature helps supply their craft, it also is one of their greatest muses, Sara says.

 “Nature reminds us that perfection can be found in imperfection. We love looking at our work and being able to tell by an asymmetrical edge or slight variation between two like pieces that they were made by the human hand.”

Potter and Woodsmith Birdhouse

In addition to their passion for ceramics and woodworking, the Kozaks love seeing how their work grows throughout the years. They welcome feedback from customers, as they recognize that each piece is a part “lifelong artistic journey” and that they will always have more to learn.

The Potter & Woodsmith will be displaying their pieces at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, July 18-20. Their work can also be found on Etsy at their personal address: www.etsy.com/shop/potterandwoodsmith.

Guest Post: Carriage House Creations

 Jewelry exhibitor Lorraine Frelier wrote a guest post for our blog – going back to her earliest inspiration and giving an inside look into how she creates her pieces.


DSCF0023I’ve always been creative. My first love was sewing, which my mother taught me. I also love needle work, especially embroidery. This taught me patience, to follow directions and determination. I’ve made several quilts and love the colors and textures found in vintage linens, quilts, curtains and drapery. One of my pastimes as a kid was untangling costume jewelry found on my mom’s vanity. I wondered at how they were put together and how they were made. As I got older, I would go to flea markets, yard sales, church bazaars looking for antique, vintage and unusual things to wear and bring into my home. I’ve refinished lots of furniture, which my mother also taught me, and have repurposed many of my finds. I started making jewelry from some of these found items. I made pearl bridesmaid necklaces for my wedding party from some of these things. This was the seed to Carriage House Creations.

DSCF0046 As I stayed home with my growing family, I found outlets for my creative interest. I was also making jewelry for myself and friends and thought I could sell some of my things. I was inspired by a vendor I spoke to at an arts festival. I originally made my jewelry upstairs in my 1870s carriage house, giving my budding business a name, Carriage House Creations. I have since moved to the basement in my home and have two kilns, a work bench and great storage. Like many jewelry artisans, I started with found items and craft store jewelry findings and beads. Through the internet the availability of more varied and better quality materials became much easier to obtain. As beading became more popular and the cost of silver went up, I noticed an increase in copper items featured in magazines and on some of the web sites I used. I recalled growing up in Ithaca and my 6th grade art teacher, Mr. Dobert, teaching us to enamel! I still have the piece. This art form uses copper and I thought enameling would be something unique. So, off to the library to find every enameling book published in the 1970s. YouTube was also helpful. I find a real joy in creating my jewelry pieces using simple materials: powdered enamels, raw copper and a high temperature kiln. The creative possibilities are endless.

DSCF0069It’s a very involved process containing many steps to successfully finish a piece. I shape the copper, clean it, decide how it’s to be fastened, enamel several times to get different effects. I incorporated these pieces with jewelry findings, some that I create and other I purchase (like chain) to make unique jewelry.

My jewelry reflects some of my beliefs. Not everything happens as planned and some of the most interesting things happen by chance. There are so many variables in both the enameling process and in life itself, things do not always come out as expected. I believe you need to be open to unexpected outcomes and always look for the “silver lining.” I love the uniqueness of each of my pieces. By using basic, simple scaled down materials – raw copper, powdered glass and fire – I’m creating timeless pieces of jewelry. I think the pieces have a unique, relaxed and comfortable feel to them.

I’m very excited I was chosen to participate in this festival this year. I have participated in the past and have really enjoyed the festival. My jewelry can purchased at Cheshire Union, just south of Canandaigua, Mendon Fountains and Flowers in Mendon and a new shop, Creations Gifts and Treasures, in Pittsford along the canal, in Northfield Commons.

I can always be contacted by email at lfrelier@aol.com or you can see my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarriageHouseCreations

Music of the CAMF 2014: Earth Science

We are enthralled to introduce an upcoming Jazz ensemble from the Eastman School of Music to the Canandaigua Art and Music Festival. They have performed various events in the Rochester area, including the recent Rochester International Jazz Festival. Earth Science consists of Andrew Links (pianist), Brandon Choi (trumpeter), Tyrone Allen (bass), Aaron Staebell (drums) and Wendy Eisenberg (guitar). The band plays different dialects of jazz; from post jazz to experimental, and they draw inspirations from other genres of music. We got to talk to Wendy, the lead guitarist and head honcho of the band. She tells us that she came up with the band because:

In high school my boyfriend was in the Earth Science class while I took physics and I was always really jealous, because they got to travel to places around Maryland (where I grew up) and look deeply at the flora and rocks and land formations and just be curious, while the physics kids were mostly stuck indoors.

10388205_10202328534834700_161957168099854424_n

Though the explanation was back in time, she continues that the name of the band is based on her exploration point as a musician and the name seemed fitting. The band was formed for her senior jazz guitar recital in Eastman and a collaboration with Aaron Staebell; who is an accomplished jazz drummer in Rochester and in various parts of the country.

Many of Wendy’s inspirations are drawn from poetry and she relies on the mood and emotional tact from these pieces to inspire her intricate composition choices. The band’s philosophy is summed up by one of her compositions titled “You Go By The Rules But The Rules Don’t Matter,” inspired from a John Berryman poem and is one of Wendy’s compositions. The band also draws inspiration from the likes of Miles Davis, Fiona Apple and Jimi Hendrix.

Festival goers should expect some interesting new sounds from this upcoming jazz band and are encouraged to enjoy this “experimental” style of jazz. Do not miss class and watch Earth Science perform Friday 18th July at 3:45PM at the Commons Park Main Stage.

“inSpiraled” Pieces Play with Color and Texture

Becky Blair loves color and texture, and plays with both while creating beautiful jewelry pieces under her business name “inSpiraled.”  The seasoned artist will be joining us this year at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival, to showcase and sell her jewelry during the 3-day festival.

Working in a studio in her 16th floor condo, Becky uses the eclectic pieces in her workspace, including repurposed furniture and artwork collected from her travels, to inspire the pieces she creates. In the past, Becky has worked on paintings, art dolls, and fiber arts. It is jewelry, however, where she truly shines.

inSpiraled Leather Necklace(Pyrographed floral pattern has 7 yellow & red flowers with leaves; beaded dangles.) inSpiraled Earrings(Gold-filled spiraling earrings with sterling silver Balinese cylindrical bead and hammered dangle. 2″)

Recently, a drive through Pennsylvania and parts of New York inspired Becky to create a red leather collar with blue leather flowers. Drawing from the blue skies, green hills, and red barns she saw on her trip, the piece was finished within just a few days and sold before even making it to a show!

“Over the years, I have learned to stay true myself and to make pieces that I feel will stand the test of time.  I have no interest in following trends, or creating a trendy body of work. I don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing.” – Becky Blair

We at the art festival are excited to see what Becky plans to showcase at our event in July. Working with a variety of sterling silver, patterned leather, gemstones, and found objects, every piece of wearable artwork from inSpiraled is a unique treasure.

Dip In to Gourmet Creations

CAMF (that’s us – Canandaigua Art & Music Festival) got the scoop on a tried-and-true Festival exhibitor, Gourmet Creations. Stacie Bourne and her mother work together to make spice blends that come alive when you add olive oil, sour cream, mayo, yogurt, hummus, cream cheese or whipped cream.

Bread-Dipping-Spice-Recipezaar-2.card-228x228 cucdill-228x228 sfroyal-228x228

When did you start? “15 years ago my mother and I started making our dips in our kitchen with a variety of herbs and spices.”

What goes in a blend? “We use herbs and spices from all over the country from dill weed to dehydrated raspberries in our blends.”

How do you develop new blends? “We’re inspired to create new flavors based on current food trends and fresh combinations of spices.”

What new for the Festival? “Come try our new Cucumber Dill mix in Canandaigua!”

What have you learned from creating your business? “What we learned best in creating our Gourmet Creations is that it is worth being patient to make something great!”

Where else can people buy your blends? “We do art & craft shows all over the country and sell on our website at www.gourmetcreations.net.”

 

Music of the CAMF 2014: Vintage

Performing for the first time at the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival is a classic rock band not too far from Canandaigua with a simple concept yet edgy sound, Vintage. We talked to Chuck Hixon, one of the band members.

Guitarist Doug Montececchio came up with the name and it just stuck. The band formed when they were teenagers but was halted when they were in their twenties (marriage, families and jobs were a priority). Twenty years went by and they decided to put the band back together. It all started when they decided to perform a couple of songs on a summer camping trip and during that trip “several campers from other sites asked us to keep playing and even ‘paid’ us with free beer.”

Picture2

They have a full band and acoustic band (they will be performing as an acoustic band) and perform classic rock from the 70s through today. Vintage’s covers include music from David Bowie and Neil Young. Most requested songs? Standards like “What I Like About You” from the Romantics and “A Hard Day’s Night” from the Beatles. Chuck mentions that one of his inspirations for band are The Beatles because their songs were full of energy, passion and “gusto.”

It might be 90 degrees the day of the festival but do not be surprised if Vintage shows up wearing leather vests and fedoras. “It’s a Vintage look,” Chuck tells us. Most of their fans, friends and family are in Victor, NY so they are excited to perform in a familiar location close to home. To find out more about Vintage, visit their site: rockwithvintage.com, their Facebook page and their YouTube channel. They take on the stage (hopefully with their leather vests and fedoras) Friday 18th July at 5:30PM – 7:00PM.

Music of the CAMF 2014: Brian Lindsay

Want a little of rock for your Canandaigua Art & Music Festival experience? Be ready for some Brian Lindsay, a singer – song writer who is heavily influenced by rock and roll. Brian composes original songs and boasts having one of his songs, King of the Mountain, hold a #1 spot on a radio station in Ocean City, Maryland for 2 weeks in a row. He finds inspiration from the sounds of Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, and his surroundings of the Finger Lakes.

The audience should be ready for some classic rock and roll sounds that “does not rely on gimmicks.” They are ready for their fans, friends and family in the Canandaigua area to come see them at the festival! To hear more stuff from Brian (which include his newest album “The Monkey, The Tango, and the Boogaloo,”) check out his website: brianlindsay.net. He is up on stage ready to rock on Saturday 19th July, 1:45PM until 3:00PM at the Commons Park Main Stage.

 

Brian CD cover The Monkey