There are 20 other artists participating this year. They represent a huge range of mediums and styles, not to mention personalities. We have three young artists, 11 and 12yrs old, two making jewelry, and one making hair accessories. Looking at their products, you'd never guess they were made by people so young. On the other side of the spectrum, we have a life-long artist in her 80's. We have a master quilter making table runners and cloth bowls. We have a single mom who does stained glass and watercolor. Another artist is completely focused on "up-cycling" old items and giving them a completely new life and purpose. We have an engineer who turns wood to relax from the stress of his "real" job, and a landscape designer who also happens to weave beads in her "spare" time. A retired dentist, a labor and delivery nurse, an HR manager for AT&T, a Great Harvest baker.....The diversity is mind boggling. The one thing they all have in common is they have been working their tails off getting a bunch really cool stuff ready for the sale.
A few of them were kind enough to write up a Bio for me. These are their words, not mine. I thought you all might like to hear from someone for a while, kind of like having guest speakers:
Lisanne Milford -Fiber Artist - Primeau
Having spent 25 years working full time and trying to raise 3 sons, I decided to stop pulling my hair and opted out of a "Career". Years have passed, and my boys now prefer not to see me all of the time.....and I grasped that this was a junction where I could pursue activities that make me come alive in a very different way.
Working with my hands and playing with fibers-whether in the form of fabric, yarn, roving, thread, reed, or wood-allow me to create something different, unique, unusual and/or fun. I continue to learn new techniques, try unfamiliar approaches, and use contemporary colors ways. Whether I am knitting, sewing, weaving, or doing needlework, my time is spent creating objects that bring me joy.
As I read before and feel now, "I just want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares. It's a peaceful place to be in life."
Anne Brannam - Jewelry Designer -Casual Penguin Jewelry
Anne Brannam, founder of Casual Penguin Jewelry, has been designing jewelry for more than 5 years. She specializes in semiprecious stones, and likes using Czech glass and Swarovski crystals. Anne lives in Burke, VA and takes care of her boys, two sons and one husband.
Tyler A Kulenguski - Jewelry Designer - Gem Fusion Jewelry
I grew up in a family of artists. My mom was a stained glass artist and my grandmother and great grandmother were painters. My grandfather was a wood worker.
My grandmother gave me a rock tumbler when I was ten. I loved nature and all kinds of rocks that I would put in my tumbler. Early on I became a stained glass artist like my mother, but after children, my love came back to gemstones and working with silver and gold. (Besides, there is no room in my house for a stained glass studio.)
I love creating a unique look to fit a stone or bead, or just to playing with the colors to make something more contemporary. I definitely feel at home with a torch in one hand and pliers in the other.
KC Grey Siebert - Jewelry Designer, Basket Weaver- The Woven Warp
KC Gray Siebert of The Woven Warp has been beading since 2005. The latest craze is her “Not Your Granny’s Eye Catchers” and badge holders. Catch them at Branches and Reunions.
Bob Kahane- Wood Turner - Turnings By Bob
I have been an active member of both the Capital Area Woodturners (CAW) and the American Association of Woodworkers (AAW) for several years. I am a juried artisan at the Artisans United Gallery in Annandale, VA. In addition my works are on display and sale at a number of cigar establishments and retail stores throughout the Northern Virginia and DC area.
I first started turning over twenty years ago. My first project was a cocobolo mallet. I started making pens in 2006. Since then I have made over 400 pens, pencils and other turned projects. My work has received many letters of appreciation from across the country from many satisfied customers and gift recipients.
I started pen making initially to make unique gifts for family and friends. I quickly realized the enjoyment and pleasure of being a pen maker, working with my hands and heart, to create artistic and useful objects out of some of the most beautiful materials in the world. Every pen is a unique design, handcrafted in my studio. Each pen, either of wood or resin, is given over ten progressively finer sanding steps eliminating all scratches and sanding imperfections. Then, a 2-step wax finish is applied that provides protection and a deep glow and pleasurable feel to the pen. The work is finally completed when placed into the gift box and delivered to the customer for their final approval.
I take great care and pride in each pen striving to meet exacting standards of excellence in design, implementation and finish creating a pen that provides great enjoyment and pleasure to its owner for years to come.
OK, see what I mean about a huge variety in personality? They gave me five completely different answers to the same question, "Will you please write a Bio for the show?"