Friday, May 30, 2008

On The Rise, Work From the Metalsmithing + Jewelry Program at Towson University

Curated by Jan Baum
Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
Wilmington, Delaware June 5- July 31, 2008
Opening reception on Friday, June 6th, 2008 from 6-8

On The Rise represents the diverse cross section of current undergraduate and graduate work as well as recent alumni from both degree programs. Work comprising this exhibition stretches the traditions and boundaries of both the metalsmithing and art jewelry discipline. Age-old impulses of body adornment are reinterpreted individually and personally in 2008. The Metals + Jewelry discipline attracts artists drawn to the intimacy and site specific nature of the art jewelry object and objects historically associated with the Metals + Jewelry discipline. A number of works bridge multiple disciplines in conveying the artists’ conceptual ideas.

Many of the artists in the exhibition are exploring with non-traditional materials in the expression of their individual artistic pursuits while others utilize prominent materials in new and individual ways. A handful of artists are engaged with new materials and new technologies while simultaneously pushing and exploring the boundaries of art jewelry object.

The exhibition includes work by BEST members Beth Pohlman, Liz Mathews, and Juliet Ames as well as these other Baltimore artists: Eliza Mundy, Laurel Lydecker, Elizabeth Steiner, Amy Klainer, Jenn Parnell, Janet Huddie, Douglas Bucci, Megan Auman, April Wood, Adrienne Wiegmann, Rebecca Dortzbach, , Whitney Marsden, and Annie Chau.

Image is of work by Beth Pohlman


This weekend, BEST members are getting out and about and we're going north.

Find Jewelery from Beth Pohlman and Dandelion Blu, and children's clothes from Sweet Pepita at Art Star Craft Bazaar in Philly. This event is held this Saturday, May 31st and Sunday, June 1st. That's two days of delicious craft! And be sure to visit our friends from The Charm City Craft Mafia and the guys from Squidfire, too!

Drive just a little bit farther up I95 on Saturday to fabulous New York City and see Green Star Studios at Vida's Market, a handmade gift show totally dedicated to babies, kids and moms.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

BEST in the Press!

Congrats to BEST members, Leah of Smittenxoxo and Jen Menkhaus, for being featured in this months Baltimore Magazine! (I am only slightly pouting that they left me out...)

BUT I am in this months Urbanite Magazine!

Calling all crafters!

Charm City crafters, that is! Join the Baltimore / Maryland Crafters flickr group, hosted by The Broken Plate, and we may feature you and your work in an upcoming BEST blog. We like glass, jewelry, clay, wood, fabric, metal, fiber, beads, felt, polymer, enamel, print, and any of the combinations above. We even like 2-headed dear (the one above is by Jane Wynn.) So if you're crafty (and you know you are), and you live in or around Baltimore, look us up.

We know you're out there, so show us your stuff!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Falling For Friday's Finds

Fridays are for dreaming. I take my time and pour over the selections that BEST members JenMenkhaus and TheBrokenPlate bring us every week. Five days later, I cannot get the Gentle Patriot Dress from Nessesity Is the Mother out of my mind. The design is so flattering and unique. Layered fabric really makes this piece special... it's not your run of the mill sun dress. I am totally loving this Sundrop Dress, too.

So I went to her Etsy shop to see more and I found out that her designs are constructed from reclaimed and second-hand fabric. Ahhhh! My seamstress soul mate lives in Portland! Well, I'm sold. And my birthday's coming up, so... Hey husband! I'm bookmarking this for you (hint hint).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mud at Art-O-Matic

The glass artists aren't the only crafty people showing off their sculptural talents at Art-O-Matic this year. On the tenth floor of the unfinished office building at First and M Streets NE you will find a group show of contemporary ceramic sculpture. It's a destination not to be missed.

On the right, an installation by Elizabeth Kendall constructed of
steel and clay.

Organized by Flux Studios in Mt. Rainier, MD, 17 ceramic artists
selected adjacent spaces within Art-O-Matic creating a cohesive
show-within-a-show titled "Coincide." The variety of work shows the
elasticity of clay while the rich surfaces tie them all together. Here
are just a couple of the pieces you'll see there.

Yeonhee Ji's lace-like bottles are set against a complimentary
patterns in clay and steel.

Janet Gohres' black birds are gathered in a puddle of pebbles on the floor.

Post written by VWStudios

Monday, May 26, 2008

Etsy Finds

In honor of Memorial Day, some handmade items featuring the old red white and blue:

Star decoration by hasenpfeffer

Etoile (and stripes!) earrings by sofiamasri

Sweet patriotic dress by necessityisthemother

Betsy Ross decoration by middleburg

For your backyard barbeque, by sassyapron

Here's hoping for peace....

Saturday, May 24, 2008

sneak peeks

One of my favorite features on one of my favorite blogs is the sneak peeks on design*sponge. As artists and craftsters we tend to arrange our lives as creatively and artistically that we can. We have pride in our aesthetic and how we arrange our stuff and what colors we choose. How we can combine studios with guest rooms and offices with kitchens. So I wanted to contribute to our blog with our own Baltimoreetsy sneak peeks. And I thought it only fair that I go first. My husband and I own a 3 bedroom home that was built in the late '30's. We have great hardwood floors, a fireplace that can still be used and a vintage black and white tile bathroom. I have the second bedroom for my studio that I endearingly call my sweatshop. I painted it bright yellow and filled it with with ever functional furniture that i could use for constructing, sewing, ironing, storing supplies and products and also house my office. I absolutely love IKEA as well as the taste of my ancestors. I have a mismatch of antiques, saw horse desk from college and sewing table and storage devices from IKEA.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Vintage Finds

Pinup blue rhinestone 50s broach retro from darhling.
Unique Vintage 70s Blue Cowboy Boots from Cherrypickivintage.

Vintage OWL Children's Wooden Blocks from domestikate.
Blue Foliage Coffee Cup from deerparkboutique.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


All Things Creative in One Place in DC

Before there are walls, carpet, and cubicles, there is art and music and lots of it, in a building on the corner of First and M Streets NE. Ten floors and over 1,100 visual and performing artists make up this year's installment of Art-O-Matic. Since 1999, DC-area artists have been coming together to organize and produce this annual free-hung group show. This year the show takes place on the concrete floors of an empty office building. Walls of plywood were erected as backdrops and lights were strung to illuminate the space. Besides that, the space was raw until artists came in and brought the space to life.

There is so much great work there it's hard to know where to start, but lets take a look at some of the crafts-people. The faculty of DC Glassworks make a strong showing on the 8th floor. DC Glassworks is a community glass shop offering classes, workshops, and hot shop rental in Hyattsville, MD. Four faculty members can be seen, Mike Showalter, Steven Jones, and co-owners Wyndell Williams and Dave D'Orio. Here's a peak at the work you will see.

Oil cans by Wyndell Williams.

Wall-mounted organ stemware by Dave D'Orio.

Jelly fish pendant light by Mike Showalter.

Art-O-Matic is up until June 15.
Hours: Wed-Thu, 5pm-10pm; Fri-Sat, noon-2am; Sun, noon-10pm; closed Mon-Tue
For directions and a full schedule of events including musical shows, poetry readings, and dance performances visit

Post written by VWStudios

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Baltimore Ink

There's something you may not know about me. I am obsessed with tattoos. Now, it's not just the every day tattoo - I love the ones that flow over the body like they were meant to be there. And for me personally, I like the act of having a tattoo made as a ritual, mark of time, or rite of passage.

Which is why I was so excited to hear about Baltimore Ink at the BMA. Held in conjunction with the exhibition Meditations on African Art: Pattern, the event begins with a brief introduction by the exhibition curator Karen Milbourne, linking the tradition of body art in Africa with the current fascination with tattoos. This will be followed with a talk about the state of tattoo art, and a runway show. A tattoo runway show? WOW!

The BMA is also sponsoring a contest for best tattoo design based on a work of art in the museum. So cool. More details at the BMA website.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Garden Will Grow

If it ever stops raining I'm gonna plant the vegetables my family bought this weekend from Mill Valley Garden Center & Farmer's Market. By this time in previous years, we'd have already set seedlings we raised ourselves into the earth. But alas, life with a toddler is all that we expected and so much more.

The beauty of places like the Mill Valley Garden Center or any of the local farmers markets, is that they've already done most of the work for you! You get strong, healthy plants at reasonable prices (do I sound like Agent Cooper yet?). But my favorite thing, is that I bought heirloom tomatoes for just a dollar a piece.

Shopping at Mill Valley Garden Center is not like the big box garden center experience. You're not gonna find 50,000 plants to choose from. But you will find beautiful locally grown, organic, certified child labor-free and fair trade plants, seeds and pots. You won't be able to buy drill bits and drywall at the same time as your vegetables. You could, however, pick up some salsa from Whiskey Island Pirate Shop, coffee from Zekes, and maybe some Rose's cookies. Total yummers.

Monday, May 19, 2008

To Do This Weekend: Balticon 42

Looking for a way to indulge your geekier side this holiday weekend? Consider heading up to Balticon, one of the region's largest and longest-running science fiction and fantasy conventions. This year marks the 42nd annual Balticon – with special "Ghost of Honor" Douglas Adams (get the reference? You'll love the con!).

The convention runs all four days of Memorial Day weekend at Marriott's Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, MD, just off I-83 (super easy to get to!), making it one of the only four-day conventions in the science fiction and fantasy fandom world. You can hobnob with your favorite authors and artists – this year's author guest of honor is Connie Willis, and you can see the long list of notable attendees expected at the Balticon website. Balticon features over 300 hours of programming, from panels on writing and publishing to scientific seminar-style discussions and presentations, as well as gaming, anime, a fantastic art show, and special events. Most importantly, you can check out the fantasy-themed jewelry and accessories (see photo) of BEST member Anapurna in the dealer's room!

Post written by Anapurna.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Finds

Grr, the weather in Baltimore...3 gorgeous days and I'm planning what to do with my weekend. When the weekend comes, rain!!!

I was originally thinking of taking a road trip, but maybe instead I'll plan summer vacation in this journal by BEST's own bowerbox

Taking a bike ride seems out of the question, but maybe I'll have some time to hit the gym and do some stationary biking - gotta get rid of that winter pudge! Cool bike shirt by AlisonRose

The ground is way too wet to work in the garden, but maybe we'll start some vegetable seeds indoors... seed earrings by Baltimore's imogeneANDannie

Maybe we can still hit the zoo... my daughter's favorite is the hippo pool, and we gotta check out that new baby elephant! If not, maybe we'll stay home and make our own zoo with these fun stamps from thelaughinghouse

If all else fails, I guess I can wear this necklace from BEST member elisasherejewelry - it's so sunny and cheerful you can't help but forget it's raining out!

Whatever you do, take some time to stop and smell the roses, er, tulips. Worm plush knitimal by BEST member greenstarstudio

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

17th Annual Spring Opening for Studio 6001

Visit Mount Washington this Sunday to shop local and regional artists under a canopy of spring green leaves. Enjoy the koi pond, fresh air and garden that is Studio 6001.

Since 1990, Studio 6001 has presented its Spring Opening. Sunday, founder Moris Wolk provides an acre of land for more than 20 seasoned and budding artists to display works in a variety of media. The outdoor event will have paintings and sculpture, stained glass, clothing and jewelry.

BEST member tigerlillyshop will have lots of seasonal inspired metal pieces, silk button jewelry, and vintage flower earrings at this outdoor market.

The show is noon-5 p.m. Sunday. The studio is at 6001 Pimlico Road, Mount Washington.
Call 410-764-5611 for more info.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

For Real?

While walking through Mt Vernon Park over the weekend, my husband stumbled across several historical plaques memorializing strangely unbelievable events and moments in Baltimore. It took him a little time, but he finally realized that these were the work of Daniel Allende, just one of the artists participating in the outdoor exhibition Beyond the Compass, Beyond the Square.

Grab a map and walk your way through installations in the park exploring alternate histories and what we choose to commemorate. But go now... the exhibit ends May 20.

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's Raining in Baltimore

This past Saturday as my husband and I huddled under a drippy tent at Squidfire's Spring Art Mart, we had the pleasure of seeing old friends and finally meeting in person people we knew only by their avatars. We swapped squirrel stories with friendly shoppers and bonded with folks we may never meet again (but hopefully will!).

I didn't get to walk around as much as I had hoped to, but did get to meet other artists we've admired for some time. I am reminded again and again of the amazing talent that is found here. And if you did happen to miss it, you can still go to Squidfire's site and link to some of the vendors who participated.

I can't stop thinking about this tee from Circle of Evil. Monkeys and Elvis? Is there a better combination, really?

Apparently I still have some shopping to do.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

See You in Mt. Vernon!

What are you doing this Saturday?

The place to be is at Squidfire's Spring Art Mart May 10th in Mt. Vernon square!

I just checked the weather forecast and it's supposed to be a beautiful Spring day. Spend it outside. Get some vitamin D. Buy cool stuff! Find BEST members Sweet Pepita, The Broken Plate Pendant Company and Jenny Jen 42 along with tons of other most awesome designers, artists and crafters. Check out the complete vendor list here.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Celebrate Mothers Day at the Watermark Gallery Friday

Come by on your lunch break! Visit 100 S. Charles St. on the skywalk level on the 2nd floor, and you will find a vibrant gallery full of artwork celebrating women.

Gallery owner and artist Mansar Rassouli, showcases her paintings among a variety of vivid landscapes, serine still lifes, abstracts, and photography from both local and international artists. Silk button jewelry by BEST member Tigerlillyshop will be featured this Friday at the celebration.

Join the Mothers Day festivity from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. Mansar will be performing accompanied by live music.. Light faire will be provided. Visit for more information on the Watermark Gallery and to see more of Mansar Rassouli’s artwork.

Post written by Tigerlillyshop

Monday, May 5, 2008

Just Between Us

I am lucky enough to have worked with the prolific local artist, Jackie Milad, who will have a solo exhibit of drawings at the fabulous Paperwork Gallery on Thursday, May 15th. I love Jackie's work so much - especially the process which is made evident by re-thought lines and subtle adjustments. If you haven't seen her drawings, you must go check it out. I'll see you there!

Just Between Us
Exhibition: May 15 - June 15, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 15 from 7-9 p.m.
The exhibit will include catalogues for sale and a catalogue essay by Jack Livingston.

More info at Paperwork Gallery.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A little Spring Decor Pick-me-up

its that time of the year when spring hits and we think spring cleaning and time to do some sprucing up! with today's tight budget, how about a new tea towel or two to brighten up your kitchen for a small amount of mula. here are a few of my favorites. Happy shopping!
Wash up/dry up tea towel by Mr PS
Blue Coffee Items Flour Sack Tea Towel by Tlane
Borrowed Spoons Tea Towel by Skinnylaminx
French Press Kitchen Towel Set in Red by Moxie Madness
Springtime tea Towel by alisontauber