Tag Archives: Jewelry

Festival Focus: Meet Lianna

16 Mar
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Pictured here in her own designs, Lianna’s natural warmth of personality is reflected in each piece.

I’ve fallen in love with new artists at each and every Festival Fete show over the past year but I have a particular thing for jewelers. New to us is Lianna Slater of Lianna Michelle Designs. She’s one of those artists whose work, both artistically and professionally, is the essence of what Festival Fete strives to deliver to it’s guests. Culled mainly from Rhode Island shores but also collected from Utah and Florida as well as Mexico, Brazil and Russia, the stones she uses in her necklaces, bracelets and earrings remain unadulterated. Whether semi-precious or simply a unique pick from a beach walk, Lianna wraps them in various treatments of copper wire, with a subtle hand, letting the natural curves and original shape of her finds stand out and define the overall piece. The results remain earthen and chunky but still so delicate and fluid. 

Both in and out of her studio, Lianna is busy. She divides her tireless commitment to her own creativity with a demanding job at Looking Upwards, a Middletown, RI-based non profit which provides a wide array of services to adults and children with developmental challenges striving to live to their fullest potential. Through their vocational day program, Lianna supports four young artisans in their aspiring business, Downtown Designs, a gallery in Newport where their work is proudly displayed. There she teaches and together they “sell and share art, share space, and share community.” She was so gracious to take time to answer my questions. Her work is best spoken through her own words:

Festival Fete: What have you been up to over this particularly long winter?

Lianna Slater: Cold winter days made it easy for me to stay cozied up in my studio, enhancing my brand and business and keeping my creations flowing. It was the perfect time for me to be highly productive. As an artist, it’s easy to get lost in the creative process and lose sight of the branding, so it was especially important to me to set the intention of, and to put attention into, revamping my website, which will relaunch this Spring.  I’ve also been building my inventory for the 9+ shows I have lined up for 2014.

FF: What has inspired your most recent work?

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Slightly smaller in scale, Lianna’s most recent work is at once graceful and striking.

LS: Scale. My designs have tended to be larger, and I will always carry these signature pieces; however it’s important to me to be more accessible to my customers. Over the years, I’ve paid closer attention to what the majority are looking for. More often, it’s ornate, smaller scale pieces. I’m a self-taught jewelry artist with a B.A. in Fine Art. Painting, actually. Some customers have compared my pieces to wearable works of art, which is the ultimate compliment. In playing with the scale of my most recent collection, I have realized I’m still able to create aesthetic statements that are now even more affordable! So, this year it’s all about dialing down the scale and proportions of my work. It’s been a challenge, but the end results surpassed even my own expectations.

FF: Your beautiful stones and gemstones are set in copper, mostly?

Lianna: Yes, that’s right! They all start off in copper foil. The process I’ve implemented is similar to that of stained-glass making. I begin by wrapping each stone in copper foil and solder each piece individually. Laying the stones into artful, organic, and balanced composition is my forté. Once I fabricate an assortment of pieces, I send them out to be plated in .925% sterling silver or copper. At this point, it becomes a fairly repetitive, but quite therapeutic, process. This year I’ve been experimenting and created a new, diamond-like texture that I’m really excited about.

FF: Have you collected stones on your travels outside of Rhode Island?

LS: Oh, of course! Just like a photographer doesn’t go anywhere without their camera, I don’t go anywhere without my eyes wide open for inspiration for a new piece or collection. I’ve traveled to bead expos and antique shows over the years for supplies. My favorite is the International Bead Expo in Tucson, Arizona. It’s exciting to meet the rock hounders and miners themselves – the folks that really unleash these historic gems. It’s a dream of mine to travel to Russia or Brazil to discover their natural origins for myself.

“Just like a photographer doesn’t go anywhere without their camera, I don’t go anywhere without my eyes wide open for inspiration for a new piece or collection.”

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Give meaning to an ordinary outfit with these bold, yet somehow understated, pieces. I plan to wear mine with a t-shirt and jeans or simple dress. Lianna’s prolific use of various crystals, agate, freshwater pearls, jade, carnelian and ‘ordinary’ beach stones made choosing just a few examples here difficult. Visit her site to view more of her natural creations for sale and some past commissions, too.

FF: Where do you find the most inspiration?

LS: Nature has always been my blank canvas and such a source of inspiration. I’m often left in awe and wonderment at the science and origin behind each selection I make — whether it be from geodes and crystals from ancient volcanoes dating back millions of years, or to local rocks and shells found combing the shorelines of New England and Florida. I feel honored to bring these selections to life, as though I’m a conduit merging unique and vast materials of yesteryear together.  Europe meets Newport, or East meets West — not sure the best way to describe it — but it all works for me, and my customers seem to agree.

Yes, Lianna, we do!

You’ll find Lianna at every Festival Fete show this upcoming season as well as a few other great events. Find her schedule on her website, liannamichelledesigns.com or follow her on Facebook for regular updates.

 

Still Walking in a Winter Wonderland

28 Feb
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Doug Hockman’s print entitled ‘Alone,’ given away to a lucky Festival Fete follower last year, inspired this week’s post.
hockmanphotography.com

There’s nothing quite like a lone walk in the woods this time of year. There’s no better way to tune into the crunching sound of leftover snow under your (overly) worn boots. Nothing prettier than a monochrome backdrop for a family portrait of cardinals. And the ocean against all the gray, if you’re near enough, is that pale turquoise in the shoals – almost caribbean like if you face the sun and just imagine….

But then you realize you’re still here in New England and so is winter. Lingering. And while all may seem a bit bleak, there is a silver lining. Because this season, however long and drawn out, affords Festival Fete artists the time they need to create. Without the solitude, there wouldn’t be the space needed to produce the bounty we find at our shows. Those seemingly effortless displays at our artists’ booths come from the thoughts, the inspiration and the toil that happens now.

So while I wait to see a single snowdrop peek through the ground, I can’t wait to see what all our thoroughly inspired creatives unveil at the very first show in Garden City this June. Stay tuned and stay warm!

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Embracing the palette of the season while adorning yourself and your home in their understated hues can manifest a certain tranquility. Past Festival Fete artists easily find inspiration in the wintry landscape. From upper left, clockwise: Nancy Van Tassel’s ‘big little ring’ in hammered sterling silver; A continuous piece of birch makes this simple necklace by Joyo; Howland Studio’s pin out of finds from a beach walk; Ombre infinity scarf by Nicole Lebreux; Erica Cioe’s simple ceramic plates. 

 

The ring: http://www.drapedinjewelry.com/index.html

The necklace: http://www.shopjoyo.us/collections/necklaces/products/loop-and-chain

That pin: http://www.etsy.com/shop/howlandstudio

The scarf: http://www.etsy.com/people/nicolelebreux

And those plates: http://ericacioe.weebly.com/index.html

Links to the online shops and websites of festival artists past and present can be found in every blogpost. Check them out!

Thanks for reading!

Please share your inspirations and creations

with us in a comment below or on Facebook. 

New Year, New Festivals!

12 Jan

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They say it’s the Year of the Horse, but we’re calling it the Year of the Festival…

We’ve got exciting news: Festival Fete has added TWO NEW SHOWS to the festival lineup for 2014!

Our first new show will kick off the season right in the heart of beautiful, downtown Newport, RI on Bowen’s Wharf, just outside The Landing Restaurant. A historic seaport overlooking Newport Harbor, Bowen’s Wharf is home to some of Newport’s finest boutiques and eateries, as well as 18th century commercial wharf buildings. Stroll along the water, check out the architecture, eat, shop, and be merry at the 1st annual Newport Art Festival, June 28th and 29th from 10am – 5pm daily.

Next up is the 1st annual Festival Fete Emerald Square Art Show, in North Attleboro, MA. This event marks Festival Fete’s first venture out of Rhode Island, and we are so excited to have the opportunity to connect local artists and artisans with the wider New England community! Held outside the Emerald Square Mall, and conveniently located right off the interstate, this show will be a crowd-pleaser. Join us on July 26th from 10am – 5pm for some locally grown art, food, and merriment in The Bay State!

Here’s where else we’ll be in 2014:

The 2nd annual Wakefield Art Festival will be held  along Main Street and the Saugatuck River in historic, downtown Wakefield, Rhode Island on October 4th from 10am – 5pm.

The 4th annual East Greenwich show will be back at New England Tech. Dates and times TBA shortly.

The 4th annual Garden City Center Art Festival in Cranston, RI. Dates and times TBA shortly.

Check out our website or the FAQ page for more detail on show locations.  We can’t wait to see you there!

Venetian Sea Glass from Murano, Italy

2 Apr

Do you collect sea glass? If you do, you know what a special and rare treat it is to find one of those gems from the sea. Imagine having a business that requires you to comb some of the most beautiful beaches in the world…

Gary de Blois is a graphic designer, amateur photographer, jewelry maker, and a lifelong beachcomber. His sea glass collecting hobby weaves together all these passions and he now gets to plan “business trips” to places like California, Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico.

Gary DeBlois collecting sea glass in Cayucos, CA

Gary DeBlois collecting sea glass in Cayucos, CA

We featured Gary and his sea glass business, Just Beachy Keen on our blog almost two years ago and it continues to be on of our most popular blog posts today. Sea glass collecting is a hot topic! So I thought I would check in with Gary to see what he has been up to lately…

Gary's pendants made from Murano sea glass!

Gary’s pendants made from Murano sea glass!

Gary works with genuine sea glass found on beaches around the world. While he does travel to collect sea glass, he also purchases from other collectors that he has met at various sea glass festivals. Most recently, he has been working with Murano sea glass from Italy.

Lately, I have been making pendants using glass found by a scuba diver off the island of Murano, in Venice, Italy. Murano has been known as the glass making capital of the world for hundreds of years!

We meet people from around the world who have amazing sea glass, and we now have friends in England, France, Italy and Greece just to name a few. Now we just need to find time to visit them all! – Gary DeBlois

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In his youth, Gary began sea glass collecting while spending summers on the coast.  This is where his passion for beach combing began. Those zen moments spent strolling the beach, enjoying the sights, sounds and scent of the ocean… ahhhh… tonic for the soul. Finding sea glass, in its myriad of shapes and colors, was like treasure hunting to Gary. At days end, these beachy gems were brought home, and placed in jars as keepsakes, colorful reminders of all the fun times spent playing in the sand.

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Now, he explores the coastal regions of the US as well as the world for sea glass, collecting it, photographing it and making jewelry and other whimsical objects with it. Only the most genuine sea glass is used, collected by Gary himself or his sea glass collecting cohorts. He works with sea glass as it is found on the beach, never grinding or reshaping the glass, only occasionally drilling as required. The result is a unique, one-of-a-kind, sea glass pendant, earring pair, etc.

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You can read much more about Gary’s other pursuits and even find one of his recipes in the blog article Sea Glass Journal. But be sure to stop by the Just Beachy Keen booth at the Garden City Art Festival on June 8th and 9th to see his genuine sea glass jewelry and other works using sea glass. They will also have t-shirts, note cards and photography that follows the sea glass collecting theme.

The Sea Glass Stoop in Cayucos

The Sea Glass Stoop in Cayucos

Check out Gary’s online magazine for sea glass collectors at www.seaglassjournal.com and his Etsy store for sea glass jewelry at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SeaGlassJournal

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Festival Fete would like to thank our sponsor:

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Holiday Market Artist: Deb Terilli

30 Sep

We are so pleased to have Deb Terilli, jewelry designer returning for another Festival Fete!

Deb works in a hospital as an IV Nurse, but relishes the time she spends in her small studio at home in West Greenwich, Rhode Island. Because she wears an I.D. badge every day at work, it was a natural fit for her to design some very creative ways to wear her badge, including some whimsical fabric covered name badge buttons.

In addition to the badge buttons, Deb creates beaded lanyards and eyeglass holders. All very beautiful and functional too! She continues to work with hammered copper and silver wire to create her one of a kind jewelry.

Deb says that she is so inspired by all of the jewelry artists that she has met and says, “I can’t wait to see everyone at Festival Fete’s Holiday Art Festival! It’s always an awesome time!”

We look forward to seeing Deb’s latest designs at Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City this December 1st and 2nd.

See you there!

Festival Fete would like to thank our sponsor Cardi’s Furniture for their support!

EG Art Festival – Check Out these Featured Artists!

22 Aug

CHRISTINA ALMONTE – So Loved 316     EMILY HIRSCH – Althalia Originals

Soap IS art, believe it or not!

 These days, soap comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and chemicals that are made up from all around the world.  The soap and body care line of 316 Traditional Remedies is naturally and beautifully based on what is not found in the ingredients that others use to artificially enhance and entice the senses.

Each product is carefully developed using the highest quality ingredients that include certified organic oils, plant extracts, minerals and clays for color.

 Although some smaller batches are made for pure fun, most are based on some traditional remedy that may be beneficial for various ailments or benefit a loved one undergoing cancer treatment, such as fragrant-free, extra moisturizing or simple chemical free, paraben-free products.

Christina’s inspiration for her work derives from her desire to find the cure for cancer.  She has been involved in the study of medicinal plants from around the world – both in the scientific research world of pharmaceuticals to living and working with traditional healers in the Amazon and bush of Papua New Guinea

Visit Christina Almonte of So Loved 316 online today to learn more about not only her wonderful art, but her strides toward finding a cure for cancer. You will also find Christina at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd!

Since 2002, Emily Hirsch of Althalia Originals has been creating beautiful handmade, one of a kind jewelry. Since beginning her career in jewelry making, Emily has made over 8,000 unique pieces, utilizing the highest quality sterling silver and semi-precious stones. Additionally, Emily has even created a small line of children’s jewelry and bookmarks!

Emily’s main inspiration behind her work are her parents, and her loyal, devoted customers who often claim they are “addicted to her jewelry”.

Visit Emily of Athalia Originals online today and make sure to come out to the East Greenwich Art Festival to support Emily, Christina and your other favorite local artists!

With the end of the year approaching – we’re already getting ready for the holiday season! Don’t miss out on Festival Fete’s Holiday Market – happening December 1st and 2nd at the Garden City Center in Cranston, Rhode Island!

Support Local Artists!

15 Aug

Andrea Ehret of String ‘N’ Things      Ashley Vick of Filomena Demarco Jewelry

These two wonderful jewelry artists will be out selling their artwork at the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd at the New England Tech Campus – Don’t miss out!

Andrea Ehret of String ‘N’ Things creates her jewelry using almost all upcycled materials that she has rescued from various antique stores, flea markets and garage sales. These items often include vintage and repurposed materials such as doilies, lace, buttons, keys, games pieces and toys – making her art form truly unique!

“Do what you love and what you enjoy, because you won’t have any fun if you don’t” – Andrea Ehret

Andrea also creates modern wreaths made out of yarn and felt!…

Andrea’s craft making all began about 5 years ago when she couldn’t find that perfect necklace to match her outfit. Out of her dilemma came wonderful jewelry making!
Make sure to check out all of Andrea’s wonderful artwork on her Etsy site today!
Ashley Vick of Filomena Demarco Jewelry  earned her BFA in metals from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. Utilizing the techniques of electro-forming, lost wax casting and various methods of fabrication, Ashley creates sculptural jewelry that is inspired by forms and colors found in nature – gathering much of her inspiration from her travels, specifically the southwest.
I remember discovering the transformative power of jewelry as a young girl, piling on my mother’s jewelry with a more-is-better approach, and how beautiful and special it made me feel to wear it. As a child, I had no concept of how much it cost or what it was worth. All I knew was the pleasure of wearing it and how it made me feel. Inevitably, I would get caught and, fearing loss or ruin, be forced to put it back. I think about how much beautiful jewelry went unworn and how it was locked away for safekeeping. The memory of this has shaped my relationship to jewelry.
According to Ashley, jewelry should serve people; people should not be in service to it. It is her hope and intention that the jewelry she makes be worn and enjoyed, that it lend itself to the expression of personal style, that it make a statement, and that whoever wears it will feel beautiful and special too.
Please visit Ashley at Filomeno Demarco Jewelry online today and make sure to come out to the East Greenwich Art Festival on September 1st and 2nd to support Ashley, Andrea and many more wonderful local artists!
And don’t forget to put the Festival Fete Holiday Market on your calendar as well!