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Redefining the Art of Recycled Metal
Alanna works with recycled metal – using up-cycled tin cans for her nature based sculptures. Alanna’s favorite subject — sea life— especially fish, has redefined the art of recycling. Her artistic materials come from beer cans, cat food can lids, scrap copper roofing, and other found metals. Alanna began exploring metal fish as a new medium in response to a call for entries in a weathervane competition. Her first fish sculpture titled “Starkist Gold – t’ain’t no tuna here” took the prize, attracted immediate attention, and spawned a large body of work that will be honored in 2021 as Alanna celebrates 30 years of creative achievement.
Wildlife Watercolorist on Paper
Alexandra is a self-taught artist, working primarily as a watercolorist on paper. Alexandra’s line of stationery gift packs featuring local birds, flowers and seasonal topics are created in the perfect spot, a large wooded area not far from the coast, where her subjects are at her fingertips, right outside her studio.
Nature-Inspired Landscape Artist
The colors, patterns and textures of the natural world are the source and subject of my art. My primary focus is on landscapes, driven by my lifelong love of being outdoors, no matter what the season. I never tire of Maine’s fast-moving weather or of watching the clouds and light dance across the sky, water, mountains, and woods. I spend a lot of time outside, sometimes painting en plein air, sometimes just observing or taking reference photos. When I put paint to canvas, I always feel free to rearrange objects and intensify or modify their colors and shapes to best capture the essential feeling of a particular moment.
Vejibags were created in Eastport in 2013 by Sally Erickson. Sally created what has become an internationally appreciated product out of necessity. She needed to keep veggies as fresh as possible from the time they were picked in her year-round greenhouse until they were taken home by customers at the local co-op market. She wanted to do that without creating plastic waste or using toxic chemicals. Sally knew moisture-loving vegetables keep best in a cool damp environment, like our grandmothers discovered when they moistened tea towels or burlap to keep produce crisp and delicious. Sally combined those ideas into a handy organic cotton bag, and came up with a beautiful result: the Vejibag.
Creating Artistically Functional Kitchen Tools
Charlie happily admits that woodworking has always been his life passion. From being in his father’s bow making workshop and learning skills from him, Charlie has created many wooden treasures — from archery bows, to toys, and now as a specialist in creating kitchen accessories. Charlie’s craftsmanship can be felt in every culinary tool he creates. From a range of spatulas and spoons, to cheese boards and oven rack pulls, you’ll feel and appreciate the combination of art and function in every creation. Your order includes a tin of Charlie’s custom created wood conditioner, so that your favorite kitchen tools live and last as a treasured works of art.
Mathematically-Inspired Design in Wood and Glass
Konrad has been working with hot glass since attending Penland School of Craft in 2000. Konrad spent several years perfecting his craft before moving to Northern California where he worked as an assistant glass caster. After completing a degree in mathematics from Humboldt State University, he moved back to his home community of Eastport where he continues his work as an independent artist. In addition to being a master glass caster, Konrad has brought together his love of wood and interest in mathematics in the masterful designs he creates — from Keepsake Boxes to his distinctive sets of coasters. In each creation of Konrad blends his love of natural materials with an appetite to explore be inspired by the natural wonders of the world.
Traditional Passamaquoddy Basket Artisan
Kenny Keezer, fifth son of renowned Passamaquoddy basketmaker Clara Neptune Keezer, lives at Sipayik (Pleasant Point) in Perry, Maine. He learned the art of basketry by observing his mother, but did not begin actually using the traditional ash and sweetgrass materials himself until the age of 28. He still uses some of the wooden tools that have been handed down for generations in his family: the cherished gauges, molds, and ash strippers. Each of Kenny’s baskets comes with a signed certificate of authenticity.
Combining Sand and Earth Elements in Glass
Janis Lesbines has immersed herself in the art of glass for over for over thirty years, with a speciality in creating dichroic glass jewelry. The artistic combination of sand and earth elements creates a unique outcome which transmits one color, reflects a different color, and produces a third color when viewed from different angles. The jewelry pieces Janis creates are individually designed and made by fusing several layers of glass together at about 1500 degrees — some fired multiple times to produce the desired effect. Wearers are both complimented and asked what they are wearing as the color palette creates a beautiful and dynamic piece of jewelry. When not creating jewelry, Janis is a designer and steward of private and community gardens in Columbia, Maine. Janis is an artist who blends her love of color and nature into every piece she designs and creates.
Designs Sourced From Nature
Meg McGarvey, a graduate of Cornell, is an artist in fibres and stained glass type work. An entrepreneur and philanthropist, she is deeply involved with the arts and education in her community of Eastport. Sourcing her designs and creations from nature, Meg spins wool and uses shells and other beach finds in wall hangings and jewelry. Meg is one of the partners at The Commons and takes great joy in being part of such a stellar grouping of other artisans and artists.
Contemporary Passamaquoddy Artisan
Jewelry from the Sea and Shore’s Edge
Laura has lived in Downeast Maine for 30 years. She loves the remoteness, breathtaking views and the close knit communities surrounding her home in Whiting. Each piece of her jewelry has a natural found object designed into it. Sea glass or stone, every discovery is used as Laura found it. Laura’s goal is to convey a sense of wilderness and freedom at the sea and shore’s edge, as well as the glorious range of colors she finds in nature — passing that on to the wearer of a piece of her jewelry. One can see in her work what Laura is quick to share, “It is a challenge and reward to work with what nature tosses onto my path. I have a sense of place that is indelibly etched into my being and into each piece of jewelry I create.”
Traditional Methods for Inspired Jewelry
Jeanette Ware has spent her life designing and working in the arts — copper enameling, leather tooling, and hand knotted oriental and braided rugs. She has drawn from these skills to focus her present work on creating nature inspired jewelry with silver and gem stones. Her life in coastal Maine and northeastern Vermont provide her abundant inspiration and joy for her work. Jeanette’s original designs are created using traditional jeweler’s hand tools, some of which date back to the early nineteenth century. All of Jeanette’s materials, findings and chains are sterling silver. A trio of dynamic women designers and silver artists from her apprenticeship days seem ever-present to Jeanette as she designs and creates her own work.