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.
The joy that John has for nature and the woodworking process, inspired by his woodworking father, shows in every creation he brings to life from burl wood, which is a woody outgrowth on a tree. He harvests the burls without hurting the tree. In Downeast Maine since 1969, John has made his living from fine carpentry, and now has developed a passion for carving out the various forms he discovers tucked inside each burl. A John Cashore carving will bring natural magic and a reverence for the natural world into your home.
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.
Fiber Artist Inspired by Nature
Catherine Dawson’s creations in fabric art, prints, and quilts are in museums and private collections nationally. She appears in the prestigious listing of National Quilt Artists. Catherine’s work is “all inspired by the landscape near my home and studio in Red Beach where I have lived and worked for over 35 years.” Her primary medium is fiber arts using cotton and silks that she has dyed, pieced, quilted and embroidered to create contemporary abstract and representational pieces. Additional medium includes watercolor on paper and stone, relief and collograph prints, needlepoint, and Ukrainian eggs. Catherine’s images intend to evoke either meditative contemplation or exuberant and whimsical joy.
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.
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.
Traditional Maine Culinary Artist
Based on old family recipes, Betty Maker is a culinary artist — making her Blueberry Bliss products by hand using the finest regional blueberries – and no fillers. Downeast Maine is known as the Blueberry Capital of the World. The native low-bush blueberry plant produces a smaller and much sweeter fruit than the cultivated plant in other areas. At the top of the best antioxidant’s list, Betty takes great pride in carrying on the culinary arts that produce the makings of a great Maine Morning Breakfast. She knows you’ll appreciate the delicious difference!
Nature-Inspired and Functional Fiber Art
Sue Martell is a fiber artist whose creations are nature inspired and functional. The forest surrounding her home on the shore of Pocomoonshine Lake provides abundant inspiration for her art. Her rock art (potholders and table runners) pay tribute to the rocky gems found along the shoreline. Her unique landscapes mirror the calming natural beauty of Washington County, Maine. The balsam for her mini landscape pillows comes from her land and smells like a refreshing walk in the Maine woods.
Woodturner of Quality Kitchen Tools
Al had little knowledge of woodturning before his grandfather’s lathe came into his shop in 2002. He was immediately inthralled. Al is a self taught woodturner, who credits other Maine craftsmen and his trust in God’s plan for each of us for his career today — creating beautiful hand crafted kitchen tools to produce delicious outcomes. Rolling pins and biscuit cutters are Al’s speciality — you’ll know that when you first feel his creations in your hands.
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.
Maker of Naturally-Wonderful Bracelets
Kristen loved making bracelets as a teenager. Following a professional path that allowed her to become a well-appreciated women’s health specialist for her adult life, Kristen has recently retired to go back to her “first love” — creating bracelets. Kristen’s new venture allows girls and women of varying ages and sizes to wrap a bit of wonder around their wrists, so they can constantly see, feel and touch a combination of nature, art, and joy Kristen has woven into every creation.
Contemporary Passamaquoddy Artisan
Jewelry that Inspires
Each time I design a piece of jewelry I am continually amazed that the finished piece looks even more beautiful, magical and special than could be imagined at the start. Jewelry that stands the test of time is thoughtfully designed, created with quality materials and is a source of inspiration to the one who wears it. It is important to me to source the best quality materials with a low impact to our environment; I use recycled metals, conflict-free stones, and acquire supplies and services as locally as possible.
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.