Wednesday, February 25, 2009

New Featured Artist and Giveaway

AND THE WINNER IS: Rosemary. Congratulations.

Laurel from Ellemardesigns is our new featured artist. Laurel is generously giving away this simple yet striking year-round Mountains & Pines Ornament . This ornament was hand-decorated on a hollow ceramic circle that is 3" wide and 1 1/8" thick, then fired to cone 06. It is quite light weight. The front of the ornament features a mountain landscape with trees in the foreground, while the back of the ornament is glazed in glossy dark brick red. It is totally one of a kind, and would make a great gift for yourself or someone special in your life.




Laurel has been creating art for most of her life and enjoys creating intricate freehand black and white glaze patterns on ceramics, as well as more naturalistic designs.Like this great expresso cup and saucer.

I recently had a chance to "talk" with Laurel via email and ask her a few questions about her inspirations, work and being a WAHM, homeschooling mom.....

What inspired you to begin creating your ornaments?The ornaments are a fairly recent endeavor for me – as of last November, actually, when I saw some in my local ceramics studio and wanted to try doing them. Certain shapes are a real pleasure to work with, and give me a variety of small “canvases” to be creative on. I've only been seriously working at my art for the past two years or so, although I've always enjoyed drawing and painting. The drawings came first (my college notebooks are full of the abstract stuff in the margins – it's a good thing I can listen and draw at the same time!). I started decorating ceramics about a year ago, and was hooked. Here is one of her stunning drawings...



What inspires you?The natural world, with its patterns of symmetry and texture, inspires me more than anything. But I like to see and learn from all kinds of visual art. My work has echoes of some Native American design (like Acoma Pueblo pottery, which I greatly admire but would never try to copy), and I love textiles and ceramics. Finally, my Christian faith inspires me to share the Gospel through my life and art.

Why do you homeschool? And what lead you to that decision?Oh, that's hard! It's been a tough year, I can't give a pat answer. I home school mostly because it's the best environment for my kids to learn and grow. I started home schooling after our son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome (usually called a mild form of autism) in an Early Kindergarten program. He had some sensory issues that made being physically in a school very trying for him, and we realized that teaching him at home would relieve many of his difficulties. Socially, home schooling allows him to learn with and from a wide range of kids and adults, in many situations. It also allows our kids to explore their own interests through school activities – unit studies have been very useful to us.

How do you balance running a home-based business and homeschooling your children?My Etsy shop is very new (opened just last October), so this is a learning process for all of us. Since I haven't had a large number of sales, I'm not spending a lot of time away from schooling. I work on my art projects mostly in the evenings, after the kids are in bed, and I do the administrative/networking/chatty Etsy stuff on a catch-as-catch-can basis during the day.

What has been you biggest handmade "oops"?Probably just the learning curve of decorating on ceramics, using different techniques. I have quite a few “seconds” at home because I only want to put my best work up for sale. I have high standards for what I sell, and if it's not something I would buy myself, I won't sell it to anyone else. So, I have NOT made a profit on my shop - yet.

How do you spend your time when you are not creating?Besides taking care of my husband and kids, I'm an avid gardener, a total bookworm, and a history nerd. If I had cable, I'd be sure to have the History Channel on every evening while doing my art. Before staying home with my kids, I was a Special Education teacher. We are in the process of moving since my husband recently started a new job in another part of our state, so life is a bit unsettled now, to say the least.

To enter the giveaway simply visit Ellemardesigns shop, comeback here and tell us in the comments what your favorite item in her shop is (please don't forget to leave contact info). This contest ends on March 12.



14 comments:

Robin@creations-anew.com said...

Great post...what tallent...I'm in awe!!!

I like the "Jazz Blue" framed work...stunning. It would really go well in my "new Bathroom" HEHEH


Robin

lrohler said...

This was a hard choice to make. I think the item I like most is the teal swirl mini vase.

Create Me A Canvas said...

Very talented...nice stuff! I love the Shubunkin goldfish plate as well as the Jazz blue framed art. Beautiful!!!
My contact info: acs79sheley@yahoo.com

Ilena said...

Beautiful items difficult to pick a favorite. I did really like the ornate turquoise trinket box.

Brandon said...

I really like Jazz Blue, its so pretty. Blue is my Fav color, its very calming.

Melissa

Kathy said...

What beautiful work. Thanks for sharing.

Huebsch Designs said...

I think my very favorite item is the ornate turquoise trinket box...really nice! Nice interview.

Cellchic

Lona said...

I love ellemar's work! The intricacy of the patterns on ceramics draw me... My favorite is this ornament:

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=20246931

I think it's called leaves and vines (I have a short memory).

Thanks for hosting this great giveaway!

Lona at shadysidefarm.etsy.com

Shannon said...

The coffee addict in me is saying the espresso cup and saucer are my favorite.

Rosemary said...

I love, love, love the ferns and leaves vase. I think I made the comment once in the forums that I could just picture beautiful yellow daffodils in that gorgeous vase!

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21854176

Rosemary
www.minniemaes.etsy.com

Linda said...

I like the vase with the leaves the best.

I have worked as a potter for many years and love to see some creative surface decoration.

mompotter

jennifer said...

All the stuff is so refreshing and unique. It is a very hard choice. I guess I have two faves. One is a general fave: I like the bright vibrant colors that are used. As for my fave item. I would have to say I favor the fish. I think it would make a great dish and a wonderful conversation item. The fact that it is a round plate makes it really seem like its in a fish bowl. Very nice!

jennifer said...

Jennifer's contasct info is: www.ENUWBE.etsy.com

Rosemary said...

I wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity to win Ellemars beautiful ornament!