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.
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.