Peggy Karr

redpoppiesbanner2__02889

Peggy Karr has been making things for as long as she can remember. As a kid she laid out the plans to make a “flying suit.” And she was convinced that she could make one! In College she majored in art with a focus on ceramics. Her knowledge and experience with clay, firing and throwing have been a useful foundation for her foray in to fused glass.

16b aut grd aut grd

After her first introduction to kiln fired glass, Peggy researched the art form at Corning and through other sources. She made mold out of clay and then fired them in her clay kiln at 1600 degrees. The first effort included a square plate with a cow.

Peggy Karr Styles 1

We love how delightfully easy it is to mix and match and use in any dining/serving situation.  Peggy has created custom colors to her specifications, making each plate uniquely her own. The colors are laid on to the glass blank using as many as 10 different stencils with sifted powdered glass colors filling in the blanks. Designs generally start as a hand drawing and then gets converted to the computer so that the stencils can be laser cut.

mooe

Each piece can be presented decoratively or is “art you can use!” Peggy Karr’s Fall designs are currently featured in our store windows. Stop by and take a peek at these gorgeous Shades of Autumn.

 

20150914_171052

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Bliss

It’s that time of year when we can take some time to sit back and enjoy the great outdoors – right in our own backyard!

Backyard

In May and June there is a lot of yard work to be done.  Beds need to be weeded and mulched, vegetable and flower seeds need to be planted, and the grass seems like it needs to be cut at least twice a week.

July and August bring hotter temperatures which means the grass doesn’t grow so fast, our gardens are lush and plentiful (cucumbers anyone?) and the flowers are in full bloom.  We don’t even mind the extra watering of plants because the rain barrels have been kept full this summer with all our rainy days! It’s time to sit on the patio with a good book, a refreshingly cool drink and take in the view.

rain barrel

As I look around my backyard I realize that my love of handcrafted items is reflected outdoors too. We have two sculptures from the studio of George Carruth; a statue of St. Francis is standing by the birdbath and Fern prominently looks over the yard from his perch on a fence post. These pieces are delightfully detailed and will weather year round temperatures, but as you’ll see many more to choose from in our stores, many pieces are perfect for indoors too.

Fern

My eyes fall on a butterfly house from Heartwood Architecture, witches balls by Kitris, Jeff Price’s levitating marble (my personal favorite) and a repurposed wine bottle holder from Delia – still holding wine bottles, but now being used as yard art.

ButterflyHouse

witches balls

levitating marble                                                         

Stop by any of the Appalachian Spring store locations to see many of the fabulous items that make up our Garden Department.  Perhaps you’ll see the perfect birdhouse or garden sculpture to add to your yard.  Then take a break, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor and experience Backyard Bliss!

I love to Make things!

I love to MAKE things.

Over the years I have identified myself as someone who enjoys the process of making things by hand. Years of working at Appalachian Spring have given me a true appreciation of the works created by our craftsmen and artists. In the interest of feeding my own desire to be creative, I joined a neighborhood “crafting” club, where in the company of friends, we tried our hands at various projects for home and garden. (These days, we are more of a Let’s Go Out to Dinner Club!)

I am a good student of any discipline.  I love the tools of the trade that support creative endeavors and I enjoy the process of making things by hand from scratch.  My latest projects have included a holiday cross stitch sampler, a crocheted throw for our guest bedroom, and a knitted scarf. I love what I make and enjoy the time that I spend making things.

FullSizeRenderxstitch        FullSizeRenderthrow         FullSizeRenderscarf

 

I was inspired when I met the delightful K. Gereau, one of the fiber artists whose work we carry at Appalachian Spring.  Kristin creates fabulous wool/silk knitted scarves that she then “felts” or “fulls” to the most spectacular creations that I have seen in a long time. She has an amazing eye for color and fiber choices and artistically blends them into a unique, easy-to-wear original designs.

Kristin Gereau is an artist! During our brief conversation, she casually mentioned that she would be “knitting all summer” in an effort to get our order ready for early September. I like to envision Kristin working on one scarf after another, with the latest season of Downton Abbey in the background, because that is exactly what I will be doing!

 

KGereau                         Scarves

Pens for Spring

When I think of spring, I inevitably think of Merrie Bachman. In addition to being an outstanding polymer clay artist, she is totally immersed in the beauty of spring flowers. Around her home in Connecticut she maintains a bountiful garden filled with an amazing array of flowers that are the inspiration for her Spring Collection of pens.

 

1010391_588778124478301_1592617350_n-300x199

 

She collects the flowers and twigs from her garden, carefully dries them, and then combines them with a transparent polymer resin. The resin is rolled into thin sheets and made, one at a time, into pens. The flowers are so real that you can feel the crushed petals in the barrel of the pen.

The first flowers of spring are the daffodils, which grow in abundance in her garden. That’s where her collection begins. The flowers are gathered and dried, then the petals are ground and combined with the polymer to preserve their beauty long after their brief blooming season has ended.

 

daffodil_pen__06968.1356972338.350.400

 

Hydrangeas bloom later in the season and Merrie gathers both flowers and stems for her hydrangea pen. She dries and grinds both, but the distinctive color and texture of the pen comes directly from the blossoms.

 

hydrangea_penjpg__89398.1356972444.250.250

As a delicious addition to the floral collection, Merrie makes a pen from watermelons. For this she uses a dehydrator to dry the beautiful red fruit. Once dried it is mashed and mixed with the polymer. The finished pen not only shows the color and texture of the watermelon, but sometimes there is evidence of a watermelon seed as well. The finished pen is decidedly evocative of the fruit from which it is made.

 

watermelon_pen__78301.1358656154.250.250

Merrie’s pens are a delightful way to capture some of the fleeting beauty of spring and carry it in our pocket even after the season itself has passed.

GP default