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Fantastical Flowers, Genetic Mutations? May 10, 2018 12:12

My mother had a natural 'green thumb' and under it, everything flourished and bloomed.  Growing up, she planted a Japanese garden around our pond, breaking her wrist in the process but never giving up on it.  She took Japanese flower arranging classes while we were in Tokyo and of course, was an active member of the local Garden Club.  I clearly remember an instance when she found a small branch that had been torn from a tree on the edge of our property during a storm.  I watched her stab the base of the branch into the ground and smile.  Sure enough, that branch grew into a lovely tree within 4-5 years.  She had a gift.

I did NOT get that gene, and if I was really lucky, I could keep a philodendron alive.  ...But I love flowers!  

As I continued to discover all of the versatility of polymer clay and learned more and more about how to manipulate it, I had the notion of creating shallow relief flowers for the Dimensional Art shadowbox collection.  What fun it was to dream up these creations!  Of course, it's impossible to improve upon mother nature, but it is creatively challenging to give it a whirl.  After making a series of shadowbox Fantastical Flowers, it occured to me that perhaps I should go 'off the wall' with the concept and try developing new creations 'in the round'.  

These table top pieces presented entirely new logistical challenges.  After mentally working through solutions to each problem, I gave it a try and have since created numerous Fantastical Flower table top pieces.  What I love about these is that they are a bit more versatile and can enliven a space. I hope the viewer finds them unusual and enjoyable to look at.    

So, while I didn't get my mother's 'green thumb' gene, perhaps I got a mutation of it.  And, I'd like to think that she would love the flowers I've imagineered.  On many days in the studio, I can feel her presence so perhaps she is lending her thumb to my projects.  

Recently, I so enjoyed meeting all of the wonderful and encouraging art supporters that I met at the American Craft Council show in Atlanta!  From that show, I was asked to create a commissioned piece and am delighted that the customer is enjoying her new creation!  Also, April Showers Bring Fantastical Flowers to The Dancing Sheep boutique in Cleveland. For the month of May, my entire garden of botanical creations will be on full display - Please stop by and take a look.


Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes... December 02, 2016 16:40

When I was in my early teens, and beyond, I was a huge David Bowie fan and especially loved his early song, "Changes".  The lyrics resonated with me then and now as life is a continuous series of changes.  

This past spring I moved out of my apartment to a location closer to the city of Cleveland and into a wonderful neighborhood that is close to downtown and numerous museums, galleries and activities.  My new digs are a house in a stable neighborhood which is a refreshing change from the transience of the apartment complex.  There is plenty of space here for my polymer studio AND a basement for the watercolor and construction aspects of the dimensional wall pieces.  And, my divorce was finalized, which is a really good thing.  Basically, the possibility of a new, fresh start was happening!  New Studio Digs

Shortly after moving in, a good friend introduced me to the owner of The Dancing Sheep which is a delightful boutique that features wearable art by a wide variety of incredible artists.  The owner promptly offered to display ALL of my dimensional wall pieces in her shop, including devoting an entire store window display to my work for almost two months!  

After that, I stopped by the local Heights Arts gallery and they immediately agreed to include my "Fantastical Flowers" in the upcoming Holiday Show in the gallery.  And, The Dancing Sheep took on my "Deep Gaze" series of pendants which go beautifully with so many of her artist-created jackets and tops.  

Finally, a lovely surprise email came from Sage Bray, the editor of The Polymer Arts magazine, which is a quarterly go-to resource for polymer artists around the globe. Sage invited me to be a "Gallery Artist" featured in the Winter 2016 edition.  I was flattered to say the least as only three artists are selected each quarter for this section of the magazine and past artists are well-known in the niche world of polymer arts.  

So, whew!  All of the upheaval and uncertainty that ushered in the beginning of 2016 fell away as new opportunities and the feeling of really good ju-ju took hold.  It was a lot of work, but I'm excited about the "Fantastical Flower" series and will create more of these fun florals;  And, the possibilities for the "Deep Gaze" series are endless.  

We'll see where this all leads next year.  More changes, I'm sure!  One thing that hasn't changed is that I when I wake up each morning, I'm so grateful that I get to spend the day doing what I love.  

Thank you for stopping by and taking a look at what I've created.  If I can create something unique for you or your home or business space, please drop me an email!


When Leaves Aren't Just Leaves Anymore September 17, 2015 14:40

As you may have seen on my website here, earlier this year I created a large shadowbox called "Winds of Change".  Apart from the rustic bowl, I created some leaves that appear to float down toward the bowl and become more decayed as they fall to the ground.  This is one of my favorite pieces.  I also really loved creating the leaves.  So, this past July I started thinking that it might be a cool idea to create a bunch of leaves for the Fall shows and allow customers to "Bag Your Own Leaves".  I was ALL over this concept and became a bit obsessed. 

 

 

Kathy McCurry, Encore Art StudioAfter making about 100 leaves, I started to worry about whether I might get bored with this project.  In my mind, this was a 'Go Big or Go Home' type of installation concept for my Fall Shows.  So, instead of just making leaves in the traditional Fall colors - which are lovely - I decided to use the leaves as a reason to experiment with all types of special effects that I was interested in trying out.  That's when it started to get really interesting!  With the exception of the basic shape, I decided to throw out all of the traditional appearances that leaves might have and go crazy with it.  So much fun, and the leaves took on new and really creative qualities.  Why not include blue?  Let's put in some metallics! How about some unique designs?  What if I tried this..... and that....?  I couldn't wait to get up in the morning and try something new.

So, my leaf pile grew to hundreds of leaves, and NO two are alike.  Each one is different and each one is like discovering a unique treasure. 

They breathe new life into a traditional dining table centerpiece;  they look great scattered around a foyer table or sofa table, or by tossing a few on a cocktail table, or putting some in a bowl or basket.  I also designed some to be used as Gift or Wine bottle Danglers to add a creative touch to the season's hostess gifts. 

I hope you have as much fun thinking about where to display your leaves as I did making each and every one. 

If you're near Leesburg, VA the weekend of September 26/27, please stop by my booth and pick through the pile of leaves and see which ones you'll want to bag.  Or, I'll be at the By Hand Fine Art & Craft Fair at the Cleveland I-X Center on November 13-15. 

If you can't get to a show to pick your own leaves, please let me select a beautiful bag of leaves for you from the wide variety that I've created - you won't be disappointed!  And order some Wine Bottle/Gift Bag/box Danglers while you're at it and give your gifts a little extra special-something.


Judge's Choice! June 10, 2015 13:58

Listen To Your 5 year old Voice...