Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Adventure- Gathering of the Guilds

Today I visited the Gathering of the Guilds at the convention center. Artisans from the ceramics, glass, woodworking, metals, jewelry, and bead guilds all gathered to show their treasures. It was a perfect afternoon outing- no hassle parking, a reasonable amount of people attending (can’t deal with crowds), and so much to see!

I began with the glassworks and immediately fell in love with this artist; maybe because she blurred the lines of traditional glass art. Her name is Ann Cavanaugh and she kindly explained the process which involves a plate of glass layered with glaze and then fused. The results are these ethereal landscapes that will be even more beautiful when placed where they can catch the sun.


Next I went to the woodworking area and met Chuck Castro who was completely gracious and kept urging me to “touch the works, they’re not fragile”. His studio is called Terrene Creations and it is the kind of woodwork that appeals to me most- simple with an Asian feel. The pieces are so elegantly composed, they have a presence. These are not lamps you’re going to plunk down on any old table. They need a ‘space’. He also had beautiful screens- one of which would be perfect in our house to divide the dining room from the living room, without obstructing the light. I will definitely be revisiting once we’re back in acquisition mode.

two panels of the 3 panel screen that will be mine one day (also love the floor lamp next to it!)

Torii style lamp with handmade paper shade and Oregon walnut base

There was so much jewelry to look at it was almost too much (never thought I’d say that!). Virtually every style from more traditional looks to those more avant-garde. This designer, Mandy Allen, caught my eye. She uses silver and anodized aluminum- which allows her to work with color in a softer way than you usually see in jewelry. It’s very appealing. Her studio card is now on J's desk with several items
I like circled. The photos are from her website- too many people around the booth!

absolutely love these colors and the shape of the necklace

quirky shape and great color!

Last but certainly not least were the ceramics. Here I fall somewhere between my aesthetic in woodworking (simple, Asian) and jewelry (light, bright) and there was lots to see. One of the standouts in the clean, simple but functional lines was Standhardt Studio. I love the geometric texture on the outside of this bowl contrasted with the softer pattern inside.

I don’t often think of ceramics as wall art but Rhoda Fleischman changed my mind. The piece below is exciting both for its color and its dimension.

Finally, the last booth, where I fell so in love I treated myself to a piece to take home. A lovely little flat dish in the first color palette below. It’s on my desk right now. Michele Rigert does amazing things with both watercolors on ceramics and a glaze she created that feels almost like sand and gives an intense depth of color to each piece. Really striking.

All in all this was another interesting and enjoyable Portland event. I’m always a little timid and apprehensive about talking to people but need to let that go because every person I’ve met at a show, be it plants or crafts, is friendly and knowledgeable. I always have fun and learn something!

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