Span Trees

A folk art tradition from the Erzgebirge region of Germany is well-known for its intricately carved wooden items. One such item called span trees, which are decorative trees and ornaments based on the tradition of Spanbaumstercherel, which means “carving trees with intricate, curly branches”. This art is specific to that region and the video highlights an artist from the city of Seiffen.

The region is located in the eastern portion of Germany, on the Czech border, nestled in the Ore Mountains and was originally known for its mining opportunities. Up to 60% of the area is covered in forests and the area is now largely known for its wooden crafts. Span trees are created using a method developed in the 1930’s, the trees are carved out of linden wood.

(Thank you, Rochester Makerspace Facebook Group!)


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Weaving & Fiber Arts Center Open House – Feb 8

Weaving & Fiber Arts Center Open House 2015

The Center will host our next Open House in February. It provides an opportunity to see the variety of fiber arts on offer. There will be demonstrations and information that features sample work for upcoming classes. You’ll be able to meet instructors as well as other students who take classes at the Center.

Weaving and Fiber Arts Center
349 West Commercial Street
East Rochester, NY

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Call for Art: Art Awake (Deadline Feb 2)

Submission Flyer

ArtAwake is organized by a team of students at the University of Rochester and is a collaboration of a myriad of local organizations. Since 2008, the annual festival has already transformed four vacant buildings in Rochester through the participation of hundreds of local artists and musicians with over 1,500 average attendees.

You know I love the concept of transforming vacant buildings into something useful. Check out where Art Awake has been held in the past.

2008 – Station 55
2009 – 4 Pixley Avenue
2010 – 35 State Street
2011 – The Alliance Building
2012 – 97 Railroad Street
2013 – The Sibley Building
2014 – Cancelled to due logistical issues.
2015 – To Be Announced

The art submission form is here.

Station 55

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Emerging Artists Expo at Corn Hill Arts Festival

Emerging Artists with Arrow

The Corn Hill Arts Festival was started in 1969, when neighborhood residents – some of whom were artists from Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of American Crafts – held a street arts festival intending to raise funds to restore their historic homes and save their neighborhood. It didn’t make a lot of money that year but it was the beginning of long collaboration between artists and the neighbors. Forty-seven years later, the festival is still run by the Corn Hill Neighbors Association.

They have been featuring emerging artists for 7 years now, as do other festivals. I don’t know if this part is new this year or not, but I think it’s genius.

Accepted first time applicants are provided with a 10′ x 10′ tent and a central electronic payment site – all for $50. For reference – established artists pay a $35 non-refundable fee just to apply, and if accepted, $275 for a 10′ x 10′ space.

The application for emerging artists (between 15-25 years old) is here. The deadline is May 31, 2015.

The application for established artists is here. Deadline is March 15, 2015.

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Light Works! January 24 in Brighton


From Rochester Artisan, jewelry maker, drummer and all around fun gal, Pam Perkins:

Light Works! 5th Annual Wellness & Psychic Faire
1/24/15 Saturday, 1:00pm to 7:00pm
Brighton Town Park
Carmen Clark Lodge
777 Westfall Road

Free admission!

We’ll have a variety of intuitives, Angel and Tarot Cards readers. We’ll also have Chair Massage, Chakra Balancing, and aura photographs. We’ll have vendors with lots of unique items such as jewelry with semi precious stones, crystals, selenite wands, wall art, and more.

Vegetarian food available.

For more info go to

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Books & Beverages – Saturday, Jan 17, Fairport

FB Event Cover - Postcards

I love my job!

I manage the gift shop at Fairport Pharmacy. I’m proud to say we represent over 60 local artists and authors. There are so many Rochester Artisan members among them, I don’t have time to list them here so I recommend you stop in the store Mon-Fri, 9am-7pm or Sat, 9am-2pm to gaze upon the entire spectrum! :-)

Or! Stop by this Saturday, January 17, 10am-12pm, for our monthly event – this time featuring our local authors, who will be available for book signing and chatting you up!

Our neighbor, the completely adorable Red Bird Market, will be holding a tea tasting, featuring the wonderful teas by Tea-Licious Trendz. (Owner Cynthia Evans is a Rochester Artisan too – we’re everywhere!) Red Bird stocks a great deal of locally produced food too.

As you may know, the Fairport Public Library has moved to their temporary quarters (30 Perinton Hills Mall) while their usual location undergoes an 8 month renovation. So while that is happening (and perhaps beyond) The Corner Bookstore has opened on the other side of Fairport Pharmacy, selling books, collectibles and artwork through their Friends of the Fairport Public Library group.

We love our little corner of the world, Fairport Village Landing. Other neighbors include Crafts Bits & Pieces and The Tool Thrift Shop, both stores supporting our local Fairport Baptist Home. Skip’s Meat Market, The Gold Exchange, Anything Goes Clothing Consignment Shop and Casa Vin’Arte are among the other locally owned businesses in our plaza.

I hope you get a chance to visit us soon!

Tile Coasters

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2014 Blog in Review

Who doesn’t like stats & data? Am I right? I’m lookin’ right at you, Lori Prince!

Here are excerpts, based on a report provided by the nice people at WordPress.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 45,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 17 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

The busiest day of the year was October 23rd with 438 views. The most popular post that day was Artisans.

This blog had visits from 102 countries in all. Most visitors came from The United States. Canada & U.K. were not far behind.

The most commented on post in 2014 was What to do with unsold work?

2014 How did they find you

And the award for most comments in 2014 goes to :::drumroll::: Betsy Murray of Sunshine on Water!

Top Commentors.

WordPress also provided access to the report for 2013. Those stats were way higher than 2014. I chalk that up to 2014 being a “busy” year for me personally – life-changing events happened to all members of my family, some directly, some by ripple. We’re a strong, close family and every event has ended as well as it could. And my exceedingly generous partner, Steve, and I just got back from a 2 week vacation in Hawaii, celebrating the goodness and the good-riddance of 2014.

It took a few days, but even in Honolulu, I found the independant creative movement! (Click image to go to their website.)

It took a few days, but even in Honolulu, I found the independant creative movement! (Click image to go to their website.)




Filed under Food for Thought

Call for Art: Thaw

Thaw Header(Click image above for details and submission form.)

Susan Carmen-Duffy has a different theme for her gallery events each month – you can visit her Create Art 4 Good website for more information. Her February show, The metamorphosis of Love has a January 17 deadline – so you still have time to enter that one. I’m featuring the information for March’s Thaw exhibition for those who need a longer deadline. :-)

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Call for Art: Art Builds Community

East Irondequoit CSD Banner

Dear Artist,

My name is Melissa Phillips. I’m the art teacher at Ivan L. Green Primary School on Brown Road in East Irondequoit. I’d like to give you an opportunity to support our students and community by being part of our fourth annual….

Art Builds Community Dinner

In March 2015, the Ivan L. Green Primary and Durand-Eastman Intermediate schools will be hosting this event. The purpose of this community event is:

* To raise money and collect food for the Irondequoit Community Food Cupboard.
* To promote community service and make connections within our community.
* To raise awareness and support for the visual arts (March is Youth Art Month).
* To raise awareness and support for the music program (March is Music in our Schools month).

We would like to invite all artists and crafters to donate artwork for an art auction at this event.

We are looking for items with a value of under $20 (or gift certificates) for a ticket auction. The tickets will be available to purchase for .50 cents and participants will place their tickets in a container for the item they want to try to win. If you would like to donate an art work worth between $20 and $40 we will put it in a ticket auction where tickets will be $2 apiece.

We are looking for paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, scrapbooking, quilting, fiber arts, etc. If you plan to donate we request all contributors complete the brief information form that is attached. All artwork must be delivered to Durand Eastman or Ivan Green by February 13th.

The ABC Dinner is an event held at Durand Eastman on March 5, 2015, 5:30 – 7:30pm. Contributors are invited to attend the event; tickets are available for purchase for $5 which covers the pizza dinner and includes the student art show, community art show and performances. Proceeds of this event will be donated to the Irondequoit Community Cupboard.

I can be reached by email at

On behalf of the ABC committee I would like to thank you in advance for you time, effort and (hopefully) donation in investing in our students’ education.


Melissa Phillips

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Filed under Call to Artists, Generosity, Guest Post

I Heart Charlotte

I love Charlotte Reid Besaw! Meet her one time and she makes you feel like you’ve been best buds forever. She’s fun, super creative and talented as you can see from her HandCandy Mittens website. She turned me on to the Beekman Boys. I love her liberal politics. She posts cool stuff on her Facebook page. If I tell you that she’s a hoot and a half, you’ll believe me after you see that her profile pic is a little boy pissing on GMO villan Monsanto. See what I mean?


Anyway, I love what she wrote on Network! this morning in response to this common question in the professional art/craft world, “How long have you been doing it full-time and what did it take for you to get there?”

I have done this full-time since 2006. My hubby came on board (that is, he now works with me) in 2010. He has a part-time job with our village, but it only amounts to 3-4 hours a day at best. He gives me a couple of hours cutting and sewing linings for me, and is my sherpa for shows, serving as chauffeur, waiter, laborer, and best buddy. I also have a lady who does hand finishing for me, and hire a cutter when I can afford it. We have wholesale accounts in around 40 stores, so that extends our season with shows. We live a very simple life. Our vehicles are not brand new, and we paid cash for them… they are not pretty, but they get us from point A to B and provide sleeping quarters on the road. We don’t have credit cards, we love to cook our own meals on the road, we have a garden and can our veggies, we are junkers. We have the best life that we could imagine, and could not be happier since we left the world of retail and restaurants( for me) and construction(, for him). Yes, the hours are long, the bookkeeping and paperwork suck, but I would not go back to the alternative. I work all the time, but I am a maker. It is what I do. Without a creative outlet (Colleen :)) I would lose my mind. I must sew. And God bless me, I can make enough money to pay my bills, fill our bellies, and be happy. Our shows are like little vacations, especially in the summer. We have canoes, and love to strap one to the top of the vehicle…great way to wind down on a Saturday night.

Surrounded by Mittens

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