Michelle Ahlers creates her jewelry in her studio just outside Faribault on her flower farm, where she draws much of her inspiration. Collections reflect a balanced earth feel with such names as, ‘out of the blue, ‘golden harvest’, ‘from the sea’, & ’naturals’.
Michelle uses mixed metals, semi-precious stones, wood, glass, and other elements.
Antique brass connects 4 Howlite Strands
Native Fringe. Versatile beaded fringe will be enhanced by copper mounts
Everyday wear, Leather meets Copper
‘Out of the blue’ collection
Last January, images for the Weft Faced Weaving class offered by the Weaver’s Guild caught my eye. The colorful patterns reminded me of woven pieces from indigenous groups across the globe, from Scandinavian countries to the Americas to West Africa.
A Zoom weaving class?
“Why not!” I decided.
My approach to weaving is inspired by Saori, a contemporary Japanese style of weaving dedicated to free-form expression and pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind. So this more structured approach would be a major departure for me.
I am so thankful I took the dive! The teacher was great and made Zoom learning a breeze. It was inspiring to once again connect with fellow fiber enthusiasts and I also found that once I had the patterns under my belt there was lots of room to play with color and maintain my ability to design on the fly!
Samples of my weft face weaving from class:
Applications are now open online for the 17th Annual Studio ARTour. This a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in the Farmington, Northfield and Faribault, MN area will be held Oct 8-10 and we are looking for artists to participate. Registration now at StudioARTour.com
Artists are welcome whether or not they have their own studio because they can be a guest at another artist’s studio stop*. This year, in addition to our established and experienced creators, we are encouraging young artists, emerging artists and new-to-the-scene older artists who are making work as a second career to apply.
We will also be looking for artists interested in mentoring and hosting these emerging artists, if they need one. This will be reflected in our application which you can access here: https://2021southcentralmnstudioartour.artcall.org
The Studio ARTour is interested in fostering a wider range of artists in this, their 17th annual celebration of regional art and artists. We are looking for makers who are just out of school, or getting started as well as creators who may be retired and starting on a new discipline as a second career. All are welcome to apply to the tour! Whether you are a long-time studio tour artist or brand new, it is a great way to showcase and sell your art. It’s very easy to apply and pay online.
*Each artist must apply individually.
The Studio ARTour is a co-operative event among a group of artists in the areas around Farmington, Northfield, and Faribault. We open our studios to the public on the second weekend in October and invite you to come out and see where and how we work!
In 2020, The ARTour featured 11 studios and 27 artists; many of the studios on the tour have several artists working in a variety of media. The artists are happy to answer questions and provide information about the art. In addition to having work for sale, some studios will have artist demonstrations.
On the Studio ARTour, you can experience a wide range of media. Some of the disciplines represented are: ceramics, glass, jewelry, metal work, painting, photography, textiles, and woodworking.
Michelle Ahlers creates her jewelry in her studio just outside of Faribault on her flower farm, where she draws much of her inspiration. Collections reflect a balanced earthy feel with such names as, ‘out of the blue’ , ‘golden Harvest’ , ‘from the sea’ ,& ‘Naturals’. Michelle uses mixed metals, semi-precious stones, wood, glass and other elements.
Glass Garden Beads, LLC
318 Central Ave. N. – Suite 105
Faribault, MN 55021
After 50 years of walking painting in this place I love Nerstrand Minnesota . This past year I experienced hardest and best of life Losing my Precious Avis married 51 1/2 years and being honored with being inducted into the Pastel Society of America pastel Hall of Fame . I am back in my studio and painting both Pastels and oils and beginning my second 50 years . I welcome old and new friends come and celebrate with me Paint what you Love . Walk in the Light . Fred Somers
Having been on the ArTour for over 10 years, 2020 shakes us all up with the covid-experience but those of us on the ArTour 2020 are up to the challenge, extending all the social distance norms to our studio spaces. Once again Dianne Lockerby and Julie Fakler are together for Studio 10 but in 2020, due to covid restrictions, we have changed our location to the Paradise Center for the Arts on Central Avenue in downtown Faribault. Julie and I will be exhibiting in the same studios where we teach our classes for the Paradise Center. Another advantage is that the Paradise Center is fully handicapped accessible.
Due to all the ‘free time’ that covid presented me with, my work has taken a new turn. Yes, I will have my various bowls and functional ware that I so enjoy making, but this year my leaf faces have a bit more expression. Many of my new thrown pieces will have carvings on/in them. Tami Resler has presented several carving on clay classes that ‘have given me inspiration’ and I have been having fun decorating my pieces. I hope you like the new style.
I love the birds. In addition to the oriole bird feeders that I have been making, this year with my ‘covid-time’ I have started making some birdhouses! These fall into my whimsical category, although the birds may consider them functional. These birdhouses are all one of a kind and totally handmade. They start with a thrown clay jar at the center, onto which I add pieces which turn the handmade jar into a man’s face, a dog or cat’s head, a bird’s head, even a unicorn. Entry from the front, cleaning from the back and completely weather resistant as they are glazed. Fun and unique. These took me out of my normal realm of clay creation. I have covid to thank for the extra time to fill, and I did! Hope you like them!!
Looking forward to seeing those of you who will be venturing out for the ArTour!
Sleepy Bean Studio will be in a new location this year! Our wonderful friend, Jenn Wolcott, is taking a year off so Heather, Cathy and I had to find new locations. Colleen Riley and Donovan Palmquist of Eureka Pots graciously let me come to their studio (#1 on the tour map and in our hearts). I am already calculating how many pair of earrings I will have to sell to come out even on all the pottery I will buy.
This pandemic has been stressful for many reasons, but one of the upsides is endless time at home and in the studio. I have learned a few tricks with new mediums, including wood cuts, stains, rivets, shrinky dinks (you read that right 😉 punches, leather and felt. I will have my ornaments again this year. Along with my usual earrings, necklaces and perhaps a bracelet or two. I have a whole new batch of charm necklaces that started out as single earrings from my grandma’s stash of jewelry. They are mixed with other found items like drift wood and unique treasures.
I have been researching my Norwegian ancestry during these hunker down days and my new earrings were made channeling my inner Viking shield maiden. If ever there was a time for protecting oneself and for battling all the evil forces out there…
Speaking of COVID projects, I have (finally!) started a website and an Instagram page. I am adding new things all the time. By that I mean I am paying my recent college grad to add things for me. Thanks Boo! Check out all her hard work! LOL.
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