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.
Staying safe this year is on everyone’s mind and I am looking forward to seeing your “mask on” eye smile!
Teaching classes/workshops is a large part of what I enjoy doing. Planning for more demonstrations on oil techniques which can happen at a safe distance. Techniques displayed are adding in cold wax to the oil paint for textured and layering options. Another favorite is using mediums and creating a soupy mixture of oil paint and painting quickly. Stand back for that one- it is quick, spontaneous and messy! But you will love it!
What will not change is how much I LOVE to talk about art and introduce others to what being an artist is and the appreciation of all art. It is the passion about painting for the stories told and how to teach others the beauty and love of self-expression through art.
Ugh! Making a video of what I do is hard! I “app dance”
from one of my photographic images to another, which is enormously fun for me, but would be like watching grass grow to the viewer.
(Really?? She’s moving another slider? Now she’s moving it back. ZZZZZZZ)
I also discovered that as much as I dislike being in front of the lens,
time, shockingly, doesn’t slow. My first attempts at videos were twice as long as suggested, even though I felt rushed.
Therefore, the attached video should be considered as a visual appetizer of what I do as an artist/photographer/creative.
Thanks for your interest, and hope to see you soon at the Studio Artour!
The camera helps me engage with the visual world, whether in nature, or society, or by myself observing how window light interacts with a flower. On my regular morning walks, the camera turns the walk into an adventure of discovery, helping me to see patterns, or the wonders of a dew-laden spider web. Back home, I sort through all the images I collected, rating and labeling them. And then deciding which to print as enlargements, or on greeting card stock, or to use in creating books or boxes.
Many years ago, visiting studios on the ArTour, I bought an accordion artist book to fill with my images. Then with Judy Saye-Willis’s help, I started making books myself, figuring out how to print on the paper of the books, how to fold the paper in different ways (see the “butterfly book”). One year I had a series of pictures of grates, and figured out a way to make a “Grate Book Series” of tiny books, each one a picture of a grate when unfolded. I needed a way to hold the set together, and in an ah-ha moment, created a box to hold them. Making boxes out of the images then grabbed my interest, providing a myriad of ways to combine patterns and subject into physical form.
During the Pandemic I have taken advantage of this abundance of time at home to play with photography, to explore different ways to use my images, and to hone some new skills. This spring I made many Origami boxes, experimenting with Japanese papers, and figuring out what size of top print would fit each size of the folded bottoms. I now have two shelves of models; no more guess work! During the summer I have been working with transferring my images to polymer clays, and then playing with the possible ways to use this new medium…book covers, cylindrical containers, boxes, translucent covers.
Art Sale – All proceeds to be donated to support: Juxtaposition Arts in N. Minneapolis and The Hideaway in Northfield
For years Joan and Jim Spaulding have supported local artists, transforming their restaurant into a gallery. They do not take a cut of any of the art sales; all go to the artist. During the time that my framed prints have hung at the Hideaway, two major events have disturbed our universe, the Pandemic, and the brutal murder of George Floyd. I feel moved to respond.
I am donating all proceeds from the sale of any of these prints: half to Juxtaposition Arts in North Minneapolis, and half to the owners of The Hideaway. Juxtaposition Arts is an amazing organization in North Minneapolis that “develops community by engaging and employing young urban artists in hands-on education initiatives…”
Prices are not reduced. The incentive is to support two worthy organizations that nurture artists. The prints are hanging at The Hideaway now, and purchasers may take them upon purchase. The sale runs through August 31. The prints may be viewed on my website: patsydewpix.com
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