Newly Juried, February through April, 2017

In calendar year 2016, the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen juried in 29 new members, and in the first three months of 2017, we have already accepted 14 new members and juried another member in a new medium. In addition, we currently have a number of jury applications from individuals awaiting a jury session. We are thrilled to continue to grow and flourish as an organization of master craftsmen, both with traditional and innovative craft media.

We are sharing here the bios of our newly juried members from early 2017 – look for their work in our Fine Craft Galleries and our Annual Craftsmen’s Fair!

featured-craftsmen-2Baskets

Sarah Fortin, a juried member in Weaving and one of the weaving jurors, is now juried in Baskets. She makes Ply-Split Baskets using paper raffia, waxed linen, and some cotton yarn. She must first make the 4 ply cord, and with a tool called a grip-fid, split the plies and pull the cords through the plies. One of her baskets received an award for Best Use of Linen at the New England Weavers Seminar Gallery Exhibit in 2013.

Jeffrey Gale makes hand pounded White Ash splint baskets. Every part of the process uses traditional techniques and 19th century tools. These baskets are made from a freshly cut Ash tree. A froe is used to split his logs into billets, and a mallet is used to pound the wood and get it to separate into splints for weaving. All the rims and handles are made using a shaving horse, drawknife, spokeshave, and small hand tools. The Smithsonian Museum acquired 8 of Jeffrey’s baskets in 2013.

Fiber/Felting

Denise Kirk creates hand knit felted bags and other items. She hand knits her pieces using wool yarn and then the washing machine to felt the piece. She finds inspiration everywhere and sometimes uses beads and buttons for embellishment.

Fiber/Stitchery

Diane Grotton had previously been a juried League member, juried in Dolls. Now, repurposed sweater bags and mittens are her main interest. All components of the bags and mittens are made by Diane, and repurposed materials are used as much as possible to do the entire product.

Joyce LeBlanc/Miriam Carter: Joyce has joined Miriam in a fiber/stitchery/felting partnership. Her work consists of precise, masterful stitching that is done mostly on a Pfaff 4.0 sewing machine. She also uses a Viking Diamond, depending on the fabric and final result wanted.

Glass/Wood

Louis Pulzetti’s work with wood and glass is the embodiment of his lifelong dream to design and fabricate beautiful objects. Louis particularly admires the ethic of the Arts & Crafts Movement … pride in work and pride in workmanship. In his designs Louis seeks aesthetic contrast, where his goal is to balance stronger lines and masses with contrasting curves and lighter, more delicate features. His materials have a natural weight, and with them he seeks to design with strength, balance and stability. He generally uses restrained color palettes. Many of his themes are organic and many borrow from flora.

Leather

Roger Brisson is an old style hand crafted/carved leather worker. His process begins by using a combination of sources to come up with a design best suited for the piece. He cuts the leather by hand using leather knives, and outlines the design using a swivel knife and textured leather tools. He pounds down the design into the leather to different depths, shading, etc., to create a 3-D effect until the detail of the image emerges. Roger sews everything by hand, occasionally using his leather sewing machine.

Metal

Gary LaRose’s work involves forged metal. His primary focus is on botanical pieces, and whimsical animals including his most popular Moose faces, fish, rams, elephants, and others.

Georgi Shishlov creates custom metal fabrication including furniture, railings, staircases, and interior and exterior furnishings. His work incorporates welding, brazing, and blacksmithing.

Metal Jewelry

Katherine Rudolph’s work is highly inspired by architectural forms. She enjoys isolating specific buildings and deconstructing them with an interest in understanding their logic and order. Her design process often begins with paper models which translate well into thin gauge sheet metal. It is through the direct manipulation of the materials that the possibilities of form and composition are truly discovered. Her jewelry ranges from easy to wear everyday adornment to sculptural art objects.

Mixed Media

Karen Roxby and Barbara Boucher make pysanky eggs by using the traditional method of wax and dye on a natural-blown egg (primarily chicken, duck or goose). Karen begins by pencil-sketching her design directly on the egg and then uses a kiska to “draw” with wax on the egg. When the first layer of wax is done, the egg is put in the chosen dye. The process is repeated until the design is completed. The egg is then held over a flame to allow the wax to melt off. The egg is finished with multiple layers of hand-rubbed varnish. Sources of inspiration include the shapes and colors of nature, and geometric designs and patterns.

Anne Dinan works with vitreous enamels and metal, and sometimes found objects. Copper is her main material to use with the enamnels but she also uses silver and steel. Imagery is a big part of her enamel work right now. Her process involves transferring her own photographs into a decal that is then fired in the kiln and fused into the enamel. Her inspiration comes from the contrast between nature and man made items.

Wood/Turning

John Drost turns wood bowls. His philosophy on woodturning is to keep it simple while concentrating on form, scale, proportion, and striving to show the best attributes of the wood in each piece. Embellishments are kept to a minimum. John likes to turn organic forms, specifically round bottom bowls, which has its origins from a gourd. As a wood turner living in Hawaii the Calabash form inspired him, and remains his favorite form to turn.

Photography

Matthew Sergeant’s work is described as large format black and white landscapes, contact printing in the darkroom to fibre-based paper; unconventional camera design and build Alternative process, contact printing to cyanotype.

Printmaking

Brian Cohen makes etchings from copper plates using techniques known and practiced since the start of the 16th century. Brian incorporates stencils, sandblasting, and airbrushing in his approach to printmaking. He works on several etchings at once. He wants to create images that viewers will take time to contemplate, that satisfy a desire for detail, presence, and fullness, with strong shapes and resolved compositions.

Taste of the League at the Meredith Fine Craft Gallery

Saturday, May 20th, 5 pm to 7 pm
Warm summer months on Lake Winnipesaukee bring the delicate dance of the dragonfly. Come to the League of NH Craftsmen Meredith Fine Craft Gallery, located on 279 Daniel Webster Highway (Route 3), for the Spirit of the Dragonfly exhibition and special Artist Reception during a Taste of the League event on Saturday, May 20th from 5 pm to 7 pm.

Come and meet the artists and enjoy some tasty appetizers created by Lakehouse Boutique Catering, paired with some of the fabulous wines from Hermit Woods Winery, one of the top 500 Wineries in the Country as voted by Food & Wine Magazine.  Bob Manly, one of the owners of the winery, will talk about wine and give away two-for-one coupons to visit their tasting room and tour the winery.

The Spirit of the Dragonfly exhibition will be on display from May 1st to 31st.

Spirit of the Dragonfly is a collaborative exhibit featuring the work of various League juried craftspeople in all media — jewelry, glass, metal, fiber, and more.  Dragonflies have been present in our world for over 300 million years. In their longevity, they have been revered by Chinese tradition as a symbol of good luck, in Japanese tradition as symbols of “swiftness and as a sign of summer and autumn”, and in many Native American cultures are symbolic of “purity, activity, and swiftness” (Almanac).

Dokus MeredithJack Dokus, a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen since 1976, states on his website’s bio that his “professional experience is ever evolving, but always on the foundations of technical quality and aesthetic validity.” Once you hold a pair of Jack’s newly designed dragonfly earrings or pendants in your hands, there is no doubt that you will certainly view both technical and aesthetic quality. Unlike the usual ‘view from above’ of the dragonfly’s wingspan, Jack took a different design approach when he researched and then chose a profile view of a dragonfly, a design feature often used in the Art Nouveau period. The intricately detailed profile view of the dragonfly’s head, wings, and body lead to legs which hold a pearl, giving life, character, and interest to this unique design which Jack feels is a “personal triumph.” We can certainly see why.

Updike small square dragonfly with gold MeredithFor six years now, artist Michael Updike, who is an accomplished sculptor of stone, granite, and marble, creating impressive memorial stones, has carved what appear to be fossilized creatures in recycled slate roof tiles. Inspired by a fascination with dragonfly fossils, and fossils in general, Michael finds it satisfying to carve dragonflies and other creatures into pieces of recycled slate. Michael says the allure of the dragonfly for him is its gracefulness and its well-proportioned shape. The dragonfly etchings seem ancient and natural on their neutral, yet expressive, pieces of slate.

YK outdoor dragonflyMany of us know the common symbolisms associated with dragonflies such as renewal,spring,and purity, but Kathleen Krzewinski’s metal garden art dragonflies are based in other symbolism that is deeply rooted in Kathleen’s past. When she was young, she lived in Japan, Europe, and the Philippines, and was fascinated with how Samurai warriors often had dragonflies on their helmets and apparel, symbolizing strength and victory. Later on, Kathleen came to appreciate the Native American association of dragonflies, as well, as a symbol of purity. She now feels the most meaningful dragonfly symbolism to be that of them being viewed as messengers between this life and the after-life—the idea that they can carry messages between the living and the dead. She shared that it is not uncommon for people to see dragonflies appear at a burial site. Symbolism aside, her colorful steel dragonflies are an alluring feature in any garden.

SI Exif

A large blue dragonfly visitor in Mary Ann Reis’ studio, several years ago, became the start of Mary Ann’s trademark painted dragonflies on her wheel-thrown porcelain pottery pieces. The green wavy lines, painted in addition to her dragonflies, connote movement and grace. The mystical qualities of the dragonfly, and what she refers to as their “happy patterns”, all contribute to the allure of her signature porcelain pottery.

Dugan dragonfly basketSharon Dugan’s love of the natural world, as well as form and texture, led her to include dragonfly designs in the weaving of her baskets. A self-proclaimed “farmer at heart”, she feels the dragonfly just couldn’t be denied in her work. Her beautiful baskets may be classic Shaker basketry in form, but with the incorporated woven elements of our natural world, like the dragonfly, they become unique in design and speak to the woods, fields, and waterways of New Hampshire.

Lucy Golden exclusiveExclusive to our Meredith gallery, are Lucy Golden’s dragonfly wing earrings, a new and delightful addition to our dragonfly exhibit. These beautiful silver and turquoise blue earrings are made of sterling silver and resin. Lucy, a 25+ year juried League of NH Craftsmen artist, has held a fascination with dragonflies and other insects since she was a child, even occasionally lecturing at Audubon programs on moths. Lucy says that incorporating her fascination and love of dragonflies and other insects into her jewelry, “brings things full circle” for her. We are grateful to have the addition of these winged beauties in our gallery.

Plan to join us for the reception on May 20th, or visit anytime during the month of May to enjoy these amazing and varied interpretations of the dragonfly as we welcome the summer season to the Meredith Gallery.

 

 

 

Taste of the League at the Hanover Fine Craft Gallery

The Hanover League Fine Craft Gallery invites you to an opening Artists Reception for our Spring Show:

A TASTE OF THE LEAGUE, May 5th at 5:00 PM
We are delighted to be showcasing fresh NEW WORK by artists:

Deirdre Donnelly, jewelerhanover-gallery
Featuring Deirdre’s latest collection ”Celtic Origins“ fine silver and 24k jewelry inspired by Irish symbols.

Tarja Cockell, fiber artist
Contemporary wall art as well as beautiful woven scarves and shibori dyed scarves.

We are pleased to welcome two wonderful, local food purveyors who will be here for the evening offering delicious taste samples of their products, Blake Hill Preserves: one of the country’s leading artisan preserve and marmalade makers, and Sunset Rock Goat Cheese: locally made goat cheese straight from the farm.

Free and Open to all.
We look forward to seeing you for art, conversation, taste sampling and drinks. Show will run through the end of June 2017.

Center Sandwich Fine Craft Gallery

julie and martha at sandwich

Martha Nichols has been hired as the next Manager of the Center Sandwich Fine Craft Gallery, and is excited to get to know all of you and continue Sandwich Home Industries long tradition with the League!

A founding member of the League of NH Craftsmen, Sandwich Home Industries has offered fine hand-made products and education in the crafts since 1926.

Julie Deak, who is retiring in June of this year, has been working closely with Martha to create a smooth transition. They have been hard at work in the gallery installing new shelves, painting and preparing for the 2017 season opening on May 20th. Enjoy shopping for all of your year-round gift giving needs with them. They are looking forward to welcoming you and sharing the amazing new work of our League craftsmen.

Featured Classes – May 2017

Glass Fusing SuncatchersHaust suncatcher

Instructor: Lynn Haust
Dates to choose from:  Wednesday July 12th, 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Ages: Adult
Melting glass is so much fun!  Cut brilliant colored pieces of sparkling glass and combine them with stringers, noodles and confetti. Your creations will be fired in a kiln, melting the glass into beautiful sun catchers. Learn to cut glass and arrange your design. Safety, glass technology and creative directions will be covered.


Kiln Fired Dichroic Glass PendantsHaust pendant

Instructor: Lynn Haust
Date: Saturday & Sunday July 22nd & 23rd
THIS IS A FIVE HOUR CLASS OVER TWO DAYS – THE SATURDAY CLASS WILL RUN 10 AM – NOON AND SUNDAY 10 AM TO 1 PM
Ages: Teen-Adult
Using clear and black Bullseye glass as a base, design and create a collection of glass pendants using dichroic, transparent and opaque glass. Experiment with glass frit, powders and other inclusions, including mica powders. Discussion topics will include firing schedule, safety and cold working techniques. Students will complete 12+ pendants. Several sterling necklace chains are included in the tuition, as well as an information packet.


Japanese Design for AllKiranada Japanese Design

Instructor: Kiranada Sterling Benjamin
Date: Saturday and Sunday, July 15th & 16th, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults
Japanese Design? What is it? What makes it unique? Here is a special opportunity to look at outstanding work of the past and present (with one who lived it for 18+ years)  and analyze the unique characteristics that makes it specifically Japanese. This two-day course is planned to extend your knowledge, build skills and to challenge your view of design and composition. It will consider how “east” and “west” view design elements.

Beginning with Yamato and Zen aesthetics, we will explore their application to historical and contemporary design work and look through the special lens of the kimono, this ‘classic canvas’ of Japan.

The class has a fiber-orientation, with specific information on kimono designing and how it developed through history but holds much information applicable to all design areas. You will create several of your own original designs and layout plans to be used as future reference material in your own art.  Work will be done with paper, glue, and pencil. Stimulating slides, visual materials and samples are included.


Be sure to visit our education page and link over to classes at a location near you – new options are cropping up all the time! Your local gallery might just have that course you have been wanting to take!

Arts come alive in Concord during Spring NH Open Doors & Capital Arts Fest

Next weekend, New Hampshire’s capital city, Concord, and home to the League’s headquarters and one of our fine craft galleries will be full of activity — arts related activity. On May 6th & 7th, the League presents Spring NH Open Doors, a fun-filled, statewide touring and shopping event showcasing the people, places, and products of New Hampshire. During this weekend, artists, craftsmen, farms, retail shops and other businesses in Concord and throughout the state are opening their doors and featuring special activities for all ages, including art and craft demonstrations, food samplings, live music, special sales, and more.

On Saturday, May 6th, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce is hosting Capital Arts Fest, a day-long celebration of the city’s newly revitalized downtown as an arts and cultural destination. Several arts-related activities and musical performances will be happening throughout downtown Concord.

One of those locations is the League headquarters. From 10 am to 7 pm on Saturday, May 6th, we are providing guided tours of our current craft exhibition, Pushing the Limits, and the Grodin Permanent Collection Museum. Juried members of the League will be demonstrating throughout the day and, to cap the festivities off, there will be a reception in the main Gallery from 5pm – 7pm.

demonstrators

Demonstrators include:

  • Grace Collette, rug hooking: Grace will demonstrate how she makes rugs by pulling loops of yarn or fabric through a woven base with a crochet-type hook. Rugs and tapestries are highly prized art forms found in the pyramids of Egypt, the palaces of Europe, the White House, etc.
  • Aaron Clapp, wood carving: Aaron will be carving spoons using pieces of wood recovered from trees that were overturned during the March’s northeaster. Come with any questions you may have about working with wood.
  • Claude Dupuis, wood turning: Claude will be demonstrating wood turning on the sidewalk under a tent. He will be turning tops that visitors can take with them.
  • Deb Fairchild, beadweaving:  Deb will be demonstrating her unique approach to creating lace with beads! She will also have pieces on display (and for sale) that feature a variety of beadweaving techniques. If you’ve always wanted to try your hand at beading, stop by and make your own floating necklace!
  • Cheryl Miller, fiber and stitchery: Cheryl will be making a fabric collage with a variety of materials with a sewing machine.
  • Jeffrey Gale, wood splint baskets: Jeffrey will demonstrate his process for making old-fashioned, wood splint baskets by hand. You can watch him carve freshly split wood and hand-pound it to form thinner strips of wood needed for the basket.
  • Stephen Procter, extreme pottery! Stephen will build a human-sized clay vessel in sections using two potters wheels and a large propane torch.

Featured Classes

We have a great slate of classes at The Craft Center at League HQ in Concord (49 South Main Street)  Click on the class title for registration details.

Itajime and Nui Shibori

kiranada shibori itajime resizedInstructor: Kiranada Sterling Benjamin
Date: Saturday and Sunday, April 22 & 23, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

Japanese shibori or bound resist-dyeing is an exciting and rewarding way to produce patterns on cloth. This ancient process, found as early as third century, is indigenous to many continents including Asia, Africa, South America, and India. In this two-day hands on workshop, students will explore a wide variety of beautiful dyed patterns on cloth, working with more than 15 different shaped-resist techniques, which the instructor studied in Kyoto, Japan.

***THERE ARE ONLY A FEW SPACES LEFT**


Expanding Horizons

expanding hoizons logoA collaborative workshop weekend with the League of NH Craftsmen and the Kimball-Jenkins Art School – June 23-25, designed for art educators, and working artists and craftsmen. Spaces are limited, so sign up right away!


Glass Fusing Suncatchers

Haust suncatcherInstructor: Lynn Haust
Dates to choose from: Tuesday May 16, Tuesday June 6 and Wednesday July 12, all from 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Ages: Adult

Melting glass is so much fun! Cut brilliant colored pieces of sparkling glass and combine them with stringers, noodles and confetti. Your creations will be fired in a kiln, melting the glass into beautiful sun catchers. Learn to cut glass and arrange your design. Safety, glass technology and creative directions will be covered.


Kiln Fired Dichroic Glass Pendants

Haust pendantInstructor: Lynn Haust
Dates to choose from: Saturday & Sunday May 20 & 21 or Saturday & Sunday July 22 & 23
THIS IS A FIVE HOUR CLASS OVER TWO DAYS – THE SATURDAY CLASS WILL RUN 10 AM – NOON AND SUNDAY 10 AM TO 1 PM
Ages: Teen-Adult

Using clear and black Bullseye glass as a base, design and create a collection of glass pendants using dichroic, transparent and opaque glass. Experiment with glass frit, powders and other inclusions, including mica powders. Discussion topics will include firing schedule, safety and cold working techniques. Students will complete 12+ pendants. Several sterling necklace chains are included in the tuition, as well as an information packet.


Japanese Design for All

Kiranada Mod Moriguchi Frag of 4 Seasons 1959 resizedInstructor: Kiranada Sterling Benjamin
Date: Saturday and Sunday, July 15 & 16, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Adults

Japanese Design? What is it? What makes it unique? Here is a special opportunity to look at outstanding work of the past and present (with one who lived it for 18+ years)  and analyze the unique characteristics that makes it specifically Japanese. This two-day course is planned to extend your knowledge, build skills and to challenge your view of design and composition. It will consider how “east” and “west” view design elements.

Beginning with Yamato and Zen aesthetics, we will explore their application to historical and contemporary design work and look through the special lens of the kimono, this ‘classic canvas’ of Japan.

The class has a fiber-orientation, with specific information on kimono designing and how it developed through history but holds much information applicable to all design areas. You will create several of your own original designs and layout plans to be used as future reference material in your own art. Work will be done with paper, glue, and pencil. Stimulating slides, visual materials and samples are included.


Be sure to visit our education page and link over to classes at a location near you – new options are cropping up all the time! Your local gallery might just have that course you have been wanting to take!

NH Open Doors: May 6th & 7th

nhod-collage

NH_OpenDoors_SpringMore and more businesses, craftsmen and fine artists have been signing up to participate in NH Open Doors every week. May 6th & 7th promises to be an exciting weekend filled with colorful, inspirational work set against the backdrop of our beautiful state.

Have you planned your tour yet? Visit nhopendoors.com to see our Spring participants and begin to sketch out your route!

35th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show Showcases Members of the League: April 27th – 30th

image001

Mark your calendars for the 35th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show at the National Building Museum, Washington DC, April 27th – 30th, 2017. This show features 120 artists representing all facets of contemporary design and craft– basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art, and wood. Serious collectors and casual visitors alike will find one-of-a-kind works of art in all price ranges. Admission includes special events on the theme of “Looking Back and Moving Forward” featuring nationally known experts in the field of fine craft and design. See exhibits of stunning quilts by Visionary Artist, Faith Ringgold, noted for her narrative quilts. The Smithsonian Craft Show, produced by the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, supports yearly grants to the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries, nine research facilities, traveling exhibits and the National Zoo. Over $11.5 million in grants and endowments have been awarded since 1966.

Here are the League of NH Craftsmen juried members participating in this year’s show:

Kathleen Dustin:

KDustinWorking2017People often ask me, “Where do your ideas come from?” I feel that part of my job as an artist is to pay attention, and so for lots of years I have been paying attention to the stages in my life and those of women around me, to the material culture of women in the exotic places where I’ve lived, and now to my quiet life and the natural world around me. The imagery of my work comes from taking a deep look at my life, responding to it, and reinterpreting it within jewelry and handbags.

People have also occasionally asked me, “Why don’t you make sculpture?” In my mind, sculpture just sits there collecting dust – you aren’t supposed to touch it. But a purse is personal: you engage with it. Every time you open your handbag to pull out your lipstick or phone, your life is enhanced by this exquisite, finely crafted container. Plus, it shows others what a marvelous person you are.

You may find out more about Kathleen and her work on her website, kathleendustin.com.

This is Kathleen’s 11th Smithsonian Craft Show. Kathleen has been a Juried member of the League for many years, is one of our League jurors, and may be found in booth 538 at the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair.


Molly Grant:

MollyGrantOxfordOption-4I began leatherworking in my early 20’s, first by working on my own and then by apprenticing at the Black Swan Leather shop in Portsmouth, NH, where I learned the basic skills of traditional leatherworking. I first saw Cordwainer Shoes when I was ten years old at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, known nationally as the oldest craft fair in the nation. I became a juried member in 1989, and participated by showing my line of handbags. There, I had the opportunity to meet Paul Mathews, owner of the Cordwainer Shop. Within a few months’ time I was traveling to craft shows nationally with Paul and learning the Cordwainer art. I still makes handbags, but my main business is footwear and teaching shoemaking workshops at the shop and at craft schools across the country.

More information about her work may be found at cordwainershop.com.

This is Molly’s 4th Smithsonian Craft Show. She has been a Juried member of the League for many years.


Zachary Jonas:

Zach Jonas-2I draw much of my inspiration from a global variety of rich and long-standing traditions of bladecraft. I am intrigued by the mystique and technical perfection of the samurai blade, by the sinuous curves of the Persian and Indian armory, and by the hardheaded pragmatism of Western pieces. It is not only the aesthetics that I seek to draw from these traditions, but also the beauty of function; without function, a knife is only an ornament, and without beauty, it is only a means to an end. Each of my blades is capable of performing to a very exacting standard.

The art of the bladesmith is a deeply satisfying experience. It is both challenging and elemental in nature, requiring intense heat, considerable strength and focus, and an acute personal bond with the materials at hand. Without any one of these, there can be no knife. As such, the craft both offers and demands a reverence for the history and tradition of making and using edged implements. I hope to write my own small chapter into this history, to continue and expand the ancient art of knife making, and to produce exceptional blades in the process.

You may find out more about Zach and his process on his website, jonasblade.wpengine.com.

This is Zach’s 2nd Smithsonian Craft Show. He has been a Juried member of the League since 2012, is a League Juror, and will be in booth 625 at the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair.


Blair LaBella:

Blair 1My beach stone jewelry series is, in a sense, a coming full circle for me. With my upbringing in an old New England coastal community and all my adult years of living and raising my boys on the coast in southern Maine, as well as the gravitational pull that the ocean and coastline have on me, it’s no wonder I have landed where I am. Working with the beach stones is second nature for me from the collecting and composition of the design layouts for each piece to the clean and unadorned metalsmithing that I incorporate.

My connection to the LNHC is broad and with longevity. I was originally juried into the League in 1991 in Ceramics, which is what I have a BFA in from RISD. After a short while, I shifted gears into making ceramic jewelry and was juried into the Non Metals jewelry category. Over time I evolved into becoming a Metalsmith jeweler and juried into the Metals category where am now entrenched. The League has been there throughout this journey. I could easily say that the League and the juried members have been an integral part of my career. I consider all of the juried members of the League to be parts of an extended family. Regardless of the medium that we work within, we connect, collaborate, inspire, encourage and critique one another. I remain steadily involved with the League as I am on the Standards Committee and the Fair Committee. I am also a juror within the Metals category and have taken on the organization for music at the Fair. I was honored and humbled when awarded the Blackstone Volunteer Award for 2016. The League is an organization like no other that I am aware of; I feel the possibilities are endless when the inspirations, enthusiasm and energy of its membership, volunteers, leadership and staff converge.

You will find more details of Blair’s design philosophy on her website, blairlabella.com.

This is Blair’s 1st Smithsonian Craft show, and she will be in booth 518 at the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair. Blair’s work may also be found in the League’s Littleton, Meredith, Nashua and North Conway Fine Craft Galleries.


Hideaki Miyamura:

Hideaki vase with blue waves glazeI was born in Japan and lived there for much of my early life. While there, I studied and apprenticed with a master potter for six years. At first, my studies focused on form. I made thousands of sake cups, then thousands of tea cups, then, eventually, vases and other forms, until my hands and body could create without the intervention of my conscious mind.

I performed thousands of experiments with glazes, seeking always to find the mix of materials and temperatures that would produce the iridescent effect I desired. The Chinese tea bowl that first captivated me was a variation on the yohen tenmoku, a dark and mysterious glaze that reminded me of a clear night’s endless sky (in Japanese, in fact, yohen means “stars glistening in a night sky”). Through my years of research and experiment my passion for particular glazes broadened, but I never lost the first desire to find forms and colors that would give infinite life to the light.

You will find out more about Hideaki’s work on his website, miyamurastudio.com.

This is Hideaki’s 11th Smithsonian Craft Show. Hideaki has been a Juried member of the League since 1994, and will be in booth 802 at the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair.


Irina Okula:

Okula_Irina_photoI am a ceramic artist who continuously experiments with pattern and texture with unflagging curiosity. My shard pots are like crazy quilts where the quilter designs and weaves the fabric as well. Each pot begins on the potter’s wheel, and is trimmed, dried, sanded, and hand burnished. After a bisque firing, the form is broken into several pieces, taped back together, and sketched. I create a one of a kind design and decorate each piece. Then those decorated pieces are packed into an enclosed clay container, a saggar, packed with combustible materials, and fired again. Once cool, the pieces are reassembled and glued together, yielding a beautiful melding of patterns, designs, textures and colors.

Honored for Excellence in Ceramics at the 2015 Smithsonian Craft Show, Irina Okula is one of 120 of America’s finest craft artists selected for the 35th Annual Smithsonian Craft Show in 2017.

For a closer look at Okula’s saggar shards and other one-of-a-kind ceramics, check out clayshards.com or iokula.zenfolio.com.

This is Irina’s 2nd Smithsonian Craft Show. Irina Okula is a long-time member of the League of NH Craftsmen, has her work in all of the League’s eight fine craft galleries, and will be at the annual League of NH Craftsmen’s fair in booth 702.

Pushing the Limits – Opening Reception

exhibit-collection-4Amazing art happens when craftsmen are challenged to work beyond their comfort zone. That is the focus of the League of NH Craftsmen’s vibrant new fine craft exhibition, Pushing the Limits, on display from April 7 to June 23 at the Gallery at the League headquarters, 49 South Main Street in Concord, NH. The exhibition features 41 pieces created by 35 juried League members that are the result of each maker’s skill, boundary-pushing creative vision, and passion. A wide range of media are on display, including one-of-a-kind jewelry, fiber, pottery, and more.

“It is very exciting to see our juried members take risks and explore the boundaries of their medium,” said League Standards Manager Catherine Green. “You can’t help but marvel at the range of media, colors, textures, and visions – the exhibition is truly a sensory delight.”

An opening reception, where the public can meet and speak with the participating exhibitors, is scheduled for Friday, April 7th from 5 pm to 7 pm. We are excited to welcome the creator of the cardinal featured on our Pushing the Limits graphic, Robert Carrier, who will demonstrate his craft beginning at 5:30 PM during our opening reception.

The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturdays, 10 am to 4 pm, during the exhibition.