Jacqueline Bryant Campbell – Jacq’s Dolls
www.jacqsdolls.com or Facebook: www.facebook.com/jbryantcampbell
Favorite color: I’m really drawn to blues and reds. And purples. And yellows. And some greens, like that perfect spring green when all the trees have budded and they are just covered in a pale green haze. Ok, I don’t have a favorite
Feeling that best describes your work: Joyful
Favorite vacation spot: St. John, USVI, but wherever there’s a beach and drinks with little umbrellas in them could be my favorite.
Favorite handcrafted items by other artists: I just love handmade items! Whether it’s a beautiful platter or one-of-a-kind earrings, I love the feeling I get from knowing that someone used their skill and energy to create something wonderful.
What inspires you to create your work? I started making dolls ten years ago when my daughter, then 5 years old, asked if I could make a doll for her. I didn’t know anything about doll making, so I had to do a lot of learning in a hurry! Her happy little face inspired me to keep making dolls, and now the happy faces of those I meet keep me inspired to create dolls that are as special as they are.
What are you reading right now? “King of the World” by David Remnick. It’s about Muhammad Ali during the early 1960s, focusing on his bouts with Sonny Liston. It’s fascinating.
Thank you Jackie — we love having your dolls (and you!) at Gala!!
Ruth Beer Bletzinger – RuthieLine Jewelry Designs
Your name: Ruth Beer Bletzinger
Your business name: RuthieLine Jewelry Designs
Your website: www.etsy.com/shop/RuthieLineJewelryDsn
How long have you been an independent artist? About 20 years
What inspires you to create your work: Making jewelry is a wholly joyful experience. Specific inspiration comes from Art Nouveau and dance. For me, both feature lush and graceful curves.
Tell us the feeling that best describes your work: Sinuous
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? Higher education administrator and program director focusing on access for underserved communities.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? I tend to over think things. One day a friend said quite kindly and simply, “Work on getting out of your head.” Still a work in progress, this advice has been incredibly helpful in many ways.
What is your favorite color? Name it! I love color!
What superpower would you have and why? The power to bestow opportunity. Not everyone comes into the world with the same opportunities. It would be great if each person could encounter the opportunities he or she needs.
Where do you dream of retiring? I worked in higher education for many years and enjoyed that career. Now, I get to make jewelry on a full-time basis wherever I am. I’m living the dream!
What is a favorite piece of art – that you own or in a museum? Almond Blossoms by Vincent van Gogh (Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam)
What music inspires you? All kinds of rock & roll to renaissance, baroque, and classical.
What historical or famous person inspires you? Dorothy Height
Ruth Bee Bletzinger
RuthieLine Jewelry Designs
I love jewelry and love making it. And, it’s wonderful to see someone delight in wearing a piece that I’ve made!
The fascination with jewelry started as a kid, watching TV reruns of Hollywood’s classic swashbuckler movies and constume dramas. The actresses (well, the actors, too) were dripping with jewels, as treasure chests burst with shiny, rich baubles. It made a huge impression. It was love at first sight!
It took a while, though, before getting started. That began in the 1990s, when I happened on a bead show at the old Silver Spring Armory. Booth after booth had trays full of beautiful beads and baubles, just like the treasure chests in those old movies. Totally hooked from that moment, I bought a cache of beads, took a basic jewelry-making class, and was off and running, creating and selling jewelry in my spare time out of my home. Over time, I took classes with different jewelry artists, read, and expanded into metalsmithing with sterling silver and copper.
After a career in higher education, I took the plunge in 2010 and established RuthieLine Jewelry Designs as a full-time venture. I now have an online shop, participate in various shows and markets, and have a collection at Gala, where I’ll be teaching jewelry making classes. What a joy!
Chaya Richman – Chaya Tile Works
Interview with Chaya:
Your name. Chaya Richman
Your business name. Chaya Tile-Works and Pottery
Your website. www. chayatileworks.com
Your Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/chayatileworks
How long have you been an independent artist? Roughly, eight years.
What inspires you to create your work? I get inspiration from many things. Mostly from nature, texture and patterns, the human body and my Jewish heretige.
Tell us the feeling that best describes your work. Earthy and whimsical.
What jobs have you done other than being an artist? Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given? Don’t get too attached to your pieces. If what you are trying to make does not succeed, don’t be afraid to destroy it and start over.
What is your favorite color? Green
What superpower would you have and why? I would love to be able to get more things done so I would have to go with the ability to survive without sleep.
Where do you dream of retiring? Somewhere where there is great weather, amazing views and wonderful fresh fruit and veggies.
What is your favorite piece of art – that you own or in a museum? We have many Chinese ink paintings of my late mother –in- law. It is hard to choose just one. She was an amazing artist and very prolific.
What music inspires you? I listen to different genres of music. For the most part, I enjoy listening to NPR while I work.
What historical or famous person inspires you? I have gotten some of my inspiration for my tiles from William De Morgan and William Morris.
Chaya Tile Works and Pottery
While at the University of Maryland getting my degree in Hearing and Speech, I took a pottery class. What I thought was going to be an occasional stress relief turned into my life long obsession. Although I took classes from several wonderful teachers, I am basically self-taught.
I began, like many people, taking classes on the potter’s wheel. However, my attention soon turned to hand building. Something about the challenge of the hand building process attracts me, keeps me engaged, and wanting to push the envelope.
In 2004, I took a tile making class at the Corcoran School of Art and knew immediately that I found yet another obsession. The process of making tiles fits my personality well. It requires attention to detail which I enjoy. Around 2006, I established a home based studio called Chaya Tile Works and Pottery, producing decorative relief tiles and hand built functional pieces for use and display.
I participate in many shows in the Washington Metro area and Pennsylvania. I sell through my internet site and in local stores. I also teach a summer arts camp and after school classes for kids.
My greatest satisfaction comes from designing pieces in my studio and knowing that others will enjoy displaying and using them as much as I enjoyed creating them.
Thank you Chaya! We love having your artistic work at Gala!
How long have you been an independent artist?
I have been making work in metal and jewelry since I was a child. About 14 years ago I started my path toward earning an M.F.A in metalsmithing and jewelry design and that is when I began to exhibit and sell my work.
What inspires you to create your work?
I am driven by materials, processes, form, texture, and the archeological record.
Tell us the feeling that best describes your work.
I strive for a feeling of evocative beauty
What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
I have been an educator – first as an Outward Bound instructor and then as a professor of metalsmithing and jewelry design.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
To Make! Even when your creativity feels blocked, just keep making something and to not just sit thinking about making. In essence, to not get too mired in my thoughts, but to let my hands guide me out of the creative doldrums.
What is your favorite color?
I can rarely settle on a favorite for all time, I am going to go with a deep orange at the moment.
What superpower would you have and why?
For my super power to work, I need to have a primary power and a secondary power. Primary would be time travel (so secondarily I would need fluency in any and all languages).
Where do you dream of retiring?
I dream of travel when I retire – I want to continue visiting countries I haven’t yet visited and traveling to be with friends in other locales.
What is your favorite piece of art – that you own or in a museum?
I cannot even begin to pick a favorite work of art – a recently viewed exhibition that is still lingering in my mind is the 2013 Hirshhorn exhibit of works by Ai Weiwei.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I am reading as a means of escape and relaxation, so pulp romance it is and I am not embarrassed J
What music inspires you?
In the studio I listen to my nostalgic song list – songs with feel-good memories from the 60’s – early 90’s that I listened to from childhood through college. Sometimes I need something with a bit more drive: Led Zeppelin or the Finnish folk-metal band Korpiklaani. When I do more repetitive stuff I listen to audio books – I like to listen to murder mysteries when working.
What historical or famous person inspires you?
I cannot choose just one – there so many explorers, thinkers, tinkerers, and artists to consider.
What do you want to tell us about yourself?
I live in Hyattsville, MD and in the Gateway Arts District region.
Metalsmithing is my passion and heritage. Working with metal has been a consistent thread throughout my life. My father is a blacksmith and my maternal grandfather was a tinsmith. As a young girl I hammered at the anvil and that sound, the malleability of the metal, and the transformation of shape had me enthralled. After earning a BA in anthropology and pursuing non-art careers, I decided to follow my love of and legacy in metal to earn an MFA in metalsmithing and jewelry design.
I create well-crafted jewelry in sterling silver and karat gold that has an organic beauty designed for a fashionably modern woman who feels an affinity for a style that harkens to another time. I strive to make my jewelry elegant without being flimsy, gorgeous without being precious. I enjoy creating jewelry that illustrates a variation on a theme. My work could be considered limited production rather than one-of-a-kind production, but no two items will ever be exactly the same.
Thanks Carol-lynn! And thanks for being a part of Gala!
INTERVIEW WITH – Jody Mussoff
Jody MussoffThe superpower I would love to have:
To FlyWhat I’m reading right now:
Lacuna, by Barbara KingsolverAt this moment, Gala has 2 original drawings by Jody, along with several of her whimsical ceramic pieces.Thanks Jody! Nice to get to know you a little better!
INTERVIEW WITH – Elaine Marks of Ladyfingers
What is your signature color: Green
OCTOBER INTERVIEW WITH – Mary Kearns of Herban Lifestyle – Making the world a happier, healthier, better-smelling place.
What is your signature color:brown, green, purple, orange
AUGUST INTERVIEW WITH – Kathryn Andrews of pricklygirl art + craft – Make. Do.
What is your signature color: Grey, Brown, & Green
JUNE INTERVIEW WITH – Amy Abrams of Amy Abrams Designs – Romantic, Whimsical, Divinely Feminine
Plume Heart Reversible Slide Pendant with Sapphire
What is your signature color: Aqua
Let’s dive right in Michelle:
List 3 things in my handbag right now: sugar free swiss hard candies, knitting needles, lip gloss
What superpower would you love to have: Flight
If you could live anywhere you wanted (money’s no object), where would it be?: Iceland and the English countryside. and France. And Piedmonte, Italy. And Vancouver. and Vermont.
What’s your favorite Reality TV Show?: stopped watching them but used to be Project Runway. Not the same since Bravo got robbed.
What are you reading right now: The Walking Dead, Cat’s Eye and the Silo Series by Hugh Howey.
What’s your favorite item you’ve ever made?: probably one of my nesting sets with different types of woodland creatures. or a mermaid.
Where do you see yourself/business in 5 years?: In five years I see myself doing the same thing better, with greater skill, and more time to do it in!
Thank you Michelle, for letting us take a peek at the “Michelle” behind the awesome felted toys of Babus Toys!