Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Yardbirds© Garden Art at Smith Galleries

Azaleas thrive on Hilton Head.
It's official, Spring is here. The birds are busy searching out the perfect nesting site and the azaleas are in full bloom. My lemon tree is bursting with buds ready to open filling the backyard with their sweet scent, and Rusty is keeping watch over all that is happening in the front yard. Rusty is our hound dog made by Rich Kolb, founder of Yardbirds©.

Rich Kolb, creator of Yardbirds©
Rich and his father started Yardbirds© more than 25 years ago using scrap metal for their raw material. The popularity of those first animals quickly turned Rich into a full time critter creator. Using parts from garden tools, cars, bicycles, farming implements, and even doorknobs, Rich has created a menagerie of animal sculptures for both indoor and outdoor use. He also makes a variety of objects for the home including wine bottle caddies, salt and pepper shakers, pet dishes, and key holders.
"Barker The Dog"

His animals have almost as much personality as Rich himself and can add life to any party. And speaking of parties, a Louisville resident, Rich celebrates the Kentucky Derby with a huge party.

Although Yardbirds© were originally designed for the outdoors, most customers tell me they use theirs indoors. In either setting, they are equally happy and  will make your day brighter.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 on the second level of The Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 843.842.2280

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

QMT Wind Chimes at Smith Galleries

Arias Elite Wind Chime

    The clay bells of Hazel Olsen, the glass windchimes from  Bottle Benders, and now the metal wind-chimes of QMT all have their unique appeal. From their diverse appearances to their individual sounds, these music makers are all popular additions to our outdoor living areas.

    The Arias Elite metal and wood chimes from QMT have unusual musical capabilities. These hand tuned heavy walled aluminum tubes produce exceptional tone and resonance. Available in six different sizes, each is tuned to a musical chord. Maybe one reason I (Jean) like them so much is because I play in a hand bell choir, and the longest set of chimes remind me of the sounds of our church carillon. You can feel the rich tones down deep in your soul!  You can find out more about the attention to detail that is taken in the making of QMT chimes by watching their video.
    Those of you who have visited Smith Galleries in person have undoubtedly heard us tell about the artists we represent and how we have gotten to know their families over the years. This is one advantage of craft as a business. Another characteristic of craft businesses is that they very often are made up of families. This was true with both Hazel Olsen and the Chalfants. It is also true of the Baisden family who own QMT chimes. Made in America has always been important at Smith Galleries and we enjoy getting to know the artists who run these small creative businesses. Just another reason to shop small!
Click to learn more

   Smith Galleries is located in suite J-II (UPSTAIRS) in the Village at Wexford at 1000 William Hilton Parkway. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. Call 800.272.3870 to purchase or for additional information. Visit Smith Galleries on the web at http://www.smithgalleries.com See map here.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Bottle Benders Wind Chimes at Smith Galleries

Jean and Ted Chalfant
    There it goes again--a glass windchime tinkling in the breeze making a bright happy sound. It's like a choir around here with the different sounds of the clay bells of Hazel Olsen ( see last week's blog) and the Bottle Benders glass chimes. As you listen you can tell the sounds apart just as you separate the tenors from the sopranos in a choir. These glass chimes have a very interesting history, Jean and Ted Chalfant began making their glass chimes in 1970, about the same time that Wally and I, as well as Hazel Olsen, began our careers in the arts. Now, more than 45 years later, the Chalfants have three generations of family in their business.  Bottle Benders is a very appropriate name because the chimes began life as wine bottles! After they are sliced, they along with the bottom of the bottle, are melted in a kiln on their way to becoming music
26" Length
producers. Marbles are also melted to make the dots in the middle of the chimes. The parts are all combined with string that will last for more than ten years, stainless steel chain, 16 gauge steel decorative tops that have been powder coated to prevent rust, and other parts American made parts that have been tested for quality. The result is a beautiful musical chime that delights both the eye and the ear. 
    The chimes are made to go outside but some care should be taken in choosing the appropriate spot for them.  They really love sheltered places like screened porches and other areas protected from strong wind. But don't worry should the unthinkable happen and your chime have an accident, Bottle Benders has constructed them in a way that makes repair/replacement a simple matter.

    Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway on Hilton Head Island, SC, on the second level of the Village at Wexford in suite J11. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. Call 800.272.3870 to for more information.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Wind Bells by Hazel Olsen at Smith Galleries

Hazel Olsen
    It is a sunny spring day here on this February day in Hilton Head Island. As I sit here at my computer I can hear the wind bells ringing in the breeze. Hazel Olsen, a California artist, has designed a group of ceramic wind bells we feature here at Smith Galleries. Bluebirds, chickadees, and cardinals compete with pelicans and dolphins for ringing dominance. Incorporated into her designs are shells, driftwood, and other natural elements from her California home.
Double dolphin windbell 
    Hazel hasn't always been a production artist. A working mother of three and a teacher, she opened a studio in 1970 where she could not only focus on her love of clay, but could provide a work space, equipment, and classes for other developing artists.
    Fast forward to this century--Hazel has a successful business in which her grown son plays an artistic role. She has taught ceramics and design for the University of California at Santa Cruz and has exhibited her work internationally while maintaining her creative and business roles at Potters Studio.
     Inspired by the coastal wildlife and flora of her home, Hazel's wind bells are a perfect fit for Smith Galleries. Oh, and she loves cats also!
    You can see these lovely wind bells in person in Smith Galleries at 1000 William Hilton Parkway,  on the upper level  in suite J11 of  The Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The gallery is open from 10-6 Monday through Saturday. Other places you may spot them are on our Facebook and Twitter, pages as well as on Pinterest Smugmug, and our website smithgalleries.com. For additional information, email us at wsmith@smithgalleries.com or call us at 843.842.2280.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Carol Lummus Etchings at Smith Galleries

Carol Lummus
  Smith Galleries is pleased to represent the etching artist Carol Lummus.
    Carol is a second generation Cape Codder, and a twelfth generation New Hampshirite.
    Her favorite critique of her work was from Hal La Croix of the Monadnock Ledger:"Carol's work is refreshingly devoid of self-concious artistic pretense. Her elaborate lines portray Victorians and other foppish folk that have a warmth and spirit which forms coy statements on social conventions."
    Carol is a graduate of the Walnut Hill School of the Performing Arts, and Colby Sawyer College. She attended the Massachusetts College of Art, and the University Of Geneva (Switzerland) She studied with William Holst, and Hannes Beckmann, Hanover, NH.
    Carol and her husband Bert, a former book editor (now master framer) have two children, Sarah and Jonathan and a granddaughter.
    The etching process is a combination is art and craft.
"I worship the water he walks on"
Etching by Carol Lummus
The end result is the creation of a true hand print. Carol starts with a copper plate the exact size of the etching she desires. The plate is then covered with a hard "ground" which is a coating made of bees wax, rosin, and asphalt-um. The ground protects the plate but allows the etching tools to penetrate. Lines are drawn by scratching through the ground exposing the plate. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath which incises or "etches" the lines into the plate. This process is repeated until the desired results have been achieved. The aquatint process can be used for tonal effects and deep biting can be achieved with acid. Hand engraving of the plate may also be added. The printing is done by inking the plate after the ground is removed to all all the lines and crevices. The surface of the plate is wiped with a special cloth so that ink is only in the etched lines. Lastly, the plate and moistened paper are run through an etching press. Each print is an original as they are inked and printed one at a time, then signed and numbered. Click here to see the entire selection.
    Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway, in suite J11 of The Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday.

Friday, July 15, 2016

John and Linda Whitney at Smith Galleries

Necklace, bracelet, and earrings by John & Linda Whitney
 New to Smith Galleries is the jewelry of John and Linda Whitney. The Whitneys have been metal-smiths for many years. They strive to maintain the goal to produce a smile on the patron's face by creating a jewelry work that is well crafted but very affordable. All of their work is made from beginning to end by using the traditional metal working technique of fabrication.
John & Linda Whitney
    When they started creating pieces in the early 1970's they were all sterling silver and gold, but now they have expanded and added red brass, copper, and nickel silver. These copper based alloys and polymer clay have added colors and oxidations that were never possible with traditional metals. One example of this is how they continue to experiment with polymer clay as a way to add color and surface design to jewelry. Only by using this clay can they make the light weight pieces with motifs inspired by African textiles and Aboriginal art of the South Seas.
    The cut pieces of metal are shaped over silver-smithing stakes or tree stumps with the use of forming and raising hammers. The surface is sometimes chased to add in a surface description or a corrugation. Then the work is assembled with silver solder and gas torches. Natural stones are used to add integrity to the designs.
    Their studio is a little like stepping back into the pre-industral age as they only use hand tools with the exceptions of the finishing equipment. They even use non-toxic chemicals, salt and vinegar to clean the metals surface.
    The Whitneys write, "Our ever bonding love for the plasticity of metal and the joy of creating with our hands is our daily inspiration."
    Smith Galleries is located upstairs at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 of  The Village at Wexford. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Tessoro Jewelry at Smith Galleries

QAN4 Salon Necklace, Birch Bark, Amethyst,
Lapis, Sterling Silver
Deborah Bushinski, the creator of Tessoro Jewelry writes..."In the beginning the jewelry was an extension of the painting i was doing and my contribution to fashion, which always held my interest. I spent many years as a fine art studio painter and art wear clothing designer in the northern Minnesota woodlands. It is from these early years, spending time in the wild studying natural form, that my design sensibility was honed. It is all about texture, color and composition, as each piece is crafted with the immediacy of putting paint on canvas.

Deborah Bushinski
Today the current of creativity often carries me to
international destinations for inspiration. The earth, sky and sea of the Mediterranean coast in Spain, with its rugged open-space beauty and haunting ruins to cosmopolitan urban centers such as Barcelona, Rome and Athens. It is here when discovering and connecting with jewelry artisans, found exploring sleepy side streets, or in viewing ancient jewelry designs found in museum collections that i feel my passion fueled with a fresh perspective, opening up for me the currents of international and timeless fashion. After all Tessoro truly aims to create the ultimate in art jewelry for every day, every woman."

See more Tessaro jewelry featured at Smith Galleries.

Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 (UPPER LEVEL) of the Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. 843.842.2280