Friday, April 20, 2018

Bovano of Cheshire Featured at Smith Galleries

Jim, David, and Kevin Flood...three generations
The History of Bovano of Cheshire began in 1952, when working alone in the basement of his home in Cheshire, Connecticut, artist Jim Bower began experimenting with powdered glass fused to small copper plates. His playful approach resulted in early designs applied to small glass enamel plates, which were sold under the name Bower Enamels.
Blue Flowers with Dragonfly
    It wasn't long before Jim met John Bonsignor who realized the potential of developing a much wider array of glass-enameled products. John moved the studio to the upper floor of an old foundry building in Cheshire and began a passionate pursuit of copper enameling. The name "Bovano" was coined from the first two letters of the last name of each of the three original owners: Bonsignor, Van Leight and Noden.
    In 1964 David Flood partnered with John to continue the growth of Bovano of Cheshire. Dave and John collaborated together through the 1960's. It was also during this time that the company made a dramatic change away from copper enameled plates and trays turning instead to the creation of simple little copper enameled flowers. Later designs were extended to larger tabletop flowers, with a growing choice of flowers, bonsai and maple trees, birds and butterflies.
Tropical Fish
    In 1975, David became owner of Bovano of Cheshire. Hotel based trade-shows became his regular destinations he carried products and displays to markets in the New York, Boston and Chicago circuit. Growth of the company continued beyond three decades as an ever-widening range of high quality wall and table sculptures were crafted by hand.
    Today, at the start of the new millennium, Bovano artisans continue to use many of the techniques developed from the early days of the company. Combining modern technology and old world craftsmanship, highly skilled Bovano artisans continue creating quality sculptures using the knowledge through decades of experience.
Teal Butterfly and Flowers
    The old foundry building still houses the enameling studio and Bovano Home Gallery. Dave's son Jim Flood, who has been President since 1987, continues to carry forth the Bovano of Cheshire tradition of bringing fine artistic sculptures to you.
    Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 of The Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island, SC. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 800.272.3870

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving Week at Smith Galleries - 2017

As we move into the heart of this Thanksgiving week, we are cognizant of the many reasons we have to be thankful. We are hosting our 30th annual Open House this Friday and Saturday, the first celebration in honor of our 30 years at Smith Galleries. As we think back on all those years, a kaleidoscope of memories and impressions stream across our consciousness.

We first think of all the hundreds of artists whose work we have shown the last three decades. Many of them have been with us nearly the entire time!
Our cats are all decked out in their
Small Business Saturday kerchiefs
and ready for SBS on Saturday,
November 25.
That is a long relationship; one that has blessed us with many friendships. Many of those artists are no longer with us; some have passed away while others have retired or changed professions; but their work remains a part of our memory. Often a customer will come in and talk about this artist or that piece of art they bought years ago and still enjoy. Each year we try to make new friends and show their work, hoping to develop more new and lasting relationships.

Next we think of all the wonderful people who have crossed the threshold into the gallery and what they have brought us. We do not get to travel much because we are here every day but Sunday. (Wally says we are like dairy farmers who have to be at the barn everyday.) But we have met people from many states and several different continents and had conversations with them about their homes. We have watched families celebrate milestones; we watched their children grow into adults. We’ve rejoiced with them in the happy times and mourned in the sad times. And through it all we are thankful that you continue to make us a part of your lives.
Of course we remember good years and the not so good years, but through it all we have remained true to what we set out to go. We celebrate American craft, the people who make it and those who appreciate it; and we get to do it together. Yes, we have a many things to celebrate this Thanksgiving. And may it be so with you and yours.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Judith Neugebauer Holiday Exhibition 2017

There are some professions that have a longer life span than others. Athletes, gymnasts, and dancers are among those who complete their careers at a fairly early age and then have to reinvent themselves. So what do they do other than teach or become commentators? Some begin an entirely new career in another creative field. Judith Neugebauer is one such person. After a 10 year career with the Radio City Music Hall Ballet Company in New York City and the New Jersey Ballet Company as well as the Actors Equity musical theater, Judith decided to explore other areas of the arts.
Bracelet and Earrings in Oxidized
Sterling and 23K Leaf 

Judith studied at Farleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ ; studied jewelry at Kean University in Union, NJ, and both jewelry and ceramics at Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, NJ.  Combining a deep awareness and appreciation for movement, line, and balance as a dancer with a Japanese aesthetic from her study of ceramics, Judith has developed a recognizable style of jewelry that is both simple and elegant.

Necklace & Earrings in
Oxidized Sterling & 23K Leaf
Every piece of Judith Neugebauer jewelry is made by hand in her studio using sterling silver with an overlay of 23k gold leaf. Fold formed as well as die formed hollow techniques create visual depth while maintaining a lightness and sense of movement that is an integral part of her work. After a complicated series of processes, she finishes the pieces with 10 coats of lacquer to preserve the satin finish and to protect the gold leaf.  More recently she began oxidizing the sterling silver to create a rich charcoal black patina which contrasts dramatically with the 23k gold leaf. This process
Necklace & Earrings in
Sterling & 23K Leaf
lengthens the production time of each piece, but has become very popular with many of Judith’s collectors.

Whether you prefer the original sterling silver or the oxidized finish, the Judith Neugebauer jewelry is feminine and elegant, strong and graceful, much like those characteristics of  ballerinas, all strengths she developed in her first career.

See the 2017 Holiday Collection showing at Smith Galleries here.

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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Christmas Ornaments

The sun, the moon, and the stars; all are sources of illumination and guidance in the heavens. It is no wonder that globes and stars are two of the most popular shapes for Christmas ornaments.

Glass Eye
2017 Signature Ornament
Hand blown glass ornaments are a wonder in themselves. Beginning with a mixture that is mostly sand to which intense heat has been added and placed on the end of a blow pipe one watches the skilled glassblower blow a bubble, shape it, add color to it, and then cut it loose. That is a very simplified description of a very complex process that takes immense skill and specialized equipment.

Glass Eye Studio is the premier hand blown glass ornament studio in this country. Begun in 1978 by Robert Adamson, it has grown and flourished for nearly 40 years, becoming a training ground for many young glass artists in the Pacific Northwest. No other studio has the variety and quality of ornaments that we see in Glass Eye products.  A special treat is the annual limited edition ornament that has become a collectible for many. Another shape that has significance for many is the heart, and Glass Eye gives us an impressive selection from which to choose. See ornament being made here.

Friendship Ornament
By Kurt Meyer
Kurt Meyer, a woodworker in the northeast, creates the most beautiful wooden star ornaments. The short video shows his complicated andprecise process much easier and clearer than I could explain it. The result is a beautifully crafted star that reminds us of the star the shepherds saw in the night sky that led them to Bethlehem.

Pewter Starfish Ornament
By Trimdin
Pewter ornaments in the shape of sand dollars and starfish are brought to us from Trimdin. They represent gifts from the sea that in their simplicity remind us of light and its source.

Whether you place ornaments on a tree with lots of lights that add sparkle, or use them in bowls, in windows, or in arrangements; these handmade ornaments, made with skill and heart, represent the best in hand made ornaments found anywhere in this country.

Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 of The Village at Wexford. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. 843.842.2280

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Candles Are to Burn

Cooler temperatures, shorter days, and the approaching holidays all cause us to check our candle supply. Once a major source of light, candles were made in nearly every home. Now candle making has become an art form practiced by a few and mastered by a handful of artists.

Hand Dipped Tapers by
Danica Designs
Danica Design Candles was established in 1980 after the owners apprenticed with an uncle at his candle factory in Karlebo, Denmark. Several years after moving from New York to Maine, they designed and built a studio IN 1992 designed for candle making, retailing, and beautiful architecture. It is here where their hand-dipped tapers, pillar candles, and tea lights are made. Using a blend of beeswax and other premium waxes in their tapers, all of their candles are solid color and long burning. They are in fact some of the best tapers we have ever used and come in a rainbow of colors.

Greentree Home Candles are the creation of Jenifer Green, with the
100% beeswax "twig" candles by
Jenifer Green
help of many thousands of bees! Founded in 1992, Greentree candles are made from 100% beeswax, resulting in long burning candles with the delightful scent of honey. Her palette consists of 18 carefully crafted colors in rich yet subtle shades which are molded into beautiful square tapers, twigs, pillars, and other interesting shapes.

A resident of Pennsylvania, Rick Faulkner began making candles in 1970 with his father. Not satisfied with making tapers, Rick creates unusual shaped pillars in a wide range of colors with a delightful
Crackle surface candles by
Rick Faulkner
crackle finish. Barrick Candles are contemporary in form, which in their simplicity lend themselves for use in both modern and contemporary settings. And while sculptural in nature, particularly in groupings, they are definitely a treat to burn.

Many years ago, two friends of ours made beautiful pillar candles and exhibited them at the Southern Highland Craft Fairs. You would see their display from across the auditorium with its bright colors, beautiful geometric shapes, and the glow that came from burning candles. In their booth was a sign that read, “A candle is to burn.” So whether you are looking for candles for decoration, for ambiance, or for use in traditional celebrations, they are at their most beautiful when they are burning.

See pictures of more candles featured at Smith Galleries.

Smith Galleries is located in the Village at Wexford, Suite J11 (UPSTAIRS), on Hilton Head Island. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 843-842-2280

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Philippa Roberts Jewelry

Philippa Roberts
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “different strokes for different folks.” I always felt that you could say the same thing about jewelry until I discovered Philippa Roberts. Actually it was one of my daughters who first called my attention to her work. She accompanied me to the summer shows one year. It was quite a treat to see the artists and their work through the eyes of someone in her twenties. I was shamelessly watching to see what jewelry a young person would pick out. Philippa Roberts jewelry was the jewelry that really grabbed her attention. The following year our younger daughter accompanied me to the summer shows. Once again I watched to see what would interest a
Necklace and earrings in vermeil
and chocolate moonstones
young woman in her twenties. It came as no surprise that it was a repeat of the preceding year. I decided there must be something that drew the eye of the younger women. But what I hadn’t counted on was the multi-generational appeal of her jewelry.

Philippa Roberts was born in South Africa. Coming from a jewelry making family, she was naturally attracted to working
Necklace and earrings in sterling
and green amethyst
with metal and stones. After receiving her BFA degree in Metal Design and Photography from Miami University in Ohio, Philippa migrated to California where she worked for other jewelers for two years before establishing her own studio. Twenty years later she has both a successful design studio and her own retail store.

Philippa’s jewelry is recognized by its simple organic shapes,
Necklace and earrings in silver
and chocolate moonstone
often combined with beautifully cut gemstones. Her necklaces, pendants, bracelets and earrings are equally popular with ladies from 16 to 106. Working primarily in sterling silver for years, she has recently produced many of her designs in vermeil, especially popular with ladies who prefer gold over silver. Time and time again I hear customers say that Philippa’s jewelry is their “go to” jewelry for both everyday wear and dressier occasions.. Philippa states, “It is my goal to make jewelry that is beautiful, simple, wearable, and most importantly, timeless.” It is a tribute to her design that her work is enjoyed by women of several generations as well as many walks of life and a testament to her success.

See more jewelry by Phillipa Roberts here.

Smith Galleries is located in the Village at Wexford, Suite J11 (UPSTAIRS), on Hilton Head Island. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 843-842-2280

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kids Who K.I.C.

Stacking toy - 6+ months
I love toys. I remember some of my favorites from my childhood and  from the days of buying  from the days of buying and playing with toys meant for my children. There’s really a lot more to a toy than you might think. Of course you want the child to enjoy it and play with it enough to justify your investment in it because let’s face it: toys are not inexpensive! And you certainly want the toy to be well constructed for safety reasons as well as for longevity. Beyond that the toy should have some lasting value. When we decided to expand the toy section at Smith Galleries, we thought long and hard about the kinds of toys we wanted. Because we are primarily a gallery of American craft we would naturally like to have all "Made in America" toys; but we quickly saw that would be very limiting. We do have some American made and even handmade toys that we really like; but the main focus for our toy section is KIDS who K.I.C.  Just what does that mean? Knowledge. Imagination. Creativity.  Our focus is on toys that foster learning, imagination, and creativity while providing a large dose of fun! After all, people do a whole lot of learning before they ever go to school.
Marble maze/chase
Ages 6 to 106

Construction toys take up a rather large section of our toy area. They offer so many good options whether the recipient is 1 or 101. Building blocks come in all shapes and colors. Some are traditional, some are magnetic, and some are nontraditional. They
Contemporary tinker toy
Ages 4+
all encourage a child to use his imagination, to solve problems, to improve hand eye coordination, and more. Other construction toys are machined to fit together in such a way they will create vehicles, people, geometric shapes, or just about anything you can imagine.

There are several groups of soft sculpture products featuring animals, both real and imagined, as well as teethers, rattles, and other cuddlers.

Another group features puzzles, mind benders, and other creative
toys and games that make you think, plot, plan, and figure out ways to get from point A to point B. Many of these are enjoyed by children of all ages (3 to 103). After all, no matter our age, we all can benefit from learning, imagining and creating and enjoying it!

See more on our KIDS who K.I.C. page on our web site.

Smith Galleries is located in the Village at Wexford, Suite J11 (UPSTAIRS), on Hilton Head Island. Gallery hours are 10 - 6 Monday through Saturday. 843-842-2280