Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"Mar of Santa Barbara" Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Greg Geyer
Do you ever read business signs? It isn’t unusual to see something like “Smith and Sons Construction” or “Jones and Jones Attorneys”. Back in what we like to call “the old days” it was a common occurrence for a son to follow in his father’s footsteps in business. Today it may not be quite as prevalent, but in the case of Greg Geyer; it would have been most unusual for him to go in any direction that didn’t involve the arts. His father, George Geyer, is an artist and retired art professor. His grandfather, Sueo Serisawa, was a painter; and his grandmother, Mary Serisawa, was an avid photographer. Greg’s mother, Mar Marcotte, started the jewelry business that carries her name and  is now Greg’s. From the time he was a small child Greg would help his mother with simple jewelry making tasks and thus learned jewelry making much like an apprentice. Throughout high school and college, where he studied engineering and architecture, Greg’s summer job was working for Mar of Santa Barbara.

When you look at the clean lines and uncluttered design of Greg’s jewelry, it is easy to see the
Necklace & Earrings by Greg Geyer
influence of both his studies in architecture and his Japanese heritage. And when you look at the construction techniques he uses, you see his engineering background. This combined with all the hands on experience Greg gained throughout his youth, and you have the essence of Mar. Working with sterling silver, gold fill, gold leaf, nu-gold, freshwater pearls, and often sea glass; Greg constructs jewelry that is contemporary and comfortable to wear. His designs are flowing and flattering to the wearer. Be sure to look at some of the new pieces that recently arrived at the gallery.
Necklace and Earrings by Grey Geyer

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (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. 800.272.3870

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Sincerely Sticks" now at Smith Galleries

    Everybody loves a good story, and we Americans especially appreciate a success story. In 1985, Sarah Grant, a painter and design instructor, was asked to design a wooden nativity set for Decorative Woodcrafts Magazine. Although it wasn't the kind of art she made, the $500 budget her friend quoted was enough incentive to turn Sarah into a woodworker. From that article was born a second article on the artist the following year, and interest in acquiring one of Sarah's nativities by her mother gave birth to a small business. One nativity led to another, and in only a few years Sarah had to decide to either grow the business, or to let it go. Thus Sticks was born. A single trip to a major craft show brought in enough orders to make it necessary to hire staff and studio space in which to produce a wholesale line.
"You Are My Sunshine" Clock
   Now most every art and craft collector is familiar with the handmade, hand painted, wood burned furniture and art objects that are the core of the Sticks line. Each piece is "an original painting on wood" in the Sticks "sophisticated folk" style. Whether it is a lazy susan chosen in a gallery or a custom dining room set made exclusively for you, you recognize the creativity and value of a Sticks product.
   Just as the business was reaching its largest staff and its peak production, the market became unfriendly to the art world. And we know that although we appreciate original art, not everyone is in a financial position to afford it. Painters satisfy this aspect of the art business by producing reproductions of their originals. Now Sticks has met the challenge and found a way to satisfy your desire for a Sticks product. The result is a new body of work known as "Sincerely, Sticks"  Each piece of Sincerely, Sticks is handbuilt in the Sticks' Iowa studio. The imagery is an artisan print, the designs pulled from some of the most popular themes in the Sticks line. There are obvious differences in the feel of an original and a reproduction and a concerted effort to have distinguishing characteristics, such as size, between the two. But all the printed products reflect the aesthetic of Sticks handmade originals but in a more accessibly priced product. The line, now in its infancy, is small; but new items are being designed and added.The style and the workmanship are definitely worthy of the Sticks brand.
"Live Life to The Fullest" 9x9 Plaque
   Now you have two ways to tell your story with Sticks. The original handmade one of a kind articles that can be totally customized are always available; and we are ready to help you design your Sticks exclusives. The Sincerely, Sticks items represent the best of the Sticks designs and imagery, can not be customized, but have  the high quality of all Sticks products. Either way they are creatively and definitively Sticks!

   Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (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. 800.272.3870

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Chickenscratch© Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Lisa and Scott Cylinder
    Some times we just take ourselves too seriously. We watch too many newscasts and read too many newspapers.  Pretty soon everyone and everything around us seems on the brink.  It’s time to lighten up, get our eyes off the screens, and look around us! It is an amazing place in which we live, and there are many artists who help us to see our world and our lives with a more balanced perspective.

"Full House" Pin
    Lisa and Scott Cylinder are such a pair. For 29 years they have been hatching ideas for jewelry under the business name of Chickenscratch©. Using non-ferrous metals such as brass, nickel silver, and copper, they hand cut and manipulate the metals, joining pieces with silver solder and/or cold joining connections. They also incorporate a diverse range of materials such as epoxy resin, low-fire enamels, plastics, and manufactured objects into their jewelry. Over the course of their careers, they have developed a unique patination process that allows them to achieve a variety of colors on the metal.  But their creativity only begins with their processes.  The end products are not only crafted with skill and precision, but delight the eye with their whimsy.

Reigning Cats & Dogs Earrings
    Earrings, brooches, and necklaces tell a story, remind you of a phrase, idea or cliche. They are both witty and wonderful. About their work Lisa and Scott say, “In a time when personal interactions are at a minimum, our jewelry creates a narrative that invites conversations through stories, humor and clever anecdotes. This human aspect gives the work a warmth that is sometimes nostalgic, often curious and usually joyful."

    When I asked Lisa how they came up with the name “Chickenscratch©", she replied, “Our studio multiples jewelry name “Chickenscratch©” came about when we started working together as an abstract working title. We thought that it could be just about anything. Initially we wanted total freedom to explore our creative ideas and genres and didn’t want to be hemmed in by a name. Almost 30 years later it is a name that goes with our style and humor.”

    So lighten up! Chickenscratch© will definitely make you smile, gain perspective, enjoy. It's time for some fun!

    Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (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. 800.272.3870


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ed Levin Jewelry at Smith Galleries

Ed Levin
    When someone asks me to describe Ed Levin jewelry, the two words that come to mind are “contemporary classics.” How can that be? When I think of something as contemporary I think of  new with clean lines, elegance, and almost minimalistic qualities; but a classic elicits the idea of something that has been around for a long period of time and has lasting style and beauty. It could be said to have enduring excellence.  I think I’ve just described Ed Levin Jewelry!

    Ed Levin established his jewelry line in 1950. Ed was an artist, a sculptor, a jeweler, and an inventor of tools, machines, and anything needed to facilitate the production of his work. He began his sales career by taking his jewelry and a card table to college campuses where he sold to students. He then set up a studio in Vermont before he eventually settled in Cambridge, New York, where he established his production studio. All of the Ed Levin staff have been trained in house, and many of them have a long tenure with the business.

Ed Levin's Signature Bracelet
    In 2016 his Signature bracelet celebrated its 50th anniversary. Its clean lines, elegance, wearability, and ingenuity of construction have made it one of his most popular pieces of all time and certainly place it in the classic category.  In 1984, Peter Tonjes joined Ed’s staff and quickly became the authority on all the many pieces of equipment, the processes, and the style and esthetic of Ed Levin Jewelry.  By the time Ed was ready to retire, Peter was not only the designer but the person in charge. Since Ed’s death in 2007 the business has slowly evolved; but only in ways that make it more efficient and complementary to Ed’s vision. The same quality of workmanship and design in evident in every
piece in the three new lines that come out each year.

    We celebrate milestones in our family. Our two daughters have been the recipients of Ed Levin bracelets for several graduations, and they have worn Ed Levin necklaces and earrings for their weddings.  Our older daughter still wears an Ed Levin bracelet that was given to her for 8th grade graduation the year Smith Galleries opened. Do you want to begin a tradition  by giving a piece of art jewelry with lasting style and beauty? Look no further than Ed Levin Jewelry.

Smith Galleries is located in suite J11 (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. 800.272.3870

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Rain-ware by Janska and Red Rover

Jan Erickson - creator of Janska
     March is marching onward and April is almost here. You know what they say about April, and since I married a boy scout I try to be prepared. We work with two artists who are not only prepared for rainy weather, they do it with color and style!

Simone Rain Coat by Janska
     Jan Erickson, a Colorado resident, founded her company with the purpose of making clothing that is both comforting and beautiful. Using material that is both designed and manufactured in the United States, she has designed all weather coats that are beautiful, durable, and washable. Oh, I forgot to say that they are also reversible. Two of my favorites are the Madison and the Simone. The Simone is an A-line coat with inseam pockets, a hood that packs inside a zipped collar and has a snap front closure. The Madison is a swing coat with 5 button loop closure and a generous hood. It also has pockets. Both are about knee length, made of USA milled water repellent fabric.

Cindy Walsh - Creator of Red Rover
     Cindy Walsh started sewing when she was a young girl. She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in textile design. Most of the fabrics she designed became clothing. In 1993 she started Red Rover Clothing in her home and got her first customer feedback when she packed up her garments and went to her first craft fair.She now has a studio in a renovated historic home she shares with her husband's architectural business. Her designs are influenced in part by watching what people wear and what makes them feel comfortable and special. Her raincoats are made of rain-wear fabric that is both water proof and wind resistant as well as being washable. Her attention to detail for both comfort and style as well as the little surprise design elements make you wish for a rainy day.
Raincoat by Cindy Walsh
     Smith Galleries is located at 1000 William Hilton Parkway in suite J11 (UPPER LEVEL) of the Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Gallery hours are 10-6 Monday through Saturday. Visit the gallery online at http://www.smithgalleries.com  843.842.2280 smithgalleries@hotmail.com

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.