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Ceramic Pendants!

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Some of you may know that I really enjoy ceramics- making, touching, throwing. I think its an “earth/soil” kind of thing, you know… toiling, digging, planting, making mud-pies, composting. Seriously! There is something about that connection to the earth that is joyous, playful, fulfilling and meditative.

Where was I? Oh yes, during my play with clay these ceramic pendants have come to the surface. I experimented with making them last fall and loved giving them as Christmas presents!

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I will have a limited number of these little darlings to sell at the Flower Show along with the neck cuffs. I’m thrilled with the way they came out! Some of the designs are flowers made from pressed almonds and pressed rosemary. Others are burlap textures with plants incorporated into the design. I even have a couple of little topiaries featured to tie it all together. Hope you likey. They make a beautiful, artful statement!

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ARTiculture! Philadelphia Flower Show 2014

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What a theme to work with! Where do you start… where does it end? ARTiculture. The fusion of ART and HORTICULTURE. A fun concept to work with- but rather challenging to encompass.

My design went through many revisions. I wanted it to be fun, colorful, current, yet historical and relevant to Philadelphia and the Flower Show. There are numerous Art and Garden references. Can you find them? I’ll post the nods at the bottom.

Articulture Artwork

I love the little guy in the gallery of the garden who is viewing the flower series. A Surrealist exhibit is currently being featured at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and it seemed only fitting to add a melting clock to this fantasy garden full of sculpture, art and topiary. I had hoped to sneak a de Chirico train in the distance but there had to be some restraint… believe it or not!

Did you find the art references? Here is the list:

There are also historical garden references…

Every year we stay with friends in Kennett Square during set-up for the show. They live a half of a mile down the street from Longwood Gardens. For years I have driven by the gate on my way to work in Philly. This summer I finally had the opportunity to go! It was amazing. The topiary garden was more than I could stand! The conservatory, views, orchids- were completely overwhelming. I really couldn’t take it all in. A second visit is in order. : )

Come to the Philadelphia Flower Show! It is a blast and a welcome relief to the winter. I’ll be there in booth Z-1002. Stop in and say hi! For more information click here.

 

 

 

 

 




Recent Ceramics

There have been some fun pieces coming out of the kiln at Clayscapes for me! Exciting. This little darling makes my heart go all a flutter.

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The new hand thrown pots for the Philadelphia Flower Show are coming out nicely. Each one will be planted with an Angel Vine or Rosemary Standard.

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And… I’m excited to possibly be bringing some of my ceramic pendants with me to the show for purchase. (Fingers crossed that they come out of the kiln okay and in time!) There will be a limited number of them with various designs and colors available with the neck cuffs. Live rosemary and boxwood cuttings were used to create the designs as well as burlap textures. I wanted to incorporate the plants and textures used throughout my work to tie it all together. Not sure about pricing as of yet. Please contact me directly if you are interested… I don’t expect to have them for long. : )

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Marilyn C. Masters- Featured artist at Marcellus Free Library

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Have you heard the news? My mother-in-law, Marilyn C. Masters, is having an exhibit at the Marcellus Free Library. She is so talented and if you live nearby you are SO fortunate. GO. See her work… beautiful, loose, detailed, ethereal, important. I wish that she had a regular venue/outlet for her work/paintings/sketches because then you could view/purchase what she creates… naturally. I’m just saying… It’s lovely. Her background, her experience and her gift.

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Marilyn’s show at the Marcellus Free Library goes through the month of March 2013.

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Marilyn C. Masters ~ Impressionist Artist
Huntington High School Long Island, NY Graduate
Pratt Institute Graduate
NYC School of Visual Arts Graduate
NYC Textile Designer
Upstate Medical Center Graduate
Art Exhibitor throughout Central NY




English Themed Designs

Oh my goodness! We are so busy here at the studio. I leave for the Philadelphia Flower Show a week from today! This year’s theme is Brilliant! – based on all things English. What fun! Junebug and I are looking forward to being immersed in English Gardens all week- Formal hedge, cottage gardens, topiary and English roses! Shown below is my new design for this year’s show featuring the Hedges & Hares bunnies. We can’t leave out “Keep Calm and Garden On” or the Wellie, or the Cavalier King Charles or lastly the beautiful Teapot. We know how the British enjoy their tea!  Enjoy!London-Topiary-Hedge-WM

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Cavalier-King-Charles

Wellie boot

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If you will be attending the Flower Show be sure to stop by booth #1002 and say hi! Hope to see you there! All of the designs featured are available at http://michellemasters.com. Click here to order.

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Landscapes for Landsakes

Isn’t that a great title? Farmboy and I had a wonderful opportunity this past weekend to attend an exhibit presented by the Agricultural Stewardship Association in Cambridge, NY titled Landscapes for Landsakes– the 11th Annual Art Exhibition to Benefit Farmland Conservation. Located on a beautiful farm, nestled in a valley surrounded by flaming orange and red hardwoods, it was quite a visual treat and very well attended.

Maple Ridge Farms is the estate/gallery were this event is held annually. An old rough-hewn, wooden peg barn was converted into a lovely gallery-  well lit, gigantic walls and a wide open interior. In the lower part of the barn (shown below) a gallery was created as a special Tribute to Barns after the curator Serena Kovalosky’s numerous conversations with artist regarding the disappearance of many of the historical structures in the local landscape.


35 different artists created work that celebrated the landscape, farms and animals that inspire them. Beautiful oils from Leslie Peck (shown at top), an artist that we had seen in a gallery in Saratoga, were for sale as well as some compelling mixed media pieces, ceramics and photography. The $5 admission was well worth the price and included samples of New York State wine and cheeses. 50% of the art sales were also used to benefit farmland conservation.

Farmboy and I were inspired to create a beautiful community event in one of the old barns at home… if only there was more time in the day. : )

For more information on this event and the conservation of farmland please visit the website.




Happy Fall… Happy Dance…

I’m updating my website today. Oh my, what an undertaking. I completely forget all of the ends and outs of the software… but I am planning a sale soon (woo hoo!) and I want to make sure all of my designs are available on the guest towels (hint, hint).

The Clothesline Festival was fabulous in spite of the fact that my sister and I had to hold the tent down in the wind/rain storm that blew through. No fun. Nothing was damaged, thankfully, and it seemed that most of the people that were put off by the forecast on Saturday did come to shop on Sunday. It was wonderful to make new friends and see familiar faces… I have the some of the NICEST customers!

Recently framed paintings and drawings for the show.

There was an exhibit at the gallery titled “In Company with Angels- Seven Rediscovered Tiffany Windows” – it was exquisite. After having read “Clara and Mr. Tiffany” this past summer- it was such a thrill to see some of the exhibition lamps that Susan Vreeland wrote about. If the exhibit comes to town near you… you must go see it! You’ll be glad that you did.



The kids are back in school. Whew. Sigh. Yippee. Can’t quite ever decide. I supposed its a bit of everything. The first week in September is always a challenge- prepping for the show, Labor Day weekend and back into the school routine. After two full weeks LaLa was home sick today with a cold and fever. My how quickly THAT begins. : (

We used to call the school bus “the big yellow dog” when I was growing up…

Our “little yellow dog” passed out in the yard after a walk and a swim at the pond.

I am embracing the peace and solitude of Fall. The dogs are happy to go on their daily walks and my body, mind and spirit are thumping their collective tails with gratitude too. I occasionally hear the Canadian geese flying over and am reminded that it will soon be time to dig out the coats, scarves and gloves.

My favorite sugar maple is starting to turn. It is one of the first and I feel the immediacy of soaking the color in before it’s gone.

The fact is- Summer wears me out. Does it you? Is there more gazpacho and salsa that really needs to be made? My food processor has gotten a better work out this summer than my body has and I’m ready to put that thing and the garden to bed.

The Black Krim, and Brandywine tomatoes were delicious this year!

… except there are those tulips, crocuses and lilies that I promise myself every year that I will plant more of when Fall rolls around.

It’s time for planting and painting. I’m excited… and doing a Happy Fall dance. : )




Tap, tap, tap… is this thing on?

Lately the days are full.  Too full of work, abundance, tediousness, and the beauty of everyday life. The to-do desires that are left till the end of the day overflow into the next and so it goes. So please pardon my absence and try to keep up with the barrage of posts that are about to come. : ) That seems to be how I work best.

My seventh year at the Flower Show was wonderful, renewing and affirming. It was great fun to see our friends in Kennett Square, PA. Our family of 4  bombards their family of 8 for a couple of nights as I set up for the show. A needed time for our families to reconnect. Once the show is in full swing I head into Philly to the Hilton Garden Inn (love that place), Junebug (my mom) flies in to help and Farmboy and the kiddos head for home- back to school, work and the animals.


Junebug is my right hand during the show. She is on top of it all. Isn’t she beautiful? If I had a nickel for everytime during the week that I hear “you two must be sisters”… I’d be rich.  We discuss what books we are bringing to read a month in advance. (I was reading Sacred Hearts and Ellen Foster. Momma was reading One Thousand White Women.) Sitting in the hotel after the show with a book and a glass of wine is quite a luxury for me. Throughout the week we take turns checking out the displays and discussing what we think would work in our own gardens.

My new booth space was great. I’m amazed at the number of people that came in and asked if it was my first year- that they had never seen my work before! How can that be after 7 years? There is just so much to see.

I saw many familiar faces and had the opportunity to catch up on friends from the previous year. The new show layout was a challenge. I am used to having a corner and (ahem) spreading, just a bit. It was wonderful getting to know my new neighbors! Let me introduce you: Toni and Dave from Beekman’s C.O.P.A. Soaps. A great story/business- wish I had had more time to get to know them. I’m enjoying my cold press natural soap called Forest- lots of rosemary. I love it.

On my other side was Trenny and Bob of High Beams in Vermont. Love their work. I’ve admired it for years.  Trenny and I got to discuss vegetable gardening. It was fun to tell her about winter sowing. I started some containers the week I got back!

Other friends with great businesses that I look forward to seeing every year are: Colby from Colby Smith Doorknockers, Mary from La Contessa Jewerly and Carrie from pucciManuli.


My readers know how I love ceramics and Liz Kinder of Liz Kinder Ceramic’s work was gorgeous! One of her large lovely bowls was my “take home” piece this year. Drool. Drool.

Jerry Fritz from Linden Hill Gardens signed his book for me. His booth was full of beautiful terrariums, hellebores and numerous perennials. Gotta plant some hellebores soon.

Sandstone Gardens from MO. never fails to disappoint. I’ve purchased 2 fountains from them over the years as well as other smaller pieces. We’ve had to limit Junebug’s statuary purchases due to Farmboy’s back and space in the trailer! I wish that they would ship.

The last couple of years I’ve purchased fresh flowers from Kremp Florist. A family owned florist outside of Philadelphia in Bucks Co. They have numerous booths throughout the Flower Show. This year they added videos showing tips for refreshing your cut flowers. I learned so much!  The roses I purchased lasted for weeks. All of the family received a dozen for helping with the kiddos while I was away. : )

Oh my goodness… what a treat it was to meet Ellen Parlipiano from Mompreneursonline.com. We have been communicating online since I was pregnant with Ryder formally known as “the bean” (ten years ago)! I screamed and hugged her when I saw her. She was delightful and we have a date for the NYBG soon I hope.

Once again I was captivated by terrariums and miniature gardens, not to mention I have committed myself to a hypertufa day here at the farm. I’m a little behind the curve on that one but better late than never, right? Twig Terrariums from Brooklyn had a lovely booth with very charming pieces for sale. Check them out- great, creative work.

So, terrariums are on the schedule with the kids for Spring Break. I’ve found a nice supply of moss down by the woods, collected lots of rocks and purchased some inexpensive apothcrathy jars for the kids to use. I’ll post our projects!!

The theme of the show was Hawaii and although I’ve never been, I do hope to go one day! It was a bit hard for me to relate to so many tropicals in regards to my own garden. That being said I did buy three huge Caladium bulbs to put in pots on my deck when I got home. All of the foliage was beautiful and lush.

Shown below are some photos from the show. Come along for a little tour, won’t you?

Next year put it on your calender! The theme is Brilliant! All about Great Britain… can’t wait. Perennials, formal gardens, Cottage Gardens… count me in!!!!

 




Marble Coasters

Our marble coasters tiles are back and better than ever! The detail is amazing (although the photo above is slightly out of focus). A recent investment in a new printing process has brought beautiful results. We will have a limited selection of our most popular designs at the Flower Show.


The tiles (each signed by the artist and padded with cork bumpers) will be available at michellemasters.com in mid-March. Until then give us a ring to order what you would like! Each coaster is $12 or a set of 4 for $40.

Which design would you like to see on the coasters? Let us know!




A Sneak Peak…

Finished pots and saucers! Yay! I can just imagine them planted with petite topiaries. Here are a few close ups- hand thrown and deliciously imperfect. Each stoneware pot is stamped with a swirly seal and encouragement to d r e a m. A cream glaze around the rim sets off each pot.

There are only 8 available for the Flower Show… assuming that the others come out of the kiln in one piece! Let me know if you want me to hold one for you. I’m thinking they will cost between $48 and $55 depending on the plant. Matching saucer included. : )

Oh, if there were only more hours in the day…

 




ABOUT

Hi, I'm Michelle. I am an artist/designer specializing in unique topiary themed illustrations for the Home & Gardener. I live on a farm in Upstate New York with my husband, aka Farmboy, my two children affectionately known as "La La" and "the Bean" and a small petting zoo of other family members.

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Upcoming Shows

Philadelphia Flower Show
PA Convention Center
March 5th-13th
Booth #Z-1002

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This blog and all of the creative elements ie., written content, illustrations and photographs are the sole property of Michelle Masters Studio and cannot be reproduced in any form without the artist's permission.

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