Seeing the rolling mill with Erica.

Seeing the rolling mill with Erica.

Brief overview of a past tour

A tour for a Mom and Daughter...

When an opportunity to visit Asheville came along, and just so happened to be near Mother’s Day and a birthday, this Mom and Daughter came for a few days get-away!

They asked for Asheville studios with jewelry, glass and paintings, so off we went…the first stop was the glass studio of Carl Powell where we enjoyed seeing Carls' project of a large commission with multiple stained-glass panels for an art center.  He was almost finished with the last few panels, so we got to see much of what it will be like when installed. Carl also makes sculpture in glass, steel and concrete, and we were fascinated to see the detail in all of his work!  Next was a visit to jewelers Tom Reardon and Kathleen Doyle.  Tom and Kathleen have both been educators in the university system, and it’s natural for them to show processes and explain the intricacies of metal objects, both large and small.  Objects in many different metals; from jewelry, to wall pieces, to sculpture were shown and explained…and we learned how the studio-casting process works with torch, centrifuge and quenching in a quick and skilled manner!

After a stop for lunch, we drove into downtown to visit jeweler Erica Stankwytch Bailey’s Asheville art studio at The Refinery.  This stop gave us a change to learn about Erica’s development of her line of bracelets, necklaces and earrings with stones.  Her fascination of raw geological elements and their physical shapes and structures greatly influence her work.  She was in process of assembling a bracelet and making the links.  She explained how she selected the stones, and how each link of the bracelet is fabricated to fit snuggly, so to be both comfortable and endure years of use. We also got a chance to see how jewelers utilize rolling mills to impress designs into sheets of metal – beautiful!

Finally, our day ended in the Asheville River Arts District with a short overview of the district and a visit to painter Stephen St Claire’s studio.  Stephen’s paintings include the use of metal foil under the oil paint and resins, creating a luminescence that adds an interesting level of dimension to his work.  Both landscapes of the Western NC area, and abstract themes are on display in this spacious studio.  Stephen can be found working on his latest painting near the front window, ready to answer your questions and show his process.

Our time went by quickly!  We were all ready to see more, but will have to wait for another visit to Asheville for these guests!  Here is what the tour participants said about our day:

"If you want to learn about the art scene in Asheville, ArtConnections is the place to start.  Using her twenty plus years of experience working in the arts in Asheville, Sherry can create a tour for you where you not only learn about the history of art in Asheville, but can learn directly from the artists themselves how they craft their skills and see examples of their work. "

"This tour is a must for art lovers, or those who want to learn more about a different side of Asheville."

— J Clark, visitor to Asheville from D.C.