Uniquely handcrafted items make thoughtful and lasting gifts
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Bringing exposure to wonderful artisans whose shops have gone unnoticed or under appreciated.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Painted Blades

Drawn to a nontraditional canvas selection, this self-taught artist has been answering the painter's call for over 3 decades. I found Linda's shop, Mountain Crafts, on Blujay and was struck by her beautiful paintings on saw blades. I thought, 'What a nice clock for my husband's workroom', and found that her wonderful art is available in clock form. A prolific painter, her pleasing images also grace gold pans, magnets, and hand saws. I think one of her Brazilian agate nightlights would be perfect in the hall.

Although Linda may paint a scene multiple times, no two will ever be exactly the same, giving each work of art a unique character. Linda loads up her brush in Colorado and ships internationally. She has gotten a start on Facebook and etsy. Her website contains the breadth of her artistic offerings, and her blog is new this year. Be sure to contact her if you see something you like but prefer a different canvas.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Leaf Artist

Retirement hasn't slowed this artist down, but given him the time to devote to his passion, preserving, promoting, and protecting this ancient leaf art form from extinction. MuseumShop is the place to go on etsy for unusual works of art made from rice straw by artist Rajan 'Ray' Koshy. Where to begin on one of these portraits? It certainly isn't a paint by the numbers project. Variations in the straw's hue are ever so skillfully blended together to produce mind boggling masterworks.

One of his building masterpieces is sure to be a conversation piece, proudly displayed at an architectural firm. With my three boys you know I'm partial to felines, and there is a grand selection of cats and dogs ready to impress any pet owner. The array of work is very impressive; a Greek soldier, steam engine, the Taj Mahal, famous people, and stately sailing ships to name but a few. You will want to stroll down the aisles of this shop to marvel at what a true artisan can do with rice straw. If you are looking for a vignette of this scarce art form, Ray has a line of birds on cottonwood leaves that would make a wonderful introduction to rice straw art.

The glue he uses is called gum arabic, which is also known as acacia gum. It is an edible sap harvested from two species of acacia trees. When he has time for painting, Ray chooses an unlikely canvas, a cottonwood leaf skeleton. Just look at the beautiful parrots! Ray gleans rice straw from the fields in Texas, ships internationally, and can be found on Facebook. I am in awe of the amazing artists and their incredible creative works that I find on my quest for Discovered Treasures!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Kusudama Flowers

I was surprised to find a traditional style of origami that allows the use of string and glue in construction. Lauren folds flowers in the kusudama style at thelimetulip on ArtFire, where perfectly proportioned flowers embellished with beads and buttons bloom. The pedals are individually crafted with precision then glued together to form the fancy floral focal point highlighted by green leaves. String can be used to tie flowers together forming beautiful balls.

Lauren also has a line of beautiful ribbon flowers. Whether you are looking for a single red rose, a wreath, bracelet, or pomador ball, She can spin the perfect flowers for you. If you want to give a gift of flowers, why not present your sentiments with a fond reminder that will last for many years to come. Her flowers come in several sizes and styles, and all are ready to impress with their long-lived beauty.

Lauren fashions the flora in Kansas, ships internationally, and can be found on Facebook. If you have an event requiring a specific color pallet, she will make your special occasion memorable with an impressive custom order. Here is another craft I'm adding to my 'someday list'. To try your hand at this traditional craft, search online for 'kusudama tutorial' and find a variety of ways to fold these floral delights.