Friday, March 30, 2012

Beads, color, and creativity, Jewelry by Monica Fairbairn

Monica Fairbairn creates vibrant, colorful designs to fashion unusual necklaces made of beads from Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Her inspiration comes from a cornucopia of materials adapted for adornment in traditional cultures all over the world, and recalls old ideas transformed into her own modern creations.

Favorite materials include millifiore and chevron beads, clay heishi from Columbia, and African coin metal and sand glass. The Tagua Collection features the sliced and colorfully dyed and polished palm nut, which she imports directly from Quito, Ecuador. Tagua is the foundation of the South American “Ivory” craft industry that uses a renewable native plant resource to support the livelihood of local artisans.

Her work has been shown in local MA galleries, most recently Dedham Square Artist Guild, The Shop at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Karenna Maraj collection as well as Open Studios in Jamaica Plain, Watertown, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Cambridge, Dedham, Charlestown, and Jamaica in the West Indies. She lives and works in Watertown, MA and can be reached at

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Artist Interview, Quilter Iris Sonnenschein

How did you get started doing sewing and designing your Quilts?
I was introduced to quilting in Vermont, where my husband's co-worker's wife makes incredible (hand-pieced and hand-quilted) quilts. Fast forward to Boston in 1990 where a friend started a quilt group to teach us traditional blocks and techniques. Fast forward once more to 2003 when my daughter became a Bat Mitzvah and I quilted her tallit (prayer shawl)...and IrisQuilts was started!

By the way, our original quilt group still gets together every month - just about 21 years of friendship! What inspires your designs? Art, nature and music - in any order! I get all my creativity flowing after being at an art show, or museum, any time I travel and any time I am moved by a piece of music - usually classical.

Do you like working on smaller or bigger designs? 
It's not that I like one more than another. I love working on my larger pieces because I get to really fill the quilts with my inspiration and take my time in the approach as well as the execution of the design. My smaller quilts feed my instant-gratification need - I get to finish much faster and have a completed project!

Where do you buy your fabric?
The short answer is anywhere I can.... I do some shopping online although it's always iffy because I can't be sure the color on my monitor is actually the color that will show up on my doorstep. I LOVE Fabric Corner in Arlington - nicest people and amazing fabrics. When I'm lucky enough to get to New York I hound the fabric stores there....

Are you self taught or did you go to school to learn your craft?
Much to my dismay I did not have any formal training. I do take classes here and there, read a lot about techniques and approaches in various quilting magazines, and ask questions every time I see another quilter's work. When my kids finish college I will go back and take all the art courses I wish I had taken when I was in school!

You also make scarfs, what techniques do you use to make the kimono and hand painted scarfs? 
The painted scarves are done with silk paint and a "resist" which keeps the paint within the borders (basically it makes sure you're staying inside the lines). The Kimono scarves started with some vintage Kimono fabrics I bought on eBay, and then added to them with incredible silks I found at Mood in New York (where the Project Runway contestants shop). I really wanted to combine the old: vintage fabric, patchwork style, with the new: buttons and trims sewn in random patterns. I backed those scarves with silk that I is an incredibly time consuming creation that's difficult to sew (silk moves around a LOT when you try to sew it). I don't think I'll be making any more of the Kimono scarves...

 Where do you show your work besides Dedham Square Artists guild? 
 I have several quilts hanging at Children's Hospital in a few locations, and a couple of quilts at the Yawkey Family Inn in Brookline.

Iris's new bags for Spring and Summer. Perfect for a gift or vacation

Do you do many open studios and craft shows? 
I've been showing at Roslindale Open Studios for years, and last year was at Dedham Open Studios. Unfortunately I'm away for it this year, but plan to return in 2013! I've also had shows in Worcester, Newton, Brookline and Albany NY.

Do you have any advice for people who are just starting to show their creations?
You have to develop a bit of a tough skin. Showing your work is kind of like standing naked in Central Park... you know how much of your heart, time and effort went in to a piece, but the person on the other side doesn't - and that person might not be as interested in your work (or your prices, or your medium) as you would wish! But if you believe in your work, keep producing it (practice makes better even with art); eventually you will find your creative voice and will be able to match it with shows or exhibits that attract people who will want to see your work!

Any future Projects you would like to share with us?
 I'm very excited about a new series of small quilts, Charmed Ladies, which have a bit of my Wild Women feel, but I've added text and charms (get it...Charmed Ladies) for a real mixed media piece. I'm also going to put out a new set of silk scarves which I'll dye in the Shibori style, which is a Japanese folding and tying technique - kind of like tie-dyeing, but much more subtle. I'm still trying to put out quilts for the Israel series and want to start a new series of quilts based on pieces of music. So many little time!

You can see more of Iris's work at the Dedham Guild and her website

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Spring Designs, Colorful Cards by Lisa Houck

A sneak peak at Lisa Houck cards

They will be arriving in the gallery on Thursday. These cards are like collecting mini artworks and wonderful for gift giving, thank you note or just because! The designs are colorful, fresh and very spring.

These cards are designed by local Dedham resident, Lisa Houck. Please visit her website to find out more about Lisa and her work

Monday, March 26, 2012

Newsletter Fun

Would you like the latest news about Dedham Square Artist Guild? Classes, shows, featured artists, etc. The Newsletter has all the events for the month. It is designed by our very own Marietta Apollonio. Sign up here

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Window Creation, Dedham Guild

Our new window design by Iris Sonnenschein. Iris really loves to paint the window. She brings her fabric quilt designs to these window designs. We have discovered that cleaning the window with ammonia makes it much better for painting. Iris used paint pens and acrylic paint for this design. I love the fresh look to this window.

It is very welcoming. It also works well with the themes of Sheepskate and Dedham Flower Shoppe windows. Both have curtains in their windows and to look like home.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Jewelry Trunk Show March 31st, Cristina Hurley

One of Cristina's many creations

Cristina's work bench were she makes her wonderful jewelry

Join jewelry artist, Cristina Hurley on Saturday March 31st from 3 to 6pm for a jewelry trunk show at the Dedham Square Artist Guild.

Cristina designs and fabricates her own original line of silver and gold jewelry, created in her Canton studio. Cristina designs rings, necklaces, earrings, pendants, and bracelets

Her influences are architecture, with an emphasis on the Ancient Pyramids of Egypt and Central America, and nature, especially butterflies, flowers, and weather. 

For more jewelry designs and information on her work please visit her website

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thoughts of Spring in the Gallery

A Wonderful Pear Painting by Paula Lazar. This would look great in a kitchen or maybe a gift for someone special.

Ceramic Pins by Lisa Houck. These are so unique and affordable at $6.00

Small, arty bowls by Lisa W.B. Walker. Each on has the word "love" stamped in it. So sweet

Summer prints by Cindy Mootz. How can you go wrong with fruit watercolors?!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

New for Spring

I just love these new ceramic baskets by Lisa W.B. Walker. They are just the right size for a few treats or eggs. I have photographed one of the baskets with Cindy Mootz's wonderful Ukranian eggs. Both for sale in the Gallery.

We are open today, come on by and take a look.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Artist Interview, Iphone Photographer Dennis Stein

How long have you been a photographer? 
I started in my 20's, just general snapshots, and became more serious in the 1980's, when I started printing b/w. I also took workshops in Maine and discovered toy cameras, and have been using them for my fine art work until I got my iPhone in the fall of 2010.

What is your workflow on the IPhone?
It depends on what I want the final image to be. First of all, I shoot everything at the highest resolution, to guarantee the most information in the image. My app of choice is the Hipstamatic, for its lens and film combinations. It's also square format, which I prefer for my artwork. Once I get the basic image, I tweak the color, contrast, brightness, sharpness, etc. I keep it fairly simple. I then use other apps which can add light leaks, texture, a grudge effect, etc. until I'm happy with the result. My editing of images is done on the iPad, which is a better size for viewing details.

How is photographing with the iphone different from using a regular digital camera?
The main difference is that I always have my phone with me, so I can always shoot when I want to. There's nothing to adjust on it, just point and shoot. I still use digital cameras but it's not as spontaneous as the iPhone, and I don't get what I want as an image. I need to work a digital camera image more to get what I want.

What are you favorite subjects? What are you inspired by? 
When I first started photographing, I was drawn to the look of the plastic camera print, with it's softness and vignetting. I used to shoot everything with them- landscapes, urban, everything. I still do that, and I can get results with the iPhone that emulate plastic camera images without using Photoshop on my Mac.
A friend of mine recently told me I make the mundane beautiful. I would agree.

You led a photowalk in Dedham last November, what in Dedham are you drawn to photograph?
I like the "other" viewpoint of anything, so I would check out the alleys that weave in between buildings, and anything off the beaten path.

You show at the Dedham Guild, where else do you have your work on display? 
At this point, no where else, but I've been in group shows in Franklin, Framingham, Hopkinton, London, and Medfield in the past year. There are a number of online competitions that cater specifically to iPhoneography, and I've been part of those as well.

Where is your studio?
It's in the Holliston Mill, in Holliston. What are the advantages to having a studio versus a home set-up? It gives me a place to focus on my work. Being at home can be distracting, having 3 dogs that always need attention.

Any future projects you are working on?
Not right now. When I lived in Maine, I photographed a lot in Portland and put together some books that I published online, as well as books of plastic camera photos, and iPhoneography. One project may be to spread the word of iPhoneography, so holding workshops may be in the future.

Take a peak at the work on by other photographers on, a website for iPhone-based artists.

Dennis Stein's matted and framed photography is available in the gallery
His portfolio and art online

Dennis photographing at the Village Cemetery, Dedham, MA

Monday, March 19, 2012

Woodcuts, Cat Ciccolo Tucker

Have you seen the wonderful woodcuts of of Cat Tucker Ciccolo in the Guild? She has prints, fold outs, tiny, handmade books. They make a wonderful and affordable gifts or maybe for yourself

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bunny takes a ride, Gary Koeppel

The Bunny takes a ride to Gary's Studio. Finally, the first set of bunnies have arrived. All the artists have picked them up and will start painting them. The bunnies are a tad big, some of of the artists tied the bunnies to the top of their cars. Quite a sight. Guild members, Marietta Apollonio, Jill Barry and Gary Koeppel were amount the chosen for this first set of bunnies. I can't wait to see the finished designs. If you would like more information about the Bunny Project, please visit their Facebook page

Assante Beads

Asante Beads

The paper beads in this jewelry were made by women living with HIV in one of Africa’s largest slums, Kibera, Kenya. While living in Kenya, I helped a group of improvished women start a business making beads and jewelry, called Asante Beads. The group of 9 women in the project, are now running their own business, are able to get medicine and food they need, and can afford to send their children to school. Our goal is for this to be a source of sustainable income for the women involved. They are selling their creations at a local market in Nairobi and I am selling them here in the US. Your contribution to their livelihood means more than you know.

For more information please email me at

ASANTE SANA...Thank you very much!!

-Rebecca Abrams and the Asante Group

There are napkin rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces at very affordable prices from $5 - $30. Som eof these beautiful bracelets are made of bone and look fantastic. A great addition to your spring and summer wardrobe.

Friday, March 16, 2012

All-America Quilt Reception, Dedham Guild

On Wednesday Night, The Dedham Guild and the Town of Dedham hosted a reception for the All-America Quilt and honored the quilters, Kathy Bombara and Deb Arscott.

The Quilt square It took approximately 20 hours to make and features all three types of appliqué: hand appliqué, machine appliqué and ironappliqué plus hand embroidery and thread painting.

Bill Keegan gave a talk about Dedham's nomination to the All-America cities award. He highlighted all the work that went in to preparing for the nomination and trip to Kansas City. I think most of knew that there was quite bit a work and fundraising that went into this bid but I didn't appreciate it until this reception.

The reception was very fun and it was lovely to meet the quilters and their families. We are all very proud of their square and that Dedham is included on this wonderful quilt.

The Quilt will be up for two more more days. stop by and see it before it goes on to the next city.

The Dedham Guild would like to thank Vincenzo's, Deli after Dark, and Mocha Java for providing refreshments. All of it was very yummy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mini paintings by Rich Humphrey

The Minis came about by a two-fold inspiration ..... the one being our own member artist who does the small 1 1/2 square minis on the easels Maggie Carberry and the other being the Facebook Art Group: "Miniature/small Paintings & Drawings"

I learned through my Facebook artist network that "Miniatures" are generally works done on a scale smaller than 8" x 10" As I was already doing 5" x 7"s, I challenged myself to see if I could go smaller.

I was invited to join this "Miniature/small Paintings & Drawings" art group by an artist friend of mine, which holds monthly contests for best painting and/or drawing.

Through some research, I've also learned that back before the was a thing called "photography" wealthy families would commission artists to do full scale portraiture and also the artists would be commissioned to create miniatures or pocket sized pieces on wood panels of family members. Portraits inside of lockets come to mind, also There is a "society" of miniaturists on the web who use these miniatures (standard business card size) as trading cards much like kids use baseball cards.

Although the pieces are small in size, nothing can be taken away from the time/labor involved in producing these pieces. Yes, less paint but finer detail! In doing these pieces, I've gained a greater respect for smaller brushes!

From Rich Humphrey

These miniatures are available in the Dedham Square Artist Guild

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Artist Interview, Guild Member, Cindy Mootz

How long have you been a resident of Dedham? 
I've been a resident of Dedham for about 7 years. Before that I lived about 10 minutes away in West Roxbury, so I was quite familiar with Dedham before I moved here. I knew when I was looking for a house, that Dedham was my first choice. It has such a nice sense of community.

What kind of changes are you seeing in the Dedham Art Community? 
The Dedham Art community is just exploding right now. Starting with the Open Studios last May, the creation of the Dedham Square Artist Guild in October and now the Dedham Public Art Project, the art community is growing by leaps and bounds. It's an exciting time to be an artist in Dedham. There is a new sense of Dedham as an “artist community” that I don't think existed a year ago.

When did you start painting? 
I've been painting since I was a child, but seriously for the last 15 years or so.

Do you come from an artistic family? 
My parents were both “crafty”, but neither were painters. I think they were more artistic than they thought they were. I have a sister in Indiana who is a painter and a niece in Chicago who does multi-media art. I have several other nieces and a nephew who are also quite artistic in their own way. My sister and I love to paint together when we have the opportunity.

What is your favorite medium? monotype or watercolor?
I have to say that monotype is my favorite medium, although I do enjoy watercolor as well. Monotype is such an interesting process, in that you only get one actual print at the end of the process. You can get textural effects with monotype that you don't get with direct painting. The other exciting part of it is that you really don't know what it will look like until you run it through the press. The element of surprise is my favorite part!

What is your inspiration? 
I have so many sources of inspiration. Nature, people, animals all inspire me. I'm also very interested in composition and the use of color. I find wherever I go, I tend to look at things as potential paintings. 

Where do you show your art? 
Right now I'm showing my art primarily through the Dedham Square Artist Guild. I also belong to the Monotype Guild of New England and exhibit at their shows. In addition, I exhibit in area shows when I have the opportunity.

You did the Dedham Open Studios last year, what was your favorite things about being part of this art event?
It was really exciting being part of such a big event that was so well attended. I really enjoyed interacting with the public and sharing my art. I had a great time! Are you doing this event this year? Of course!

You can find Cindy Mootz art on Facebook

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Guild Artist to the State House

Congratulations to Guild artist and Dedham resident Ted Cormier for being featured this Wednesday at the State House. If anyone is in Boston tomorrow evening try to stop by and say hi to Ted and enjoy his beautiful work. You can find several of his stunning oils and watercolors at the Dedham Square Artist Guild. Go Ted!

Clay Tile Class: April 21, with Lisa Walker

Create a Clay Tile Theme: spring flower

Date/Time: Saturday, April 21, 2012 10 to 12pm

Class Description: Students will create a 4” x 4” clay tile. The class will include working on a primary sketch, transferring the image onto clay, carving the tile using an assortment of tools. Students are encouraged to bring photos or props for drawing images.

Instructor will supply paper, pencils, images of flowers, one “wet” clay tile for carving, and tools to share. Instructor will dry, fire and glaze (in one color) tiles for students at Potters Place. Tiles will be ready for pick up at the Dedham Square Artist Guild around 4-6 weeks following the workshop.

Lisa W.B. Walker received her Studio Art Degree from Skidmore College with a combined focus in Ceramics, Painting and Photography. She continued to hone her craft with classes at Harvard University, the Museum School of Fine Arts Boston, and, the Art Institute of Boston. Lisa lives in Westwood, MA with her husband and two children. Her clay creations are created at Potters Place, a not for profit pottery school and cooperative studio, in Walpole, MA and sold in many local venues.

More information can be found at

Cost of classprice: $45 per person + $5 materials fee

Participants: 2 (two) to 8 (eight), ages 13 (thirteen) and up. (must have minimum enrollment to offer workshop)

Registration: Please email us at to add your name to the participant list.

Your spot is not held until a check with a registration form is received for the full amount of the class.

Please make checks payable to DSAG and mail with the attached form to:
Dedham Square Artist Guild 553 High Street Dedham, MA 02026

The Dedham Square Artist Guild reserves the right to cancel any class with insufficient enrollment. We will refund the full registration fee of the class if you are unable to attend the proposed make up date.

Cancellations on participants behalf or no-shows are non-refundable.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ukrainian Eggs by Guild Artist, Cindy Mootz

Guild Member Cindy Mootz, just brought in these wonderful eggs. She is offering them for sale at the Gallery for $15.00 a piece. they make a lovely keepsake to keep for Spring or all year round. The eggs are colorful and very fun.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The All America Quilt on Display at the Guild

The All-America City Award’s traveling All American Quilt will be on display this week at the Dedham Square Artist Guild, 553 High St. A reception honoring the two Dedham residents, Deb Arscott and Kathy Bombara, who created Dedham’s square for the quilt is scheduled for Wednesday at 5 pm - 7pm  at the Dedham Guild.

The Quilt will be on display Monday-Friday 10am-6pm

Saturday, March 10, 2012

All in a cup, John Dorsey at Mocha Java

Guild Member, John Dorsey has just brought over some new mugs to Mocha Java. They are all unique and no two are alike. There is a variety of colors shapes and sizes. If there is isn't a handle on the mug, there is a small indent to hold the cup easily. Imagine coffee, hot chocolate, soup and more in your new mug....

 Stop by Mocha Java and to see more work of John Dorsey stop by the Guild