Mary Lou Diekmann
Mary Lou started art training at the age of 7 under renowned New York painter Elinore Schnurr. After attending the University of Rhode Island on a music scholarship, she became co-owner of award winning Scituate Potters where she also worked as designer, potter and instructor for 10 years.
Besides pottery she’s spent 40+ years as a landscape and portrait painter. In the 1980’s she designed and developed a line of sculptural jewelry that was sold in galleries around the country.
“I’m pleased to say that my work has been displayed and sold in numerous juried shows, winning a fair share of critical acclaim and praise.” maryloudiekmann.com
Gerry began his career in crafting with woodcarving, making small knives and chisels. He then gradually got into knife making, as “it was more fun!”
He got his true start in forging at Tryon Arts and Crafts School, and studied with Walt Meyers, and also studied blacksmithing at Haywood Community College. Today, with over 25 years experience in handcrafting knives, he sells his knives all over the world through the internet and at gun and knife shows throughout the United States. His pieces have rustic charm, yet are meticulously hand-made and exceptionally well finished. And despite their beauty, these knives are reasonably priced between $80 and $250, and are designed to be used.
He says his “philosophy” on knife making mostly stems from his stubbornness. “I am retired, old enough to be a curmudgeon, and make knives the way I want to make them. I never take orders that don’t fit into my style, and am fairly reluctant to work with someone else’s design. I make knives that the average guy can afford; very usable but as pleasant looking as they can be made. A few of my knives go to collectors that never cut anything but I really like to see them used as well as collected.”
He currently teaches bladesmithing and axe making workshops at Tryon Arts and Crafts School which enables students to obtain a good feel for the process, and this helps them decide if they want to pursue knife making as a hobby. He prefers stabilized wood handles on his knives, and also makes his own sheaths fastened with rivets which make the sheath strong, safe and quick to make. “I am always looking for ways to make my knives unique and more usable but the basic design will never change.”
Bernard is self-taught, and started his carving career in 1987 by creating duck decoys, and went on from there. His animal patterns are all original, with hand-carved detailing and of course hand painted. He enjoys creating by request and for his own satisfaction. He has exhibited in many shows at TACS and his work is for sale in our gift shop.
After completing a BA in Art (emphasis in ceramics) at Agnes Scott College she was Art Director for a community Art Studio in an inner city neighborhood then worked on a City of Atlanta program to design & create playgrounds in economically depressed neighborhoods. Landen first discovered Enameling while employed in the City of Atlanta arts programs, and was immediately smitten. For more than a decade she worked as a production enamellist, selling through craft shops & festivals and exhibiting occasionally. With both parents in the field of education, and with a strong background in Behavior Sciences, how could she stay away from teaching? Relocating to North Carolina in 2002 gave Landen the opportunity to re-focus her attention on jewelry making. She learned Metal Clay techniques from her mother, an accomplished metal smith, and completed PMC certification in October 2006. She is now in her fifth year working with PMC and is fascinated with the expansive possibilities of the medium! She exhibits at local shows, including BRCC exhibit featuring Women in the Arts in Spring 2007. Her work is sold by private commissions and on display in several galleries. She is a member of PMC Guild, and keeps current with emerging trends and techniques by participating in educational workshops put on by other Metal Clay craftspeople & metal smiths and by attending PMC Guild & Art Clay Conferences. “I love sharing the excitement of Metal Clay with others! Helping students embark on a journey of creativity and self discovery is my goal.”
Tyson Graham is best known for his colorful Redware pottery depicting the seasonal variations of life and nature in the Foothills. Working primarily with red earthenware and slip decoration, he creates functional pots adorned with flowers, birds, leaves, trees, and musical instruments. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of South Carolina and apprenticed under Claude Graves of Little Mountain Pottery. Outside of the studio, he enjoys playing Old Time music and backpacking the trails of Appalachia. Graham is currently based at Little Mountain Pottery in Polk County, NC.
Gary’s work has several styles and forms, ranging from whimsical “critters on wheels,” to totems, to the very elegant black “gosu” forms. He works primarily in porcelain, although his elaborate sculptural pieces are made out of stoneware clay, and he has taught classes and workshops throughout the country. His objective for his work is “to have a timeless quality, unique and strong, not only now but 100 years from now. My work is not limited to just throwing on the wheel or hand-building. I do not want to limit myself to one type of firing, one clay, one technique of decorating or one glaze. Each creative idea demands its own method of construction and finish. Each new material, technique or tool suggests something different to try.” Recent awards and artistic recognition include First Place, 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Clemson Art Center; a piece (small totem) accepted in the 41st Juried Art Exhibition, Anderson Art Center; and 4 pieces accepted in the 15th Annual South Carolina Palmetto Hands Fine Craft Exhibition, North Charleston Cultural Arts Center.
Owner, Instructor and Stained glass artist. Over the years Petra has played with and studied many art mediums such as sewing, collages, clay (of all kinds), resin, beading. “You name it – I have applied my creative energy to it!” In 2006 – she was introduced to Stained Glass and fell in love with how the light plays thru the glass and creating paintings of Stained Glass. Her introduction, training and influence stem from Samuel Hodge and his wife who’s work can be viewed on http://museum.msu.edu/museum/msc/aug05/html. In addition to creating “commission pieces” private clients, charities, churches, and various corporation, in 2008 Petra began teaching Beginner and Advanced Stained Glass at the Spartanburg Art School for the Chapman Cultural Center. “Enjoy my work! Get inspired! Take a class and create your own masterpieces!!!!!”
Danielle Miller-Gilliam earned a BFA in Jewelry and Metals from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. She then apprenticed with a master goldsmith for two years and has maintained her own studio and business, Danielle Miller Jewelry, for over 20 years. Her jewelry designs are exhibited at leading juried shows and sold at fine craft galleries throughout the country and have been featured in many books and periodicals. Danielle was awarded with the American Jewelry Design Council’s 2010 New Talent Honorable Mention and is a nine-time NICHE Awards finalist. www.daniellemillerjewelry.com
Both John’s father and grandfatherwere stone artisans and today their works can still be found in the Carolinas and Southeast. A self-taught glass artist, John’s keen approach is geared toward his creative cutting techniques. From crafted warm-glass chessboards and pictorial designs, the process is his ultimate focus. During the year, he can be found teaching at various museums, schools and arts centers throughout the Carolinas as well as nationally. When not on the road John returns to his studio, Kakilaki StudioArts, which he shares with his wife, Karoline O’Rourke in dazzling Greenville, South Carolina
Karoline Schaffer O’Rourke
For the past 20 years, my area of concentration as an artist has been creating kiln-fired art. Sharing and teaching my process is also a thrill. The transformation of materials and surfaces by heat fascinates me. It is the process of controlled temperature and time in which colors emerge, glass elongates and clay bodies harden. The possibilities are limitless and ever changing with each kiln load, yet not to been seen until it is cool enough to open. Throughout the year, I can be found facilitating collaborative art projects and teaching at various museums, schools, and arts centers in the Carolinas and nationally. Kakilaki StudioArts in dazzling Greenville, SC., is my studio home which I share with my better half and art partner John O Rourke.
Robert first became interested in Lapidary as an eight year old boy. He began to collect stones from an old mica mine where he and his family lived in South Carolina. Robert had found many stones in that open pit mine and still has some of them today. Throughout the years, he learned the trade much by trial and error. Robert became a student of Tryon Arts and Crafts School where he picked up much of his skill from Wiley Gainus, the lapidary instructor who developed the lapidary program at TACS. Robert enjoys tumbling stones, making cabochons, and faceting stones from the materials that are available. He enjoys teaching the techniques as well as gem identification. The classes are filled with a lot of hands on instruction with semi precious stones that are available through the class. Students may also bring their own stones.
Ron has maintained his own professional studio since 1974, producing unique pottery work. He specializes in copper red glazes which require a special firing technique resulting in a beautiful oxblood red color, as well as “lotus blossom peaks” on his vases. He has been a member of the Southern Highlands Crafts Guild since 1975, an exhibiting artist with Hampton III Gallery in Greenville, done several group and one-man shows including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston SC and the Southeastern Center of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC.
Ron loves teaching and has been an instructor at the Greenville County Museum of art for over 10 years, and an instructor with Tryon Arts and Crafts School since November, recently being promoted to be head of their pottery studio. He reveals that his teaching philosophy is “to love the process of creating, and the products will come,” and “to openly share all of my knowledge with my students to inspire them to be the best they can be and to succeed.” And indeed, many of his students have done just that.
Ron recently had a piece accepted in the 41st Juried Art Exhibition, Anderson Art Center and participated in the Spring Jubilee Art Festival in Pendleton, SC.
Katie Poterala currently resides in Greenville, SC. She received an MFA from Arizona State University in Metalsmithing. In addition to producing production and one of a kind studio work, she teaches classes at the University and community levels. She is an active member and volunteer at national conferences, and has held positions in both Arizona Designer Craftsmen and the Society of North American Goldsmiths. Katie shows work internationally. Some of her most recent venues include Velvet Da Vinci Gallery, J Cotter Gallery, Mesa Arts Center, and the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport Museum. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and is represented by galleries and shops throughout the country. Her work was recently published in two Lark books: Showcase: 500 Rings and Showcase: 500 Art Necklaces. Katie’s professional work can be viewed online at www.katiepoterala.com.
Daniel Wilcox is a jewelry artist who primarily uses wire and crystals to construct his creations. He is a self-taught artisan who began his wire wrap journey in 2009. All of his wire wraps are created by twisting single pieces of wire together, never soldering or melting them, in an intricate weave to harness crystals. His designs are primarily inspired by the shape, color and beauty of the minerals he chooses to work with. Although his work has branched out into many other mediums and styles, wire working is his main passion. Daniel is based out of Landrum, South Carolina and looks to the mountains and nature that surrounds him for inspiration to grow in his art work.
David has an MFA from the University of South Carolina, and has participated in professional level ceramics workshops led by Robert Turner, William Daley, Don Reitz and Ron Meyers, and he has also conducted workshops at Ghost Ranch in Abiquii, NM, Winthrop U. in Rock Hill, SC, the University of SC in Columbia and Spartanburg, and at the Arts Center in Spartanburg, SC.
His recent ceramic art is mostly functional with sculptural interests. His work practice is to begin with numerous sketches that combine a number of forms. When an arrangement of forms looks promising enough for the production of a body of work, his clay work begins. David says, “This is when the discovery and fun take place. Systematically, I change proportions of pieces, add nuances and document these in my sketch book to eventually arrive at what I consider to be ideal proportions of certain form combinations with the best aesthetic decisions. The finished pieces have the potential for function, yet stand on their own as art objects.”
Since 1972, he has had 23 one-person exhibitions, been in over 100 group exhibitions and over 70 juried competitions that have been local, state, regional, national and international in scope