Artist: Stu Eichel
Located in historic Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, NY, and amidst the rolling hills of Washington County in upstate New York, Valley Artisans Market is one of the oldest arts cooperatives in the country. Local fine artists and craftsmen work in a variety of hand-crafted media including glass, paper, cloth, photography, oil paintings, pastels, wood, mosaic, sculpture, metal, jewelry, ceramics and more. The Small Gallery features rotating shows by members and guest artists, and the market is always staffed by one of its artisan members.
March 22, 2019 - April 16, 2019
Artist reception will be on March 30th 3:00 – 5:00 PM the public is welcome.
Having grown up spending every summer at her ancestral home in Nova Scotia, Canada, Emily’s summers revolved around the 40 foot tides of the Bay of Fundy. It is her experiences in, on and around the ocean that inspires her work. Emily finds solace in creating functional pottery with glazes that reflect the greens and blues of the ocean, the whites of the waves crashing, the grit of the sandy beaches, the salt of foggy days and the trio of sea birds flying into the sunset. This show also introduces new shapes that build upon the imagery she grew up with. Each piece tells a tale of her most vivid memories of her life at Riverside, where she spent endless hours discovering the mysteries that the ocean leaves behind with the ebb and flow of each tide.
Emily Crawford dreamed of working as an undercover agent. She attended Hamilton College with the intention of being recruited to the CIA. But instead of becoming a spy, she pursued what she did best: art. She graduated with a degree in studio arts with a concentration in sculpture.
Emily knew she would find her way back to art, but first she had many other paths to follow. (During one of those paths, she worked as a website designer for 17 years. She helped design and build VAM’s website.) But after a recent job change, her attitude shifted. She prioritized art and career together.
She joined a friend at a class at the Saratoga Clay Arts Center in Schuylerville. When she put her hands back into clay for the first time in 30 years, she found her way back home.
“When you are an artist at heart, you are always creative in your life: the meals you make, the Halloween costumes you sew,” she says. But once she felt that clay, she didn’t want to get another job supporting creatives in their dreams. She wanted to put her artistic life front and center in her career, as well. She gave herself six months to delve deep into growing her own creative business. She rented a studio at Saratoga Clay Arts, built a web site, took classes for artists building creative businesses and began throwing clay. It worked. People are purchasing her work and she is refining it, and growing an learning more every day.
Her childhood home in Nova Scotia is the inspiration for her clay creations. “Everything I do is nautically inspired. I grew up going to Nova Scotia every summer and I stayed in our ancestral home. It is right on the Sissiboo River, off the Bay of Fundy.” The place she describes sounds magical. There are 40-foot tides, which allow for abundant beach combing. “On one beach, you have to walk a quarter of a mile to reach the ocean when the tide is out. There are all these tidal pools with seaweed floating around,” she says as she takes out a celadon green bowl, inspired by those pools.
In the summer the ocean is “a deep, deep green, almost an emerald. But then the ocean dramatically changes color from summer to fall. It turns a beautiful blue,” she says. She picks up a mug with colors graduating from black to a deep blue.
Looking closer at Emily’s pottery, one can see colors, textures and patterns based on the ocean. There are splashes and ripples, and mottled areas that look like sand. She points to drippy areas resembling waves lapping on the beach. The names of her pieces reflect her inspiration: Atlantic Splash, Sissiboo Tides, Beach Waves, Northern Lights, Fog.
Using Nova Scotia as her entry point into imagination and creation, Emily finds new ideas not only from the colors but also the shapes she sees. She makes “buoy bowls” that look like vases but the bottom resembles a buoy shape. On one of the buoy bowls, she pressed netting into the clay for texture. “I get so much inspiration for new textures in my work from beach combing.” And it’s hard to ignore the three-foot high sculpture of a lighthouse on her studio work table. If all goes well in the kiln, this piece will be the focal point of her upcoming show in the Small Gallery.
The lighthouse is simple, with just three flying birds etched into its side. She etches or paints the same birds into all the pieces she makes, a sweet reminder of the ocean and sand and tides. “That’s the core of who I am. The ocean – and my time in Nova Scotia – is my soul.”
In the future, she would love to create a Washington County series. She envisions visiting farms and using the inspiration she finds there to throw undiscovered shapes on her portable wheel. She hopes to join the ASA show and see the sale of her work go towards saving local farmland.
Her work may not involve the exciting life of espionage for the CIA but it fulfills her completely. She has never been happier.
Emily’s high-fire bowls, mixing bowls, mugs and other food-safe pieces are dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Emily has the next show in the Small Gallery, March 22-April 16. Her opening reception is March 30, 3-5 pm.
- Sharon Blakemore Kingsbury: “Don’t Throw Stones”
April 19, 2019 - May 14, 2019
- Diane Segal: Assemblage and Collage
May 17, 2019 - June 11, 2019
- Vermont Pastel Society: Pastel art
June 14, 2019 - July 9, 2019
- Laurie Goodhart: Painter
July 12, 2019 - August 6, 2019
- Theme Show: Fire and Ice
August 9, 2019 - September 3, 2019
- Annual Overstock Sale and other works
August 17, 2019 - August 18, 2019
- Irene Berkson and Friend: Sculpture
October 4, 2019 - October 29, 2019
- Chris Levy and Friends: Pysanky
November 1, 2019 - November 24, 2019
See past shows →
We are very sad to announce that Virginia McNeice, 82, died peacefully at home on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Jini was a prolific and regionally-renowned landscape artist who drew inspiration from the natural beauty of the countryside she...read more
FIRE AND ICE. That's the focus of our theme show this year, scheduled in August. Interested artists are invited to submit works portraying their interpretation of fire and ice in any media. Watch this page for more info on when to submit your work. We look forward to...read more