Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Here's who you'll see at the furniture art show

Here are the artist's bios for the "Form, Function, Fantasy: Furniture as Art" show going on now through Aug. 31 at the Cleveland County Arts Council.

  • Susan Doggett weaves cloth and creates objects for the body, home and spirit. She earned her BFA from Converse College and has studied weaving and fiber techniques from many artists. Susan has been sewing since childhood, weaving for 2 decades and has in recent years added beadwork, surface design and doll making to her repertoire.
  • The Flights of Fantasy Doll Club is a cloth doll club that has been meeting for 20years and consists of 34 members. The ability level of the members ranges from beginning doll makers to advanced doll makers and designers. The club’s purpose is to further the enjoyment and appreciation of cloth dolls and doll accessories as well as enhance members’ skills in making them. The club meets the second Tuesday of each month in Charlotte and brings in a national teacher for a workshop once a year.
  • Matthew Martin’s wood working career began at an early age as he spent many years helping out in his father’s cabinet shop. This is where his passion for woodworking began and has continued to grow. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Wood Science from North Carolina State University in 2000. After college, he moved to Colorado where he continued his pursuit of woodworking in a small cabinet shop. Matthew prides himself in visualizing a project and being able to see it through to its finished form. He takes most of his inspiration from the arts and crafts movement, but enjoys adding a contemporary twist to a traditional feel. He currently works alongside Roger Martin and Marc Stowe at Martin Cabinets in Shelby.
  • Fred Lee Mead Jr. was born in the Detroit suburbs of Southfield, Mich., in 1955. He showed an early interest in art and was taught to paint in oil at age 12 by his father, also an artist/industrial designer. In 1979, Fred graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design with a bachelors of fine art, with a double major in painting and sculpture and a minor in photography. In 1980, Fred moved to North Carolina for the climate and to begin an art career. Fred presently lives in Rutherfordton with his wife and children while pursuing his interest in art.
  • A North Carolina native, Nathan Rose grew up in Charlotte and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He spent the next 20 years in theatrical and exhibitory shops in California and Alaska building sets, props and furniture in a multitude of styles, as well as contemporary exhibits and displays. Missing the South and following a passion to build furniture of his own design, Nathan returned to Charlotte and started Rose Woodworks, specializing in custom furniture and cabinetry. As a result of frequent trips to the abundantly forested mountains of northwest North Carolina, Nathan began collecting and working with wood in its natural form. This is now the primary focus of his furniture. Nathan is a member of the Furniture Society, the American Craft Council and Carolina Designer Craftsmen.
  • Robert Silver is an artist-blacksmith. Robert prefers to create non-traditional, functional and sculptural items using his own designs. Robert began his career in art by creating beautiful one-of-a-kind kaleidoscopes in stained glass and brass and unique glass boxes. While incorporating decorative solder techniques in his kaleidoscopes, he became interested in the properties of metal and how its shape and color could be totally changed with the application of heat. By heating iron to red-hot in the forge, then hammering and shaping, intricate twists and scrolls are evident on the tables, clocks, candleholders and freeform sculpture he designs. Robert studied blacksmithing at John C. Campbell Folk School and has apprenticed with local blacksmiths, Stuart and Hill Willis. He is actively involved in the local and national chapters of ABANA (Artist Blacksmith Association of North America). Robert accepts commissions and his work is available at Tryon Arts and Craft, Tryon, at Blue Moon Stained Glass located inside the Architectural Warehouse in Tryon, at Twisted Laurel Gallery in Spruce Pine and at Twisted Iron Forge in Shelby. Robert particularly enjoys collaborations with artists working in other mediums. He has enjoyed working his metal around clay, woodcarvings, and stained and fused glass to create some very unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. One of his most unique kaleidoscopes was presented as a goodwill gift to the prestigious All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, and several pieces, both glasswork and metalwork, have made their way to Ireland as gifts representing artwork from North Carolina. He and his wife recently closed their business, a custom frame shop and art gallery. Robert, now retired, spends most days at the forge where his favorite activity is creating signed tomahawks, war axes and knives.
  • Marc W. Stowe has enjoyed creating things for as long as he can remember. He gravitated to woodworking because it was his father’s hobby. Marc attended the Savannah College of Art and Design for two years where he studied art history and computer art. He enjoys building pieces that are both functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. His recent work reflects a conscious effort to “slim down” his forms in order to emphasize the incredible versatility of the wood. Marc lives in Polkville with his wife, Jodie, and works with Matthew Martin at Martin Cabinets in Shelby.
  • Rachel Watkins is a sculptor, artist, wife and grandmother who resides in Toluca. A native of Belmont, Rachel has spent most of her adult life in North Carolina, living for a few years in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A self-taught artist, she first received national attention in 1990 when her decoration of chicken breast bones, and creation of a life-size giraffe and other papier maché sculptures were highlighted on “The Home Show” on the CBS Network. Rachel has long been a “community activist” helping those less-fortunate through her non-profit organization “What Goes around Comes Around.” During most of the 1990s she received a great deal of press coverage for her work in helping women and children made homeless due to domestic violence and abuse. She has also initiated voting drives to get unregistered citizens registered to vote.

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