Final First Friday of 2017: December ArtWalk

As the year comes to a close, we have just one more First Friday ArtWalk before the New Year!  We are proud to feature two local artists during our December ArtWalk: painter Laurel Bahe and woodworker Keoni.  Additionally, we are excited to welcome our new jewelry line, Indiri.

An ArtWalk veteran, Laurel Bahe is a retired accountant and self-described “Owloholic.”  The first step of her paintings is to stalk the owls that live in Monument Valley Creek.  She likes to ride her bike and take photographs of owls, though she confesses the owls she paints often bear little resemblance to the owls in photographs.  This freedom is part of her creative process. She says her paintings are, “bright, whimsical, wacky, and wild.”  Her paintings are in graffiti style, using stencils, stamps, and spray paint to achieve her signature look.  She paints owls in various sizes.  The ones of the 5×7 variety, she is so skilled at creating, that she can even paint them from the passenger seat of a car on a cross-country road trip!

We are thrilled to host woodworker Keoni in his first of our ArtWalks.  He will be doing a demonstration of his wood burning.  His wood pieces are re-imagined as woven and beaded basketry.  Inspired by Native American legends and mythology, he strives to use storytelling imagery.  Each of his pieces are decorated on both the front and back, creating a spectacular piece on both sides.   His tools are a lathe, fire, and ink.  He begins his process with a sketch and then spins a block of maple wood on a lathe.  Next, he uses concentric rings and lines to create his design, which is then hand carved and inked.  Each individual piece can have over 40,000+ individual cuts and color cells!

The Indiri Collection features handcrafted sterling silver from the island of Bali. The artisans who make these pieces learn the ancient techniques that have been passed down through generations.  Each piece is Fair Trade and supports independent artisans.

After our December ArtWalk, there will not be another ArtWalk until April, so you will not want to miss this amazing last ArtWalk of the season!  Get some of your Christmas shopping done, interact with local artists, and enjoy free refreshments.  We hope to see you in Old Colorado City on Friday, December 1 from 5-8 PM.


The Storywheel of Your Life

Storywheels are an elegant, creative way to mark milestones in your life.  The Squash Blossom has customers with over fifty Storywheels. The Storywheels company has spanned four generations.  Their mission is to celebrate life and inspire their customers.  With offices in New York City, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, the company strives to drive the jewelry industry.  All gemstones are sourced directly from mines and cut within the company.

The birth of a child or grandchild is a monumental occasion in one’s life.  Storywheels understands this and offers birth wheels, some of our best-selling wheels. Longtime customer, Susan Thomas said, “I have a large collection of Storywheels.  All are beautiful, but the ones with the most meaning to me are the birthwheels.”  She has a wheel with garnet, the January birthstone, to remember the birth of her daughter and a citrine wheel, the November birthstone, to commemorate the birth of her son.  She also has a growing list of grandchildren and adds a wheel for each one.  “I started with a blue topaz wheel for my first granddaughter. Now I also have an emerald wheel for my grandson and an aquamarine wheel for my second granddaughter.  I am expecting another grandchild this year and I can’t wait to add another birth wheel.  I love looking down and seeing the symbols of all my family,” she said.

Aside from births, there are plenty of other events that you can commemorate with Storywheels.  Sara Jones used to live in Texas so she purchased a dangle with the state of Texas.  Eleanor Danielles, completed a sailing trip around the Caribbean and got an anchor dangle to remember that event.  Beloved pets are also celebrated through the Storywheels. Sally Prunty expressed, “My family is not complete without our cat.  We adopted her as a rescue kitten and I bought a cat dangle to celebrate her induction into our family.”  Anniversaries are also a favorite amongst our customers. Kim Cruz has wheels in honor of her marriage, one-year anniversary, and five-year anniversary. “This year, my husband and I are celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary and I asked him to get me the tenth anniversary Storywheel to celebrate.”

    Storywheels make the perfect gift for birthdays or holidays for avid collectors.  There are wheels of sports, animals, celestial themes, holidays, and hobbies. Jan Robertson stated, “I always get so excited when I see a Squash Blossom box on special occasions.  I know that it is another wonderful addition to my growing collection.”  Her husband Bill added, “It is great knowing that I can always count on Storywheels to be a valued, appropriate gift.  Her face always lights up when she receives a new wheel.”  It’s not too late to start a Storywheel collection.  Consider giving a loved one her first Storywheel and begin the exciting journey of celebrating a life.

Gorgeous in Glass: Celebrating Pumpkin Season

The days are getting cooler, the nights are getting longer, and the school year is in full force.  That can only mean one thing: it’s pumpkin season!   Make your pumpkin decoration stand out amongst the sea of plastic jack-o-lanterns and opt for a blown glass pumpkin.  The Squash Blossom is proud to offer designs by two talented artists: Jack Pine and Corey Silverman.

Jack Pine was born and raised in Circleville, Ohio.  Though the town is tiny, it is home to the country’s largest annual pumpkin show.  After years of studying the pumpkins at this show, he became inspired to perfect the art of glass pumpkins.  He studied glass blowing at the Columbus College of Art and Design and practiced his craft in Denver and Seattle.  Now, he has his own studio back in his home state of Ohio after over twenty years of experience. His pumpkins are known for their ornate stems and attention to color the whole way through the pumpkin.

The Furnace: a Glassworks is a studio in Lakewood, Colorado, just ten miles from downtown Denver.  The Furnace is home to Corey Silverman, who learned glassworks while earning a BFA at Alfred University.  The pumpkins by this company come in small, medium, and large sizes.  They also feature a titled design in the pumpkins and gourds.

The glass comes in many forms and colors.  From the traditional orange to a more whimsical blue, there is a pumpkin for all décor tastes.  The color is not painted, but rather applied hot from chips of colored glass. Expert skill is required, as the true colors are not visible until the glass has cooled.  For example, a white color will become completely transparent when it cools. Some pumpkins are sold individually, while others are offered as part of a set.  There are two types of pumpkin sets: mini and large. The mini sets come with one large pumpkin and two smaller ones, whilst the large pumpkin sets feature a large pumpkin, a medium, a small, and a gourd.  While pumpkins reach the height of their decorative and culinary popularity in September through November, these glass pumpkins make a classy and tasteful addition to home decorations all year long.  When the nostalgia for childhood pumpkin patches and jack-o-lantern carving hits, come select a blown glass pumpkin at the Squash Blossom.