So you have probably been noticing I have changed my name from Shanks Ceramic Studio to Weave and Wobble. Here's why...
After many years of interest in fiber arts I have made the decision to add that to my business. When I ran off to college for my MFA I was not offered a local fiber degree in my area colleges, so my next favorite as many of you know is clay, but I have been a winter crocheter thanks to my Grandmother Shirley since I was a child. Mostly crocheting washclothes and blankets in the beginning. When I was in my early 20s I looked for classes to learn to weave on a floor loom. I searched high and low and did not have success. I actually had people laugh at me when I asked if their college offered a program in weaving or fiber. After much reserach and no means to pickup and move to the coast I gave up the search to learn and carried on with crocheting. I eventually learned knitting which wasn't my top favorite, but I think it is important to learn about all the tools offered in a medium. I stuck close to my crochet work for many years, even into college.
After graduation I went out into the world to sell my ceramic work. One October morning on a Friday after I set up my art booth up at a local event. I went and introduced myself to my neighbor art vendors. I met a few people who have become lifelong friends that we boat and chat with on a daily basis. When I got to the booth diaganol from my own I saw a little fuzzy haired lady who smelled of cigarettes sitting behind a table weaving a small table loom. I was so excited I forgot to introduce myself and asked if I could try! She as excited to show me and I sat down and started weaving away. I got her business card and found out she only lived about 15 minutes from my house. A few months later I was sitting in Jill's dining room weaving my first scarf.
After that I just kept on trying!
I have always found it interesting when you think something isn't going to work out, it just "not meant to be", then the universe brings it to you when you are not even looking for it. That cool Friday morning in October brought me the weaving I had been looking for 10 years earlier. Strange how that works, but that isn't where the story ends. It was only the beginning.
I started teaching drawing in a college in southern Illinois deep in the country. I showed up to a room packed full of art supplies and tool. I started cleaning for days and days I organized the room and closet/office space. One day I was digging back into a closet and found a long cardboard box with brown writing on it. covered in dust. I picked it up getting ready to toss it in the trash. I read the brown writing...
HOLY MOLY! IT'S A LOOM!
I got permission to take ownership of it and started weaving every extra minute I had! There were of course a lot of things to learn, and I had moments were I needed to step away from frustration, but two years later I was just as hooked as ever. I kept making little things. Bag, towels, scarves, and so on.
Then one day while sitting on my sofa with my husband found a floor loom on Facebook marketplace and I was so excited I almost couldn't contain myself. We met the lady and I couldn't give her my cash fast enough to get that sucker home and start weaving!
And that is exactly what I have been doing. After a while some of my clay students starting asking questions about the weaving process and art I was making. I starting doing small teachable projects with people one-on-one and it slowly started to evolve, as life does. So here I am. "Weave and Wobble" teaching clay and fiber art!
I have been so busy with life changes that I haven't had a chance to keep you abreast on all of my happening here.
My husband and I have found a new home! We are very happy with our move. Now, with this move we currently own two homes...there's a first time for everything. Two yards, two sets of bills, two homes with gutter clean out, too many things to do... That is why I have been so MIA lately.
With all of this moving comes new news as well. I have a new studio! I love it! It is back in my home where I want it. I thought having a space away from home would make me more productive, but I found I really just cared for another property that wasn't mine and then by the time I paid the bills I was out of time to create my own artwork. I missed being home, and now I am back up and running! The studio is officially up and ready for me to make stuff . My Saturday morning ladies who bring me so much joy will be back in the studio creating with me by the 20th of this month.
The studio has a comfy layout where we have things organized and ready to create anytime possible. Below are some pictures of the space. I will be offering smaller classes since this is now in my home, but I think no more than 6 people makes for a better teaching and learning environment anyway.
Enjoy the photos and feel free to share you studio thoughts! Do you like to work from home? When is your most creative time?
Hi artsy people!
More changes are a comin and I wanted to keep you updated! My friend Gerry and I have been guided by the stars over the last decade in a half. We met by chance and have never lost touch with each other. After all these years we have had moments that brought us together for different reason. A little over a year ago we talked about combining forces to create an art studio for all art and craft media. We made a plan in the beginning to be one big studio, but the spaces we found wouldn't allow it. We are still on the look out for that perfect space.
Until then we press on, being a support system for each other the whole way through. Since the closing of my ceramic space Gerry has been a wonderful support for me. On a recent luncheon we decided offering some of my art classes at her location was possible. I'm sure we will have some learning to do, but we couldn't be more excited to come together as we dreamed. So, starting next week I am an official instructors at Metal Crafters Studio & Art.
That is where Studio 13 comes from. Tucked back in a quiet hallway near the rear of the Olde Towne Mall in Belleville is an awesome space for creation. In this studio we will be offering classes in pastels, watercolor, drawing, clay, and of course jewelry. Stayed tuned as we bring all these mediums together to create a multi-media art classes.
Till next time. Keep making!
As I move into the Spring season my heart grows brighter with joy, and positive with change. The thunderstorms have been rolling in and out to cleanse the earth and prepare it for all those BEAUTIFUL May flowers I love so much! With this new season comes new beginnings.
As many of you are aware, my studio moved out of its home last month. As you can see in the photo above. I have all the equipment and materials stuffed in my basement waiting to find their new studio space. As an artist I think it becomes the norm to move around a bit as you get your life on it's middle path.
Artists seem to be resilent with change. They grasp to odd working hours and multiple streams of income. They can create space out of unconventional places. I believe because all the problem solving skills art teaches, it makes finding and creating, creative space a fun challenge. It helps us create in every medium possible. Any blank room, wall, floor, furniture, yard, plate, canvas, etc... is a fresh substrate to spill our hearts on to.
My 2019 Spring search for not only a new studio, but also a new home. A place more permanent for myself, family, and art is underway. My husband (link to one band there) is a very talented muscian (link to his other band here) and he is in need of a better layout for creating his music. I am in need of space for myself and the awesome pottery/art community that has developed over the past year. I am currently staying creative in a corner of our spare bedroom at home. I have been playing with pastels as you can see in the photo above. As my space evolves so does my art. Sometimes it can be frustrating to experience change, but in the end you get to look back at the growth.
Speaking of growth it brings me back to Spring! May those new flowers speckle your lawn and soul with colorful joy!
As we come to the first year anniversary at the Shanks Ceramic Studio, time again has us changing directions. A little less than a year ago I decided to rent a building and open a community ceramic shop. I have been teaching pottery wheel, hand building, and other fun community clay classes. Along with those awesome classes we have had the opportunity of offering weaving classes too! Thanks to my friend Jill who has been doing weaving some 30+ years. All the classes have been a success, and the studio space has been a real delight to run and create in. Unfortunately, the owner of the property has passed away and the building has been sold to a new owner. They are looking to move their own business in the space. So, once again as most artists are used to doing... We are on the move. Out of this space and into the unknown. It is sad for my students and the community that this is happening. I am looking for a space I can build or buy so that the next studio is more permanent, but until then only the universe knows what is best and where all this is going.
My name is Nicole. I'm a midwestern girl who is making a living as a teacher and artist. I am a mom of 3 fur babies. I am married to a talented musician who supports all my crazy ideas, and I wouldn't have it any other way.