Franconia Sculpture Park in Minnesota is 25 acres of large scale installations and machinery. I visited last week and it was like a winter wonderland of creativity and fun. Carissa and Claire live and work at this unique community arts organization. Each year, new artists apply to Franconia for fellowships. Artists work, create, eat, and live together. It’s not often that you can find an open and innovative environment that provides work, residence, and exhibition space to emerging and established artists. The girls showed me around their workspaces and the scenic art that covers the land. The pink forklift, affectionately referred to as mother, helps get the job done. Who said forklifts are a man’s tool?!
Check out the girls’ outfits: Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Berkley Jacket, Women’s Hamilton Flannel Shirt II, Women’s Series 1889 Slim Double Front Dungaree, & Quincy Hat / IFD Women’s Detroit Jacket, Women’s Clermont Sweater, Annapolis Long-Sleeve Shirt, Carhartt Pants, & Maysville Hat
When April Wagner started blowing glass she never looked back. It was hot and we don’t mean just chic. Glass blowing has been all the rage since the Romans began pushing air through the end of a hollow tube. And the technique has evolved a whole lot under the talented hands and gaze of April, who is interested in beautiful forms, color, and line. She is often quoted saying that she is “having a love affair with the material.” Since she was a little girl growing up in Northern Michigan, April has always had been passionate about making things with her hands. Glass is hot, sensual, and not easy to work with. It can be clear or colorful and if one is not careful, it can really burn you. But in the end the experience of making forms out of glass is a deeply personal one. She has built a thriving studio practice with a growing list of clients around the world. In her quiet studio on the outskirts of Detroit, April has learned the art of when to control the glass and when to let it go. She has a student’s mind and everyday the material leads her on a new journey with a new and sometimes unpredictable outcome. There is just no straight line in making art or blowing glass. The process is one of discovery.
Check out what the women are wearing: Women’s Norfolk Henley, Women’s Original-Fit Canvas Crawford Dungaree / Longsleeve Signature T-Shirt, Women’s Straight-Fit Slim Jean, Women’s Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt
Here’s a fun and easy craft– decorated paper lanterns. If you love to draw, whip out your pen and get to doodling! But don’t worry, if you aren’t as artistically gifted, you can trace a design. That’s the wonder of vellum paper, it’s transparent! Then roll it up, stick it over a candle, and you have a personalized light. How cool is that?! It’s perfect for party decorations or creative crafting. Give it a try and see what you can come up with.
shop this look: Grand Forks T-shirt
Liz Campanella and Ashley Bertling, fire performers with the Pyrotechniq troupe of Chicago, are some awesome ladies. I was blown away by their skills as I watched them perform in a back alley in Wicker Park, with a sweeping view of the ‘L’ train in the distance. Let’s be honest, we all love fire— the way it dances and flickers from one second to the next— there’s something captivating about it. From fire umbrellas to flaming hula-hoops, I was in awe of how brave Liz and Ashley were and how they bridle such a beautiful element to turn it into an art form.
Pyrotechniq performs anywhere for any kind of occasion. If you’re interested in learning more about how you can book them for an event or take some lessons, click here.