Sunday, May 22, 2016

Jean Skipper's Creative Marketing - July 2016 at MATTIE Arts Center in Swan Quarter, North Carolina

MATTIE Arts Center in Swan Quarter, North Carolina is one of my favorite hidden art gems.  It's hidden in that Swan Quarter itself is off-the-beaten-path in the best possible way.  It's convenient in that it's located in the center of town, beside The Hyde County Government Center, and anyone lucky enough to be arriving or departing The Swan Quarter Ferry to or from Ocracoke Island will reach its front doors with little to no extra effort at all.

MATTIE is an acronym for Mattamuskeet Artisans - Teaching, Training, Instructing, and Educating, and MATTIE Arts Center lives its mission one class, event, artist, and student at a time.  At Mattie Arts you'll find a gallery, classroom, and a passion for art, artisans, and the community that can barely be contained in its walls.  Today I'm exceedingly grateful to announce that I've been invited to contribute to MATTIE Arts' economic development efforts by leading my Business Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs Workshop on July 30, 2016 from 9:00 until 12:00.

Please call or email MATTIE Arts to register for this free event!

To register for this event, please call MATTIE Arts at 
252-943-8991 or email  
Space is limited, and early registration is recommended.   

The cost of Business Marketing for Creative Entrepreneurs is being funded by The Beaufort Community College Small Business Center.  As a result, there will be no cost to individual participants. 

The Small Business Center Network (SBCN) now has over 60 sites throughout the State.  Its known as the most expansive state funded technical assistance program in the United States, having locations within a 30 minute drive of virtually every North Carolinian.  The objective of the SBCN is to increase the success rate and the number of viable small businesses in North Carolina by providing high quality, readily accessible assistance to prospective and existing small business owners which will lead to job creation and retention. 

I'll also be leading a metalsmithing class during my time in Swan Quarter.
Details to follow soon!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Inspiration in Living Color

Since our studios are side-by-side, how could I
my Critters and Creatires not find some inspiration in the
expansive color palette of Jodi Ohl's work?!?

I tend to find creative inspiration all around me everyday.  Often, I'm inspired without even thinking about it consciously, and I almost never find the need to articulate why or how something strikes a cord with me.  

Recently I was asked, "What inspires your work?"  This question caused me to pause, and it set me on a more conscious path toward identifying the sources of my inspiration.  "Color" is an answer that I return to again and again when I'm seeking inspiration.  Often it's the colors in nature that inspire me...the greening of trees in Spring, the blue of our Carolina Sky, or the palette that surrounds me while near the ocean.  

Man made cacophonies of color inspire me in a completely different way.  A few photos from my archives follow.  I find that these images are especially inspirational to me.

Glass in Debbie Keen's Lampworking Studio

Fresh veggies prepped and waiting to be transformed.

A collection of buttons at Creative Studios NC.

While inspiration from bright colors isn't always apparent in my collection,

It's hard to miss it when the mood moves me!

In my jewelry, and in Wanda's Folk Art.

Pattern and texture definitely inspire me as well; but I think I'll save that discussion for another day.

What inspires you?  If it's color, what are some of the images that move you to create and how is this inspiration reflected in your work?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Captured for Posterity - Etching with Lori and Zoe

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of spending time at Creative Studios NC with my friend, Lori, and the newest addition to her family, Zoe.  Zoe is just over a month old, and Lori's enjoying bonding time with her while on maternity leave.

My day plan included etching huge numbers of cuff bracelets and other metal parts and pieces, while also taming the chaos that's overwhelmed my studio since returning from our most recent ReMe Retreat.  I happily report that I remained focused and on task...for the first hour or so.  For me, this is a major accomplishment.

After that, all bets were off!  It began innocently enough in a conversation about resin, vintage lace, and the manner in which we could create a collection of charms through the years to mark the milestone's in Zoe and Sophie's lives.  (Sophie, aka "Zoe's Big Sister", is almost three years old.)

The next thing I knew...

And the end result of it all...

Please note that no babies were harmed while making these pieces!  Lori will be creating wall art by mounting and framing them.  

I'm hopeful that this is the first of many such pieces that I'll have a hand in creating.  If you'd like to make something similar, or if you have another crazy-good idea that you'd like to discuss, please message me at, or call Creative Studios NC at 910-245-4129.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

When Opportunity Knocks - Creations from Jewelry Class - ReMe - Ocracoke - May 2016

Here's a sample of my work in process from my
'When Opportunity Knocks" Class
At the beginning of May, I had the absolute pleasure of leading my 'When Opportunity Knocks' class at our ReMe Retreat - Ocracoke.

This exploration in self expression is represented by vintage treasures, found objects, resin, beads, baubles, and other parts and pieces.  Our guests knocked it right out of the park!

Here for your viewing pleasure, in no particular order, are 
our guests' creations from this class.

We'll be publicly debuting our next 
ReMe Retreat on Monday, May 23rd.  
Stay tuned for more details!