Announcing our Featured Art for 2016!

Did you know we choose an Armadillo artist to create our featured art piece for the year for us to use in our advertising? Here’s a little bit behind how that came to be…

We really wanted something besides our logo that we could change every year. We wanted to showcase the creativity of the Armadillo and have a piece of art that represented our culture in a different medium. Chosen artists are not given any parameters, they are free to use any color and just be inspired by the show.

Our first featured art piece was by Terrell Powell, followed by Jay Long, nemo and now Aly.

This year we’re trying something new with our featured art piece titled “Home” from Aly by doing an auction.

Aly’s beautiful piece is 26″ x 47″, and it really captures the show (and Austin!) in mosaic form.

2016 Featured Art by Aly Winningham

 

Let’s meet Aly, the artist behind our 2016 featured art!

Armadillo artist Aly Winningham
Tell us about yourself, your artistic background/career, where you are from and where you are now.
I was born and raised in Houston. I come from a family of creative types and always knew I was an artist. It took me a while to find the medium I am in now. But I have been making mosaics for almost 20 years now.

What was your creative process for your piece, “Home”?
Well, I thought about what the Armadillo means to me, and I came up with the design. When I think about the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar I think about family, I think about connection to Austin and I think about music, art and self expression. Once I had the design I framed a piece of wood, sealed it with white primer and sketched the image onto the wood. Then, very meticulously, I began to place the glass, stone etc with adhesive often having to manipulate the item before placing it. Then I grouted the entire piece.

What was your favorite part to put together?
The stamping of a penny was a new thing. That was fun. I was surprised how easy it was to find super tiny high tinsel steel number stamps. I can’t even read the numbers on the rods with my readers.

What was the most challenging part of creating “Home”?
It actually flowed pretty well because I felt passion for it. Sometimes I struggle with commissions because I’m really having to dig deep but this was easy and graceful because I feel connected to it.

Is there a 709 hidden in the piece?
Why, yes. Yes there is. The last question may have given a little hint. Actually that was Bruce’s idea and it was a brilliant one.
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar 709

Tell us about your history with the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.
2010 was my first year. But I spent several years before that trying to get in! I would go to the show and talk to the other artists. I had many friends who were in the show. I was buying all my Christmas presents at the show. I felt connected long before I was invited in.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art.
Well, when I was 18 yrs old I took off to California in my VW camper van. I spent about 7 months living on the beach (somehow?) driving up and down PCH without a care in the world. When money was lean I was able to sell my hand painted clothing on the beach. I would use acrylics to paint on jeans or the back of used jean jackets. People paid for it. I was shocked at how much people would pay. My first sale was to this guy on a motorcycle. He gave me 100 dollars for this jacket I had painted a dragon on the back of. I was wearing it and he pulled over and said, “I will give you 100 for your jacket” and I was blown away.

What are your favorite art supplies or tools?
Glass, glass glass! It so beautiful and comes in so many colors and textures. And second to that would be stones. Semi precious stones.
Aly Winningham glass

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
I would like to make tiles out of clay. I already fuse tiles out of glass. But glass is very expensive and limited in other ways as well. I feel like clay tiles is my next venture.

Tell us about your public art and large installations.
My first one was a private commission for Whole Foods Market in 2005. They hired me to install a “Candy Island” mosaic in and around the chocolate counter of what at the time was their new flagship corporate offices and store. The mosaic is still there and has survived many in store remodels. It’s primarily made of large chunks of ruby red tumbled glass chunks and scrolls of solid copper rods. I learned a lot on that job. You can see pictures of it on my website. From there my large installations have ranged from private residences to public settings both indoors and out. Some of my other clients include, Simon Properties, City of Austin and a handful of private architect firms.

What are your five favorite songs, albums or musicians?
Wow, well, lets see, I guess I’m a stuck in the 70s era kinda girl. Not that I don’t hear new music especially on KUTX all the time that I quite enjoy. But the stuff that’s closest to my heart is all the great 70s stuff, Supertramp, Fleedwood Mac, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, etc etc it’s really endless I’m afraid. Top songs, Toni Price – ‘Thank you for the Love’, Elton John – ‘Philadelphia Freedom’, The Beatles – ‘Dear Prudence’, 4 Non Blondes – ‘What’s Up?’, and oh I don’t know about 100 more.

Is there any wisdom you would like to pass on to emerging artists?
I would say that if I could go back and talk to my 20 something year old self I would tell her to take a deep breath and believe in herself. And just know that if you follow your true desires, in this case to live a life full of creative expression, that the world will provide for you. I love the quote “Fortune favors she who dares” because my years have proved to me this is very true. And sometimes having the courage to be ourselves in the truest sense takes more courage than anything.

 

Head on over to our auction page to learn how to bid on “Home” by Aly!

 

Studio Visit and Science Lesson with Steve Kriechbaum

I had a wonderful morning visiting the North Austin studio of Armadillo Goldsmith, Steve Kriechbaum.

Steve has been in this studio since 1989 creating custom, original jewelry.  This morning Steve is adding a rodium plating to my wedding bands.

Steve in his studio.
Steve in his studio.

Steve has created over 1500 original molds like these…

Custom molds
Custom molds

…and has them all neatly stacked and labeled in his studio.

Stacks of original custom molds
Stacks of original custom molds

Now to the fun part! Science! Using an electro-plater at 4 volts, with beakers and anodes and other cool science things…Steve cleans up my rings with chemistry.

Science!
Science!

My custom, original wedding bands by Steve Kriechbaum are as beautiful as the day I got them <3

Anne’s wedding bands
Anne’s wedding bands

To see Steve and view more of his beautiful work, visit him at the ArtWalk in Fayetteville, Kerrville Festival of the Arts, or find him online at skriechbaum.com.

Music Monday: The Rocketboys

The Rocketboys
The Rocketboys’ sound reflects the Texas landscape from which they hail: vast, yet sparse, desolate, yet rich and abundant. Familiar lyrical themes of romance and love are often eschewed in favor of songs of brotherhood, family, life, and death in the band’s dynamic musical array, from guitar and keyboard rich anthems to gentle, ethereal whispers.

The Rocketboys’ forte is its keen ability to create and capture unique, emotional musical experiences. Hit TV shows “Glee,” “One Tree Hill,” “Private Practice,” “Elementary,” and many others have channeled the band’s powerful thematic energy. Reviews often highlight the band’s parity to textural acts such as Band of Horses and Death Cab for Cutie while retaining the mass appeal of Coldplay, The Verve and Keane.

The Rocketboys will play the Armadillo stage Tuesday, December 22nd at 3pm

New Artist Spotlight: Shawn Ray Harris

Shawn Ray Harris
Shawn Harris’ work is whimsical, playful, and humorous in a sophisticated way. His pieces will surely have you smiling in wonderment.

Let’s learn more about Shawn and his work…

Describe your work:
Typically my work begins while experiencing new landscape/interiors, wondering what creatures may lurk in such places, then photographing each scene as if it were a backdrop for a movie or play. Later, in the studio, I dress up in outfits and animal masks, photographing myself on a green screen, then digitally placing the character in it’s scene. In the beginning I was creating characters as if to give animals a voice to their plight. The more I photograph, continuing down this path, the more diverse and playful the work becomes.

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I studied art at university and have been practicing it almost daily for twenty years. My work has evolved over the years in both style and mixing mediums. The work may change in aesthetics but core elements remain the same. I’m interested in figurative imagery and creating narratives with use of props and environment. Using a camera in one way or another is pretty consistent for me as well. And, humor, the art needs to keep me entertained and make people chuckle for sure.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
If I could work in any other medium it would be a mix of painting and sculpture. I never grow tired of looking at a good painting and I like sculpture for it’s third dimension and ongoing spatial/materials problem solving. *But* the camera is amazing and I will certainly be using it for a long time to come.

Shawn Ray Harris

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
Armadillo Christmas Bazaar has a sort of legendary status on the arts festival circuit. It’s the kind of thing artists sing songs about around the campfire between shows. I’m looking forward to being surrounded by other like minded creative types in a holiday atmosphere. As a ‘first time artist’, I’m certainly looking forward to sharing my work with a new audience. Listening to great music and spending Christmas in Austin…it can’t get much better.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
Uncle Lucius and Alpha Rev are two bands I’m looking forward to hearing. I’m pretty excited about that.

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
Always happy to shop Dave Borba’s booth…the man is a genius.

Shawn Ray Harris

Find Shawn’s work in booth S-2!

New Artist Spotlight: Fat Cat Studio

Stringer_Hellums3
Fat Cat Studio pieces are hand made by Kari Stringer and CeRee Hellums. Kari is originally from Sarasota, FL, but has been in Texas for 17 years – currently living in Taylor, TX. CeRee is originally from Austin and lives in Taylor, too. They make one-of-a-kind jewelry from vintage tin cans (cans that use to hold coffee, tea, candy, etc) from the 1970s and earlier. Did you know tin is the 10 year anniversary gift? If you have a 10 year anniversary coming out, this might be the booth for you!

Let’s learn more about them…

Describe your work:
We scour antique stores for special tins, select & isolate images to capture which are then all cut out by hand, then filed by hand to make sure they have a nice smooth edge. We assemble our pieces with sterling silver chain, clasp & earners which we oxidized to give an aged look to better match the vintage tins. New this year are designs which are hand stitched together with stainless steel wire & some pieces we are using vintage chain.

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
We’ve been creating since 2006. We have always had a wide range of geometric shapes of various sizes but we are always adding new shapes. New this year are designs which are hand stitched together with stainless steel wire & some pieces we are using vintage chain.

Stringer_Hellums2

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Mixed media assemblage work. We both have a passion for all things vintage so using bits & pieces of found items of the past & creating something new with it has always been an intriguing idea.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Hmmm…we find week days & weekends sort of blend together working from home & for ourselves but I’d say hunting for treasures at estate sales, antique stores, flea markets is the thing we do most with our “down” time.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
The people we will meet, new relationships forged and also seeing artist friends & the wonderful Armadillo staff.

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
Steve Meadows, Art by Nemo, Latika…so many!

Find Fat Cat Studio in booth G-1!

New Artist Spotlight: Jason Brueck

Jason Brueck
Jason Brueck is the man behind Alter Images from Nashville, TN. His specialty is photo surrealistic images incorporating a balance of good and evil, light and dark, life and death.

Let’s learn more about him…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I’ve been creating art for the past seven years and have put more emphasis in creating representational art that tells a story through a counterbalance of themes (I.e good vs evil, life and death, etc).

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Illustration (graphite).

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
I brought a blanket, a bottle of wine and about 20 posters that had cost me $5/piece (I sold them for $10). The first sale I ever made was to a girl named Carly and we’re still Facebook friends to this day.

Jason Brueck
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Watching college football, creating new work, exploring my new hometown of Nashville, TN.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
Getting a chance to spend more time in Austin, in addition to selling my work in a new setting/environment.

Find Jason’s work in booth M-2!

Music Monday: DURAWA

DURAWA
Drummer Ernie Durawa was born in San Antonio, but he has been a major player in the Austin music scene for decades. His ability to transcend stylistic barriers has made him an important part of various bands that do the same thing, most notably the all-star Texas Tornados featuring his life-long friend Doug Sahm as well as country and western legend Freddy Fender and Tex-Mex maestro Flaco Jimenez. Durawa was also the drummer for the unique singer and bandleader Delbert McClinton for a long bluesy stretch which ended in 1981. He has a residency at Strange Brew every Tuesday evening. Learn more about him here.

DURAWA plays the Armadillo stage Thursday, Dec. 24th at 3pm

New Artist Spotlight: Hidden Spring Designs

Hidden Springs Designs
Leslie Guinan and Rob Matthews are from Nevada City, California. Rob has been a stained glass artist since his early twenties. He began combining glass and concrete almost 20 years ago, looking for a way to move his creations outside while living in Hawaii. Leslie is formally trained as a furniture maker. She began woodworking as a creative outlet while working as an environmental lawyer, and spent a year at the College of the Redwoods Fine Woodworking Program. She left her job to pursue furniture making full time, moving to a small town in the Sierra foothills. In a brilliant twist of fate, Rob turned out to be her next door neighbor. They began collaborating on furniture with wood and concrete components. Over time, they have evolved away from functional work and now focus on wall sculpture and free standing sculpture.

Let’s learn more about them…

Describe your work:
We create lightweight concrete sculpture and wall sculpture with various surface textures, treatments and pigments. The work may incorporate hand-cut glass, found objects, encaustic, handmade paper, concrete stains and/or plant material. Themes are frequently architectural, exploring our relationship to the built environment and the feelings of belonging or alienation which can arise from perceptions of place. The majority of the work is cast in a unique, hand-made form. Texture is created in the form before the lightweight concrete is cast. We use a recycled Styrofoam aggregate, which makes the work lighter and locks the Styrofoam up inside a piece of art, keeping it out of the landfill. Color is added after the piece has cured. We use various concrete stains and pigments, and/or encaustic.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
I (Rob) have just begun working with cast glass. This year Leslie will add cold wax to her work.

Hidden Spring Designs

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Artists don’t have weekends, but hiking and live music are our loves.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
We’re masochists?

No, really, we’re excited about being part of a truly unique art and music experience with people we know and love. We want to be part of Austin’s burgeoning art scene.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
Jimmy LaFave!

MatthewsRob004

Find Hidden Spring Designs in booth U-4!

New Artist Spotlight: Beachwalker Boxes

Beachwalker Boxes
Beachwalker Boxes is the collaborative effort of Tom Beach and Amanda Walker. Tom Beach is originally from Colorado but has been an Austinite for over 20 years. Amanda Walker has lived in Austin since she was a small child. They make one-of-a-kind sculptural boxes from unique woods, etched glass, and cast glass. Often integrating shells, fossils, found objects, and stone with their work, which takes its inspiration from zoology and mythology. Every piece they make is entirely original — they never make the same piece twice.

Let’s learn more about them…

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
We have been combining wood and glass in our boxes for about 6 years, and it changes all the time as we discover new ways to use glass and wood together. We are constantly discovering new ways to use our media, although we love boxes as an art form so much that we always end up making boxes instead of plain sculpture or plain boxes.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
We would love to add metalworking to our repertoire.

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
We were making things just for the pleasure of making them on our back porch, and a friend came over and asked if she could buy one. It floored us. And 6 years later, here we are.

Beachwalker Boxes

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Do crossword puzzles, ride bikes, and play with our pets.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
The quality of the artists at Armadillo is out of this world — it’s an honor to be counted among them. The most exciting thing is to get to meet the other artists and pick their brains.

Is there an artist at Armadillo you are looking forward to shopping from?
Tom Thomas’s marbled leather bags!

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
Shiny Ribs, Michael Fracasso, and Suzanna Choffel

Find Beachwalker Boxes in booth R-3!

New Artist Spotlight: Tonya Engel

Tonya Engel
Tonya Engel Foster is the woman behind Tonya Engel Fine Art. She has lived in New York the last 9 years and recently moved back to her hometown, Houston. Foster’s work is perfect for children’s rooms, family rooms, and dorms.

Let’s learn more about her…

Describe your work:
Most recently, my work has become more detailed, but I’ve always been an intuitive painter. I like to meditate on my emotional state and in the moment let the painting guide me in the direction it wants to go. paintings often take shape without initial planning. What’s been forcing its way out lately are images of women in the natural world. they are surrounded by mysterious, creatively constructed gardens and greenhouses. The plants and insects themselves ( some of which are imaginary) are like subjects within the dramas that play out in the garden settings.

How long have you been creating, and how has your work changed?
I’ve been painting now for over 20 years! In the beginning, I thought I wanted to be an abstract painter, but after falling in love with narrative figurative artists like Frida Kahlo, Paula Rego, Stanley Spencer, and Gustav Klimpt, my propensity for drama on the canvas was awakened and I’ve never turned back. Also, In the beginning, I often only focused on children and a certain subtle humor in my work, in the last 8 years, the subtleties remain, but my children have ‘grown up’ and become women.

If you could work in any other medium, what would it be?
Assemblage or ceramics. I’d love to create 3 dimensional work!

Tell us about the first dollar you made selling your art:
My first dollar for my art was earned in Austin! I was involved in an art competition (my first!) and I actually won, which I was already thrilled about. Then when the organizer handed me a check, I nearly fainted. I had forgotten about the prize money. That was a fantastic day. At the end of that first show I also sold the submitted piece! It was life-affirming, to say the least.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?

I love to play in parks and/or be out in nature in some form or fashion.

What makes you excited about doing Armadillo Christmas Bazaar?
I miss seeing all the wonderful people who have become my Armadillo family over the years as well as making new friends with new collectors who are coming to the Armadillo for the very first time. The Armadillo is everything about Austin that I love — great people, amazing music, appreciation for great art, and the artisans that continue year after year to create quality work.

Is there a band you are looking forward to seeing (or hearing from your booth – ha!)?
I can’t WAIT to see Ruthie Foster!

You can find Tonya Engel Fine Art in booth D-2!