Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you Short Street Cakes!

We are so grateful to Jodi Rhoden and Short Street Cakes for providing cakes for the West Asheville Open Studios both days, in the studios.  I can say from personal experience (probably too much personal experience) that these are going to be yummy.

Short Street Cakes is a family-owned Cake Shop located at 225 Haywood Road in West Asheville.  Their cakes are 100% natural and make from scratch, and represent the very best in the classic tradition of Southern Cakes.

Stop by and have a slice!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dustin Spagnola

Dustin Spagnola is a contemporary visual artist who has shown and created work in NYC, Miami, New Orleans, Richmond, Atlanta, Washington, DC  and in his home, Asheville, NC.  

His work is often political in nature and eschews corporate advertising and graffiti culture alike. He created the meme, bush holding the obama mask, which circled the planet via the internet. 

Here's a recent article on Dustin's new work in the Mountain Express.  Dustin's studio is at 474 Haywood Rd, Suite 120.

Amber Mahler of Mani Designs

In Amber's words:

I’m a California girl living in North Carolina. I learned to use my hands as a metalsmith/jeweler in craft school in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Learning a craft gave me a wholeness in a new way and offered a path to follow. 

Karl Blossfeldt’s black and white photographs of plants and seedpods inspire me. The intelligence of shapes is endlessly fascinating and seems to point to the plant’s consciousness.

Years ago, my favorite poet told me that I must learn the names of the flowers, rivers and trees in my surroundings if I was ever to write good poetry. Those words sank in and indirectly led me to this work of studying plants. I think there is poetry in my work, it comes from continued observation and the premise that beauty has meaning.


The seedpods, flowers, buds and twigs in my botanical series are collected from my walks in the woods near my home. They are lost wax cast silver and gold originals of the actual flowers and branches that I gathered.  This commitment to "live casting" insures that I must continually forage for or grow in my garden new material to be cast.  

The beauty of the lost wax technique is that each casting is entirely unique. By pushing the boundaries of what is considered possible with this process, I have captured very detailed organic matter, I think not yet seen before in metal. Each season, sprung from the live castings, I offer a number of new and limited edition production items.

I use plants as my source because of the natural beauty inherent in all plant life- the perfect repeating patterns and intelligence of shapes.  I attempt to reveal the inner workings of the plant, so that this inner, often hidden, beauty may be transmitted to the wearer.

Amber's studio, Mani Designs, is located at 15B Domino Lane.

Robin Vanvalkenburgh of Runny Bunny

Robin Vanvalkenburgh of Runny Bunny has lived and worked as a ceramic artist in Asheville since 1997.  She graduated from Kansas State ceramic arts program where she studied under Yoshiro Ikeda.  She studied under Mark Burns as a freshman at the University of Arizona in 1983, and he has remained a major influence in her work over the years.  

Robin currently as work available in seven different countries.  She did a short artist series run for Urban Outfitters in 2010 and is currently working on a line for DKE toys which will be out this summer.  

She makes the runny bunny figures in her West Asheville home and finishes them at Flash Studios, 307 Waynesville Avenue, in West Asheville.  Robin will be at Flash Studios for both days of the stroll, June 9th & 10th, with work and laughter.

You can learn more about Robin at her websiteher blog, and shop at her etsy site.

We'll be introducing you to more of our artists over the coming days and weeks as we get ready for our very first West Asheville Studio Stroll!