Meet the Artists: Heat
Heat is the common factor in the work of these four artisans exhibiting at the Holiday Artisan Market.
How does one mold plastic into a toy? How does one turn glass into a terrarium or hanging sculpture? How does one turn fats and oils into soap, or forge and join the metal used to make jewelry? One uses heat, the common factor in the work of these four artisans exhibiting at the Design Quest Holiday Artisan Market, 3 new, and 1 returning.
Ian Clarke of East Grand Rapids is a Sophomore at City High Middle. In October 2021, he launched an online toy company called BluejayToys, where he creates and sells 3D-printed toys and trinkets. All of his 3D-printed toys are made of a corn and plant-based plastic, called PLA. He also sells his products at craft shows, and in stores across Grand Rapids. Since starting my company, He has sold thousands of toys to customers in over 30 states.
Lisa Dionne is a local West Michigan artist from Cascade. She earned an Associate Degree from GRCC and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Aquinas College with a focus on painting and metal art. She is a member of the Rogue River Artists Association based in Rockford, Michigan. Her work has been shown and sold at numerous juried indoor and outdoor shows and throughout local Michigan galleries for the past 27 years.
Her mixed metal jewelry is made from recycled and new aluminum, stainless steel, brass and copper by the process of riveting and other tools. She enjoys piecing geometric shapes and mixed metal together to create a pleasing design that can be worn as jewelry. Her current paintings are based off of photographs she takes of Michigan landscapes, sunsets, sunrises, lakes, rivers and beaches. She enjoys using acrylic paints and various painting tools besides brushes to create a colorful scene. Her art can be purchased here at Design Quest and also at Mr. Millers Art Emporium in Douglas, and the Lowell Arts Holiday Artists Market.
Glass Chair Designs' Charity Klein's love of glass blossomed as a teen in the early 2000s when she was able to get her hands dirty with a few classes at Dakota Stained Glass, an hour away from her home in northwest Iowa. She made a few foiled pieces, a lead panel, and a 3D box. From that point she only dabbled, unsure of a direction for her art. In 2018 she finally had a space to create in her garage and started working on ideas for terrariums on account of her enjoyment of functional art and little plants. Next, she came up with the name "glass chair." Since "chair" or "char" has been a nickname of hers. She started selling pieces but didn't start dedicating more time to the craft until 2018 and 2019 when she collaborated with friend Jesse Moran on some pieces for the Pyramid Scheme's Last Chance Holiday Art Market.
Rachel Wieringa of River Rapids Soap, with her husband's help, started a small, handmade soap business in June of 2022. They started making handmade soap at the end of 2021 after she had watched hours and hours of soap making videos during 2020 and into 2021. With much encouragement from her husband, she took the leap from making melt and pour soap designs to cold process soap making in the fall of 2021. What started out as items for herself and gifts for friends and family has turned into something worth selling. Soap making, for her, is fun and relaxing and she loves sharing that with others. She hopes that you enjoy their product, made hard work and joy.