Category Archives: Artists

Forest Stearns

I am obsessed with my neighbors.

Sometimes it feels like the only people I ever hang out with live within a half a mile radius of me. Forest Stearns just happens to be one of them and also a very talented artist.

Forest had an open studio this weekend in his apartment and I wanted to share some of the awesome very much nature-inspired work that was in it. Pictured below are some of his works that can be found in an accordion style illustrated book that shows a selection of  animals that can be found in California landscape. I also love his pillow and printed collection of vegetable pillows. Lately, I have been spending so much time in the garden if feels like my veggies take on a life of their own. Which, is why I absolutely love this anthropomorphized cauliflower lady that I bought for my couch!

Forest Stearns in Art Director of DeviantArt and can be found at draweverywhere.com

An Afternoon Beekeeping with Even Taylor

(I recommend listening to this song as you are reading this post!)

Most days I just feel busy, running around, doing a million things to reach the magical goals that have nothing to do with being busy. Then there are days like this one (pictured below) that allow me to remember why I do all the things I do. (And usually, they involve the afternoon, the perfect light and some friends.)

Even is a lovely kind of person. Something you can see very clearly by looking at the beekeeping hat she so carefully handcrafted. Which, is not nearly the best thing about her, but more of her vulnerable and genuine intent. She has such a clear connection with the bees, as well as the magical little intricacies of the natural world, it is anything but a fashion statement.

The day before me shooting this she could be found clanging sticks together at her divided swarm, in the tradition of the old beekeepers, who thought that the banging of sticks would soothe the bees into the nearest tree.

 Root’s _A_B_C_of_Bee_Culture_, 1905:
“In the old fashioned boxhive days, the ringing of bells and
the tanging of tin pans was considered very essential in
causing a swarm to alight.  These old-timers probably did
not know that the bees would cluster before going off, noise
or no noise.  Because they settled on some tree after each
tanging, such tanging was supposed to be essential.  At one
time this old custom was supposed to be a relic of an old
superstition: but it is now known that one of the old kings
of England once issued an edict that , whenever a swarm came
forth, the owner of it was to ring bells or drum on tin pans
to give notice that his bees were out, thus preventing any-
one else from claiming them.  What was done in an obedience
to an old law, for an entirely different purpose, has crept
down through the generations until the old significance is
lost.”

These days I doubt your neighbor might try to steal your swarming beehive, but this connection to an old tradition is one that musters magical thoughts in me. Even is like that, a bit magical, with a heart of gold, and wonderful musician on top of that. Listen to her song “Honeycomb Heart”  and be brought close to tears (I have been listening to it on repeat as I write this) and check out these other photos of her in her bedroom. Happy Birthday to her today! I wish her many years of auspicious beekeeping!

Even Taylor and Wes Swings at Terraria

We had our first show at the shop! And it was as magical as I could have imagined.

Small…Intimate..Beautifully Lit…like your favorite performers playing in your living room.

Even Taylor is a local Berkeley/Oakland singer whose songs might make you cry- vulnerable, honest, romantically poetic, and sometimes hilarious. Her song “Honeycomb Heart” sort of makes you want to swoon.

Then, Wes Swings, a pleasant surprise (I had never heard him perform)and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have them play at the shop. Wes Swings combines gorgeously layered cello and bass with a  atmospheric melodic voice.

I can’t wait to put together our next show.

Alexis Berger Flamework

There are certain crafts that are kitsch by nature. I often find that glass as a craft medium often goes into this realm, which is why I am all the more impressed when someone raises these mediums to the level of mastery. Alexis Berger is one of those artists, that through years of hard work and innate talent, work has gone above and beyond any of the work I have encountered, and so reinvents my opinions about the medium itself . Her work is classy, well thought out, simple, and nothing like any of the flame work I have seen. She creates beautiful beads, intricate necklaces, Victorian era inspired delicacies, rainbows of color and detail, one of a kind delicate exploding pods and is an all over good business woman and artisan.

She recently taught our first class at the shop and set the standard for all our future classes, with her informative and detailed teaching. Here are some pictures from the class below. We might just put together a class again, so if you are interested, sign up for our email list. Otherwise, please check out Alexis’ website to see some of her gorgeous work or stop by the shop and pick up one of her pods. Oh yes, she is also putting together a trunk show at Castle in the Air in Berkeley on December 15 and 16th so be sure and check out  another magical store in the area and some amazing handiwork.