Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! (October Recap)

We hope everyone enjoys and safe and fun  Halloween this weekend! Stay away from any ghouls and freaks, though a little fright never hurt anyone.

In case you missed it, here's a recap of our month on the blog for you to go back and check out!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Have You Ever Thought of Facilitating a Workshop?

I became an Art Teacher in the NYC Public School System because when I got in front of a classroom and saw that I could stimulate imaginations and encourage creativity, that sparked something in me; something that is hard to define, but that I knew felt wonderful. I love Teaching, but also found that when I came home from a day of classes, I rarely had the energy left to pursue my own artistic expression. Since I incorporated RG Clay Creations in 2006, I have been making functional ceramics and more recently, a ceramic jewelry line that continues to evolve and never leaves me wanting for new ideas to experiment with.

However, actually creating an income making ceramic objects is, as any potter will tell you, a huge challenge. Unless you start mass producing using molds (which is not the way I like to work) the amount of time that goes into making our pieces makes it difficult. So one of the things I do to supplement my income is to organize workshops and classes. Any of us on the Hudson Valley Etsy Team who enjoy teaching can easily do this. All it takes is an appropriate space, multiple tools, a slightly larger inventory of supplies, and the ability to reach people who might be interested in attending them (advertising, word of mouth, social media networking).

Occasionally people contact me about the prospect of teaching classes. This happened with the person who every year in my community arranges for a group of Foreign Exchange students to come from Europe for a few weeks, staying with local host families. She organizes activities for them and visiting my studio was one of these. The Exchange Students (usually in a group of about 20) get a tour my studio, learn about the process I go through piece of jewelry themselves.

For other workshops I have applied to the persons in charge of organizing Educational programs. This happened with the Youth Coordinator at the Greenwood Lake Public Library where I have done workshops. And I have taught several at the Albert Wisner Public Library in Warwick as well. The fees are usually negotiated individually depending on the number of hours and size of the groups. At other times, a few individuals have hired me to do workshops with people they have gotten together to do a different, fun activity on an evening out. I even participated in a Team Building Activity for the Whole Foods/Whole Body Paramus Team, who drove up to Warwick to do a workshop here, and of course got to take in the beauty of the Hudson Valley on their drive up.

I used to fear that people would learn all my “secrets” and start creating RG Look Alike items, but have come to realize that the possibilities of creativity are so limitless, that the works people create in my studio may be based on techniques I show them, but are always uniquely their own. For many, it can be an experience they will not forget, whether the participants are 6 or 60 years old. And it just might spark a new passion for them, a greater appreciation of handmade items, and that is sheer joy.

Roberta - RG Clay Designs

Monday, October 27, 2014

Finding Artistic Inspiration in the Hudson Valley

In northern Dutchess county there are several locations that offer breathtaking scenery. To find serenity, solitude, and artistic inspiration, here are a few suggestions;

  1. Poets Walk, River Road, Red Hook, NY

    This park has 2 miles of trails through the woods and meadows, and offers scenic views of the 
    Hudson River. Along the trails you will find rustic cedar pavilions, footbridges, and benches.
    Bring a camera, a sketch pad, or paints, to capture the beautiful scenery. 

2. Mills Mansion, Staatsburgh, NY
A Greek revival mansion sits on the top of a grassy hill offering stunning views of the Hudson River. Tours of the mansion are only available through November. The miles of trails are open year round. You can choose to walk along trails in the woods, or a narrow trail that winds along the Hudson. Both trails provide views of the river, and you can find much inspiration.

3. Vanderbilt Mansion, Rt. 9, Hyde Park, NY

The mansion is surrounded by 200 preserved acres from the original mansion. There is an     extensive rose garden which is magnificent in season. There are wooden trails, and a paved road that leads right to the Hudson River. There are benches, where you can sit, ponder, dream, and gain inspiration.

There is inspiration to be found in any season, here in northern Dutchess county.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Where To Find The Hudson Valley Etsy Team This Weekend

We habe two events for you this weekend.

It's time for the last Warwick Makers Market of the season, so get out after all this soggy weather, it's supposed to be a gorgeous Sunday! The market will be at the Railroad Green Park in Warwick this Sunday, October 26, from 9AM-3PM. Among the wonderful makers will be three of our team members: Get Glassy, Huzzah Handmade and Stone & Fiber are excited to show you their newest creations!
Get Glassy
Get Glassy
Huzzah Handmade
Huzzah Handmade
Stone &Fiber
Stone & Fiber
If you're planning to spend some time in the Lower Hudson Valley, stop by the Arts & Craft Fair German International School New York in White Plains, NY, this Sunday, October 26, from 11AM-5PM.  Don't miss Frau Lammli's gorgeous bags, pouches, advent calendars, ornaments and much much more!
Frau Lammli
Frau Lammli
 Happy shopping!