Open Studio Member Spotlight
OPEN STUDIOS MENBER SPOTLIGHT: Carrie Pucko
“I make all kinds of things out of clay, whatever I'm feeling on a particular day. Sometimes I throw on the wheel, sometimes I like to hand build pots and cups, sometimes I make little clay gnomes and fairy houses. I have done some mosaic tile work too. Basically, I like to explore and not wind up with too much of the same thing in my house. While there is something uniquely therapeutic and satisfying working with clay, I'm a collector of hobbies and crafty pursuits, so I make jewelry, paper cut cards, wood burned picture frames, lamp shades, quilts and today I took a Japanese book binding class online!
I suppose I started messing around with ceramics at summer camp as a kid and in high school art classes, but after that I really didn't get back into it until I went to graduate school. I went to the University of Vermont for forest ecology and they had a student pottery co-op that allowed me to attend workshops and use the ceramics studio. When I needed a break from research and statistics homework, one of the best ways for me to relax and use a different part of my brain was to spend a few hours with my hands in some clay. After school, I continued taking classes at community centers mostly, including at Lyndon House Arts Center, which allowed me to pick up enough basic skills and know-how to utilize the open studio.
I use art as a way to feel balanced and just have fun being creative. I like to challenge myself to make new things or try out new techniques. In normal times, I have also found that creative people are just so much fun to hang out with and talk to in classes or just working in the studio. I think in terms of actual goals, mine are small. I'd like to make all my Christmas presents this year, and to make enough coffee mugs that I never have to buy another one at the store.
I am blown away by the number of opportunities here at Lyndon House. Before moving to Athens, I took all kinds of craft classes from silk screening to mosaic tiling, to jewelry making at community centers or for-profit studios. Here, all those different things happen in one place! I'm excited to try out some of the other studios and classes here eventually. I would love to learn about weaving and soldering/welding. During COVID days, I'm so happy to be able to spend some creative energy at the studio. The schedule of open studio hours make it possible to be productive and flexible and the staff is tremendously helpful when it comes to firing pieces and giving helpful advice.” – Carrie Pucko
Open Studios Member Spotlight: Harlo Petoskey
Harlo works in the Sculpture Studio.
What do you make? I make furniture and objects for the home from wood.
How did you get your start making things? I am a User Experience designer for the web and mobile apps. After a career of digital design, I needed to get back to creating objects that need something more than a delete key to destroy them. My father is a woodworker and I spent many weekend mornings watching him build cabinetry, tables, and other pieces of furniture for the house. It is the perfect antidote to the impermanence inherent in my day job.
What are your goals as an artist? Most of my goals are in the making itself. I am more compelled by learning new techniques and simply spending time in the shop. Sure, I like finishing a new desk or cabinet—but I’m much more interested in the time spent making.
How has the Arts Center been beneficial to you as an artist? The facilities and access at Lyndon House have been instrumental in allowing me to pursue my craft. In woodwork as in many other disciplines the equipment and space to work make starting an artistic pursuit overwhelmingly difficult. Having these spaces and tools at hand makes taking on a new artistic endeavor much more achievable.
Each month, the Open Studio Membership Program is delighted to highlight a member working in the Arts Center’s Studios. We want to share the member’s story, what they are working on here and what art and the creative community means to them as well as encourage further development in their careers.
Open Studios Member Spotlight: Lola Gazda
Lola attends the weekly Open Studios group Painting with Charles Warnock and works in the Painting Studio.
I was born in Badalona (7 kilometers from Barcelona). My first language is Catalonian, then Spanish, Italian, French, and English. My parents and I immigrated to Venezuela when I was 17 when Venezuela was a real paradise. There I married an English man in 1954, Alan Kipping and came to the USA in the late 1950’s.
What do you make? Right now, I’m painting a screen for the hall of my home here in Athens. I have done a number of paintings and I love to paint!
How did you get your start making things? I started painting in Miami, FL in the 70’s when some good friends of ours showed up at my door insisting that I join them at the studio of Robert Martinez in South Miami where they were going every Saturday…at the time I had four boys and a full-time job! My husband Alan passed away in 1963. I came to Athens when I married George Gazda in 1999, the year the new addition to Lyndon House was completed. What a blessing that was, it has become my second home! I joined the Athens Art Association where I found wonderful friends that help me in my painting endeavors. I also quilt and belong to the Cotton Patch Quilters and make Bobbin Lace with the Athens Lace Association.
What are your goals as an artist? I really have no goals. I paint for the peace and pleasure that it brings me.
How has the Arts Center been beneficial to you as an artist? It’s been a joy to be able to use the studio at the Lyndon House Arts Center, as at home there are too many interruptions to be able to concentrate on what I’m doing.
Artist Leslie Grove, one of our Open Studios Members, has been busy in the jewelry studio working on her brand new line. We are thrilled to have her here and are curious to learn more about her practice.
How did you get your start making things?
I’ve enjoyed arts and crafts as long as I can remember and there are several artists in my family. In 2010 I discovered the assemblage/jewelry artist Susan Lenart Kazmer through her “Industrial Chic” collection of charms and components sold at Michaels. The work looked both vintage and edgy and I was inspired to dig through my electronics toolbox, disassemble adding machines, gather leather scraps – all sorts of things became wearable art. I took a beginning metalsmithing class with Barbara Mann to learn fabrication and I was completely hooked!
What are your goals as an artist?
Perfecting the techniques I enjoy most and creating designs that express a unique voice, yet remain simple and wearable. I’m looking forward to continuing my education and starting to work with gold! Also, I plan to retire early and make jewelry full time.
How has the LH Arts Center been beneficial to you as an artist?
It’s been essential! The jewelry studio has a safe place to solder and all the tools I need. I recently took an intermediate jewelry class with Jane Ritchie and enjoyed a little printmaking class with Amanda Burk. The Lyndon House is full of activity, art, and inspiring people.
Open Studio Members pay a monthly fee for access to the Arts Center’s 7 fully equipped artists studios. This is a great opportunity to develop a new body of work, get a jump start on a project and to have access to power and specialized tools, printing presses, a darkroom, kilns and more! For more info or to schedule a tour contact firstname.lastname@example.org