Compiled by Juanita Canzoneri
Here are a few more of the artists ad products we have included in our Holiday Market this year.
Ellen & Steve Johnson of Colorado Crème, LLC
Colorado Crème was created out of desperation. Moving from humid Florida to semi-arid Colorado made my skin rebel. I couldn’t find an effective moisturizer that worked without being greasy, so I began to make my own. It took about a year of tinkering with my formula, but I came up with something I liked. Amazingly, it cured my chronic eczema! Now my skin is silky and soft, and the effect lasts all day! No more cracked fingers in the winter! I use only natural ingredients and essential oils—no perfumes or irritating chemicals. I gave my creme as gifts, my friends raved about it, and Colorado Crème was born
I suppose you could consider making skincare an art! It brings me joy and reaffirms my purpose for Colorado Crème when something I've made, whether it's a lotion, creme, or lip balm, meets another person's desperate need. We all know the struggle of staying hydrated in Colorado, and skin issues can be so annoying and embarrassing to live with. A high point this year was when my dermatologist bought creme from me at a fair!
When I'm creating a formula for a product, I first think about who my customer for it will be; who has the need this item will fill? (Quite often it's me or people like me!) Then, I will research the ingredients I'm interested in and find out what their properties are and what kind of skin they work best for. Next, I experiment with formulas until I've created what I'm looking for. After that comes a testing period; I want to make sure I like what I've created and that it does what I want it to. I'll design a label, write a description of it, and launch it at a craft fair or on my website, and the rest is up to my customers.
The emotion I want to generate is relief and confidence. “At last! A lotion that really works for me! I don't have to be dry and flaky anymore.” or “My embarrassing rash is gone!” or “Yay! No more greasiness!” or “This creme works and I know it's safe for me.”
I got started carving because I was looking for reasonably priced woodcarvings but had no luck. So being a DIYer, I tried it and got a little better at it over time. So 25 years and more than a thousand pieces later, here I am.
Creating a piece is an escape for me. I can forget about chores and concentrate on liberating a bird from its surrounding chunk of wood.
The steps involved in creating a piece include a trip to the mountains to locate naturally weathered bases to mount them on. Not all are artistically equal, but I gather everything that MIGHT work. To get views from all angles, especially that always difficult under the tail look, Google Images is a must. (Painters have it easy). So, cut out the profile on a bandsaw, round out the body, flatten the tail, sand all marks out, draw color lines, paint, and then several coats of polyurethane.
What I want people to notice when seeing my art for the first time are the realistic shapes, the colors, and the contrast between the weathered base and a very glossy bird. I love the look on faces when they walk by and just smile and sometimes stare at that one bird that may have a special meaning to them.
I have been a printmaker at the Manitou Art Center for many years but am also a full-time art teacher at Mountainside Elementary. I have been interested in art from about the age of eight and come from a family with support for creativity. I have the best job as both artist and art teacher with children who love and crave art experiences. I love printmaking because of the processes as well as the fact that you can make one or multiple prints. I love linoleum printing and the carving process. I love the bold graphic quality of lino's.
Making printed cards means that they can be shared or framed. I want people to be able to afford and collect original art so my prices are low so there is something for everyone.
I usually have a sketch ready approximately the size of my prints in my sketchbook. I draw the design on the linoleum with a sharpie and then heat up the block. I use 2-3 carving tools to carve out the white spaces on the surface. Then I roll black ink onto the surface with a brayer. I then place the block and paper onto the block and run it through the printing press. I use a variety of commercial and handmade papers.
I would like to make original art accessible to all. I hope that people value one of a kind and the handmade art and craft and that their dollars really do encourage and support the heart and soul of an artist.