"The life so short, the crafts so long to learn."
~Geoffrey Chaucer

Ceramic and Clay Sculptures by Yun Hui Kelsey

Enlightenment © Yun Hui Kelsey

Stay at home mom, Yun Hui Kelsey, lives and breathes for art, and dreams about it in her spare time. Who can blame her? I think anyone who creates will agree that creating is one of the most satisfying acts there is. Yun is originally from Malaysia, but came to the United States in 1999 to pursue her college education. She currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her family. Though she considers herself a "jack of all trades" it is working with clay that she loves the most.

I Want To Fly © Yun Hui Kelsey

"I can express myself freely with clay. It's such a wonderful, versatile medium. I love to sculpt human faces and figures. Sometimes my works are about the strength of the human spirit. Works such as I Want to Fly is about human desire, the wish to rise up above any situation. And, some of my works have Buddhist influence in them (such as Enlightenment)." Freedom, and freedom of expression is extremely important to Yun. "I used to live life as how others told me to (specifically, my family). I think it is very typical for my culture (I'm Chinese by the way) to put a lot of pressure on kids to make sure that their lives follow a certain pattern. We were not encouraged to express ourselves, to be our own person. "

Unbreakable © Yun Hui Kelsey

If raising her two year old daughter doesn't keep her busy enough, Yun also explores other forms of art in her free time. Her blog is a journal of the different mediums she has tried and continues to explore. And, she is honest and humble in her postings. She describes one of her creations, "In terms of technique, this sculpture isn't all that sophisticated. I'm proud of the fact that I incorporated different materials in the sculpture, which is something that I haven't done a lot. But I do feel that I'm still lacking in the technique and skill department. And as always, I'm obsessed with finding a way of expression that is all mine." Though her goal is to turn her art into a career, her daughter is her main priority. They paint together (one of them makes more of a mess than the other), while Yun plays children's songs, or a couple of her favorites, Gypsy Rover or Danny Boy, on her harmonica. Yun's focus is to keep creating and improving hers skills. Visit her blog HERE. And, see her tutorial on sculpted fridge magnets HERE.

Images of Yun Hui Kelsey's artwork posted with consent.

Jewelry Created from PET Bottles by Gülnur Ozdaglar

Gülnur Ozdaglar lives in Ankara, Turkey, and is an architect by trade. Architecture, however, is not her only area of expertise. Gülnur also designs remarkable jewelry. Remarkable because of it's beauty, yes, but also because of it's concept and the material from which they are made. Her delicate and sculptural pieces are created from PET bottles. Specifically, recycled plastic drinking bottles. You know, the kind that is filling up our garbage cans AND our landfills?

The concept is simple. Gülnur collects plastic bottles. In fact, all her friends and neighbors do the same. The bottom portion of the large plastic bottles becomes the material for the bowls she also creates, the remaining parts are used for her jewelry. The construction is simple. She cuts the plastic into pieces according to her design, forms them with heat, pierces them with a soldering iron, and arranges them to suit her creation. However, the design and aesthetics are not simple. For that, you would have to be Gülnur. After all, it is her artistic sensibility and designing skills that go into each piece of hand crafted brooch, necklace, or earrings.

We all know, or should be aware, of our growing environmental issues. Our planet is being bombarded with synthetic "material" that can be recycled and transformed into reusable products, instead of wasting space and potentially harming the environment and our health. And, that is what Gülnur is doing one piece of beautiful jewelry and art bowl at a time.

Visit her blog to see more of her craft HERE. And, her Etsy site HERE. And, Gülnur has been generous enough to create a tutorial on how to make an art bowl from PET bottles. You can find her instructions HERE. ~Jewelry construction from Gülnur Ozdaglar

Images of jewelry copyrighted by Gülnur Ozdaglar, and posted with consent.

Mosaics by Manon Doyle

Mixed-media artist, Manon Doyle, is a dreamer at heart. And, luckily for us, she turns her dreams into beautiful artwork. About her craft, she describes: "The 'artist' has always lived inside of me. As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist, and my journey in the arts led me to both my passions........ mosaics and mixed media paintings. I try to express my genuine love of color with each creation. Every piece is an extension of myself."

"Her mosaics are all created with glass. She favors glass because of the large variety of colors, and she will often mix in beads, mirror, millefiori and smalti. If creating a mirror, she will use a base like MDF board because it's lighter than other wood and it doesn't warp, (it's not for outside use however). She also uses Weldbond glue which dries extremely hard and is non-toxic. Checking her edges and grinding the sharp ones is a vital step so no one cuts themselves. When the glass is finally laid, and she is happy with the outcome, she will grout the entire piece. The final step is a grout sealer."

Manon was born and raised in Quebec, Canada, but now lives in Dublin, Ohio with her family and her dog, Otis, an adorable and feisty pug. She recently admitted to feeling creatively trapped over the years. "I was not letting my creativity come from my heart. It came from my head instead. It wasn't until recently that I realized I can produce something that I'm truly passionate about...... a way of expressing myself from my soul." One look at her mosaics and mixed media paintings and you will see her heart and passion at work. To see more of her works, visit her blog HERE. And, her website, HERE. You will discover that her other love is animals. Her website is (appropriately) called, Hoochie Poochie Studios and painting pet portraits is another one of her passions. ~From her blog and website with consent.

Photographs are copyrighted by Manon Doyle, and posted with consent.

Willow Baskets by Helen (Hen) Anderson

In the heart of the Cotswolds (United Kingdom) Helen Anderson, or Hen, crafts baskets and small hurdles from Somerset willow and materials foraged from the local countryside. It is a passion that has grown from a deep desire to nestle herself into the environment that she loves.

And, it is the environment that is one of her main concerns. In one of her recent postings, Hen asks the question, "What is the difference between a basket and a plastic container?" Her answer: I think a basket has energy. It's got life in it. When it rots it will feed the earth, not poison it. Things aren't meant to last forever. 'Things' are meant to break down and be replaced - part of the cycle. You put your soul into making the basket, try to make it as strong as it can be, as beautiful as it can be in it's strength. All the while knowing this was just a momentary stasis of inevitable decay and that one day it will just be a pile of twigs rotting in the ground, the hours spent weaving long forgotten...

Tools of her trade

About a foraging basket she recently made, Hen explains, "It's a stout basket, with a thick handle. It's tough and should last for decades! That's one of the things I love about basketry and weaving in general. The strength created by weaving is mind boggling and very beautiful." ~From her blog with consent.

Even her dog (an adorable and playful border collie), Willow, is named after her love of weaving and nature. Visit her blog, beeleaf, HERE to see more of her baskets and the beautiful countryside she lives in. And, you can see a slideshow of her baskets HERE.

Photographs are copyrighted by Helen Anderson, and posted with consent.

Terracotta Sculptures by Bruno Torfs

"Hidden amongst the lush rain forests North East of Melbourne, Victoria, is the rare jewel that is Bruno's art and sculpture garden. The original and unique artworks of sculptor and painter Bruno Torfs have brought joy and inspiration to thousands of visitors from all over the world. The garden began with just fifteen life size terracotta sculptures which eventually grew to over one hundred and fifteen pieces on display."

"Unfortunately on the 7th of February 2009 a bushfire raged through the township, decimating everything in its path without mercy and claimed the lives of friends and neighbours indiscriminately. Bruno was extremely lucky to survive and the rest of his family are safe and well."

"Bruno's home and art gallery were completely destroyed in the blaze, with Bruno only managing to save a handful of paintings." ~From his website with permission.

You can read about Bruno Torfs and his efforts to rebuild his home and art gallery at Bruno's Art & Sculpture Garden. Be sure to watch the slideshow on his home page to see what was once Bruno's amazing sculptures.

Bruno Torfs' story was originally brought to my attention by James Parker of James Parker's Art who is planning on doing a series of ten 5 x 7's of some of Bruno's sculptures to help with the rebuilding efforts. You can see one of them HERE. Thank you James!

Photographs copyrighted by Bruno Torfs, and posted with consent.

Bricolage by Ken Flett

Friends and Lovers © Ken Flett

Memory of Caressed Flesh © Ken Flett
Ken lives in Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada, and specializes in mixed media.
Visit his website to see his work HERE.
And, his blog HERE to see some beautiful photographs and artwork
and to read stories about the people who inspires Ken's art,
as well as his own stories.
See example HERE.
Life is whittled
Life's a riddle
Man's a fiddle that life plays on
~Tom Waits

"A bricoleur is a kind of handyman who enjoys adroitly drawing upon all sorts of everyday things - just what lies at hand - to attend to those things that make the good life."

"Ken's bricolage starts with a photograph and builds upon it with instinctive subtlety. He affectionately chooses a photo of persons he cares about deeply. The developed enlargements are pieced together to form a whole, if fractured, image which is glued to canvas. This bare, broken first statement is richly enhanced by things which come to mind or lie at hand - a fragment of a letter, a photo from the past, a pressed flower, or by paintbrush, an echo of times past, a scent of endearment, a hint of hope, such stuff as dreams are made of. "Whatever it takes" says the artist, an intuitive bricoleur of the human mystery. And so, layer upon layer, just as our lives are made of the "impasto" of all that ever happens, the artist builds an icon of innocence which is beyond moral judgement or mortal denial. Ken Flett compels our engagement in the genial complicity of an inescapable communion." ~From his website with permission.

Artwork copyrighted by Ken Flett, and posted with consent.

About this blog

  • This blog was created to feature craftspeople who make beautiful art by hand.
  • PLEASE NOTE: I will NOT accept submissions.
  • I am planning to feature one person per week, but that may be subject to change.
  • Thank you for visiting!