Category Archives: The Studio Gallery

Looking Forward…

Today, with some sadness, we closed the doors on The Studio Gallery, but it was also a day for expectation and looking forward to new opportunities. The eleven artists in the gallery are all continuing with their artwork, exhibiting, and their artwork continues to be available in area shops and galleries, including Artistree in Land O’ Lakes, WI.

To help friends and customers keep in touch, we started a blog this evening and will continue to post news of our work and events. The blog URL is

Last day, in front is Debra Ketchum Jircik; back row L to R, Carol Miller, Toni Bergeon, and Wendy Powalisz. I was behind the camera, capturing the moment for posterity.

A New Season Begins

Spring at The Studio Gallery in Boulder Junction, WI, just follow the stone path that leads to our gate and door.

Long ago, this little red building was a washhouse for railroad workers. Now it houses a small cooperative art gallery. There is no heat or insulation so we are open Memorial Day weekend through the first week or so of October.

Though we have a small fenced area, the deer have no problem jumping over it. Last year we replaced the live flowers, herbs and hanging baskets with large, painted wood flowers. Made by a few of our members, they were “planted” again this year. They are large, colorful, easily seen from the street, and three have center cutouts where visitors enjoy having their photos taken. Last year, quite a number of people asked what we would do with them when we close as they wanted to buy them! We expect there will be many requests again this summer.

This year we are open Wed. through Sat. each week, so with the members available to gallery-sit, each artist works about three days a month. This past Thursday was a workday for me at the gallery, a beautiful day, a fair number of browsers and buyers, lots of nice compliments on the work, and sales were great for this early in June.

This old bicycle caught my eye the other day with it’s beautiful flowers in the baskets.

Arts Demonstrations at The Studio Gallery

Over this past Friday and Saturday, five members of The Studio Gallery participated in demonstrating some facets of their arts as part of the Artists Interactive program.

Amy Higgason, Pigeon Road Pottery, was working on clayboard, carving the type of designs she puts on her pottery. Each year, The Studo Gallery has a new two-sided bookmark printed with all the participating artists listed on it. This year, Amy did the graphic design work using this type of carving. Beautiful!

Wendy Powalisz, Back 40 Arts, does watercolors and makes beaded jewelry, and had set up to demonstrate watercolor painting. Last year’s bookmark featured a watercolor painting by Wendy.

Kathleen Kimball, Salmagundi Arts, is a collage artist and soapmaker. On Saturday, however, she was working in The Studio Gallery. During slow times, she joined us out front in the sun and sat knitting on a sweater. I love how all these artists are known for particular areas of art, yet surprise you with what else they enjoy doing!

Louise Engelbrecht, Black Squirrel Studio, painter and weaver, had brought a table loom and sat threading the heddles. Unfortunately, she left early in the afternoon before we brought out the cameras.

I had been asked to bring my sock machine with, so I spent the two days making socks on the 1908 Gearhart Sock Knitting Machine and showing how the toes are closed by hand. People really seem to enjoy watching the process and asking questions. Most have never seen a sock machine before, but occasionally someone recalls a family member using one long, long ago.

The sun was shining both days, and though it was cool and windy both days, we all had a great time talking and laughing together. We will be demonstrating various arts again June 26-28. Artists Interacting!

Gallery Metamorphosis

This past Wednesday, a few of the eleven artists in The Studio Gallery (2009) gathered to clean inside, do a bit of yardwork in our fenced area, and set up/display/hang the works for this year.

This was what I found when I arrived before mid-morning, nearly bare shelves, bare walls, and a layer of winter’s dust. So we set to work, windows were washed inside and out, shelves scrubbed, carpet vacuumed, small bins of “office supplies” organized, bags counted, and the little yard raked and ready for planting more herbs. Then pottery was unpacked and set out, paintings carried in and decisions made on where they would be hung, textiles set out, and by mid-afternoon we were nearly done.

Yesterday was our opening day and as Wendy is away, I spent the day at the gallery. Though it is Memorial weekend, Boulder Junction was fairly quiet yesterday. This photo shows the results of our work on Wednesday, the The Studio Gallery is looking good, and everyone will be bringing more work in throughout the summer and fall.

My basket of towels looking nice together on the shelf, but my antique towel drying rack at home is nearly empty, it’s time to weave up a few more.

It’s going to be a busy summer of weaving towels, runners, and rugs, cranking socks, working on the drawloom, as well as working at two galleries, the Artists Interactive demos and open studio day, along with the Northwoods Art Tour. I’ve been waiting a long, long time for this, and now it’s time to make it all happen!

Marketing ~ Bio & Brochure

Last year, the artists at The Studio Gallery were to create a “bio” page to be framed and hung on the outside wall of the gallery, to the right of the door. I was so busy making socks all last summer and fall I never did get one made.

This morning I realized I needed a bio page in two weeks and went to the computer with no clue how to go about it. I opened Microsoft Picture It! Photo 7.0, found where I could create a flyer, and went to work, figuring out how to add, re-size, and move text and photos, and so on. I decided on simplicity, keeping photos and text of a reasonable size (not everyone’s eyes are young!), and by 11 AM had a draft that would just need a bit of tweaking. Thankfully, that job is almost done.

Since I had what I considered to be a reasonable success this AM, I decided this afternoon to start on a brochure for Shuttle Works Studio, something I need finished and printed in about three weeks. Using the same program, I again added text, photos, re-sized, tweaked, and have a decent draft of a brochure. It will be a tri-fold, printed double-sided.

When printed, the text size was larger than it appeared on the screen, which is why I couldn’t get the text and photos as I had originally envisioned. Tonight I am considering readability vs. volume of content, and will likely do another version with smaller print and additional photos, print the second version out, then decide which will work better.

Marketing is not my favorite task, but it was fun working something up for both projects, I think mostly because I was able to figure out the basics of accomplishing this task without the help of my two teens who were not home at the time. However, it was also much needed time away from the loom and sock machine. I may be up late tonight.

Gallery Season

The Studio Gallery artists, left to right: Wendy Powalisz ~Back 40 Arts, Shirley Surges, Debra Ketchum-Jircik ~Circle of Life Studio, Amy Higgason ~ Pigeon Road Pottery, Carol Miller (front), Janice Zindel ~ Shuttle Works Studio (back), Kathleen Kimball ~ Salmagundi Arts, Toni Bergeon, and Nancy Shoop. Not pictured: Jane O’Brien and Louise Engelbrecht.

For several years now I have been a part of The Studio Gallery, located behind The Outdoorsman Restaurant in Boulder Junction. Soon, this group of eleven artists will be getting together for a day to clean, paint, and plant, then hang and display our work. The gallery is open Memorial Day weekend and running through the first week of October; this year Wednesday through Saturday, 9 AM to 4 PM. Art at the gallery includes watercolors, acrylics, collage, pottery, fiber arts, quilting, bookarts, and photography. We are looking forward to another year together.

Last fall, there was a movement to begin a new arts group, “Land O’ Lakes Artisans” (LOLA), and meetings were held with many area artists/artisans attending. One of their goals was to have a gallery in which to exhibit and sell art work. This past Tuesday a group of working artists met, and after long discussion, knowing there were 20+ artists committed and supportive of this project, it was decided to open a gallery.

The new gallery will be located in a nice, bright, good-size room inside a building owned by Kathy Schuh of Forget-Me-Not Floral, downtown Land O’ Lakes. On June 1st we will be there cleaning and painting, art work is to arrive June 3rd, and between June 3rd and June 14th, everything will be hung and displayed. On June 15th, Artistree Gallery will open.

The Artistree Gallery will be a venue for the work of artists and artisans within a 100 mile radius of Land O’ Lakes, either full-time or seasonal residents; artwork will be juried in. The artists are also very interested in giving back to the community, including having demonstrations, classes, and other forms of sharing the arts.

So often, people sit back and wait for something to be a success before becoming involved. It is exciting to see so many artists willing to commit to this venture in these economic times. May the new Artistree Gallery be a success this summer and for many years to come.

Last Day for 2008

Today was my last day at The Studio Gallery for 2008. Tomorrow is the last day we are open for business for 2008, though any of the artists may be contacted anytime throughout the year. It was an interesting season, given the economy. Though there were many positive comments on my woven table runners, they did not sell well this year, yet my socks, made on a 1908 Gearhart sock machine, sold very well. This was the first year I was making socks to sell.

The Studio Gallery is a cooperative gallery with eleven artists this year. We all contributed to annual expenses, and most members worked two or three days per month. Located in Boulder Junction, WI, the gallery is in a small, old, railroad building behind, which has a unique charm and come spring, a clean-up day takes place, and the new artwork is hung/displayed.

There are a number of birdhouses in the immediate vicinity, and pottery birdbaths are located outside, bringing winged visitors and beautiful birdsong. In previous years, we had beautiful flowers in the beds inside the gate, and a gorgeous window box planted, yet every year, midway through summer, we would arrive to find the local deer had jumped the fence and devoured everything in sight. They apparently had not read the books about which plants deer do not eat.

This year several of the women gathered together, cut out large wooden flowers, and painted them in bright, cheerful colors. We had many, many people inquire about purchasing the flowers, but believe next spring they will be sanded down, and re-painted and displayed again. With the circle cutouts in some of them, people loved posing and having their pictures taken. It worked out very well.

I brought my runners and socks home late this afternoon, not wanting to make the 40 minute drive again tomorrow. Tonight I am thankful for another year with the gallery, and I am already looking forward to 2009, and working on ideas for next year.

Batik Table Runners

Auditioning warp colors and fabrics, this was the beginning of a series of table runners. I ended up with twelve colors in the warp, and used different coordinating batik fabrics for weft. The cotton prints in the basket were set aside for a future warp.

Since I have a horizontal countermarche loom, I make my warps in two halves, most often on the warping mill.

One runner in a series using various “wine” batiks.

Wine runners at The Studio Gallery, Summer 2008.

The Studio Gallery

Batik table runner at The Studio Gallery, coordinating nicely with pottery by Nancy Shoop.

The Studio Gallery is located behind The Outdoorsman Restaurant, in Boulder Junction, WI. In the small red building, you will find the work of eleven artists. We are a cooperative gallery, with members working a couple days a month. In the gallery, you will find the work of Carol Miller, photographer; Wendy Polalisz, watercolors and jewelry; Amy Higgason and Nancy Shoop, potters; Louise Engelbrecht, watercolors and weaving; Kathleen Kimball, handmade soap, collage artist, and book arts; Cathy Wirtz, knitted/felted hats and bags; Jane O’Brien, water-colors; Shirley Surges, watercolors; Toni Bergeon, quilt arts; and myself, with weaving and
hand-crafted socks.

It is wonderful, everytime I drive over to spend the day, to see the new artwork that has been brought in, and to hear the positive comments of visitors and buyers on the quality of the work.

Today I am at the gallery, and this evening I’ll be in Three Lakes doing a sock machine demo at an open house at their new arts center. This weekend is the area Art Tour, as well as the sale of work by the Lake Country Weavers at the UCC Church in Eagle River. All in all, a very Arty weekend.