Category: Joan M. Kasura

FACES retools with increased online reach

The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore — FACES — has set an ambitious goal for itself: “To become the region’s premier resource for fiber artists and fiber art enthusiasts.” This past fall, FACES received a USDA grant to help them take two big steps forward towards accomplishing that goal. Both steps, announced in their fall newsletters, focus not only on expanding FACES’s presence within the region’s fiber arts community, but also helping those fiber artists, both professional and casual. The first step was the relaunch of the FACES Etsy shop under the management of Jodi Bortz, an experienced online sales manager and former executive director of Chestertown River Arts with extensive experience promoting the arts and artists. The second was the hiring of Rebecca Heriz-Smith, a social media expert to help member artists build and manage a Facebook Business page as well as use other forms of social media to engage with clients and promote their works of art. Both Bortz and Heriz-Smith said they hope to build on the successful one-day social media training workshop that FACES sponsored last April. Held at Chesapeake College, in Wye Mills, and geared towards artists, crafters and makers, the sold-out workshop provided a full day of marketing and social media training at the beginner/introductory level to help artists throughout the region better promote themselves and their artistry. In addition to...

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Daggs brings love of marbling to Shore

Having grown up in Cambridge and later lived in Easton, Jennifer Daggs loves coming back to the Eastern Shore. Her next opportunity to do so will happen during this month’s Martin Luther King weekend, when she’ll be teaching marbling classes during the Delmarva Art Expo, which will be held at the Ocean City Convention Center. Daggs has been engaged in the arts, including the fiber arts, since childhood; and, she remembers taking all sorts of classes through the Dorchester Arts League. Her experiences with marbling techniques go back to a summer class she took while she was still in college. She said she fell in love with the technique and whenever had the chance she said she “would marble anything that wasn’t nailed down.” Daggs would then sell the marbled items both at home and back at college in Pennsylvania, where she majored in English and minored in art. “It would pay for my textbooks,” said Daggs. Daggs ended up staying in Pennsylvania when she met her husband while they were both working as improvisational actors at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, and currently lives just south Harrisburg, Pa. Despite her relocation north, her love of the arts continued, including her continued interest in marbling techniques. “I started marbling paper,” said Daggs, “and then I had a friend who was living in Baltimore ask me to teach her how to...

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Martinez has colors to dye for

If you went to Ocean City’s Delmarva Wool & Fiber Expo last February, then you probably noticed independent yarn and fiber dyer Melody Martinez and her colorful Haute Bohème Fibers booth. The expo marked the debut of Martinez’s new logo, a graphic rendition of her daughter’s profile with long flowing tresses that also graphically portray the large assortment of “fiber art for fiber artists” that Martinez dyes and sells. This year’s expo also marked the debut of Martinez’s new Palettes colorways — “specially mixed colors that all coordinate with one another.” Martinez created the Palettes line specifically in response to a common customer concern over coordinating multi-color yarns with one another, a question she often received back when she began selling her hand-dyed yarns at the Annapolis Farmers’ Market. At the time, Martinez, a longtime crocheter, was writing her own patterns and selling finished versions of those patterns at a market booth. When she couldn’t find the yarn and colors she wanted to execute her designs, Martinez began dyeing her own. Eventually, thanks to the early support of enthusiastic customers from her three years at the Annapolis Farmers’ Market and other well-known independent dyers such as Kim Russo of Kim Dyes Yarn in Virginia, Martinez began expanding her presence at local yarn shops — or, rather, “LYSs” in yarn enthusiasts’ lexicon. Martinez credits Russo with pushing her into the...

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