Monday, November 16, 2009

December at Arts at Canal Place...

The Hard & Soft of It

by Mary A. McCunn & Jean Barnes Downs

Arts at Canal Place - Featured Artists
December 3, 2009 - January 9, 2010
Opening Reception w/ refreshments: Saturday, December 5, 2009
Hours: 6 - 8 pm
Arts at Canal Place, Cumberland, MD

Along with some of what you normally see from Mary, will be a strong presence of steel in her jewelry and sculpture. The typical feel of her current works will be there, but with a new and occasional soft direction, by incorporating wool and other softer materials into her work. She will utilize her metal techniques, presenting work that has both a soft natural and organic feel, while also blending it with a harder edge using geometric shapes and harder lines. As in nature, these two usually can be found together, the soft fuzzy baby chick awaiting feeding in a hard branchy nest or perhaps the soft flowing hay around a piece of farm equipment or a steel metal bridge or especially a lamb by a steel barbed fence. Always present is this natural hard and soft pairing.

Jean Barnes Downs
Planting Roots
Monotype with pastel

Downs' monotypes will feature strong simple abstract compositions with blocks of color and variations of hard and soft edges suggesting tender plants growing in a rock crevasse or water cascading over solid stone. Geometric shapes will be offset with the flowing contour line of drawing as she plays with mixing mediums incorporating pastel and the printing process of chine collé. Ever present are her multiple layers of color and texture drawing the viewer into each piece to seek out a story hidden there.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

1 studio tour weekend down, another to go!

The first weekend of the Artists Studio Tour kicked off last Saturday and Sunday. Of the many people who stopped by, lots checked out the merchandise on this fantastic weekend!
We talked about the antique power hammer and its purpose.
I talked about parts used to create jewelry with a fun couple from Little Orleans.

Hazel stopped by and joined in on the beautiful day.

Checking out product for Christmas gifts.

Pam is enjoying a yummy cup of home made beef and barley soup! Or should I say two!!!

Stamping some copper on an old rail road piece.
Our final weekend of the studio tour is this Saturday (14th) and Sunday (15th). Drop by and say hi. We will be around from 10-5 each day. Review the prior blog post for details and directions and we look forward to seeing you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

For the funkiness in all of us...

Turkey Teaser! Cuddlies A very contemporary, fuzzy & fun, one-of-a-kind line of jewelry made of: plastic, wool, copper, steel, brass, and bullet casings! There are caterpillar, rock, disk and cocoon necklaces. Also, some earrings and really fun and unusual bracelets. If you like wacky and off the wall, stop in and check them out. They won't be a regular from Meadowbrook Arts and are limited in quantity.
Arts at Canal Place - Featured Artists
November 1, 2009 - November 30, 2009
Check out our "extra" inventory as a teaser of the show to come in December at AaCP. We will have two full cases available for those who want to GOBBLE up unique pieces prior to "The Hard & Soft of It" show in December. Ask anyone working at AaCP where our two cases are and happy shopping! Ho Ho Ho!
Hours: 10-6 Daily
Arts at Canal Place, Cumberland, MD

Friday, November 6, 2009

Studio tour begins tomorrow, come say hi!

2009 Mountain Maryland
Artists' Studio Tour

37 articipating Artists including Mary A. McCunn
Two weekends: Nov 7 & 8 10-5
Nov 14 & 15 10-5

It's going to be a fabulous weekend for weather so come join Mary at her studio in Cresaptown, MD for a tour of her studio, see her old Fairbanks antique power hammer, her pappap's old anvils, see some demoing (I'll more than likely be hammering on jewelry), enjoy free refreshments and purchase some jewelry or sculpture for someone for Christmas. Sip on some hot Aspen mulled cider and eat some home made beef & barley soup while we catch up. It will be fun!

Directions: From I68, take Exit 42 and follow 220 South (McMullen Hwy towards Keyser). After about 5 miles, go straight through next 2 lights (in Cresaptown). Make 3rd RIGHT onto WYOMING (before Scarpelli's Funeral Home). Make IMMEDIATE RIGHT onto CONNECTICUT. Make next LEFT onto FLORIDA. 13817 is at the top of the street on the RIGHT before it T's. White rancher w/red shutters. Red studio behind the house.

Meadowbrook Arts studio: 301-729-3750 if you get lost!

For more information on this event and to receive a beautiful guide book with directions to all of the participating artists, contact the Allegany Arts Council at 301-777-2787 or visit their website to learn more.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Studio clean up begins...

The studio is quite the mess.
It's that time of year when I need to get it whipped into shape to be able to invite people out during the Mountain Maryland Artists Studio Tour that kicks off Nov. 7th! That doesn't leave a lot of time.
Yoki ruffly says, "wanna drop by for some mulled cider and soup?" She's helping out watching that I clean up properly and will be here to greet you all if you decide to come out and take a peak at my studio.

I hope the leaves stay on long enough for you to see it. Doesn't it look lovely nestled in amongst the colors today?! Who is gonna rake those leaves that have just STARTED to drop?

I've even created an area inside the larger studio so everyone can stay out of the cold and be able to shop for Christmas gifts. Of course, I still have lots of cleaning to do because I have three small areas you can step into to see how and where I do what I do. If time and space allows, I even plan on doing a little jewelry demoing. Meanwhile, it's back to cleaning and back to creating new work!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hiking with the girls!

A few of my favorite artist friends decided to take the day off from our studios and go for a hike in the Appalachian Mountains of Western Maryland.
For me, it was so refreshing to be out and crunching on all the crispy leaves with Ceil, Dalis and Piver, smelling that wonderful smell that only happens with the changing of summer to fall.

Ceil and Piver decide it is waaaayyy easier to decend the trail, than backtracking up it.
Just look at all the wonderful colors that surrounded us as we talked about our lives, and yes, our art!
What inspiration of color for us to take back to our studios or just the quite peace that allowed us a breather from our busy lives.
We had to gingerly step on mossy slippery stones and decided it was necessary to use sticks because a couple of my friends accidently dipped their feet in the babbling stream!
Ceil, myself and Piver, after stripping ourselves of some layers and saying goodbye to the warm fall day, jumped in the car with Dalis and decended the mountain back to our busy lives. Now, where did I put those pliers?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Gobble Gobble....

Turkey Teaser!
Arts at Canal Place - Featured Artists
November 1, 2009 - November 30, 2009
Check out my "extra" inventory as a teaser of the show to come in December at AaCP. I will have two full cases available for those who want to GOBBLE up unique pieces prior to "The Hard & Soft of It" show in December. Ask anyone working at AaCP where our two cases are and happy shopping!
Hours: 10-6 Daily
Arts at Canal Place, Cumberland, MD

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Night time jeweler!

As I was searching for images preparing for the upcoming 2009 Studio Tours, I came across some older photos I had hidden (May 2007). So, I was taking some nice night time images of my studio. After I turned all the lights on and climbed up on to our tall deck, I happened to notice something out of the corn of my eye. I zoomed into the yard and caught this lovely mother raccoon heading for the studio to make some jewelry!!!
Actually, she was going up the humongous oak tree next to my studio to her awaiting babies. She decided I was harmless as she eerily gazed down upon me as I got closer for a picture of her. She later relocated all her babies somewhere deep into the woods on the mountain behind our house and was never seen pounding on metal in my studio again, nor were her off spring. Her babies were so cute though, that I would have taken them in as apprentices.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Western PA....

Those who protected the West. Okayyyy, so no, not really. Instead it was those who make really cool stained & painted boxes and bonnets during the Springs Folk Festival.
We had a new location this year at the festival, right next to the information booth and on the other side, Jim & Robin were our wild, wild neighbors! It must have been all the caffeine from the chocolate they were eatting and feeding us. Maybe instead it was the spiked cider from the festival - okaaayyy, so there wasn't any spiked cider, though there was talk of how to make it. As it was made for the festival, the cider was delish and there was also fragrant and tastebud bursting warm apple butter bread amongst all the wonderful foods served at this years festival.
The weather held out pretty nicely this year and there were plenty of good vendors, lots of demonstrating and a lovely attendance of people. I was busy enough that I couldn't slip away to really catch any cool pics to post and had to grab my farmer man in the suspenders to help out in my booth. I happened to be wearing my Pappap's old clothes! He frequently had on his old chambray blue shirt & very high wasted pants, of which I refuse to show you how NERDY I actually looked under that leather apron. Who wears their pants THAT HIGH?! Instead I'll show you the classic pocket he always had on the side used to hold pliers and old rulers, etc.
And we joked that I was "Eddie" at the festival, since my Pappap always seemed to grab the nearest sharpy and write his name inside his pants. Anyone out there have a family member who thought they needed to identify their pants for fear that someone in school or work would take their PANTS accidentally?!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

CanalFest was cold & rainy....

Ok, so I didn't dress properly for this fesitval and was super cold! Lucky for me, my loaned orange leather jacket and wayyyyy cool scarf came to me by way of some fabulous friends who stopped by my booth.

Yep, you guessed it, here they are after they dropped off the warm goods. Dalis is wearing another of her fabulous scarves (and yes you can get one by contacting her at Now, I say THEY dressed me up, but in all honesty, it was Dalis who dressed me AND her wonderful husband Houston and he is wearing those ultra cool and hip plaid shorts! P.S. Despite the crappy weather that cancelled out much of the festival, it was still a surprisingly good event for me and in the course of the weekend, I was visited by lots of fabulous people. Thanks to all who came out and supported the event.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mark your calendar....

Meadowbrook Arts has joined up with this festival as an art vendor, so come to Western Maryland to enjoy the festivities and new artwork that Mary has available! Plus listen to one of her favorite groups performing at this festival - Herb & Hanson.
12th Annual CanalFest/RailFest
September 25- 27, 2009 Canal Place Heritage Area - Cumberland, MD
Artisan and Food Vendor Booth Hours
5 PM - 9:30 PM
10 AM - 7 PM
10 AM - 4:30 PM

Enjoy three fun-filled days of activities including train excursions, live music, children's activities, fireworks, canal boat tours, and more! Great food and traditional crafts are available for sale beginning Friday night. For more information call or email: Dominique Nabholz, Festival Coordinator (301) 724-3655 or

Schedule of Events*

Friday 25th
The Hillbilly Gypsies 5:30PM
Cornmeal in the Kitchen 7PM
Fireworks Display 9PM

Saturday 26th
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Train Pull 9AM
Children's Activities 10AM-5PM 2:30PM 4PM
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Train Excursion 2PM
Herb & Hanson 2:30PM
Bill Emerson & The Sweet Dixie Band 4PM
Halftime String 5:30PM
Band Ghost Tour 7:00PM
The Bridge 7:30PM

Western Maryland Kidney Ride
- Cyclist Ride 9:30AM
- Family Ride 10AM
Children's Activities 10AM-4PM
Missy Raines & The New Hip 2 - 4 PM
*Subject to change

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rescue Me show at AaCP meets Chibi & Orange

My daughter and I took a quick stab at cartoonish type painting/drawings on canvas yesterday. Left is Chibi Puppy by my daughter and right is Orange Kitti, by Macee (my new name given to me by friends). They go to Arts at Canal Place for the "Rescue Me” featured Artist show. Most paintings have part of the sale donated to our local animal shelters. Along with the normal show, there are these small cute paintings made by members or the public that are being donated so the proceeds will go also go to the Animal Shelter.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Road Trip to Lost River

It was time to add more inventory to Lost River Artisan Cooperative. Now available are cool copper rings, more earrings and necklaces and my newly designed 22's for $22! Since I was making this beautiful country ride, I decided to invite a few friends along. Dalis and Ceil were gracious enough to hang for the day, though we did leave another wonderful friend (Piver) behind that was out sick, sniff. Dalis and Ceil decided it was time to introduce their products (that consisted mainly of glass jewelry, but also included felted purses and "lambscapes"!) to the Lost River area. They were juried in while we ate lunch in "The General Store" next door. What yummy chicken tarragon salad sandwiches they had! MMMMM, my belly growls as I rethink the meal.
Here are the girls as they prepped their lovely work for sale. Sassy vixon jewelry for sale!
This is a cool old tractor that sits outside the Lost River building. What a beautiful location for the coop, nestled into the trees.
Of course there had to be purchases, as well as installation of our work, because we like to support other artists' talents. We purchased yummy coffees, a tasty pecan pie jam and this fun textural large pot and serving dishes by Kathryn Kavanagh.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Art in the Park on Deep Creek Lake

I love this little festival. It's location is lovely, right on the bank of Deep Creek Lake and in front of the Discovery Center in the State Park. There are usually not a lot of vendors, it's a small festival, but it proves to be a wonderful, more personal experience and there is nature abound. Grand Daddy Long Legs usually find their way onto my inside walls, which is only appropriate considering my inspiration sometimes originates from them. The customers are usually super friendly and very supportive of my style of work, and this year included both jewelry and sculpture.
This lovely hottie with the WAY cool shades is Annie. She's chillin' during a great weekend of sales of her wonderful homemade paper art that includes journals, lamps, 2D originals and prints and even sculptural paper items!

Annie happened to have front row view of a major event happening in nature DURING the festival. It just so happened that in the past week, the park volunteers said that a colony of Wild Honey Bees were relocating queens. Apparently there can be 4 queens born of the original and they had already seen two be relocated. The third happened during the festival. It may be hard to see, but in the center of this photo is a darker area on the branch - sort of shadowed. This is where the bees were protectively swarming over the new queen as they began the relocation. Off to the left you can see peppery dots that indicate a large number of bees still in the air. One of our favorite vendors was directly under this unusual occurrence.
In the very center of this image you can see a vertical shading in the tree. This was the clump. At one point, almost the entire section dropped for the weight of the bees on the queen was tremendous. Of course the bees never touched ground as they fell, for they quickly gained flight and recovered the cluster. My camera couldn't zoom super close so you can't really get a gauge on how large this clump was from the image. It was a unique event to be seen by such a large group of people and as the volunteer explained... there aren't many Wild Honey Bees left in nature. It doesn't appear like much in such small photos, but it was quite the site to see so many bees taking flight over your head.

Another occurrence was going on at the same time.... ahem... the sale of many pieces of jewelry in my booth such as the new "cut-out" designs featured here! They were taking flight onto many a ears over the weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2009

New at Arts at Canal Place

Check out the new style of sterling silver earrings & necklaces I've created for the Arts at Canal Place. They are great for long hair and lightweight. I always use sterling silver earwires so they are safe for senstive ears and won't cause allergies in most people. They are longer and dangle on the ears to create that sexy summer look. The necklace is on a thick handmade neckwire and looks great against that summer tan! The earrings are currently only at the AaCP location, but the necklace you can find at both AaCP and Gifts Inn Boonsboro!
Squiggle Mops

Circle Dot Slabs

Sterling Silver & Blue Lustre

Monday, April 20, 2009

Oh balls...... a packed weekend!

The weekend started off with me teaching the booth display class. It was a great success. Lots of time and energy went into this class to have it be over in a short 2 hours. I had a nice bunch of ladies attending on what turned out to be a beautiful weekend weather wise. They were all troopers to sit inside listening to me yap on and on when it was so gorgeous outside! Since it was so nice this weekend, I decided to meet up with two friends to travel to the Countryside Artisans Spring Studio Tour located in the foothills of Sugarloaf Mountain in rural Maryland. I picked up some Golden London Pride (feeling like Spring and wanting to plant something) at Alden Farms. Mixed in with all the plants, David Therriault makes way cool garden type sculptures. Passion leaked out of Tina Brown, from Morningstar Studio, as she spoke of oil spills of the past and how they affected nature, plants and animals. She was able to portray how she felt to the world through her abstract images and is pictured with my two friends, Olga and Pam. I had met her one time before and thought she was shy. Oh balls, she is a pistol! One of my talented and wonderful friends, Dalis Davidson at Dancing Leaf Farm was also on the tour with her fabulous wool and jewelry stuffsesssss! I picked up some of her awesome dyed merino sheep wool roving. She has these fabulous kits to get you started on felting and my daughter and I already started to play. Sharp little needles! We don't have a clue what we are doing or what we are going to do with them, but we are making balls anyhow! Oh balls, balls, balls!!!