Saturday, 13 February 2016

Hidden Artists - Featuring Andrew Francis.

I have decided to do a series called Hidden Artists. The aim is to feature artists whose works I feel are worth sharing. Some artists are lucky enough to get the exposure they deserve for their works, but the bulk of them remain obscure for the most part. It is a shame because there are so many beautiful pieces of Art out there we need to be enjoying may never come across. This Blog is going to be one of many series, covering artists from various fields whose works should be admired and whose creativity should inspire . I hope by sharing my finds on this blog, you all will appreciate the artists and their work as much as I do. Art is the essence of us all after all. I read a quote by an unknown author that said "the EARTH without ART is simply EH"
" so here is to making the Earth complete!

Today's Artist is Andrew Francis of AFrancisPottery. He creates a whimsical collection of mostly kitchen ware. I was a lucky recipient of one of his mugs about 4 years ago. It was build with the bottom slightly wider than the brim, I liked the way it looked and I thought it was an unusual shape for a mug, but I didn't think further about the design till I started to use it and soon realized that it kept the heat of my tea longer than my regular mug did. It turns out that Andrew doesn't just make pottery in whimsical shapes, he considers its usefulness and engineers that into the design. The wider bottoms allowed for room to hold enough liquid but the narrower top keeps the temperature in there longer. Use that mug with a sleeve for extra insulation and you might as well be drinking out of thermos!

This is Andrew (He hates having his photo up online so I hope I don't get sued for this - fingers crossed.) He also didn't provide a blurb for his bio but gave me permission to use the one in his ETSY SHOP and I quote

"All pottery is hand made on a foot-powered potter's wheel - that's right, I kick to create this work. This is genuine 'thrown' or 'turned' pottery, not produced in molds. It was created using traditional English, American and Japanese pottery techniques, materials and glazes. Most pottery is high temperature stoneware or porcelain - this means that it is the most durable pottery you can buy". 

Can you tell Andrew isn't keen on being known on a personal level? It's only about his kitchenware, so let's get to them!!

Tea Pots (All currently for Purchase)

Up close. Designed and Made by Andrew Francis

From the Top

The Spout

The back with Andrew's logo branded on the kettle

Another kettle designed and made by Andrew

They come in all shapes and sizes

This Awesome Chalice was made specially for me as a wedding present by the Artist himself!! I drink EVERYTHING in it, including tea. Something about using it makes me feel like a medieval royal.

Adorable Saki cups designed and made by Andrew

What do you know? Another gift for yours truly by the Artist, I asked for an ugly swine bank and got this cutie instead, so I gave her pearls and named her Marla.

Yes, I sip my tea from an Original Andrew Francis tea cup while I write this blog. Don't be put off by the lack of info about the artist, he is not as unfriendly as I make him come across. Visit his SHOP and WEBSITE to see more of his work. His prices are incredibly affordable for the quality of work he produces. And he takes custom orders too so don't be shy if you don't find something ready to ship. You will NOT be disappointed, I promise. Share this blog, leave a comment and come back soon for a feature on another Artist. Keep creating.

Thursday, 13 August 2015


The book is out. It took a lot longer than I had anticipated. I still am waiting for the paperback and ebook release but is sure does feel good to have the Kindle version out. You can find it HERE by the way. If you do get a copy, an amazon will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Introducing REGINA JIRON

      Hello People, thank you for stopping by and following the progress of our project. I know you all have been waiting a while now for additional news regarding this project, but guess what? So are we! The project has been completed two months ago but related information has only finally been collected last week, thus the delay. 

    Nonetheless, this means we have the summer to share additional news with you all. Our book on this project is in its final laps of production (thankfully) and will be available shortly, hopefully within the month. However, I haven't had the chance to introduce you all to REGINA JIRON, another one of the project's participant, so find below, an excerpt of my interview with her. Enjoy.
      Naan: What is your name and where are you from? (If you have a name you go by as an artist, tell us that as well.)
      Regina: My name is Regina Jiron. I live in Bethesda, MD which is in the Washington Dc metro area. My shopname is BeadJewelryShopgirl.

      Naan:     How long have you been practicing your art? 

      Regina: I started creating jewelry in 2006.

      Naan:  Is this (beading) the only form of art you do or are there more? 

      Regina: I’ve always done some form of craft or art since I can remember but I would consider painting (oil pastels and watercolor), beading and photography as “serious” endeavors.

      Naan: When did you decide to work in this particular (beading) media? 

      Regina: I discovered seed beads and the art of beadweaving also in 2006. 

      Naan: What made you decide to? 

      Regina: What I like most about beadweaving is the feeling of creating something out of nothing, almost. Putting hundreds, maybe thousand pieces into one cohesive whole give me a lot of satisfaction. The fact that others might enjoy the pieces I create also gives me a thrill. 

      Naan: How rewarding has it been so far? 

      Regina: Beadweaving has given me focus and peace. I’ve had some stress in my life lately that I’ve had to put my work on sabbatical but I realize now, it most likely would have help me better handle the stress so I’ve gotten back to it as much as I can now and intend to continue creating new pieces. 

      Naan: What is your specialty? (What materials, stitches, techniques etc) do you feel you have mastered so far? 
      Regina: I still consider myself a work in progress! 

      Naan: Are you primarily into beading or do you attempt mixed media (using beads and other materials like leather, fabrics or sculptures etc? 

      Reigna: With me, it’s all about the beads. I started with creating jewelry pieces, but lately I’m publishing bead patterns so that other beaders can enjoy my designs. I’m also starting to explore beading on canvas and creating sculptured pieces. 

       Naan: Is there any one person (artists, friends, family etc) that has been a big source of inspiration for you specifically in relation to this field? 

       Regina: I get my inspiration mostly from the things around me. Likewise, there is such a vibrant close-knit beading community out there that provide inspiration in raising the bar in this unique art form. 

       Naan:  What is your ultimate aspiration in this field? 

       Regina: I’m still searching for this. 

       Naan: Have you ever participated in any major projects or contests before? 

       Regina: In the beginning of my beading, I did participate in a couple of challenges and came out with the top awards. There was no monetary compensation or anything from it, but I got full satisfaction that a group of my peers gave validation to my work. 

      Naan:  Have you ever received grants and awards before, for your work in this media? 

      Regina: No

      Naan:  Do you think grants and awards are important in this media? 

      Regina: It would help for those in need of the financial boost to start their own business. I’m all for independent artists being able to jump start their business! 

      Naan: Is this media your primary vocation, your second job or simply a hobby? 

     Regina: Because I still have a 9-5 job that pays the bills and can’t devote 24/7 to beading, I still consider this to be a hobby.

     Naan: If you do sell your work, where can an interested client find your work to buy? And if you don’t sell your work, will you be interested in showing your creation anyway? (share links to sites, blogs, shops etc where you work can be purchased or viewed, or if you are comfortable enough, share contact details of how you can be reached for a client interested in making a purchase). 

      Regina: I sell my work primarily through my etsy store - 

      Naan: Why did you agree to participate in the FOE 13 project? 

      Regina: I hadn’t done a collaboration piece for a while so it was a good opportunity. In addition, I was getting out of my sabbatical to start beading again and what better way to stretch my beading muscles and get out of my comfort zone and work on a challenge piece! 

      Naan: Tell us more about yourself – anything at all that you are comfortable sharing. We all want to know our favourite artists as intimately as they would let us know them and you are no exception. 

      Regina: A quote from one of my favorite painters, Vincent Van Gogh is “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” It reflects so much of why I do what I do.

    It was a delight to learn more about Regina, but I am sure you all will agree that the delight is complete with a show of her work, find them below.

Free form Bracelet By ©Regina Jiron

Peyote Bracelet By ©Regina Jiron

'Bling' Bracelet By ©Regina Jiron

    I find Regina's work very neatly executed. The choice of colours are inviting and the design a delight. I wish I know the stories behind the inspiration for the these creations. But not knowing gives us the perfect excuse to stop by her shop to see more of her work or simply to drop her a note with your questions.

Monday, 12 May 2014


Hello People,

Remember Adrienne Szabo? I featured her HERE.  And as promised, here is a display of her wonderful creations. Enjoy.

Jewelry set by Adrienne Szabo

Necklace by Adrienne Szabo

Necklace by Adrienne Szabo

Necklace by Adrienne Szabo

Work in Progress by Adrienne Szabo

Necklace by Adrienne Szabo

Work in progress by Adrienne Szabo

Bracelet by Adrienne Szabo

Bracelet by Adrienne Szabo

I purposely chose not to do a commentary on these piece because I feel that the variety of texture, colour and style speak for themselves. I find is simply amazing that a little twist in the Kumihimo can create a totally different look. Adrienne seems quite comfortable and knowledgeable of this cool Japanese technique.

With this link you have access to more of her work and can also order a custom made piece or set
And if you are in the area follow this link because you can also take one of her classes to learn this beautiful technique.

Working with Adrienne was such a pleasure and I feel greatly humbled to have learned more about her work and creative process, I hope you all did too. In the coming days. You all will get to read more about this project.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

FOE 13

A year ago, this happend; ADRIENNE SZABO, CAROL DEAN SHARPE, CHRISTINE WILSON, ELIANA MANIERO, JACQUIE CHAMPION, MEGAN THOMAS, NAAN POCEN-FRANCIS (Project coordinator), OLGA DILLOW, REGINA JIRON, SVETLANA SAMETE and YULIYA ROITBOURD all came together on a collaboration that started here in Maryland (USA). With one floral focal piece that I created. It traveled to some European countries, then to Australia, then to Canada and back to several states in the USA and finally to Maryland where it all began.

This blog is NOT about the process of this creation (that shall come in another blog). This blog is simply the big reveal. All artists that participated in this project (except me) didn't know what the piece looked like before they received it, and had no idea what it looked like after it left them (again, all of that info will come in another blog). So with no further ado, I present to you all FOE 13.

 FOE 13 (a collaboration by 11 artists).

Saturday, 26 April 2014


Hello fun people. Our project came to an end a while back and reveal day is around the corner, but not before I introduce you all to another talented artist ADRIENNE SZABO. I had the pleasure of working with her on this project, and more so, I  got to know a bit about her too and I bet you all would. So here is a feature about this artist. Enjoy!

What is your name and where are you from?

My name is Adrienne Szabo and I am originally from Croatia and living in New York, USA.

How long have you been practicing this art (Beading).

I've been beading now for the past 7 years.

Is this (beading) the only form of art you do or are there more? 

I am a member of the Suffolk County Homemakers for the past 26 years. As a member I volunteered teaching crafts. My passion was always angels and I made angels out of silk flowers and clay pots, etc. I also joined Society of Decorative Painters and I am a member of D.A.L.I. (Decorative artists of Longs Island) for the past ten years.

When did you decide to work in this particular (beading) media?

After resigning with Michaels Arts and Crafts as a floral designer in 2007, I started beading while I was deciding where my life journey was gonna take me. I prayed for something creative and I heard of Bead store opening up in Long Island New York and got hired in July 2010  to teach classes and then a couple of months later started  working  at the shop part time. 

What made you decide to?
Handling beads and gemstones and crystals become my love instantly. I was able to see myself designing and the need to teach others is my great joy. Bead Kumihimo became one of my best techniques and passions.

How rewarding has it been so far?

I would say very rewarding, not in money but in great satisfaction to see my students accomplish making a piece of jewelry they thought they couldn't do and the process is very relaxing and most of the students that come,  struggle with life situations and found our classes to be so therapeutic. Kumihimo is most definite  meditative technique of all. 

What is your specialty? (What materials, stitches, techniques etc) do you feel you have mastered so far?

I do Bead Weaving (Intermediate beader), stringing, knotting, love wire work, but Bead Kumihimo became my love forever. 
            Are you primarily into beading or do you attempt mixed media (using beads and other materials like leather, fabrics or sculptures etc?)

Right now I am primarily into beading, but I do attend our monthly painting club meetings and get to paint a little at the meeting.

Have you ever participated in any major projects or contests before?

This is my first time participating in a project like this. Beading became my primary vocation. I work for Crystal Garden Designs NY where I teach jewelry making classes. 

If you do sell your work, where can an interested client find your work to buy? And if you don’t sell your work, will you be interested in showing your creation anyway? 

My Etsy shop is empty at a moment, buy planning to have some of my designs available for sale. You can find me at

Why did you agree to participate in the FOE 13 project?

The minute I saw that this project is going to be for charity, I knew I had to participate. I only did little bit of bead embroidery, but wanted to to contribute anyway. I had no idea I was up against these amazing designers here online. 

Tell us more about yourself – anything at all that you are comfortable sharing. We all want to know our favourite artists as intimately as they would let us know them and you are no exception.

I also love to crochet and sew and learned some of the knitting, but prepping for teaching classes takes a lot of my time so I have a lot of projects on hold. Making jewelry comes first.  

Well folks, It was a pleasure for me to get to know Adrienne better and I hope it was the same for you all too. I shall be sharing some of the amazing works of this talented lady in the coming days and I assure you, you wouldn't want to miss it, so do drop by again soon and see what we have got and brace yourself for the big reveal of this awesome project. Until next time, have a blessed day you all.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


It was with great pleasure I had introduce to you JACQUIE CHAMPION, and as promised, below are some amazing pieces by this talented Artist. Enjoy

ENVY, necklace by Jacquie Champion

Artist's description of the item: This is ENVY, it was created for  Etsy Beadweavers Emotional Roller Coaster challenge  last year.

by Jacquie Champion

The artist's description of this piece: My Dolphin Sea Adventures cuff which is made entirely of seed bead in sizes 11/0, 15/0 and 8/0.  Most of my work is inspired by the sea, since I live on my sail boat this come naturally.  I love painting with beads and Dolphin Sea Adventures cuff is once such of my "paintings".

By Jacquie Champion

Artist's description of the piece: My Honu Sea Turtle peyote Odd count bracelet, this is one of the many patterns that I have created and the inspiration is from the Sea and I particularly like turtles (I have the Hawaiian petroglyph turtle tattooed on my ankle).  

By Jacquie Champion

Artist's description of the piece: Chrysanthemum Hair band, this is a 3 dimensional Chrysanthemum flower, each of the petals (18 in total) were woven from my own pattern based upon a live Chrysanthemum that I picked during the early spring to use as my inspiration for the petal designs.  The focal is a recycled or upcycled coat button that I bead wove around using a variety of stitches (Brick, Peyote and RAW and fringe techniques to create the stamens of the flower.)  The head band is a black suede leather.

By Jacquie Champion

Artists' description of this piece: My latest and it is called Queen of Hearts,it was created for the Etsy Bead Embroidery Guilds Bead Fest Alice in Wonderland.

It was a delight to have had the pleasure of seeing some of Jacquie's work and more so, the opportunity to share it with you all. Use the links below to access more of it and if you so please, place an order or make a purchase too. 

Pinterest             http://www.pinterested/angeqluecreatio

Do drop by soon to read more about another talented Artist. Until then, have a blessed day.