River Muse Art Gallery & Studio... ...where creativity flows
A blend of fine, folk, and functional art. River Muse Art Gallery & Studio...where creativity flows.
Artisan woodworker and boat lover Stephen C. Shay is a retired clergyman, and a passionate woodworker working out of his shop and studio in Maitland, ON, Canada, near his beloved St. Lawrence River.
Shay makes nautical items that include whimsical fish, old paddle wheel steam boats, cargo ships, “Lakers”, harbor tugs and huge wooden river and lakes sturgeons. He specializes in historically correct 1000 Islands tour boats in his unique folk art style.
His first encounter with small boats was on Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes District of New York State. He spent summers in the 1000 Islands in the 1950s and 60s, experiencing the skiffs, grand mahogany boats, and Seaway Lakers that sailed there. He soon learned about the beautiful wood and coal fired wooden steamers and their place in the development of communities, industries and trade routes along the River and in the 1000 Islands.
All items are hand crafted for the most part from re-purposed, first-cut Upper Canada pine gleaned from the floor boards of houses, barns and boat houses built by early Upper Canada.
Julie Shoemaker of Julie's Backyard Pottery: Julie writes...”I consider myself and artist of many mediums. Outside of a few classes, I am a self -taught potter. I learned the basics from a professional, local instructor, and I have expanded my skills through trail and error. I like to create functional pottery that is unique and personal. The process involves not only making the piece itself but finishing with decorate underglaze and glazes. Most of my glazes are from my own recipes and are all food safe unless noted on the piece. Find more of Julie's work on her Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/NorthernNY/
Clifford Smith of Toxic Foundry is originally from Pierpont, NY. He graduated from Canton High School in 1985 and served in the United States Navy. For 30 years he worked in the power industry as power-plant Operator and Shift Supervisor for Stewart & Stevenson, and also General Electric. All of these experiences have led to the honing of Clifford's highly refined forging skills. He does it all; metallurgy, welding, molding, shaping, etc, etc. No challenge is too great or this metalsmith. Check out Clifford's unique and creatively genius designs at River Muse and at his home studio Toxic Foundry in Copenhagen, NY.
Beads… you gotta love them. You can string them into organized classical designs OR you can go wild and crazy. Beads come in all shapes and sizes. Beads are made from all different kinds of materials, including wood, clay, and paper to the more frequently thought of “the shiny glass variety” just to name a few. My favorite is the tiny glass seed beads. As a little girl I loved visiting the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. The adornments on the Indigenous American Indian displays always caught my eye. Enough of those tiny seed beads sewn onto leather or garments created pictures and artwork depicting stories of their culture. Imagine hand sewing thousands of those tiny 11/0 sized seed beads into a virtual fabric, colorful and gently rippling in your hand. I was fascinated as a youngster, so naturally my parents bought me a small Indian Seed Bead Loom from the craft store, which I tinkered with off an on in my youth. Fast forward to the mid-1990’s when Bead and Button Magazine sprung onto the crafters universe. This was an epiphany of creativity for bead lovers. I re-dedicated myself to bead weaving and have gone gang busters, or should I say “Bead Busters”, ever since. There are quite a few varieties of bead weaving stitches, including peyote, brick, right angle, ladder, herringbone, and my favorite for creating pictures is the square stitch. Each stitch varies in how the seed beads lay against each other forming different visual patterns. After I retired in 2017 I have not only made many, many jewelry pieces, but I have also ventured out into framed pictures. Recently I purchased an “adult” version of the seed bead loom, which is made by Mirrix. This is perfect for weaving seed bead tapestries. I have so many ideas and projects yet to come…
Some of my favorite thoughts on Beading are:
“All you need is love and some really nice beads.”
“I’m not easily distracted. I… hey look, Beads!”
“If I had a dollar for every bead I dropped!”
“Beadsomnia: when you can’t sleep because you’re so excited about what you made today and even more excited about what you’re going to make tomorrow…”
“Don’t’ worry, Bead Happy.”
“It all starts with ONE little bead.”
“I’m a beadaholic on the road to recovery… Just kidding! I’m on the road to the bead store.”
“To Do List: laundry, clean, cook, Bead!”
229 John Street, Rear Gallery Clayton, New York 13624, United States
ARTISTS & INSTRUCTORS WANTED infoRiverMuseGallery@yahoo.com