People

Light Air Gold and Wire

Susan Freda was born to make art. For some people, it just happens that way. Growing up with curious mind, and curious hands, she eventually received a BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, and went on to receive her Master’s degree at Mass Art. Now, Sue’s natural affinity for conceptual design has gained her local and international recognition.

During her early career Sue had one eye on the runway; her linear-modern wire dresses made extravagant statements in the world of high fashion. These crocheted works of art floated into numerous galleries and museums in the US and overseas where they became known for their elemental nature. The gentle intensity of her work captures the natural world and captivates the room, while an ephemeral, romantic quality reflects light and creates a sort of luminous halo around each of the pieces. With names like “cloud” and “nest,” her jewelry lines reveal the earth-inspired movement behind her work. Susan’s newest series of jewelry make bold statements and are special enough to be passed down as heirlooms. Her current focus is on custom engagement rings, and other special occasion jewelry.

Susan works mainly with reclaimed gold, silver, and vermeil (a blend of both), and all her pieces are one of a kind, inspired by snap shots of her environment and experience. “It’s hard to describe the artist drive, it’s just about communicating what you experience…to have an idea and change it into something new for the world.” Wire is a unique and incredibly malleable medium where she hones her patience and seeks a sense of meditation.

As all artists, Susan’s work has evolved, and continues to change in subtle and remarkable ways. She busies her self in her new studio under Gallery4 where she and partner Arn Krebs, operate a full service metal and wire shop, fulfilling custom orders, repairs, and consultations.

She has been granted the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award, A De Young Museum Residency, and a Scholarship Pilchuck Glass School. Her work is in the collection of Meditech, Stuart Weitzman, Neiman Marcus, and Fidelity, among others. To learn more about Sue and Arn, visit her website www.susanfreda.com or visit her and her collection in person at Gallery4 at 3848 Main Road in Tiverton.

Wander through her gallery space, try on a ring or necklace, and be enchanted by the light.

 

Balancing Business and Craft

If there’s one thing that’s exceptional about Four Corners, it’s the business owners’ devotion to their stores, and their crafts. Everyone here is an artist of some degree, including Amy Lund, Handweaver. Amy is a weaver by day, and manager, buyer, social media blogger, and customer service expert by afternoon, evening, and night. She handles all facets of her storefront, just about single handedly.

The challenges of operating a business and making your own products is a balancing act that Amy says she’s still learning to master. Though she’s plunged head over heels into modern marketing techniques, “I’m a maker,” she says, first and foremost. And make she does, beautiful and SOFT housewares and apparel…rugs, table runners, blankets, bags, scarves, and a slew of other lovingly crafted pieces. Her style aims to create elegant, simple, and classic pieces that are fit for everyday use and wear. It’s hard to walk through Amy’s boutique and not touch everything.

Though a skilled maker, Amy Lund didn’t always know how to weave. She started handspinning as a child, and always had a strong passion for textiles, but it wasn’t until she took an internship at the Hancock Shaker Village that she learned the true art of weaving. “I told myself, I think I can weave, I’m sure I can weave…” and as luck, or skill, would have it, she wound up getting pretty good. While working in the historic New England preservation, Amy split her time doing dishes in their 1830’s kitchen, and practicing her craft. She went on to graduate with a Masters in Textiles from the University of Rhode Island in 1993 after the Hancock Shaker Village and many other artistic pursuits. The degree gave a sense of unity to her passions, instincts, and experiences.

Today –between making custom rugs, table runners, and beach bags– Amy teaches weaving in her studio, and is practicing a new art of staying in tune with the digital world. She “tweets” almost everyday, promoting her Etsy site and also her fellow local businesses. Throughout years of being an artist, Amy knows the true meaning of the words “buy local,” and passes the message along as often as she can.

In all the business of weaving and tweeting, Amy still has a little time leftover to watch customers browse her selection. “Sometimes they buy something, sometimes they don’t.” But for Amy, seeing customers engage with her work is just as satisfying as making a sale. “If you can inspire people…it’s a start.” Her gifts are ones of true unique quality, and their versatility is worth every penny. “One towel will last twenty years,” says Amy. “A rug can go on a table, a shawl can go on a piano…” and that’s the beauty of something made by hand.


In a business district made of artists, Amy shares a common livelihood: a world where success comes in the form of happy customers, whether they’re buying a blanket, or running their fingers through the threads and fibers of its fringes.

If you want to learn more about Amy’s passion for textiles, you can visit her website, follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or her blog, or you can visit her in the store, where you might just catch her weaving at the loom.

Inspired by: A Traveling Pair of Women, and the Souls of their Shoes.

It wasn’t long after she walked into Gallery4, that Alix Cambell fell in love…with a rug. A beautiful deep red rug that made her heart flutter and mind race thinking of the possibilities. But then, she was just a customer…

Long before Gallery4–when the space was just an engineering firm– another love was born. Elaine Hill was living a childhood dream, flying around the world as a flight attendant and making regular, international stops, her favorite of which was from New York to Turkey, a 13-hour one-way flight. With each trip to the mosaic region of the middle east, Elaine brought “wonderful treasures” home to share, or to keep, and soon grew terribly fond of the extraordinary craftsmanship, designs, and cultural history behind what she was buying. Soon she was packing shopping lists in her carry-on, all for friends, family, and acquaintances envying her bounty.

In an unexpected turn of events, Elaine’s career changed forever. September 11th, 2001 devastated her job description by instituting military-like training and demands on airline personnel. After 35 years, Elaine chose to retire. But, as with every ending, that is when a new adventure began for Elaine. Departing from her career with an impressive collection of Turkish imports and a very loyal client base, Elaine accepted an offer to, for one summer, share a gallery space in Tiverton Four Corners with two strangers, Bob Smith and Susan Freda (soon to become valuable business partners, and important friends). The summer of 2003 Gallery4 debut was a hit, and one summer turned into many years, where all three members found permanent homes for their goods.


Elaine Hill and Alix Cambell of “Silk Road Traders”

In stepped Alix Cambell. Alix had worked in the printing and graphics industry and would often come to Gallery4 to buy gifts and admire the imports. “I had ten minutes to buy a birthday gift, and there was this killer red rug, it totally took me by surprise.” The rest, the women say, is history and a lot of hard work. Alix and Elaine became partners (after a succession of rug sales to Alix to satisfy her new-found love) and now travel to Istanbul once a year with a strict budget to survey and choose new imports. Their day lasts from 9 in the morning until sometimes 11 at night visiting sellers, choosing and appraising fabrics, and sometimes guiding the cut and shape of their rugs.

Elaine and Alix’s business, “Silk Road Traders,” speaks to the remarkable trade route where eastern art and craftsmanship originated. Participating in a modern trade route of sorts, their collection includes tribal and contemporary rugs, jewelry, scarves, purses, bags, shoes, and furniture. And each piece is beyond unique. Rugs vary depending on what a given sheep ate that day, or how much lanolin was in their wool. Plants (or bugs) the manufacturers use for dying –like pink rhubarb or shimmering black beetles– affect the depth and range of colors in a piece. The two women work to maintain a gallery of lush colors and quality pieces.

An entire underground room full of rugs at Gallery 4 is where the real magic lies. There you can hear about Nepalese villagers and nomads, dowry pieces, and camel bags-turned-floor-mats. Don’t be shy if Elaine or Alix invite you to “come on downstairs.” It’s another world of lovely.

RugsfromGallery4

Alix hasn’t lost the passion she felt when she first encountered the vibrant and luminous red rugs. The color, beauty, and intensity of the rugs still inspire her; it’s “they way they change a room, the way they changed my life.”

Elaine has found a new home in Tiverton Four Corners at Gallery4, and wears her Turkish slippers to work everyday.

 


Now Exhibiting: Mimi Sammis!

They call her “the Julia Child of painting,” and she’s certainly earned the title. She is Anne Mimi Sammis, and The Donovan Gallery in 4 Corners proudly presents her joyful collection of worldly pieces in this season’s exhibition. Sammis is renowned for her abounding creative, and altruistic energy brought to life in her collection of bronze sculptures and vivid paintings.

Mimmi Sammis Bronze Sculpture

Captivating the room with flowing movement, the sculptures embody universal themes of unity, harmony, and peace, and have been honored in places as regal and enchanting as the United Nations, The Hague, and the American Embassy in Paris. Sammis’ work is said to reflect styles of Rodin and Degas. The artist herself demonstrates a personally unique joie de vivre similar to that beloved by Julia Child admirers. Sammis inspires her own audiences with vigorous celebrations of life’s abundances: family, love, and connectedness. She now has her own PBS television series, ‘Love to Paint with Mimi’ where you can find her relishing in the joys of artistic creation.

Mimi Sammis Sculpture

Mimi Sammis Bronze Sculpture

The exhibit is open at The Donovan Gallery through July 10th. Wednesday-Saturday 11-4, and Sunday 12-5. Stop by, her pieces are truly something to admire.

Get Inspired by: TIFFANY PEAY

Tiffany Peay Heirloom Jewelry

Color, Movement, and SimplicityTiffany Peay’s jewelry is full of life, just like the artist. Every February you can find Tiffany Peay in Tucson, Arizona scoping out the gem festival in search of unique and colorful gems to express personal style and complement her collection of gorgeous, chunky, colored gem stones.The rest of the year she’s right here in T4C in her very own boutique selling and making an inspiring collection of colorful “modern heirloom” pieces. Tiffany opened in T4C in 2007 but has been making jewelry for over 14 years, and it shows. Delicate details of her work and her precious gem expertise are sought by local customers, whether they’re buying special occasion earrings or simple charms. Her inspiring and intimate store invites anyone looking for something truly unique…

Tiffany Peay Heirloom Jewelry

Tiffany Peay Heirloom Jewelry

Tiffany Peay Heirloom Jewelry

Tiffany found her way to Four Corners by chance, but hopes to relocate here from her Fall River home this summer, because frankly, “we’re in paradise here,” she says.

ORIGINALLY FROM: Richmond, VA
GEMS SHE LOVES: blues, greens, and tourmaline
INSPIRED BY: stones and architecture
JUST FOR THE RECORD: Tiffany sews too, she makes all her own displays and accessories!
WHEN SHE’S NOT MAKING JEWELRY: You can find her at the Paquachuck Inn designing, or relaxing by the waterfront.

Find Tiffany’s stunning collection of modern heirloom jewelry at www.tiffanypeay.com.