Noel creates functional works of art from wood, using the unique grain patterns and selectively cutting, riving and shaping the wood to expose the beauty God has put into wood. This is his passion. Both beautiful and useful, his kitchen utensils can be hung for display and are comfortable to use in food preparation and serving family and guests. Noel has a Facebook page for Rural Life Woodwords at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rural-Life-Woodworks/139406116100929. Look up his page for examples of his art and whimsy. He can be reached, for special orders, at email@example.com or 225-975-7120.
Debbie fell in love with clay while taking classes in throwing on the wheel at LSU. (No, not after watching that steamy film scene in “Ghost” which everyone always asks her about!) Debbie says, “Working with clay on a potter’s wheel is like a dance – trying to ‘lead’ the clay into the form that you envision without having the whole thing collapse into a pile of mush. It is one of the most satisfying and the most frustrating things that I have ever done. My goal is to become the best potter that I can be and to create beautiful functional forms from the clay. I make pottery by throwing on a potter’s wheel or by hand building, or by combining these techniques.
Surface decoration has become a major component of my work with clay. I love to draw and then carve designs into different color underglazes on a piece. I have been using the sgraffito and mishima techniques to draw Louisiana wildlife. Some of my favorites are pelicans, alligators, herons, ducks, and of course, chickens!
Sgraffito is Italian for “scratching” and the design is carved with a very small V-shaped tool. This is like drawing backwards because I remove the background underglaze revealing the white clay body. The picture is what is left uncarved.
Mishima results in a fine line drawing done in black underglaze on the piece of pottery. To achieve this effect, I use a very sharp pointed tool to draw my picture into the leather hard clay. The black underglaze is inlayed into the crevice and then wiped away with a damp sponge. After bisque firing, additional underglaze colors are hand painted on to create a water color effect.
I also make clergy stoles — those beautiful things that pastors and priests wear around their necks during church services! I will be opening an Etsy shop called Heart, Mind, and Stole soon to showcase these.
There are many potters who are making many beautiful things! The wonderment of it is that each of us could use the same clay, the same tools, glazes, and underglazes, and yet, create vastly different kinds of art. I think my work is unique because it showcases the life that I live here in Louisiana. I love the outdoors and wildlife and I try to share that beauty with others through my pottery.
Pottery is both exhilarating and frustrating. It is a complex and constant journey toward meeting my own expectations as a ceramic artist. I am grateful to have the opportunity to play in clay every day. Creating makes me happy!”
Debbie was born and raised in Baton Rouge. She received her BS degree from LSU in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling, +30 in Gifted Education. She took pottery throwing lessons while at LSU. Debbie taught elementary and middle school gifted students in East Baton Rouge and Ascension parishes for 28 years before retiring in 2009.
In addition to seeing Debbie and her work at The Stockade during Highland Nights, you can see her pottery at the Baton Rouge Arts Market, held downtown on the 1st Saturday of every month and the first 3 Saturdays in December; Lagniappe Gallery, and Knits by Nana (knitting bowls only).
Debbie has visited India and wandered through the Taj Mahal (in 112 degree blistering sunshine!). She has snorkeled off of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. She also walked through the Daintree Rainforest there. She has given birth to and raised 4 delightful sons and has 3 equally delightful grandchildren. Debbie raises hens (who provide delicious breakfasts)! She wrote an archeology activity guide about Poverty Point entitled “Expeditions”, which includes lessons and activities to help students learn about the prehistoric culture in northeastern Louisiana. Poverty Point was recently chosen to be a World Heritage site! Check it out—it’s in your local library! She and her husband are beekeepers and have 5 hives in their side yard. They occasionally make mead – a honey wine. Their peach ginger mead is awesome!
Spontaneous Combustion is a live art event made up of local musicians, painters, sculptors, and other artists invested in spreading the love of art in the Greater Baton Rouge Area community. A wide array of musicians improvise, while painters and sculptors create on various mediums. During the event, audience members can buy raffle tickets for $5 apiece, and place them in a bowl assigned to their favorite artist or piece of work. There is a drawing near the end of the event, and the winners take the art home! It’s amazing to watch the creative process unfold. Join the art cabal!
The Stockade is proud to have Janene Grodesky display her artwork with us for Highland Nights on Friday, November 14, 2014.
With a Ph.D in Kinesiology from LSU, Grodesky has a passion for studying and incorporating movement into her works. She also credits a childhood spent with a Zoologist father as influencing her love of biology and nature as reflected in her adult works. She asserts a natural interconnectedness in her expression through texture, color, and dimension. She enjoys deconstructing the “micro- world” and strives to place it in the “macro,” or cosmological context. Grodesky has been actively showing her work for over 10 years. She has been invited to participate in various gallery shows, juried events, and a few “outsider” collections. She won the People’s Choice Award for Art Melt 2013 for her work “Lepidoptera,” which deconstructs and abstracts a butterfly wing. She currently resides in Baton Rouge with her husband, three dogs, and five cats. She is co-owner of One Heart Yoga Center. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is a little about Miriam and her art:
After leaving the restaurant business a few years ago, I have explored myself. So why name something “M300”? Because I have 300 things I have yet to do. I hate waste and love recycling. The fact that I had a lovely antique broken platter led me to seek a use for the shards of china. Local artist Linda Robinson helped me learn to solder, but a medical condition curtailed my grinding and soldering. I had buckles to fill! Lynn Mitchell was making encaustic designs (a method of painting in which colors in wax are fused). She shared her designs with me which I use as background for the buckles and pendants I now make. At present you may see my buckles on www.AuthenticLouisiana.com.
According to Jeana, Jeana Esser Edgeful Art is an appropriate descriptive title for her company as she describes her art as “edgy”. She is also responsible for Uncle Bud Productions, which is all about her famous icon, Uncle Bud (who she will let remain a bit of a mystery for now). She is a local Baton Rouge artist and she paints things that move her. Everything she paints has gotten in her head for some reason or another and has an importance.
In addition to being a local artist, teacher, musician, and writer (contributing writer for Town Favorites), she is an animal lover, dogs primarily, but recently she has been captivated by hummingbirds due to the long hours she has spent looking out of her kitchen window.
Her inspiration comes from a plethora of sources. She recreates many of her father’s vintage photographs in her own context, taking liberties with color and scale. She often exaggerates perspectives as well. Much of her paintings, drawings, and sculptures are of a whimsical nature, thus fueling her love of finding humor in all things and using color to enhance it. Places where she has travelled and moments in time also contribute to her creativity. In a nutshell, she is an artist through and through. She loves teaching art workshops for all ages. She is most at peace when she is in her studio surrounded by her furry friends and great music, which is constantly going on in her house! Her most important job, however, is being a mother. She has an amazing daughter who never ceases to inspire her and make her want to be better in all areas of her life.
As of this moment, she is “smelling the roses” and creating a new body of work in addition to a few part-time ventures. She has taught Art and Pre-K for a few years now but at this time she is creating more art and showing it all over. Currently, she shows her work at The Foyer, Mosaic Garden, and Portobello’s Grill on Jefferson Highway. Additionally, she is starting a dog walking/pet sitting business, as well, so she is doing the things that she loves.
When asked makes her art different, she responded, “Because it symbolizes who I am, what I see and how I see. “
Jeana Esser Biography
I first picked up a pencil and large drawing pad when I was 4. I actually remember drawing a picture of one of my dad’s friends, who I called “Mr. Nose” for obvious reasons. Apparently the likeness was rather uncanny according to my mother. After that, a monster was created. I hardly ever left the house without a pad and pencil. Painting happened much later. I graduated from LSU with a BFA and a minor in Art History.
My inspiration tends to transcend beyond what may be normal and that allows me to take liberties with everyday things, people, and places. Images tend to pop into my brain and I cannot wait to put them onto canvas. My paintings are often whimsical in nature and much of my subject matter comes from my late father George’s faded black and white photographs. I then recreate them using my own colors and context.
My life is anything but dull and I consider myself lucky in that being creative is not an option. It’s who I am. I am thankful for the important people in my life who contribute to my overall happiness and successes. In the words of Michelangelo: “Believe it or not, I can actually draw.”
In the summer of 2000, Elizabeth’s quest to find a natural lip balm for her son eventually led to the formation of her business, Handmade at Homestead. Her hobby soon turned into a flourishing handmade, woman-owned personal care products business. She is located just outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Homestead Plantation. She strives to use locally produced ingredients whenever possible, most notably raw cane sugar grown on Homestead Plantation, as well as other nearby plantations.
Her products include fine handmade bath products, including salt scrubs, glycerin soaps, bath salts, lotions and more.
Artisan Emily Grace Bowers will once again be at The Stockade Bed and Breakfast to exhibit and sell her original and unique jewelry at Highland Nights, Friday, November 14, 2014. Emily handcrafts her jewelry and has created two separate collections. The first consists of copper and/or brass, and the second is made of sterling silver and/or gold-filled wire which she wraps into earrings, pendants and bracelets.
Emily Grace Bowers is a graduate of Louisiana State University, having earned a degree in Business Administration. She has studied jewelry design under Tom Lorio at LSU, silversmithing under Don Norris, and wire-wrapping under Diane Mason, Sue Rowand and Gene Sheridan at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts.
For more information, visit her website: Grace Designs Jewelry.
For more information on Highland Nights, visit Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HighlandNights
Hoping to see alligators on your trip to Louisiana? You’re in luck! There are several swamp tours located around South Louisiana which will give you the opportunity to see alligators, birds and unusual plants in their natural environment. Swamp tours are fun, educational and memorable. They provide many photo opportunities – you will return home with close-up pictures of wildlife and plants from places you could never have reached on your own.
Swamp tours are offered in various watercraft, from airboats to flat bottom boats. They are conducted by knowledgeable guides who not only know where to find the wildlife and plants, but give guests information about what they are seeing. Many of the guides hold degrees in Zoology and Botany and love to share their wealth of knowledge.
Here are some of the swamp tours offered around our area:
- Cajun Country Swamp Tours is held in the Lake Martin Swamp near Breaux Bridge, La. and endeavors “to provide our guest with an unforgettable, educational and entertaining swamp tour into a Louisiana swamp with a generous serving of Cajun Country hospitality while promoting a greater respect for wildlife and the environment.” http://www.cajuncountryswamptours.com/html/st__martin_parish_native_tour_.html
- Cajun Encounters Tour Co. – Experience the Honey Island Swamp, near Slidell, La., like no other. Owned and operated by New Orleans natives, Cajun Encounters scouts out the best experts in the field to give you an authentic, safe, personal, hands-on tour of the swamp. http://www.cajunencounters.com/swamp_tour.html
- Pearl River Eco-Tours – Experience a journey like no other…into the Honey Island Swamp, one of the least altered river swamps in the country, with a professional native ecological tour guide. http://www.pearlriverecotours.com/
Not a tourist? Do you live in Louisiana? See what’s available in your own back yard.
Take a swamp tour for a stay-cation you won’t soon forget.
I started making this recipe when the Ice Cream Banana plant which one of my guests from Florida brought me produced a bumper crop. Everybody loves it!
1 loaf of French Bread sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups half and half
1 oz. Praline Liquor
Powdered sugar (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)
Mix together the beaten eggs, half and half, and Praline liquor.
Soak bread in mixture and sauté in butter on both sides until brown.
In separate sauce pan, sauté in butter, pecans, Praline liquor, and brown sugar until it makes a syrup. Add banana slices and cook till soft.
Pour syrup over French toast and garnish with blueberries, powdered sugar and whipped cream.