Shannon Timura

For the love of concrete!

I have fallen hard for working with concrete and textiles. So much so, my entire art practice has shifted. Like a girl in love, all I think about it getting closer to the object of my affection. In this case, it is a slurry mix of concrete and pieces of fabric. 

 concrete flowers in progress......

concrete flowers in progress......

There is a beautiful synchronicity going on here. The golden thread has not been lost on me. Months ago, I proposed a Frida Kahlo design for Petcasso, an annual fundraising event and was quickly approved. This proposal included weather proof flowers in the design - little did I know at the time I would be practically obsessed and completely adept at making these by the time this project rolled around!  
Before this, I read The Language of Flowers, a novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh that reignited my passion of symbolism in flowers and from there I started casually collecting more books and dictionaries on the subject. (I am a researcher at heart) 
But ...this wasn't the first time I researched the symbolism of flowers. I had created a book in school complete with descriptions, hand drawn illustrations and little stories about the flowers that sadly I no longer have. My teacher at the time asked if she could keep it, and I just gave it away without a thought. Funny how things come full circle when you least expect it. 


Now I am ready and excited to blend these passions, textile art and symbolic story telling. Creating flowers out of concrete takes time and as I am forming the blooms I think about the infomation I've read about them and the meanings that have been attached to them over the years. Some of the negative connotations are replaced by a redeemed version, one the flower wants to tell. And so, their stories are formed.  

The Language of Flowers: A Novel
By Vanessa Diffenbaugh


Stay tuned for a new series of floral art to be unveiled shortly!  

And check out this book, The Language of Flowers. It is a sweet and easy read, but the way the main character and those around her communicated with flowers is what really grabbed my attention. .  


 

Girls are doing well!

All right so the sculptures have been installed and left behind in Cincinnati now for a little over a week and I am getting continual updates from friends, family, acquaintances and complete strangers that they are doing well.  (there have been a LOT of thunderstorms lately!) I planned for outdoors, public and even rain - but severe thunderstorms are always a wildcard! 

 

 

 One of three "Bubble girls" for the OLAY Light as Air project. 

One of three "Bubble girls" for the OLAY Light as Air project. 

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 All in Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

All in Fountain Square, Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Olay Light As Air

Since launch day is quickly approaching, I thought I would start sharing the details behind my latest big project!  

A few months ago, I agreed to chaperone the girls basketball team as they headed out for their final tournament. While packing, I tossed in the details of an interesting Call for Artist, some drawing tools and sewing supplies - I like to stay busy!  
In the hotel room during some downtime, I brought up the project to the girls and asked for their opinions on what is "light as air" - good ideas starting flying around, snowflakes, bubbles....what was that?  Bubbles you said?  

I started sketching and decided then and there exactly what I was going to propose. 

When we made it back home, I finished the proposal and sent it off, circling the announcement date on the calendar.  The announcement day came - and went.....so I figured I did not get it. Oh well, life goes on.  

2 weeks later I received an email.  It seems I DID get the project after all!   After filling out all the contracts and sending a bunch of clarifying emails - they decided to expand the project, I was asked to "make my one sculpture bigger and add two more, even bigger please."   And by the way, the deadline is in 4 weeks.  

Oh boy.

Where was I going to build these giant sculptures?   The studio was immediately ruled out - second floor - and warehouse space was ruled out because of my schedule, I travel for work 2 weeks out of every month, so I needed every spare moment to be able to work on this project.

BUT - I THRIVE on these challenges. THRIVE.    Joy was bubbling up and I was so excited! 

This project has been super enlightening - as all big projects are.  It has led to more ideas and more proposals and more confidence in my ability.  There was NO ONE to tell me I was doing it wrong. It was MINE, all mine - win or lose - mine.  This was so freeing - in a freefalling sort of way. 

The big reveal has been postponed due to permit issues for the City of Cincinnati, but in the meantime - here is a sneak peak of the one sculpture that would not fit in a crate.  

stay tuned, more stories to come.... 

 One of three Olay Sculptures - Feminine Alchemy 

One of three Olay Sculptures - Feminine Alchemy 

Behind the scenes.....

A little over a month ago, I received word that a proposal I submitted for a big public art project was accepted....and expanded. Rather than hire me for the single sculpture I designed, I was asked to create 3 - larger pieces. 

Incredible news, right?!?!   Well, I had a month to complete, limited space (no way this project was going to fit in my second story studio space!)  ….and I travel for work and teach art classes within that time frame.

It shockingly all came together and now I am awaiting the proper permits to install before I can officially reveal.....but in the meantime, this is the transport set up!   Figured out how to build giant crates for two of the three pieces, the other is flying free - but secured. 

I will be driving it 5 hours south and then unloading and installing ( yet another, "how in the world will I pull this off" thought floats through my head before I swat it away!)  

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Rat Books for Gifts

Pair one of the rat bookmarks with one of these classic tales for a great gift!  

Of course you don't have to limit yourself to rat books, but it does make an impact!  

Another great series is Brian Jacques, Redwall....the audio book is also fantastic with all the accents and drama. 

Redwall
By Brian Jacques
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
By Robert C. O'Brien
The Tale of Despereaux
Starring Mathew Broderick, Robbie Coltrane, Frances Conroy, Tony Hale, Ciaran Hinds

Flat animal friends are READY!

Little story,  one day I was fiddling with a cashmere scrap, rolled it into a triangle-ish shape and had a lightbulb moment!  What if that little triangle-ish shape had ears and eyes and a little nose?  And what if the body was long and flat. A Flat Rat was born.

This silly little critter was easy to pop in a book (and look adorable while just hanging around waiting for you to come back to the page)  No pressure, he's got it handled.  Love books, love weird little animals, perfect! 

So I started gathering scraps and made a little fox, a doe, and many more rats and mice. These weird little flat animals friends were brought to the Craftin Outlaws show and were a smashing success!   So it was back to the scrap pile to conjure up some more!

Today is the day. I have several little friends ready to list on Etsy. They are a mere $16 to adopt. 

Books are their primary job, but since they are all soft sculpture, without any wires or buttons, they are safe for little ones as well. A flat little friend to drag around by their paw.  Super forgiving, these buddies are survivors. 

Pop over to my Etsy shop - link above - to snag your favorite friend.  Comment below or message me on Etsy if you are looking for a particular animal/color.  

Enjoy your reading!    

 

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I LOVE being an Outlaw!

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Spent Sunday at the Beautiful Columbus Museum of Art alongside some awesome artisans. The energy in the room was amazing!  I am beyond thrilled to have been part of this group of outlaws!  

So many people came through the doors. So so many. I have never in my life been apart of a show that drew so many people / buyers.  The feedback was great and very useful for going forward. Only major downside was the fact I was NOT expecting so many people, so I sold out of some products super fast.  Live and learn! 

 

This video is from the Craftin Outlaws insta page - it shows the doors opening and people streaming in, I did not realize that stream of people would stop all day!  wow. impressed.

Looking forward to restocking my Etsy and getting set up for the next Craftin Outlaws event! 

 

 

 

World's Collide

Wherever you go, there you are.  Always true - but surprisingly surprising nonetheless. 

This past month I was accepted into two big shows - Craft Menagerie and Craftin Outlaws. 

While this made me do a happy dance, I know the chaos that the whirlwind of creation necessary would be an issue in my little house. So, I brainstormed.......and came up with a few potential studio spaces. Number one on my list was free and had the added bonus of occasional cookies, coffee and people who love me on site.  I reached out and was warmly invited to move on in. 

My studio is now located on my parents property, it is a part of my mom's sewing studio - above my dad's workshop ....big windows, warm in the winter, cool in the summer, stereo system, tv and counter space, drafting table, floor space and STORAGE.  I am absolutely giddy over the whole thing.  

Then there is this. 

........an unexpected bonus is the nostalgia factor. 

Looking out the front window, I see the spot where I waited for the school bus. 

The rock garden where I danced and told crazy stories to my mom while she weeded. 

My bedroom window where I dreamed and cried and read books. 

I drive past old friends houses, my old junior high and high school and all the farms every time I go to the studio.  - Not that I didn't drive this way when I was visiting my parents, it is the dailyness that brings up all the memories. Silence working on art stirs the pot. 

 

Scroll through to see the new space. This is not my parents house, this is their "extra garage/studio space"  love it.  

 

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 big Michigan fans live here

big Michigan fans live here

 up the stairs to my new space! 

up the stairs to my new space! 

 Lots to put away and arrange....but this is the beautiful light filled space!  

Lots to put away and arrange....but this is the beautiful light filled space!  

 ...still just a rat in a cage....working on deadlines and trying to squeeze everything into one life,  But my "cage" is beautiful and I am happy! 

...still just a rat in a cage....working on deadlines and trying to squeeze everything into one life,  But my "cage" is beautiful and I am happy! 

Craft Menagerie at Bockfest!

 See there I am - 127 Art Street in with all my awesome new friends!  I know we will get along fabulously, so I am claiming and declaring my new crafttastic friends.      

See there I am - 127 Art Street in with all my awesome new friends!  I know we will get along fabulously, so I am claiming and declaring my new crafttastic friends.

 

 

What is Bockfest?   Well,  there are goats involved, the German Renaissance, beer and originality....A renaissance celebration of the coming of Spring. Over the Rhine, and Bock Beer. 

In other words, ever wanted to take a selfie with a goat? Have you ever seen faux-monks pulling a Trojan goat?  Well, you CAN at Bockfest.  

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Clearly, I do not know what I am getting myself into. But it looks fun and all my rats and deer, pigeons, spiders and new awkward, unwanted animals are all quite excited so how could I say no?  

Supply Run!

A trip to the Upcycle Part Shop on St. Clair Avenue in Cleveland was super successful this month. Came home with a large amount of textiles and yarns, wires and even some curly doll hair for a special animal project.  

I also am happy to report that I am now a member of this fabulous community.  Jumping out of full time teaching into full time art is less scary when I know there are "people like me" out there. 

Thanks so much for being there Upcycle Parts Shop

 Just a snippet of the magical Upcycle Parts Shop

Just a snippet of the magical Upcycle Parts Shop

Little Black Peep - in memoriam

I was asked to make a little black peep...in memory of sweet little Spot who was carried away by a hawk, and this is the result. The body fabric is a fluffy wool sweater with trim cut off another silky sweater. The eyes are small white beads that I painted with iridescent paint...and the feet. I loved making these chicken feet.  For that reason alone, I will be making more chickens!   

A little trim and some special packaging and this birdie is ready to fly the coop! 

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For the love of hemostats

Day 4 for #molliemakersweek is all about "must haves" so here are mine.

    Set of pliers, wire cutters and knives    Hemostats  - I don't ever want to be without hemostats again! I have several sizes stashed away.    A thimble, thread, a multitude of needles (somehow lose them along the way!) wire and big plastic ziplock bags so I can take my projects on the go!    And COFFEE!    


Set of pliers, wire cutters and knives
Hemostats - I don't ever want to be without hemostats again! I have several sizes stashed away.
A thimble, thread, a multitude of needles (somehow lose them along the way!) wire and big plastic ziplock bags so I can take my projects on the go!
And COFFEE!

 

Mollie Makes

Mollie Makes, is a lifestyle and craft magazine "for those who live creatively." They are awesome at highlighting the latest and greatest trends in the craft world and tons of fun how-tos for all of us crafty obsessed. 

They released an insta-challenge this week and I decided to jump in with all my creative peers. Check all the posts out by checking out the hashtags #molliemakersweek

 2018 FOCUS with TENACITY -  like a lion! 

2018 FOCUS with TENACITY -  like a lion! 

The first prompt is, Craft Goals
 

This is what I posted on Instagram this morning. 

First of all I have to say I love goals! I thrive on making extensive lists and plans. 2017 was all about public art, sculptures, murals, sets, window displays, big workshops - I wore a wireless mic to teach art for the first time last year. Yikes.

2018 is all about narrowing my focus and limiting my materials so I can hone my skills and stay on track.

 

*Expand my own art business through art shows, Etsy, local shops...
*using upcycled materials (fabric, wood and wire)

* make more urban animal dolls
*build 3d city shop toys

*ignore all the bright, shiny distractions cloaked as "great opportunities" !!!

#clevelandartist #molliemakersweek #dollmakersofinstagram #artdolls #upcycledart #pigeons #focusdanielson

"Roosters and Kittens and Balloons, oh my!" Year in Review

2017 was the year of public art projects for me. I was chosen to participate in the St.Clair Superior Year of the Rooster event and created a "Puttin on the Ritz" Rooster that Dominion purchased outright and has displayed in all it's fancy glory in front of their downtown headquarters. (without even a chance for it to go to auction) 

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I also was a part of Cincinnati's Petcasso event and made a Galaxy Cat for their fundraising auction....opening night was at the amazing Cincinnati Museum of Art. If you have never visited this museum, go. It is spectacular. 

 Chihuly at the front desk. 

Chihuly at the front desk. 

 Speaking of front steps....just walking up these stairs knowing my artwork was behind those doors was a surreal experience!  (even with the massive head cold I had at the time!)   

Speaking of front steps....just walking up these stairs knowing my artwork was behind those doors was a surreal experience!  (even with the massive head cold I had at the time!)

 

 Galaxy Cat went up for auction and fetched a pretty penny for the animal shelter. 

Galaxy Cat went up for auction and fetched a pretty penny for the animal shelter. 

The year also included an interesting project with the local mall. I ran a Creativity Series which meant I taught public art classes in the common area of the mall - on a stage - with a headset. Not my comfort zone, but it was a blast. 
This led to opening a gallery in the mall, hosting an art show with local artists, teaching monthly classes and painting  a large interactive mural!   

 Friends purchased one of my sketches...and several sculptures were sold.  

Friends purchased one of my sketches...and several sculptures were sold.  

 One of the art classes in progress - all ages, all abilities....thankfully we had an abundance of chairs and a big overflow area! 

One of the art classes in progress - all ages, all abilities....thankfully we had an abundance of chairs and a big overflow area! 

 ...and here is a class set in the middle of the dang mall. The wireless mic was nerve wracking, but once I started talking I realized I could teach on autopilot. Slightly shocked at how many people come to these events, but grateful for the experience! 

...and here is a class set in the middle of the dang mall. The wireless mic was nerve wracking, but once I started talking I realized I could teach on autopilot. Slightly shocked at how many people come to these events, but grateful for the experience! 

 The balloon mural for Big Brothers Big Sisters is designed to be interactive, there is a handle near the balloon strings for a fun photo op, 

The balloon mural for Big Brothers Big Sisters is designed to be interactive, there is a handle near the balloon strings for a fun photo op, 

 How I managed to get this 16 foot mural complete - super cool scissor lift.  Loved it!    

How I managed to get this 16 foot mural complete - super cool scissor lift.  Loved it! 

 

 I also had the privilege of painting 4 murals for Camp Patmos on Kelly's Island. There is nothing like painting by the water. Nothing. What made it even more magical was the tiny fawn who I found sleeping next to this building one morning. ahhhhh

I also had the privilege of painting 4 murals for Camp Patmos on Kelly's Island. There is nothing like painting by the water. Nothing. What made it even more magical was the tiny fawn who I found sleeping next to this building one morning. ahhhhh

 Almost forgot about this project for the City of Parma....paint a flamingo they said, make it unique they said....okay, got it. Cover it in coffee beans and set it in a paper mache mug.  This silly sculpture made it's rounds in the city and never lost it's aroma. I used a super rich chocolate flavored coffee bean. Worth every penny.   All in all it was a pretty exciting year, full of projects and productions, summer art camps, classes and everything that makes a life worth living - family, friends...  and all the things that frustrate, failures, laundry, shopping, doctor's appointments....    Welcome 2018  - let's fill this year up with more of the good and less of the bad. 

Almost forgot about this project for the City of Parma....paint a flamingo they said, make it unique they said....okay, got it. Cover it in coffee beans and set it in a paper mache mug.  This silly sculpture made it's rounds in the city and never lost it's aroma. I used a super rich chocolate flavored coffee bean. Worth every penny. 

All in all it was a pretty exciting year, full of projects and productions, summer art camps, classes and everything that makes a life worth living - family, friends...  and all the things that frustrate, failures, laundry, shopping, doctor's appointments....


Welcome 2018 - let's fill this year up with more of the good and less of the bad.