“Keep an Eye Out for…” Pat Howard Harkness

The combination of folded copper, sterling silver, brass and best of all, a Tahitian black pearl is what makes this a one of a kind belt buckle.

Pat Howard Harkness

Stop by Pat Howard Harkness’s working studio in San Luis Obispo either weekend of the Open Studios Art Tour. She is listed as number 124 in the catalog, and specializes in handcrafted Tahitian black pearl jewelery. Enjoy!


“Keep an Eye Out for…” Jim Tyler

Jim plus five other artists! 

Jim Tyler has teamed up with these other artists to make visiting even easier.

From left to right, are Jackie Bradley (silk, studio #117), Kari Appleton (jewelry, studio #112), Jim Tyler (paintings, studio #176), Leigh Ramirez (jewelry, studio #163), Heidi Petersen (ceramics, studio #159), Sheri Klein (fused glass, studio #147).  And, of course, mascots Stella and Finnegan.

Visit all of these artists between 10:00am & 5:00pm, October 20th & October 21st at 104 Twin Ridge Dr., San Luis Obispo.

More information about the Tour can be found on ARTS Obispo’s website.

“Keep an Eye Out for…” Sue Hogan

Keep an eye out for the rest of these pieces and many more when you stop by my San Luis Obispo studio during the Open Studios Art Tour on the weekends of October 13th and 14th, and October 20th and 21st.  See new bracelets, necklaces, fabulous earrings and nibble on some cupcakes.  Also, enjoy my succulent garden as you weave your way to my studio.

Joining me this year is Karen Wilkinson, an accomplished fiber artist. She will have her beautiful silk scarves, as well as her woven pillows, sweaters, and more.

Look for us in the Open Studios Art Tour catalog for artists #142 and #180; we can’t wait to see you!

You can also find more examples of Sue and Karen’s work in ARTS Obispo’s Visual Artist Directory.

Above & Beyond: Crissa Hewitt

Yes, you will see polished marble and shiny silver, as well as fascinating agates, jaspers, and other natural treasures. As a silversmith and sculptor, creating with these materials brings me true challenge, excitement and pleasure. But, there is more:

Throughout each day, I will be demonstrating a variety of techniques. How does a flat sheet of metal become a bowl? What is annealing? How does that white bone hung in bird cages get used to make a silver object?  Why does someone have 100 hammers?

Want to try your hand at learning the techniques of jewelry/silversmithing? There will be sign-up sheets for three-day workshops (starting in January) for beginners and intermediates.  Opportunities exist for enrolling in on-going individual instruction. These time slots are reserved for those who have completed the two workshops, or who have equivalent experience.

There certainly will be food…mostly homemade cookies and something a bit on the savory side.  If you arrive and need a place to sit, (visiting studios can be exhausting) you are welcome to bide your time for awhile on my deck; weather permitting, this is probably where the goodies will be.

My work is one-of-a-kind pieces, and I am honored when someone decides to purchase or commission a work. However, Open Studios Art Tour is an opportunity to do just that…to tour studios and learn more about the processes and motivations that inspire people to create.

It will be a pleasure to have you come and visit my Benton Way Studio!
Crissa’s San Luis Obispo studio (#141, page 29 in the Tour catalog) will be open both weekends of the Open Studios Art Tour.

Origins: Jayne Devencenzi

Decades of Inspiration

My love of nature and love of beauty began at an early age. Each summer our family spent three to four weeks at our rustic, high-Sierra mountain cabin. I remember spending the days hiking, swimming, fishing, reading and hanging out with friends. At night we’d sing, play cards and games like Monopoly.  My dad always brought craft projects and we’d all get involved. We’d draw, paint, do mosaics, and build things out of wood, using whatever we found in the forest.  What I remember the most was being given the freedom to create!

As I look back, I realize my mother was also influential. She gave me the love of blending colors, shapes, textures. Both my mother and grandmother sewed like there was no tomorrow! I used to sit and watch as they turned pieces of fabric into gorgeous outfits. I, too, learned to sew, and was making some of my own clothes by age 12. From a very early age, I loved turning something plain and simple into something beautiful and extraordinary.

As I grew older, I took many art and crafts classes: sewing, weaving, drawing, painting, photography, and ceramics.  I was a junior in high school when I took my first jewelry making class. I definitely was not doodling during the lectures given in that class. I knew I had found something that really spoke to me! That summer, I took boxes of beads to our cabin and created earrings all summer.  I began selling work at age 17 and have continued to create and sell things ever since.

College was something that confounded me. I wanted to major in art, but was encouraged to go in a different direction where I could “earn a living.” I graduated with a teaching credential and school counseling degree. This past June, I retired from education after enjoying 35+ years working with kindergarten through 12th grade students. I thoroughly loved every minute of it and was fortunate enough to be able to blend my love of art and nature with the students with whom I worked.

Between graduation from college and now, I have nurtured my creative side by creating quilts, making pottery, weaving, working with leather, designing costumes, gardening (yes, I design with color in my garden too), and jewelry making. Blending colors, shapes and textures is just part of my life. I started a jewelry business and website in 2007, Jayne Cairns Designs. One of my daughters moved to Beijing and I soon discovered the beautiful and unique pearls, gems, and treasures available there. Blending these items together has become a passion, and, now with more free time I can devote more creative energy to the artistic side of my life.  Check out my website at: www.jcdjewelry.com.

This will be my third Open Studios Art Tour. I’ll continue to show my unique and beautiful jewelry. I specialize in pearls and crystals, but add unusual gems and beads as I find them. In addition, I will be expanding into succulent art: succulent wreaths and potted succulents in hand-painted clay pots. I am very excited to share my love of nature and gardening this year.  I’ll be joining a fused glass artist, Dianne Draze, at her home, 752 Buchon, San Luis Obispo. I look forward to seeing you soon.

Origins: Rod Baker

I am a glass artist and began first by making glass windows for my clients when I worked as a contractor back in the 70’s.  My first exposure to fusing was during a trip to a store to purchase glass for a project in 2000, and they had their kilns going. I immediately got hooked and have been fusing ever since. In 2006 on a trip to Oregon, I visited several glassblowing studios and decided that was something I had to do. To gain some basic skills, I attended Cal Poly’s glassblowing program. My first studio and gallery opened in 2008 in Florence, Oregon where I stayed for several years.  I hope to build a studio in Baywood Park soon!

Although I do not have a formal background in art,  I really enjoy working with glass.  By combining glassblowing and fusing, I have created numerous, reasonably-priced pieces including  jewelry, vases, plates , paperweights, bowls and more.

Hope you all come and see me at my home at 240 Travis Dr., Los Osos during the Open Studios Art Tour. Or, you can always reach me at (805) 551-6836 for an appointment.

Catalogs are available at locations throughout the county.  For a complete list, please visit ARTS Obispo’s website.

Origins: Crissa Hewitt

I had the good fortune to grow up with parents who really liked having children. My mother claimed until the day she died that she was not artistic, which was not true. However, because my father created his art in the more conventional manner…with pencil, paint, leather punch, or table saw, she found it easy to give him the title.  Throughout her life, she provided the aesthetic underpinnings that shaped so much of how I see the world.

I loved doing things with my father. Some of the projects were of the home improvement variety such as laying bricks for the patio or painting his homemade barbeque/smoke oven. If he was working in his shop creating with wood, or doing leatherwork in the living room, I was a welcome companion. It is perhaps important here to mention that I was 5, 6, 7, or 8 when this took place.

He had taught himself slight of hand magic and showed me a couple of moves. Sometimes when he arrived home from work (he had his own printing business) he would stand in the kitchen and teach us how to do some cute parlor trick.

One night he came home and handed each of us a wood model kit for a small sailboat. The swimming pool had been built and he thought it would be fun to have races.  The model was simple, consisting of a mostly formed hull and parts for the mast and sails.  We learned how to sand and seal and apply the necessary parts. The races weren’t very successful, but being involved in the process of making struck a real chord with me.

That next spring we went to the hobby store to find another kit. He was very upset because everything for my age was made of plastic. He seldom showed frustration like that, so it made an impression on me. We walked out of the store with our purchase of a chunk of balsa wood. At home he showed me the magic of carving it to create my own boat designs.

By September of that year he was dead. The cigarettes had killed him, but what he lit in me has stayed alive and well.  In those early years I continued to make boats and tool leather. There were some art classes along the way, but it was not until the summer of 1966 that I struck pay dirt. I went to the apartment of a new friend and upon walking through the door was struck by a shelf full of ceramic pots. “Where did you get those?” I asked.  “I made them,” she answered.

That summer I took my first class at Cal State Northridge and the world just continued to open up from there. Yes, today my primary material is metal, but it was walking out of the clay studio around 5:00ish with mud stuck to my clothes and my father close in my thoughts, that I realized I had found home.

Where is the Elephant?

Crissa’s studio will be open both weekends of ARTS Obispo’s Open Studios Art Tour Stop by and see all of her beautiful work!