Alice Levinson

Blogging after installing KINDRED

Child’s play aka a day in the studio

As I write this, my work fills the walls of the Featured Artist room in the gallery, as KINDRED takes its turn on exhibit. It is a wonderful feeling to look about that room and see the results of months of labor finally completed and ‘breathing’ in the light and air. The visual conversation is lively, warmed by the glow from Pringle Teetor’s blown glassworks.

———-But that was yesterday, today is a new day in the studio and time to begin again——-


Balnk Wall AL

I enter the studio and am faced with this, a blank composing wall, my blank canvas. The challenge of starting anew makes this my most difficult day in the studio. A journal offers notes, scribbled musings, quotations, clippings, gestural doodles. I sift through them looking for a thread of thought, a prick of curiosity, hoping for the ‘stroke of genius’ that never comes. I look to my ever-present corner of perennials  for visual stimulation.

inspiration point AL Some thematic thoughts are beginning to perk. I open the closet door and viola !!  The shelves overflow. Color, pattern, and texture delight my eye, invite my touch, and engage the creative muse. The process begins. The synergy between journaled musings and the visual array of the cloth yield a theme, visual motifs, a palette. A creative intention begins to take form. I reach for the cloth and the magic begins. The fabric is cut or torn and pieces are mixed and melded as I begin to assemble my work. Layer by layer the piece grows.

Stash AL It takes considerable effort to stay open and responsive to the ‘voice’ of the cloth, ‘listening’ with my hands as well as my eyes.   Placed around the studio are reminders: “NO RISK, NO ART”, “CREATIVE WORK = CHILD’S PLAY”. Most children are natural artists, engaging with their environment in a free, non-judging, creative manner. For me the key is to honor process and allow myself to respond freely, intuitively to the materials. Focusing on process rather than product, I find the wall is no longer blank.

Work Table ALThe next new work is underway.

Next comes experimentation, balanced with critical review and re-direction. The freedom of composing with pinned cloth elements which are easily shifted facilitates the work.

Pinned AL My IPad has become a key tool, documenting the process and allowing me to consider stitch-work compositional options with ease. Taking the piece to completion will take weeks. Working as I do, mostly with small bits of cloth that gradually are melded together. Stitching each section effects the tactile tone and integrity of the piece as a whole. As each section is incorporated to the growing ‘whole’, a layer of stitch-work ensues to further meld the elements together. The process is one of continual reflection, accommodation, and response from composition through execution. Layer upon layer of cloth elements, layer upon layer of stitch-work to make an integral whole. Then, finally, a moment when the piece is done. The piece is complete. People often ask, “How do you know when it’s finished?” My response, “Just listen.”

Enter softly AL


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If There Is A Will, There Is A Way

Pringle Teetor Blog

Pringle's boot

When we opened our studio for the 8th season last fall (our season is October through June), I thought that this year might be a good year to slow down and enjoy life a little more instead of working so hard. Maybe do just a few shows, spend time taking better care of myself, get in better shape……..well, that didn’t work!

The 2014 winter was full of ups and downs. Temperatures went way way down and propane prices doubled. Color prices went up since metal prices went up. We had the snow storms, ice storms, power outages, including one that kept us out of our home and in a hotel for over a week with 2 dogs, one who was very ill (has since passed on) and oh! I fell down and broke my ankle in February. But I didn’t know it for about a month. Then it started hurting. A lot. I finally went to the doctor who put me in this boot cast for 2 1/2 months. I was out of the studio another month, then when I finally felt comfortable enough to blow glass in a boot cast, I realized how little time I had left before we shut down for the summer. PANIC! Working alone with the boot on my foot I knew there were some things I would not be able to do by myself so I had to improvise – think of a new way to make what I wanted to make before we shut down for the summer.

pineapple techniqueI had always been fascinated with the use of a bronze “pineapple” or “diamond” optic mold to put patterns of bubbles in glass.   It is a very tricky tool to learn to use. The mold has diamond shaped points on the inside that one you blow into it with molten glass on the end of your pipe, it leave diamond shaped dents in the glass. When you gather another layer of glass over these dents, it leaves perfectly placed air bubbles in your glass. The trick is getting out of the mold once you go in – it is very easy to get the molten glass on the end of your pipe stuck in this mold. Your shape and temperature have to be “just right”! I spent a lot of time practicing with this tool! I wanted to use this tool as a way to make my rolling wine decanters interesting without the use of an assistant in the studio. I only have either of my partners on weekends and I work alone during the week so I thought this would be nice. This led to more bubble pieces, rolling bubble glasses, bowls and more. Fun with Bubbles!


My love of chemical reaction between colors with high gold and silver content is a mainstay in my work. Many of the bowls I make are made using the same colors and technique every time I make them yet they each come out different. These pieces just glow under a good halogen spotlight!

chemical reaction

Dreams also played an important roll in this years work. One of my series of pieces that resemble clouds against the earth as seen from the space station uses colors that are stiff and soft together, which does interesting things in molten glass. The stiff glass doesn’t melt in as much and tends to hold its shape instead of melting into the other colors. They can be used to write down your dreams and put them inside. This could be for daydreams or night dreams, hopes or wishes.

dreams in clouds

The yarn ball series started out as a color test – to see how a stiff color looked if it was wrapped around a softer color. Black and white pieces are traditionally difficult because black is extremely soft, and white is very stiff. By this I mean they melt at different temperatures – the black will be soupy runny glass while the white stays stiff longer. It can be quite a frustrating and challenge experience! So of course I had to try working these two colors together. It was fun thinking of interesting and striking combinations.

glass yarn ball

I ended up having surgery on my ankle in early July. This was usually the time I  do my “cold work” which is the wet grinding and polishing of the pieces to smooth punty marks or flatten bottoms of vases. I do this in my back yard workshop only during the summer, as it is not possible to heat for working during the winter.   Once the surgical cast was removed after 2 weeks, another non-weight bearing cast was placed on my leg for 4 more weeks. Plus, I was told not to get the cast wet. Or sweat in it. It wasn’t coming off until the same day the show was going up in the gallery. You know the old saying “if there is a will, there is a way”? Thank you Harrison Ford (yes, the actor) for breaking your leg and allowing yourself to be photographed using this device (Iwalk Free). It worked for me too!


Pringle at her show

Photo by Susan Hope


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Deadline Sept. 15 !

HGA ImageResolutions 2015

Calling all North Carolina Artists!

The deadline to enter your artwork in the inaugural Hillsborough Gallery of Arts juried art show, Resolutions 2015, is September 15th.  North Carolina artists 18 and over working in 2D an 3D media are encouraged to apply.

The show will display in the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts featured exhibit gallery from January 5th through 25th of January 2015. An opening reception will be Friday, January 9th from 6-9 pm.

Awards juror for Resolutions 2015 will be Timothy Riggs, the Curator of Collections at the Ackland Art Museum in Chapel Hill, NC.

This is an opportunity to share your work in an established and welcoming gallery and connect with new collectors and fellow artists.

Complete prospectus and application can be found at 

Artists can also find a link from our website,


Kindred P and A

Kindred Sisters In Complexity and Technique

Alice Levinson and Pringle Teetor are masters of fabric and glass.

In the show KINDRED, Alice Levinson and Pringle Teetor introduce complex and colorful new work.

Pringle Teetor is introducing a new line of blown glass which she calls “Bubbleware.” Rolling wine glasses and matching rolling decanters as well as larger bowls are part of this year’s show “Kindred.” Bubbleware is made using a glass blower’s tool known as a diamond or pineapple mold. A challenging tool to use, the mold has diamond shaped points on the inside. When molten glass is blown into it, diamond shaped dents are produced in the glass. Another layer of glass is blown over these dents, leaving perfectly placed air bubbles in the bowl or decanter being formed. The trick is getting the piece out of the mold again. “It’s very easy to get the molten glass on the end of your pipe stuck in this mold,” says Teetor. “Getting it right takes practice.”

Alice Levinson describes the complexity of her work, “I am drawn to the tactile nature of fabric, finding delight in its ‘hand.’ I experiment freely with dye, and pigments to create cloth which is complex in texture and rich in visual interest. Each composition is built of successive layering of fabric and thread.” Her work process is intuitive and encourages spontaneity and experimentation. “The studio is a joyful place, says Levinson. “In both process and form, my abstract compositions are guided by content and conceptual intention.” Daily journaling is an important step in her process. Work on a piece begins with a thought, a feeling, a mood, or narrative. “Next I experiment with visual motifs that embody the content. Then I gather my ‘palette’ from my stash of cloth and thread. In a final step I select a construction method that is consistent with, and extends, the metaphor of the theme of the piece. Working each piece becomes a meditation on its central theme. My working process is slow and labor-intensive. Stitch by stitch, layer by layer the piece evolves.”

Considering the theme, “kindred,” Levinson found herself focused on the feeling of belonging that comes in particular places where one feels at home because of familiarity, or friendship, or shared experience. The works presented are varied in content and means of construction, but all represent aspects of her experience in which she has experienced this kindred sense. “I was interested to see as I worked that I was drawn to some of my oldest materials. Building some pieces from the remnants of others. Similarly, in working several pieces I returned to some early ways of working. The subconscious is a mysterious and marvelous driver of creative effort. As I worked, a mantra whispered, ‘Nothing of value is lost – just waiting to be reclaimed.’ As I integrate these older elements with the new, I experience a profound sense of continuity with growth, finding new ways of working, while retaining and building on what I’ve done before. Finding new solutions to old, core questions is the hallmark of creative work for me.”

Opening Reception

Aug 29



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Attention to Detail

Marcy Lansman

Unlike much of my previous work, many of the pieces in this show are non-representational. The unifying element is palette, which ranges from orange/rust/brown on the one hand through neutral warm gray to blue/blue-green/green on the other. My process has been to lay down a “first draft” quickly, in one sitting, restraining myself from any fussing or revising.   (Inevitably, at the end of this session I feel that I have created a masterpiece.) I let this draft sit for a day or so. When I go back, I discover that my masterpiece is not as flawlessly marvelous as it first seemed. Then I begin the long process of revising. The challenge now is to clean up the problems without sacrificing the freshness of the original. Here is where “attention to detail” comes in.

Free to Dream

I have been surprised to discover that I spend just as much time adjusting the details of non-representational as representational work. What’s different is the timing and the goal. When I am painting a flower or a face, I concern myself with details right from the start when I create the original drawing. In my more abstract work, I focus on major compositional issues at the beginning and deal with the details later. In the representational work, the goal of the details is to capture the appearance and the spirit of the thing I’m painting. In the non–representational work the goal is to create a piece that will be satisfying both to me and to the viewer, something that will please or stimulate or in some way enlighten.

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Attention to Detail

Linda Carmel

Having a Featured Artist show at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts is an opportunity to present a body of work. I love to work in series using different themes. For this show I have continued with my theme of Women in the World, using idioms as inspirations.


This year I have bought more global influences into the mix. I have looked at style design details from around the world and have used them in each of the paintings in this series.   In some of the paintings you will see tartans and in some I have used designs based on African kuba cloth.   Some of the paintings were inspired by molas from Panama and some by Aboriginal dream paintings. Another is based on Asian silkscreen painting. These are the puzzle pieces I began with in each piece, women, cultural designs and idioms.

someone elses shoes

Even though I started each painting with this set of information it is the attention to the detail in the actual painting as it progresses that becomes dominant. My work is in finding the balance of color and form with the puzzle pieces that began the piece. Sometimes the women become the dominant part of the painting and in one case there are no women. In other paintings it is the design that dominates the piece.

I work with acrylic modeling paste that I form on canvas to create three-dimensional paintings. I want viewers to become intimate with the painting by feeling the contours of the surface.


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Attention to Detail




Lynn Wartski

It has been interesting letting my work lead me in a direction I had not really considered.  A single mixed media figure sculpture for a group show has led to the creation of several dozen “art dolls”, and introduction of my work to a whole new audience. The intimate scale of these pieces invites the viewer in to take a closer look.  By their very nature these sculptures require that viewer and artist both pay “Attention to Detail”, the title of our newest feature show.

Ever present in all of my sculpture has been hand forged copper raised from flat stock. My art dolls pay homage to this with the face I create for each. Each doll’s face begins as a flat disk that I cut, anneal, hammer, shape and polish. The hands for each art doll are also formed in my metal studio, as are glass eyes created by torch firing enamels on to copper or brass tacks and nail heads. The addition of a wooden head and wire skeleton round out the basic form of these small figure sculptures and adds to the mixed media slightly steampunk flavor of my work.

doll with stick
The sources of inspiration for “who each doll will be”, are endless.  They have come into being both fully formed as a concept and design in my sketchbook, and formed wholly on the work table.

I enjoy the reactions they and their details draw from viewers.  These art dolls bring together so much that I have developed in my work over the years, and I look forward to where they lead me next.


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