Mary J Whitt first discovered her love for glass art more than 20 years ago when a good friend gave her a beautiful fused glass platter as a Christmas present. It inspired her to learn the craft, so she researched the techniques, tools and equipment necessary for glass fusing and began her journey exploring the endless creative possibilities that working with glass offers. Before long, she was selling her work in gift shops, galleries, juried art shows and private shows across the Southeast.
Although Whitt is “self-taught” in the techniques of fused glass, she received formal art training as a fine arts major at the University of Tennessee from 1977-1980. Her early training served as a helpful springboard, enabling her to intuitively create mood and movement through design and color. “Imagine a kaleidoscope of jewel tones dancing across a room as the sun shines through a stained glass window; or the soft, warm glow of a crackling fire; or the wash of fiery reds into pastel pinks at sunset,” she says.
The dynamic play of color and light inspires her work. Whitt’s use of color, texture and form to create mood and movement makes all of her artwork unique.
Coming from military family, Claudia Moore got to experience different parts of the world from a young age. But it was when she attended the University of Kansas that she found her passion for Fine Art.
With a modern impressionism style, Moore finds inspiration in water and nature. She focuses more on landscapes than anything else. Most pieces seen in her studio are of boats and water scenes.
“I am fortunate to be able to do what I love for fun,” says Moore. “Painting is a constant learning process. You can take the same scene and make it look completely different by using different tools or different techniques. That’s why I love art.”
Moore has been apart of Chattanooga Workspace for the past two years, and also finds inspiration in the artists around her.
“Workspace is such a good community,” she says. “That’s one of the reasons why I am here. We learn through each other, we collaborate with each other, it’s just a great place to be.”
To add one of Claudia Moore’s paintings to your collection please contact her through her studio at Chattanooga Workspace.
I was never one for art growing up. I wasn’t the kid that sits around and sketches during school. I never tried to stand out from others by developing my own sense of high fashion, though I did some serious pleading for some British Knights when I was 12 (and my loving mom bought them-I’m sure against her better wisdom.)
I took a passing interest in art only if I could get something for it in return; that is to say if chocolate was involved. I won some chocolate when I drew a rabbit for Christmas in 2nd grade. I won some more chocolate for drawing a flower in 3rd grade. My brother and I won some chocolate (and maybe a football) when we created a kite in a local art competition.
I entered art school at the University of Georgia because I was tired of studying chemistry, math, and geology, and knew I could at least draw a rabbit and a flower fairly well.
When I left art school, I left art behind, unless it could again get me something in return. I credit art for helping me land my beautiful wife. I designed and cast her ring.
I began to finally enjoy art about a year ago in 2015. I still don’t understand much of the art that is in the world, but I can get possessed and entranced by my own. I can’t sleep most nights because my mind is creating new images, projects and means of creating.
I am still developing my style, but a consistent focus of mine is on expression and intent; coming from a state of mind that seeks to understand my subject matter, place, or time. I enjoy creating moods that leave the viewer slightly uneasy; i.e., vibrant colors with fearful energy through brushstrokes, dark solemn colors with graphic cartoon-like characteristics in the lines. I feel that this unease (though ensuring only the slightest unease is extremely important) encourages the viewer to take time with a painting, create their own story, and make the painting their own.
Tiana Saul remembers being gifted with a jewelry set at six years old. The set included precious beads and nice stones. At the age of ten she learned from her parents how to wire wrap, and she has been making jewelry ever since.
Saul, originally from California, has collected small vintage novelties pretty much her whole life. Drawing from classic styles and vintage aesthetics, she designs and creates one of a kind accessories for men and women. Her business, Sayuri Designs, has been going strong for the past eight years.
What brought Saul to Chattanooga, a little over a year ago, was the promise of change and a more readily available use of the resources around her. “Chattanooga and surrounding areas are full of Antique shops and precious novelties that have been collected for generations,” she says. “I utilize antique, reclaimed,and deadstock materials as much as possible, so that each piece is handmade and one of a kind.”
Heavily influenced by the materials themselves, Saul is always excited to explore how her art and style can develop and expand. Every piece tells a story; the tarnished metal, a missing rhinestone, or a corner chip are all a part of its unique history. By incorporating these pieces into her own work, she gives them new life – extending their histories by including them in our own.
Saul has been apart of Chattanooga Workspace for about a year. This is her first time having a devoted workspace for her business and she looks forward to seeing where it takes her.
Apart from Workspace, she also participates in Chattanooga Market each weekend, where individuals come to see her unique pieces. “I try to fill my booth as much as possible so that there is something for everyone. Each piece of jewelry looks different and there is a style for everyone.”
You can also see Saul’s jewelry on her etsy account sayuridesigns and her Facebook tiana.sayuri.designs.
Angie Adams has always enjoyed taking what she has and repurposing it into something better to suit her needs or enjoyment. She started out upcycling in her early 20s while living in Wisconsin. It was there she began making unique dried floral arrangements from flowers and fruit that she had dehydrated herself. Later she began making one of a kind handbags that repurposed old clothing; she sold these handbags at a local boutique store in the little town of Janesville, WI.
Angie Adams named her handbag business Isabellucia, after her then 2 year old daughter. Isabel was, and still is, Angie’s biggest fan and she has continued the use of the name Isabellucia onto her current upcycling business today.
Angie considers herself an upcycler, repurposer, and recycler because she likes to take old, unusual, unneeded, or unwanted items and make give them new life. She does this by using her abilities as a self-taught artist and crafter — on any particular day in her studio you’ll find her drawing, painting, sewing, woodworking, and a host of other yet-to-be-discovered skills — and transforming objects from their past selves.
Angie’s daughter, Isabel, has now become an artist in her own right. She has helped to bring new life to their studio by painting a large mural on one of the walls and has also become very accomplished at paper mâché, you’ll often find her creating Dragons, dragon eggs, and other creatures. Angie’s 7 year old son also works in the studio alongside his mom and sister, creating small creatures from clay.
Angie Adams lived in Ooltewah, TN in 2013 and had a booth at a local antique mall where she sold her upcycled items along with vintage and antique treasure finds. Having to return to Florida after a year in Tennessee, Angie took a break from the upcycling business and focused on her home life. However, with an exciting family decision to come back to Tennessee after their year back in Florida, Angie and her family chose to return and reside right in the heart of Chattanooga and lay roots down for the family. Now that she, and her daughter Isabel, have a studio at Chattanooga Workspace they are looking forward to continuing to promote the upcycle craze while also developing their artistic eye.