Brookfield Craft Center is proud to present the annual faculty exhibit as a showcase of the amazing work of our talented artists/instructors.
Each piece represents technique and creativity honed by many hours of work and practice in the artisan’s specific field of fine art and craft. Viewers of the show will have the opportunity to connect with both form and function as they peruse the show filled with innovative items crafted in wood, metal, jewelry, glass, ceramics, fiber, and more.
From our founding to the present, we have been fortunate to engage highly professional artists and fine craft workers as faculty members. They demonstrate skill, creativity, and a passion for passing the torch to the next generation of artists. We are proud to present work from all of our teaching studios in what is truly a “Tradition of Excellence”.
Artists in this series are Roberta Ahuja, Christian Collins, Matin Malikzada, Katie Strano, Rachel Gerowe, Chris Doherty, Ian McCarthy, Andrew Chapman, Linda Banks, Ellen Morell, Lori Meehan, Colin Harrison, Kanika Khurana, Karin Mansberg, Anna Sidorow, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, Jim Degan, Don Metz, David Heim, and Terence Tougas.
Roberta was born in Brazil. She married in 1995 and focused on family. After that, Roberta learned techniques for painting on pottery. In 2003, the Ahuja family moved to CT where Roberta discovered a studio and progressed in her work beyond painting on ceramic. Now she makes each piece using different methods. Roberta has participated in several art shows and is an active member of the Connecticut Clay Artists and Gallery 25.
Christian is a potter living in Kent, CT. Since graduating with a BFA from Hartford Art School, he has worked with several studios and a handful of makers, artists and creators. Feeling a connection to the material experimentation of ceramics, Christian uses a range of clays and glazes in different kilns to create his surfaces. He has been exploring new forms and surfaces in an experimental kiln built from the old BCC salt kiln bricks.
Matin is a seventh-generation Afghan master of traditional pottery, internationally recognized for his technical skill and elegant designs. A native of Istalif, Afghanistan, once a vibrant center of ceramic art and commerce, Matin was forced to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover. Along with his family, he is now resettled in Northwest Connecticut where he continues his journey as an artist.
I weave items that are made to be used, loved, and worn in with time. The character of cloth changes as it ages and I find that it is almost always for the better; bringing moments of simple pleasure to the everyday. I design, weave, and make all of my work in my home studio in Southbury, CT.
I have always loved creating all types of art, but after I picked up a felting needle in 2006, I haven’t been able to put it down! Needle felting is a forgiving craft that enables you to shape wool fiber with a barbed needle to form anything imaginable. I’ve been designing original kits and creations and teaching in New England since 2009. In 2020 I opened an Etsy shop Red Barn Originals where a sampling of my kits can be found.
Chris took his first class in black-smithing way back in the twentieth century and has been losing ground ever since. His work attempts to accommodate the practical demands of functional objects while refining form and incorporating those time consuming touches that modern industrial production has no place for. Other objects are more cerebral and reflect his fascination with the material of steel and how it moves and a certain preoccupation with the boundaries of Craft, Art and the semiotics thereof.
Ian has been learning traditional metalwork for the past several years. His work focuses on cookware and cooking utensils that combine simple forged to shape items with functional design and purpose.
Andrew combines fire, metal and vision to create works of artistry. Using traditional hammer and anvil, he manipulates steel and copper to his creative vision. Large or small, each piece shows the 20 years of experience. He was introduced to metal while earning his BFA in sculpture at the University of Cincinnati and has worked in custom metal shops across the country. He also teaches, sharing his craftsmanship during group and individual classes.
As a child I was sucked into fused glass during a school demonstration of the craft. I have grown and developed in glass over many years. I love to reflect the joy of life in teaching the process of fusing glass and in the many forms of my fused glass pieces.
Having taught art and science in public school for most of my life, I appreciate the quiet time I can share with glass and light. I love the way light makes each glass piece breathe.
Lori, metalsmith and designer behind LMM Design, creates handcrafted jewelry using modern and ancient techniques. After growing up in Western NY and attending college in Rochester, NY and London, England, she moved to CT in 2008 and found BCC where her love for working with metal started. Finding inspiration in nature and geo-metry, she works in 24k gold, fine silver, silver, copper and gem-stones, using various techniques including Keum-boo, forging and cold connections.
Colin grew up on the North Sea coast of England. Photography entered his life at age seven in the form of a Kodak Brownie and has been a continuing passion. After studying engineering and physics, he worked as an engineer in Europe and the United States. He is now “retired” in Brookfield, CT which offers the chance to concentrate on his passion and deeper interests in minimalism and photographing abstract patterns in nature.
I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.” These words by William Blake drive my art practice. I am a seeker first and foremost. During my journey within I have found that following my creative calling is the easiest way to soul cleansing. My mixed-media paintings are inspired by my Indian heritage and 16th – 18th-century Indian Miniature Paintings. I hope through my art; I will be able to give people a sense of enchantment.
I am a printmaker working on fabric and paper. I enjoy design and most of my print work is technically about controlled/designed image-making. However, in my drawings and collages, I prefer to be looser and spontaneous. I have been teach-ing multidisciplinary classes and printmaking to many age groups, including undergraduates, adults, and children. Since 2014 my main focus has been on block-printing on fabric, and I like sharing my own experience with my students.
Garden dweller and self-taught artist, I create pressed botanicals and eco printed pieces. I work mostly with plant material, though I am constantly experimenting with new techniques and mediums. Much of my creative inspiration comes from the natural world. I find myself drawn to the forms, colors and textures found in nature. The creation of each piece is for me a Joy.
More than just a Portrait caught in time, I have always loved and been intrigued by how some portraits capture so much more than “just the looks” of a subject – but the personal character within – a hidden beauty that is found within our moments. This challenge to find and portray the inner spirit is the driving force behind my portraiture. It is a treat to share this joy with you!I love working in Charcoal, Watercolors, and Oils.
Wood is a fascinating medium used to create a wide variety of turned objects, from functional to purely decorative. Every piece has its unique features of color, texture, grain pattern and sometimes hidden defects (opportunities). I let the wood speak to me so I can maximize what it has to offer. I sometimes enhance the features of the wood with piercing, carving, texturing, or color, but never mask or cover what the wood offers. The wood speaks for itself.
My mission is to reveal the inner beauty of reclaimed wood. I’m inspired by the natural grain, patterns, cracks and crevices of each piece. Different woods are selected for unusual characteristics and turned to rough shape and allowed to dry for 12 months or more. Then they are turned again to final shape. Woods are often complimented by in-laying objects in the surfaces. Cracks and defects are filled with colored epoxy, finished to a high gloss using lacquer and non-toxic oils.
My turnings are mainly explorations of form—fair curves and eye-pleasing proportions, with an affinity for the strong, simple shapes from Danish modern designers.
I have long held the view that creativity is equally important to the scientist and the artist. My creative outlets outside the scientific realm include photography and woodworking. I enjoy seeing common objects from a different perspective. We love to travel and trying to capture the essence of a new place or event in still images is a strong motivation in my photography.
Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday noon -5:00pm, Saturday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday noon – 4:00 pm, and by appointment (203) 775-4526.