For Mother’s Day shopping, members of the artists cooperative at The Store at Mesa Arts Center, 1 E. Main St., have been hard at work on homemade creations from jewelry to ceramic plates and metalwork.
“Lots of opportunities to buy gifts – jewelry for Mom or glass, pottery instead of flowers, which are going to wilt. They are all Arizona artists. Everybody does a demonstration once a month and often more for special events,” Shannon White, head of The Store’s steering committee, said April 7. The Gilbert artist designs mixed-metal jewelry.
Artist demonstrations are held at the business, which is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. It is also open during many major theater performances at the center.
“Sometimes we have tables outside and especially some of the artists who have equipment – such as wood-turning, which would be really messy inside – they are able to do those kinds of things outside. People come and ask questions and watch,” Ms. White said.
Artists Gill Harry and Malai Suriyasataporn on April 7 had 3.5-hour shifts to demonstrate to prospective customers how they design and build their artworks.
Ms. Suriyasataporn uses natural objects in a lost-wax casting technique to construct her jewelry, with the final artwork in sterling or fine silver.
“Sometimes I walk out and see flowers, a pod or stick or something and it inspires me to create something with it to make jewelry,” she said April 7 at The Store.
The Chandler resident learned the casting technique while taking classes at Mesa Arts Center, she said.
Ms. Harry, of Mesa, uses handmade tiles to make artworks such as plates and vases.
“I take raw clay – it’s called red Hawaiian. (I) chose that because it’s a low-fire clay, which is necessary when you do majolica,” she said of pottery with bright-colored glazes.
According to MAC Foundation guidelines for The Store artists’ cooperative, artist members are required in part to contribute to the business and its operation by serving on committees, staffing the gallery for four hours a month or paying dues.
Upon a sale of an artwork, 10 percent is used to fund the cooperative‘s general operating expenses, such as office supplies and publicity; and 20 percent is given to the MAC Foundation, according to the guidelines.
For more information, go to www.mesaartscenter.com/macstore.