Friday, November 6, 2009

2009 Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison Starts this Evening!

The first day of the sale starts this today, Friday November 6 2009 from 5pm-9pm. Please stop by! Look for a sign with colored Christmas lights in front. Directions and map.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

An Interview with Cathy Frank

What will you be bringing to the Holiday Studio Sale?
Cathy Frank: I am bringing a selection of hand built pottery and jewelry - always one of a kind.

What is your process and /or inspiration?
Cathy Frank: I am inspired by the moment, the surrounding, the textures, the mistakes, the accidents, the whim, whatever comes first to my fingertips.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Cathy Frank: I’ve been exploring different art and craft fields for most of my life, screen printing, photography, ceramics, soft sculpture, cooking, batiking, jewelry... there’s so much out there still to be explored. Who knows what’s next before the train stops.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison part of 1st Friday

The Albany Holiday Crafts on Madison, A Splendid Sale of Art & Craft held in a gracious 1845 mansion near Washington Park to benefit the programs of The Woman's Club is part of Albany's 1st Friday festivities for November 6, 2009. The trolley will be stopping in front of The Woman's Club!
Find the complete schedule at:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Red Thread Confections on News 9

Albany Studio Sale chocolate artist Annika Pfluger of Red Threads Confections was featured on News 9 for her work on donating part of her profit to children in need.

View the video:

An Interview with Annika Pfluger of Red Thread Confections

web site:

What will you be bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Annika Pfluger: I'll be bringing a selection of my hand painted artisan chocolates as well as my old fashioned peanut brittle, chocolate covered espresso beans and my double chocolate and spicy Aztec hot cocoa mix.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Annika Pfluger: Red Thread Confections is a unique artisan handcrafted chocolate business. I hand paint each chocolate with organic all naturally colored cocoa butter. I trained at Ecole Chocolat based in Vancouver, Canada and studied artisan chocolates and confections at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. I got the inspiration for my company from the ancient Chinese Legend of the Red Thread: “At birth, an invisible red thread connects us to everyone in our life who will become important to us. That thread may stretch and shrink over time, but it will never break." As an adoptive parent, the red thread legend is very close to my heart. I believe that my son was connected to me by the invisible red thread at birth and that he will also be forever connected to his birth family and birth country by that same red thread. Red Thread Confections honors the red thread legend by donating a portion of the proceeds from each sale to orphanages in Guatemala, Ethiopia and China. Another part of our mission is to create red thread connections with each of our customers – once you try our chocolates, you’ll be forever connected as well!

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Annika Pfluger: In addition to owning and operating Red Thread Confections, I'm also a professional classical cellist - my website is I have more than 20 years of performing and teaching experience. I have a Master of Music degree from Boston University, and was a Fulbright grant recipient for study at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary. I formerly taught chamber music at Harvard University Mather House, competed with the chamber ensemble “Kammerton” in the International Festival Van Flaandern competition in Bruges, Belgium and has recorded for WGBH Boston. In addition to an active private teaching studio, I teach cello at Woodland Hill Montessori School in East Greenbush, NY and at the Bethlehem Children's School in Slingerlands, NY.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Interview with Kendal McGillycuddy of McGillycuddy's Naturals

Deb and Kendal (left) McGillycuddy

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?

Kendal McGillycuddy: We have a variety of new molds for our Milk Soaps that we are excited to bring this year. Some of the new soap designs include Sleeping Cat, Dog Bone, "Thank You", as well as several new holiday designs. We will also be bringing a wide variety of natural bath products including Lotion, Lip Balm, Bath Salt, Facial Products, Men's Products, and much more!

To help get everyone in the holiday mood we will have a plenty of holiday gift baskets and gift sets that are perfect for easy and unique gift giving!

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Kendal McGillycuddy: Everything we offer is hand made locally in Sharon Springs, New York using all natural ingredients. Our inspiration for the products we create comes from all over - herbs that are in season, suggestions that our customers make, and most often out of necessity (like something for sunburn relief or chapped skin). We enjoy every aspect of our business, from creating the products, to designing the packaging, and finally knowing that we are able to offer quality hand-made products to our customers!

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Kendal McGillycuddy: We recently moved our store in beautiful downtown Sharon Springs, New York. We are now located at 209 Main Street. We would love for you to stop by and visit us at our great new location. There are several other wonderful businesses you can also stop by while in the area.

An Interview with Kendal McGillycuddy of McGillycuddy's Naturals

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?

What is your process and/or inspiration?

What else would you like us to know about yourself?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

An interview with Cherry Schacher

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Cherry Schacher: I'm currently working on some more hats and scarves to go into the winter with - the Snowball hats are fleece with fabric accents, as are the hat/scarf/glove combination - this is as yet unnamed! But they are warm. I'm also working on some vests and new jackets, branching out from using cotton fabrics into silks, ultrasuedes and anything that seems neat and interesting. Quilt/wallhanging side of things, I'm finally going to do some wall hangings using men's ties - I've been doing them off and on for years as custom orders - it's time to bring them into the booth! And, as usual, I will have several large size bed quilts, including a new Fractured Crystals one in shades of soft beiges and browns. And plenty of placemats, napkins and pot holders for more Christmas gifts.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Cherry Schacher: Normally I say that my inspiration comes from traveling to Europe - cathedral floors, colors on buildings and in cobblestone streets, the scenery I see, trails I've hiked on, etc., but my most recent inspiration was a jacket I saw at London airport last week - it was made out of a jersey fabric, but by the time my plane was ready to leave, I had redesigned it for a silk fabric I was bringing back from Ireland! You never know where an idea will strike.

Cutting things very, very exactly is the key, and ironing more than I ever want to. The sewing is fairly straightforward - I use an old industrial Singer machine 99% of the time, finishing is always done by hand, usually watching late night tv with a glass of wine, or finishing coffee in the morning - it depends on what colors I'm working with - darker ones need morning light.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Cherry Schacher: George and I have been married for 32 years, we have a daughter Darcy, who is 15 and sings beautifully, and I have a son who is in the Navy, a great Spanish daughter-in-law and 3 great grandkids. We also play music in a couple of bands - Aged in the Hills and Coosheen (check out the website
The other big part of our life is the house we inherited from my father in Ireland - it is in a little village called Schull, in West Cork, right on the water facing the harbor. We spend as much time as possible there, but it's getting harder with Darcy's school, plus we rent it out so that it can pay for itself, so that's a problem, too. If you're interested in staying there, speak to me at the show!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Work by Ben Rauch

Albany Holiday Studio Sale artist Ben Rauch

An Interview with Wendy Costa

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Wendy Costa: will be bringing a lot of makeup bags, handbags and ceramic tile trivets all handmade in my studio and featuring fabrics we make from my mixed media paintings..

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Wendy Costa: I begin with a painting on board using casein then the work is digitally transformed, patterns are made and items are sewn here using only materials and suppliers that are from the US..(My website has a pic of me painting under the ABOUT button)

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Wendy Costa: As you know I am restoring a gothic church and parsonage in Cooperstown NY. The property was built in 1829 and is a perfect setting for my studio and home. We hope to have open studio days next year and to share our gardens and process with the public. I also just signed a 3 year contract to license my designs onto needlepoint kits by a company in San Francisco.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

An Interview with Cecilia Lockwood of Frittelli and Lockwood

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Cecilia Lockwood: I'm bringing a fabulous collection of handwoven scarves in silky bamboo, luscious chenille, and warm and fuzzy alpaca. Also, for the men in your life, I'll have a collection of neckties in serious and playful patterns. Caps, hats, and handbags pieced from my handwoven fabrics round out the line.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Cecilia Lockwood: I love textiles, fiber, and texture. Starting with yarn on cones, I design the warp, dress the loom, and weave yardage using multiple shuttles and intricate color and weave effect.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Cecilia Lockwood: Over the summer, my husband and I relocated our weaving studio and opened a gallery in the Arts District in Saratoga Springs. You can visit our shop and watch our looms in action Tuesday - Saturday 10-5 and till 7 on Fridays. We have a clothing line for men and women and can tailor our jackets, shirts, and vests for a custom fit.

Link to the Saratogian newspaper article on our opening:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Work by Wendy Costa

Albany Holiday Studio Sale artist Wendy Costa

Quote from The Crafts Report magazine on the Albany Holiday Studio Sale

From the article "Bloom Town: Celebrated festivals and a rich history make Albany County an area worth discovering":

"...The Albany Holiday Studio Sale, is held at The Woman’s Club on Madison Avenue. The November sale features fiber, jewelry and ceramics in the intimate setting of an 1895 mansion. “It’s an opportunity to shop for gifts by local artists,...There’s a movement in our area to buy food from local growers, and buying from local craftspeople contributes to the effort to buy things that are locally made.”

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

An Interview with Trudy Litto

web site: Trudy Litto pottery,

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Trudy Litto: After many years as a production potter, making complete dish sets and all sorts of serving pieces, I am doing these things now, only on order. I will, however, be bringing my most popular item, the Yunan steamer, which is the healthiest way to cook and serve grains, vegetables and so many other good combinations of foods. My main focus now is making unusual floral containers,.and I will be bringing these, and demonstrating with live flowers, just how easy it is to do arrangements that will show off even just one or a few flowers.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Trudy Litto: I mostly use a stoneware clay fired to high temperatures in a large gas fired kiln. I also like to do special pieces in the fascinating process, raku. Some of my work is done in a wood fired kiln, which can produce interesting glazes. I do a lot of one-of-a-kind sculptural containers, using slabs of clay, extrusions and wheel thrown combinations.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Trudy Litto:I am an avid gardener and I love to cook. These are what inspires and directs my work. I have designed what I have needed to cook and serve the foods I like to cook. I have been a member of the Federated Garden Club for many years and about 10 years ago, I became interested in studying Sogetsu, a form of Ikebana, the Japanese method of flower arranging. I have attended many workshops and taken classes in this discipline, all of which has had a great influence on my work.

Monday, September 28, 2009

An Interview with Nancy Noble Gardner

web site: Fine Art Photography by Nancy Noble Gardner,

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Nancy Noble Gardner: I'm bringing my best color photographs, large and small, as well as greeting cards. My images are macro photography of flowers and seashells; in some, I used a kaleidoscope filter. I also have photographs from Greece, including seascapes, icons, and statuary. I've greatly reduced the prices on most of my photographs, which start at $25.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Nancy Noble Gardner:
As I create an image, I celebrate and pay homage to
my subject. It is my way of saying "thank you"
for the perfect, momentary gift.
My lens is the window to another world, where
visual subjects mingle with feelings and memories,
and metaphors are born.
Like dreams, I photograph to transcend, rather than record.
When I am fortunate, my images venture beyond words,
and become a mirror of my soul.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Nancy Noble Gardner: I'm fortunate to photograph and exhibit on Martha's Vineyard in the summer. I've made 15 trips to Greece, where I've had two exhibitions and been published twice in Odyssey Magazine. My greeting cards won an award at the National Stationary Show and I received a grant from the NY Foundation for the Arts. I'm happy to be a part of the Albany Holiday Studio Sale, as I love working within a community of other artists, where I am inspired by them and can enjoy meeting the public.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Quote from The Times Union on the Albany Holiday Studio Sale

Life & Style Section:

"...Shoppers looking for hand-crafted gifts for the upcoming holiday season may want to check out the Albany Holiday Studio Sale taking place ... at the Woman's Club, 725 Madison Avenue., in Albany..."

725 Madison Avenue - The gracious site of the Albany Holiday Studio Sale

The site of the Albany Holiday Studio Sale is a gracious mansion near the corner of Albany's historic Washington Park. The mansion at, 725 Madison Avenue, was built in 1895 as the residence of Joseph Steefel, one of two brothers who owned a clothing store on State Street in Albany. The impressive Chicago-style prairie/mission, three-story brick building has a prominent front porch and is attached to its twin building by a side porte-cochere. In 1972, The building was included in the Washington Park Historic District, which is on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places, and is designated locally under the City of Albany Historic Resources Commission Ordinance.

Directions and Map

Directions to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale at 725 Madison Avenue:

From I-787 take the Route 20W exit. Proceed west on Route 20W west (Madison Avenue) to South lake Avenue, on the corner of Washington Park. 725 Madison is the brick mansion to the right. Free parking in the lot behind the building.

Work by C.A. Foster of Bininger Road Studio

Albany Holiday Studio Sale artist C.A. Foster

Sunday, September 20, 2009

An Interview with Loretta Fontaine

web site:

What are you bringing to the Albany Holiday Studio Sale?
Loretta Fontaine: I'll be bringing my award-winning fine artisanal jewelry in sterling silver and 14K gold with miniature original photography. I have some special new earrings and necklaces that I'm designing that use black and white photographs I took of a fern combined with shimmering green peridot beads. For special holiday gifts, I can incorporate a client's photograph into any of my designs.

What is your process and/or inspiration?
Loretta Fontaine: I have a background in architecture, and I enjoy working details out on a small scale. I do all my own metalwork and take all of the photographs that are used in my jewelry. I'm inspired by natural forms and shapes and the patterns found in wallpapers and fabrics.

What else would you like us to know about yourself?
Loretta Fontaine: A member of the Woman's Club of Albany, I volunteer to help run the Albany Holiday Studio Sale. (10% of artists sales, and all proceeds from the raffle and the Spotted Dog Cafe benefit the programs of the Woman's Club.) I can also juggle flower sticks and bake a mean focaccia.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Welcome to the blog of The Albany Holiday Studio Sale!

We'll share news, interviews of participating artists, and photographs of the beautiful jewelry, ceramics, fine photography, mixed media, wood, fiber, clothing (and chocolate!) you'll find at the 4th Annual Albany Holiday Studio Sale, a Splendid Show and Sale of Art & Craft in Albany held in a gracious 1895 mansion to benefit the programs of the Woman's Club of Albany, New York.