AREtsy Featured Member: TSmithDesigns

It's that time of the week again - time to feature another fabulous AREtsy artist. Teresa Smith (seen above in her studio - not the little one below right, although, she's a cutie!) has been a great addition to our team and brings some very drool worthy jewelry to the Etsy table at very affordable prices (my favorite kind!). I can't wait to share a bit more about her with all of you. You can find all of her lovely jewelry over at TSmithDesigns.

Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff:

My name is Teresa Smith Mulkey. I live in El Paso, Arkansas. It is a small central Arkansas community outside of the Cabot – Conway area. We raise and show horses. We also have Corriente cattle. They are a sturdy breed of cattle for roping. We compete in Barrel Racing and Team Roping. I compete in Barrel Racing events and rope at the house for fun. I am a board member of our local Barrel Racing Association. I was one of the featured board members on our Barrel Racing website. This is a family oriented club and we have all ages that compete. We also have events at our arena.


I have been a member of the Arkansas Arts Center since I moved to Arkansas and have been participating in the classes at the Museum School as well. I have been a member of the Aretsy team for some time and have also joined a team for metalsmiths. I am also a member of SNAG. My husband is a farrier. I have two daughters, he has a son and we have five grandkids with two more on the way.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I ride my horses as much as possible. I am competing on a young horse and he needs “lots of wet saddle blankets” to keep him in shape. I am looking forward to a big garden this year as well.

What first made you want to become an artist?

In High School in California I had a jewelry class for an elective. I was so inspired and kept taking the class. My instructor Bob Bass was my mentor and I hope to find him again some day. My grandmother who is 94 was a great influence as well. She is an amazing seamstress and cook. She had a garden and was a desert baker for years. She still cooks for herself, can’t do any crafts because she is now legally


Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

I usually let the materials dictate the design. If I am making a custom piece I might have some guidelines to follow. I will sketch and move stones around until I come up with the design. I have a sketch book in my purse and use scratch paper while at work if a design idea hits me.

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

I don’t think I have anything that my grandma made, but I have saved some artwork that my girls did when they were young.

Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

I am really addicted to magazines, so I don’t read books much. I do like to look at “coffee table” books on Art & Interior Design, Fashion, and of course Jewelry.

I don’t watch much TV, but I do have a TV with a DVD player in the studio. I will have a movie on for background noise. I also sometimes have “small” metalsmiths working in the studio and they like to watch movies as well.

Here are some favorites:


The Devil Wears Prada

Failure to Launch

The Family Stone

Marie Antoinette


Varied from Country to Rock. I have listened to most everything at one point or another. I am currently listening to Gary Allen.


Beads of Cambay


Barrel Horse World


How do you promote your work?

Website http://www.tsmithdesigns.biz

Blog http://www.tsmithdesign.blogspot.com

Facebook Teresa Smith Mulkey

I also set up a table at the horseshows that I attend. I make jewelry for my friend at work as well as family members.

What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?

It allows me to be a part of a fantastic and cutting edge group of artisans. You get to meet people all over the world.

In ten years I'd like to be...

working from my home and not the daily grind of a 9-5 office job.


Opportunity Abounds

Thank you to Glassbead for bringing these to my attention. We have a couple of great opportunities for artists coming up.

The first one is a juried competition - here is information from their email about the event: "Harlin Museum in West Plains, MO, is organizing an exhibition for the "Vanishing Ozarks" series. The series highlights some of the features of the Ozarks cultural history that are in danger of disappearing, and the exhibition will focus on country stores and school houses. The deadline is Friday April 17, 2009. Please see the attachments for further information."
You can find the attachments with further information in the files section of the Yahoo group listed under "Harlin Museum" or you can contact Sally Williams at (501) 324-9348 or sally@arkansasheritage.org for more information.

The next event is an Arts Festival held in Eureka Springs this May. The 22nd Annual May Festival of the Arts. There are several ways to get involved on this one - so please find more information in the files section of the Yahoo group listed under "May Festival of the Arts". You can read more about the May Festival of the Arts here: http://www.eurekasprings.org/events/detail.asp?id=873

Please email Erin at knittinghands@yahoo.com if you have any problems accessing these files.

I hope to hear about some of you participating in these events!

AREtsy Featured Member: Chris Massingill

I am very excited to introduce to all of your the next AREtsy featured artist. I was a huge fan of Chris' work, found in her shop here, long before I met her. Her colors were bright and fresh and her designs were different than the usual pottery stuff I had seen on Etsy. When she joined AREtsy she brought in a shop of fresh items and a wealth of things to talk about. I got to meet her last year at The Clothesline Fair in Prairie Grove and was able to share a fair with her again at the Bella Vista Arts and Crafts Festival. If you are ever lucky enough to see her in person, stop and chat - you'll quickly learn why I like her so much!

Tell us a bit about yourself name, location, affiliations, personal stuff.

My name is Chris Massingill and I live in Conway, AR. I have a BFA in Art from U
CA and I’m a certified K-12 Art teacher, but right now, I make and sell my art full time.
I’m a member of the Conway League of Artists and I also participate in some other local art events like ArtsFest.

Apart from creating things, what do you do?

I teach a few classes out of my studio including basic handbuilding, wheel throwing and some afterschool art classes for children. I also do some volunteer teaching at my son’s school where I do art projects with his class. He’s in the second grade and so far this year, we’ve folded origami frogs, made some ceramic vases and we made some puppets.

What first made you want to become an artist?

I’ve never wanted to be anything else. When I was younger, I took a lot of photographs that won some contests and even had some of my work in a local art gallery and I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. But once I started working in clay I was hooked. And it was only recently that I’ve started seriously thinking about photography again. I’ve always photographed my ceramic work for juried shows and for the web, but now I have some new work that I am photographing and selling as prints and notecards.

Please describe your creative process how, when, materials, etc.

My process is a little disorganized. I’m easily distracted and so I am usually working on a lot of projects at the same time. I try to keep regular work hours so I work at my studio from 9-5 most days with some exceptions for paperwork days or kiln loading/unloading, etc. I mostly work in clay, I use a low-fire earthenware clay that I really like for a few reasons: 1. I can get really bright colors at lower temperatures and 2. earthenware clay is a really sturdy clay and I tend to sometimes be a klutz so although it’s not uncommon for things to get knocked off a table or dropped at a show, I rarely lose any pieces to breakage. Most of my work is slab work, so although I love to throw on the wheel, most of the work I sell is actually rolled out with a giant rolling pin and then handformed into new shapes. I am totally obsessed with color and texture and so while many of the impressions on my work are made with handmade stamps that I draw and carve, I also use some rubber stamps which I just can’t seem to collect enough of...

What handmade possession do you most cherish?

This is a really hard question... my house is covered with handmade objects and original art that I have purchased or traded with other artists for over the years and since I know most of the people who have made them, its like asking me to choose one friend over another. I could say it’s a cup that a teacher of mine made that I uses regularly and reminds me of her, or I could pick the giant platter that was my payment for a summer’s worth of work when I did my internship with Lisa Orr, a potter in Austin. But I think that right at this moment, my favorite thing is a drawing that my son Lucas made last week, it’s called “fish man” and it’s on the back of his spelling test.

Name your top five books, movies, songs/musical groups, and web sites besides Etsy.

my top five books:
All the David Sedaris books
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice
We the Living by Ayn Rand
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
and all Harry Potter books

my top five movies:

Across the Universe
Robin Hood (the one with Uma Thurman and Patrick Bergin)
Star Wars (IV, V & VI not I, II & III)

my top five songs/musical groups:
Robert Plant
Fiona Apple
Rufus Wainwright
Liz Phair

& of course, my husband’s band - Chain

my top five websites:
thinkgeek.com (I love their product descriptions!)
imdb.com (the internet movie database where you can look up weird facts and trivia about your favorite movies ,actors and directors)
and google image search (it’s not really a website, but I use it a lot)

How do you promote your work?

Ugh! I hate this part. Let’s see... I sell my work in galleries, I enter competitives, which are expensive, but help to get my name out, I sell at venues like the Little Rock Rivermarket and Argenta ArtWalk, Toad Suck, and other fairs, although I haven’t decided which ones I’m applying to this year.... and I’ve just started using facebook to announce when I put new things in my shop!

What are your favorite things about belonging to AREtsy?

I really like being part of a local group, it really helps to be able to get information about local shows and the best part is when I travel to a sale a few hours away and get to meet people in person!

In ten years I'd like to be...

the same age I am now! taller! skinnier! oh so many things.... but I would really like to be wholesaling my new cards to shops around the country so I spend less time traveling to sales and can have more time in the studio making new things.