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The Art Department Art Show

Friday, Nov 22, 2013

Posted By Katie Wilber

Full art showOur Portland, Maine store is featuring artwork from a group of artists who work out of a space called "The Art Department" in downtown Portland. Artist and Craftsman donated some of our colored gesso wood panels to the artists and in turn they created a variety of unique works! The pieces are up for viewing until the end of the year. Each piece is for sale for $10. 





About the Art Department


The Art Department is a nonprofit alternative arts space for artists with intellectual and developmental uniqueness.  Our goal is to provide an outlet for artists to reach their full potential, in an environment that encourages each individual to increase technical skill, as well as make community connections, collaborate with local artists, and establish their work in the greater contemporary arts community. Our artists receive 75% of the sale price of their work, with 25% going back to the program to purchase supplies. We work on multi-media projects such as video, photography, animation and design projects and co-create a television show called, TV SHOW. We also work in many fine art mediums including painting and drawing, fabric arts, sculpture and design.


Come visit us for First Friday Art walk, where we curate the front gallery space and retail store, show new work, showcase video projects, and share recent collaborative and interactive projects for the community to participate in.


The Art Department is a program of Creative Trails.

Visit the Art Department at www.theartdepartment.me and on Facebook


0 Comments | Posted in Around Our Stores

A Brief History of A&C – Saugus (North Boston)

Tuesday, Nov 19, 2013

Posted By Larry Adlerstein

A Brief History of Artist & Craftsman Supply

Saugus, MA, established 2010

By Larry Adlerstein, Founder & President of A&C


Saugus, Mass, an unlikely place for an art supply, an unlikely place for artists….


Route 1 is Saugus, Mass. At the North end of this 10 mile strip of shopping strips and traffic lights is I95 which feeds this congestion. To the South you have your choice of I93 to the resort island of Cape Cod, or the Mass Turnpike.


Route 1 Saugus is the cheese in this unattractive sandwich.


But there is so much traffic there has got to be a few artists somewhere. And lucky for us, there are a few.


No, actually the store is doing well. Artist & Craftsman has developed into a family centered selection, so in Saugus, Mass we sell toys and crafts while in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, the product mix is more serious and professional.


But regardless of the particulars, the products mix and the theory of business are constant. If we can attract part of the family or provide a constructive environment, sooner or later the rest of the family will come along.


On Route 1 Saugus our first customers were the children. Now their parents are coming along….




0 Comments | Posted in Notes From Larry

Featured Artist - November 2013

Thursday, Oct 31, 2013

Posted By Katie Wilber

November 2013 Featured Artist - Rachel Church

Rachel E. Church

Portland, ME


Favorite A&C Item:

Reves BFK printmaking paper


Printer & Painter


Rachel Church is an artist and printmaker currently living in Portland, Maine. She received a B.A. in Art from the University of Southern Maine, with a concentration in Printmaking and Entrepreneurial Studies. In 2008, she spent time as an intern at the Engine House Press, on the island of Vinalhaven, Maine. After graduation, she spent a year printing with the Peregrine Press in Portland, thanks to the Kate Mahoney Memorial Scholarship. She currently creates at Running with Scissors Studios in Portland, Maine. When not in the studio, she loves to sew, cook, hike, and spend time with her cat, Charlotte, and two house rabbits, Maggie and Filbert.




0 Comments | Posted in Featured Artist

Creativity Unmasked!

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013

Posted By Katie Wilber

It's not too late to create something awesome for Halloween. For us at Artist & Craftsman it's hard being around so many art supplies and not partaking in the creativity. 


Read below for how Deanna from our North Boston, Saugus store, created her mask from one of our paintable masks. Also check out a sampling of some of the ways our employees transformed their masks into amazing creations.


*NOTE: Not all blank mask styles are available in store and/or online. Click here for our online selection*


Things to think about when making your mask:

  • The ability to breathe, (making sure you have proper breathing holes is key)
  • The weight of the mask on your head, (you may not want it too heavy on your head)
  • Visibility, or making sure that you can see when you’re walking around.  

My masks always start with a sketch. I draw out what I want the mask to look like in three different ways: a front view, another is a side view or a three quarter view, and then a top view so I can get an understanding of what the form should look like as a 3-D object. It’s better to do this sketch in color so you know how to paint the mask when it’s finished. For this mask, I found a blank face mask from Artist & Craftsman that had the basic shape I was after in my sketch and one that fit my face properly. I bulked up layers of crumpled paper towels or crumpled pieces of masking tape, (you can also use newspaper or any other light material that you find), in strategic places to create desired facial shapes. I covered each mass with layers of masking tape to smooth out the bulks of paper towels, and to attach them to the mask surface. If the shape I made didn’t look right, I would edit the shape by carving or cutting into them; for instance, if the bridge of the nose felt too big, I would use a box cutter and carve out what I didn’t want. I would then cover the exposed paper towel or innards with more masking tape to prevent it from coming out or tearing.  Using these materials in this way allows me to sculpt unique shapes that change the surface and shape of the mask quickly, all while preventing the mask from getting too heavy, too quickly. It’s also pretty inexpensive, you don’t have to wait for a form to dry, and you don’t need terribly specialized tools.



Mask 2

At this point, you can paint it without doing anything more to it, but I like to get rid of all the lines that are left by the masking tape. For this mask, I covered the outside with a layer of Golden molding paste.  Doing this makes a great opportunity create a desired texture in the paste while it’s still wet, like a fur texture or wavy lines. It takes about a night to dry completely. I initially used Sculptamold, but the product became too heavy, so a lot of it had to come off. Once dry, I sanded the molding paste to a smoother finish. The remnants of the masking tape have disappeared, and I have a solid surface to paint on and beat up if I wanted to.


I know already what colors I will use to paint the mask from the sketch I did in the beginning. I use primarily Golden Fluid acrylics. Before painting, I cut out paper into the shapes I would use for the protrusions on the head and cheeks. Crescent moon shapes were ideal, specifically so they would pop up when I attached them correctly. I painted these first with initial coats of reddish, orange. I then cut translucent Sculpey in teeth shapes and baked the Sculpey at 275° F for 15 minutes in the oven. Then, I painted the rest of the mask with a coat of paynes gray and burnt umber before adhering all of the shapes. I used some Liquitex heavy gel to adhere the shapes on, and then proceeded to blend the shapes into the rest of the mask with layers of color. The Sculpey teeth were an added effect; they can be painted onto the mask with a paint brush or palette knife, but I wanted something extra. I painted the gums on to the mask and yellowed the teeth with a mixture of Golden matte medium with slight amounts of titanium white and Indian yellow hue.  Highlights and shadows were painted onto the facial features with, and I hit the whole mask with a mixture of iridescent bronze, iridescent gold, and mat medium. Golden gloss medium was added to the teeth after everything had dried. This gave the teeth a wet slimy look.


You can always create the foundation for the mask yourself with 14 gauge galvanized wire and masking tape, or even plaster. The combinations of materials are endless.






0 Comments | Posted in Around Our Stores

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