Metuchen Artisans Alliance Launches at September Home Show

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In a distinctively difficult economy, it's hard to make a living at all, let alone be a working artist. However, sometimes the trick is to team up and some talented artisans in Metuchen have done just that. Beginning in February of this year, Amy Brooks and Linda Vonderschmidft-LaStella have met monthly at Brewed Awakening, first in an effort to simply meet regularly with a fellow artist who works independently and then to see if there would be any way they could collaborate. They felt that the art forms in which they specialize are significantly different from those of painters or collage artists or graphic designers and need a different approach to marketing and client development. Since both were full-time artists, they decided to create the collaborative Metuchen Artisans Alliance together.

Paradise Custom Glass and Earthsongs Works in Clay both provide custom design services and fabrication of their respective products to residential and corporate clients.  Much of their work can be permanently installed and included in original architectural design. The official "launch" of the Alliance will be at the NJ Home Show, September 11-12-13 at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, NJ.  There, they will have an opportunity to expand their client base beyond their local contacts, as well as meet with architects and others in the profession.

As a follow-up and closer to home, they have planned an "Open Studio Tour" Saturday, Oct. 16, 1-4pm, beginning at the Old Franklin Schoolhouse, where the artists will introduce participants in the tour to the processes involved in creating their very distinctive art forms, along with a digital gallery of their previous work.  That will be followed by a tour that includes refreshments and live music at each of their studios.

"Forming an alliance with Linda has been very rewarding.  The union of clay and glass has many unique opportunities for decorative pieces as well as one-of-a-kind functional creations, asserts Amy.  "Combining our materials, creativity, and experiences is leading us in many new and exciting directions."

 "We are artists, but we are also artisans," acknowledges Linda.  "Both Amy and I seem to have a very similar approach to creativity and business practice, and so collaborating like this is very exciting.  Beginning this project with Amy has added to my creative energy in the studio."    

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