Three new artists became members of the Arkansas Craft Guild, Nancy Muffett Pirani, Pam Anderson, and Dorothy Anderson.
Pam Alexander, Alexander Designs, is a new member with her jewelry made of fine silver or bronze metal clay. Her earrings and necklaces are now on display at the member owned Arkansas Craft Gallery, downtown Mountain View.
She first fell in love with the look of fine silver and bronze jewelry in Little Rock at the Arkansas Arts Center and Museum School’s annual art sale. She started learning this process at the AAC, traveling there for classes weekly for nine months. Metal clay consists of microscopic particles of pure silver or bronze and a water-soluble, non-toxic, organic binder that burns off during firing. After the Precious Metal Clay (PMC) is molded, carved and refined, it is then fired in a kiln. PMC was developed in the early 1990s in Japan by metallurgist Masaki Morikawa. The difference in sterling silver and fine silver is the metals content. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver with 7.5% copper and other metals. Fine silver is 99.9% pure silver with only .1% other metals. Because of the higher content of other metals, sterling silver is more prone to tarnishing than fine silver.
Pam’s style relates to nature, with leaves, seeds, and flowers represented in her jewelry. She plans to continue taking classes. “I realize I may never be an accomplished artist, but I am having a lot of fun trying.”
She grew up on the family farm, the youngest of three children, and all three siblings earned college degrees to become accountants. Being a Certified Public Accountant is a very demanding profession which did not allow time to explore her creative side. “I have always appreciated art, but art was never the center of my education. Only after marrying into a very artistic family, did I begin to develop the creative side of my brain and to explore the possibilities of what I can create with my hands.” After purchasing property near the White River, on weekends she started making garden art pieces. She joined the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour 14 years ago with both her stained glass mosaics and large iron art using cold bending and welding, both self-taught crafts. After retiring 8 ½ years ago, she took a blacksmithing class and classes in metal jewelry at the Arkansas Craft School, Mountain View. She and her photographer husband Ed live atop Wildcat Mountain overlooking the White River and the valley not far from Sylamore.
Both Pam and Ed volunteer at the Gallery one day a month, a regular feature for the member owned cooperative, with artists hosting on Fridays and Saturdays.
Nancy Muffett Pirani is a new Guild member from Heber Springs. She now has Ponderosa Bliss scented soy candles for sale at an affordable price in the Gallery. “About 20 years ago I learned on my own how to make scented soy wax candles and fell in love with the process. This was my way of de-stressing after a long day of a highly stressful corporate job. Having been 36 years in the corporate world it was time to make a break, escape the rat race and do something better. I retired, my husband and I sold our condo, packed our bags and literally ran from the big city of Memphis to the beautiful small Ozark town of Heber Springs, where I finally found my own way and started doing something I love, my own business, Ponderosa Bliss, LCC.”
The ingredients used in her scented soy wax candles are of the highest quality. The soy wax is made from American grown soybeans, environmentally safe. The glassware is washable and reusable, classic 8 oz. mason jars, and upcycled fine crystal or elegant glassware from estate sales and flea markets. Candle wicks are 100% braided cotton or wooden. Soy candles burn cooler, 102 degrees, and cleaner than petroleum based paraffin candles, lasting 30-50% longer. No colorants in the candles means fewer potential allergens or toxins in the air. Wax spills can be cleaned up with soap and hot water. The Scented Soy Wax Melts in a packet of 6 can be used as a cuticle oil for hands and feet. It can be used as an under eye moisturizer, dry skin creme, or hair conditioner for brittle ends.
Dorothy Anderson, whose business is Dot’s World of Valley Springs, is a new member with embroidered artwork and Christmas greeting cards featuring needlework designs are currently available at the Arkansas Craft Gallery, member cooperative just off the Square, Mountain View.
After traveling for 30 years with her husband Bobby, who was in the Army, they retired to the Ozarks. Dorothy took a Master Art class at the ICS School of Art, and studied for many years with art teacher Jo Rowell. She took woodcarving with Jack Ryan at the North Arkansas College, Harrison. After taking classes with AR-EHC in sewing and crochet, she became a Master instructor in these crafts, teaching at North Arkansas College EDU-Continuing Education.
Her teaching experience is being put to good use currently as an instructor at the Arkansas Craft School in Mountain View. She enjoys spending time with students and sharing her knowledge, while adding to her own skills. Her skill set includes hand embroidery, quilting, crocheting, wood carving, wood burning, pen and ink, colored pencil, acrylic and oil painting.
As a member of The Palette Art League, Yellville, she is included in their book, “The Art and Artists of the Ozarks, Vol. 1.” She also has two other books, compiled and illustrated by Dorothy Anderson, “Ready – Set – Sew” and “Frank and Firsco’s Great Adventure.” Original artwork for Dot’s embroidered pictures is by artist Carole T. Jones, also a member of the Arkansas Craft Guild, whom she met at the Palette Art League. “She was impressed with my hand work and she wanted me to do some of her pictures, giving me permission to use any and all of her pictures.” Dorothy will do embroidered pictures by request, firstname.lastname@example.org. All one has to do is send a picture of their pet or whatever and a deposit of $50.00, with full payment due upon completion.
While visiting the Arkansas Craft Gallery at 104 E. Main, Mountain View, enter your name for a cash prize of $106.10 drawing Nov. 26. Everything is 10% off during Nov. 23 and 24 Black Friday and Shop Small promotions.
Contact information for each artist:
644 Wildcat Mountain
Melbourne, AR 72556
Nancy Muffett Pirani
Ponderosa Bliss, LLC
Heber Springs, AR 72543
228 Pine Lane
Valley Springs, AR 72682
thanks for your consideration for publication,
Sue Lukens, Sec.-Treas.
Arkansas Craft Guild & Gallery
“Promoting Handcrafted in Arkansas since 1962”
Email Address: email@example.com
Gallery Shipping Address: 104 East Main Street, Mountain View, AR 72560
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 800, Mountain View, AR 72560
Gallery hours: 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday – Saturday
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/arkansascraftgallery
Cathy Drew is a lifelong resident of the region that she loves to promote. As a matter of fact, she was born in downtown Batesville in the late ’60s, which is in one of the eight counties she now enjoys encouraging people to visit.
Jeff Drew is her husband of almost 29 years. They have a son, Jonathon (Jon) Drew, his wife Devyn Stewart. Drew is also grandmother to Jon and Devyn’ s son, Jase Drew.
However, Drew can’t skip the other part of her family: the pets! Lady Bird (a stray dog welcomed into their home in June 2012) and of course, Howard – – a puppy compliments of Lady Bird shortly after arriving at the Drew home. They also have Kasha whom Drew inherited when her mother passed in 2016, and they adopted Bullet, a stray in November of 2016.
Drew, became associated with the Ozark Gateway Region in 1990 while working at the ad agency (The Media Market Inc.). The agency handled marketing for the regional association where she along with her co-workers produced an annual tabloid publication. She began work as the director of the Ozark Gateway Region In June 2000.
After Drew became director, she took the region to the next level by helping the tourism organization create a new website and moved it from the old newspaper paper tabloid publication to a color magazine format.
Over the years Drew has helped the organization meet new marketing goals, such as in- and out-of-state marketing, assuring that all 105,000 copies of their magazines are distributed each year.
Drew also helped the region create a heritage trail map that is still on posters in many establishments across the region and Arkansas. She oversaw development of a motorcycle route map that folds into a credit card format for riders, as well as those seeking scenic routes to enjoy the beautiful Ozark Mountains.
She has attended several AARP Shows across the U.S., representing Arkansas. She helped open a visitor center for the Ozark Gateway, allowing visitors to pick up information from across the entire state 24/7.
In 2016, she assisted creating the first Ozark Gateway Region Golf Classic and the tournament continues to grow each year, allowing the organization to grow its co-op program, helping each county have dedicated promotion. Drew stays busy at Ozark Gateway as the ad sales manager, magazine editor, day-to-day office operations, trade show representative, as well as magazine distribution representative all while making sure that the region is represented all over Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Drew has been featured in several local and statewide publications over the years as well as the 1997 cover of the Ozark Gateway Region tabloid along with her then 4-year-old son, Jon. She has received several awards such as the Batesville Rotarian of the Year in 2010 as well as a three-time Paul Harris Fellow.
She also has served as an Independence County election commissioner for several years and now serves as their co-election coordinator, helping with behind-the-scenes management of voting equipment, day-to-day election deadlines as well as poll worker training.
Drew serves on the Arkansas Travel Council Board of Directors, Ozark Foothills Film Fest Board of Directors, Batesville Rotary Club Past President and is the Rotary Clubs current publicity chair.
In March of 2018, Drew was honored with induction into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame for her many years of dedicated service to the tourism industry.