Upcoming Exhibition with Ron Nicole

A Poor Girl’s Flower
February 10th – April 8th
at Art Star Gallery
Opening Reception: February 10th from 6-8pm
Email us at info@artstarphilly.com if you would like a copy
of the digital collector’s preview

Philadelphia based artist, Ron Nicole, will be exhibiting her line of plaster and cement wall art that she refers to as ‘flower fossils’. She creates intricate floral compositions by pressing flowers into clay leaving deep impressions. The flowers are then delicately removed and a plaster/cement mix is poured on top. Once the mix sets it is peeled back to reveal a fossil of the floral arrangement, much like a memory preserved in time. Typically the pieces are finished simply. The muted colors of the plaster (often tinted subtly in light grey, off-white, or black) imbue the piece with a shadow-like quality. In this latest body of work, Nicole will be experimenting with color as an expression of celebration.

In her own words: This collection is a study of flowers. Flowers mean so much to us. We give them in happiness and sadness. We offer them in celebration, to lift someone’s spirit, to wish them well, to say I’m sorry, or just because. My inspired floral fossil are more than creating something pretty. Flowers are beautiful on their own. Their preservation is my way of preserving a memory. As a child, I remember the first time I decided to pick up a pencil to see if I could draw the flower in front of me. To my surprise it was very easy for me and it turned out really well. As a 7 or 8 year old that blew my mind. Growing up in the projects within an urban environment didn’t offer many nature like adventures. Playing in a field of flowers would only happen in my day dreams. So I would draw them. Drawing flowers started me on a path that would eventually get me here. This is by far my favorite form of flower preservation. Not only do I get to stop time in it’s place, but I can captures all of it’s subtle details that I wasn’t able to convey in my drawings.

My first fossils started as a blank canvas to show my humbleness and gratitude towards nature and it’s natural beauty. This time around I decided to add color as a form of celebration. I’m so happy to be doing what I love and this type of feeling deserves the spot light. Adding color is my way of stepping out of my shell and being proud of what I do. Coloring my pieces represents my ability to not be afraid of success or happiness and the flowers are my dream coming true. This poor girl has found her flower.

About the Artist:
Ronni Nicole Robinson was born in Philadelphia in 1980. She studied graphic design at the University of Maryland and worked for a few years in corporate America before transitioning into the hospitality industry. It was while working at Morimoto in Philadelphia that she met her future husband, David. Before settling down the couple spent nearly three years doing seasonal resort work on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard, as well as on the ski slopes of Park City, UT. Ronni currently resides in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood in center city Philadelphia with her husband and their two furry animal friends Powder and Liberty.

Learn more http://www.ronnicole.com/
Follow her on instagram for daily inspiration and beauty https://www.instagram.com/iamronnicole/

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Meet The Maker: Jennifer Manzella of JLManzella Prints

*Photo Credit: Ben Pelta-Heller

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I’m a local artist, printmaker and educator and I just moved back to Philadelphia after over a decade in Athens, Georgia where I received an MFA in printmaking from The University of Georgia. I love living in this city! I now live in South Philadelphia and I make prints at a studio called BYO Print, a print cooperative located in Sharktown studios in Old Kensington/Fishtown. As a member of BYO I have access to presses, etching mordants, screen-printing supplies and other print related equipment. The medium size Charles Brand etching/relief press is the piece of equipment I use the most in the studio.

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The process of printmaking informs my imagery. I work mainly in relief printing with woodblock and linoleum. Sometimes I use a color reduction process where I print all the colors from one block, carving each one away as I print, while other times I print a single image with multiple blocks. The process of relief printing is one of the oldest forms of making multiple images. For me, it usually starts with a sketch directly onto the block. The next step is carving the block where a lot of changes can happen to the imagery. The space around the image is carved so that what is printed is raised, therefore it is in “relief”. Rolling ink over the block with a brayer then inks that raised surface, which is printed by placing paper on top of the inked block and applying pressure. I use a press that allows an even amount of pressure to transfer the ink to the paper.

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When printing multiple blocks, I use transparent additives in my ink to create layered colors and gradients. It’s important to use some sort of registration technique to align each of the blocks on the paper, therefore, I use a registration jig to hold the paper in the same place each time I print a different block.

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I draw a lot of inspiration from traditional Japanese woodblock prints of the 17th and 19th century and I’m interesting in the intersection between urban and natural landscapes. My own photos are often the source material for the drawings and prints I make and sometimes I’ll combine elements from several different pictures to make something completely new.

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Rarely do I have a fully formed plan of how the prints are going to work out because in the process of printmaking there is quite a bit of unpredictability. I work with my mistakes and sometimes rework my blocks. Because I often work in layers it’s hard to know exactly how colors are going to print on top of each other. Pulling the print after carving, mixing colors and printing is the most exciting part.

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You can explore more of my print work on my website: www.jlmanzella.net or follow me on instagram @j.l.manzella. My prints will be on sale at the upcoming Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar this weekend at the Event Space at SugarHouse Casino.

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Meet the Maker: Nicolette Absil

portraitHi, my name is Nicolette. I’m a full time studio jeweler and enamelist whose studio is based in the Old Kensington area of Philadelphia, PA. I create jewelry that features hand drawn, nature inspired imagery on enamel. I show my work across the US at craft shows, galleries, and retailers, including Art Star!

flower pendants

From botanical gardens, to state parks, to the plant life peaking through the cracks in the cement in the city – I’m influenced by nature. Currently, I adore drawing flowers. I’m drawn to their gestural forms, their textures, and serene feelings flowers invoke. Most of my work starts with a drawing from life or photo I’ve taken.


Each piece is hand drawn or painted on enamel. Enameling is a technique where I fuse powdered glass to copper in a kiln at temperatures close to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. After I draw the imagery, the enamel piece is fused again in the kiln. Each piece I work on usually goes through 5 or more firings from start to finish before becoming a finished piece! I then fabricate settings for the enamel work out of sterling silver, or sometimes gold, creating wearable artwork.

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I love that I am able to combine my illustrations with such a traditional, historical technique like enameling to create future heirloom quality jewelry. I like the idea that my work might someday be handed down through generations and live longer than I will. I’m excited to be showing at the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar this month and I hope you’ll come check out my work in Booth 5!


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Meet The Maker: Rebecca + Danielle of Remark Glass

Hi! This is Rebecca and Danielle from Remark Glass. We use bottle glass to make hand blown dinnerware, barware, and home furnishings.


Remark’s studio is located in the Bok building in South Philly. We’ve been working together alongside some close friends since 2015 to design and produce our recycled glass line of work.


We started working with bottle glass because it is an untapped resource, a unique design opportunity, and a sustainable and energy efficient way to accomplish our glass blowing dreams. Now we collect bottles from neighbors, friends, and local businesses to give them a new life as beautiful and functional everyday wares.


Our process is different than that of a typical glassblowing studio. First, we hand select what bottles we are transforming. They get de-labeled, cleaned, and often cut to a shorter height on a diamond saw depending on the final shape we are aiming to achieve. We pre-heat the glass in a kiln to make it malleable. Once it is “warm” (1050 degrees fahrenheit), we then pick up the bottle glass on the end of a steel rod or pipe to heat it further and transform it using traditional glassblowing techniques.


This process is used to take one bottle at a time up to 2000 degrees to spin it, blow air into it, and shape it with tools to shift the glass into its final form.



You can find our products online at remarkglass.com and at a lot of local events in Philadelphia. We’re excited to be joining Art Star at Sugarhouse in a couple weeks and look forward to meeting you there. Come find us in booth 23 and bring us some bottles if you’d like! In the meantime, follow us on Instagram @remarkglass and Facebook @remarkglass to see new designs fresh out of the oven and where you can find us for live demos and sales!

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Meet the Maker: Tasha McKelvey

Hello, my name is Tasha McKelvey. I’m a ceramic artist from Richmond, Virginia. I create a line of functional and decorative small-scale pottery inspired by my travels, tiny cottages, forest and gardens.

houses dishes

I also have a line of Holiday ornaments inspired by the my visits to European Christmas Markets. Where hand-crafted Holiday ornaments, toys, treasures and delicious treats abound. For hundreds of years, the Christmas Markets have been bringing a spirit of warmth and light to the darkest part of the year. I’ve been inspired by these Winter festivals to create special ornaments that convey a feeling a coziness and to celebrate the idea of home.

WoodlandOrnaments Philly

I’ll be at the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar at table #66!

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Meet the Maker: Erin Draper

Hi, I’m Erin Draper. I design luxuriously soft clothing for women that is perfect for work or special occasions, but as comfortable as yoga wear.


A graduate of Parsons’ fashion program with a strong art background, I use athletic-inspired seaming, color blocking and drape to create garments that are striking, unique and very, very comfortable.


I make my clothing from fabrics that feel wonderful to the touch – high quality jerseys and sweater knits, silks and tencels, including many that are made or dyed in the US and sustainably produced.

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My clothes are statement-making fashion, but as comfortable as pajamas. They transition well from work to dinner to a casual gathering of friends so you can move through your day in total comfort.


I design and make my clothing at my studio in Baltimore near beautiful Patterson Park. I create my patterns using a fashion CAD software which saves time, especially with grading the patterns to different sizes. (Most of my clothes are available in sizes XS to 2X.) I made my own cork-covered cutting tables and have three industrial sewing machines, each of which can do a different type of stitch.

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In addition to studying fashion in school, I also studied photography so I take my own product photographs using friends as models.

I sell my clothing at arts & crafts shows, at an artist/artisan collective in Ellicott City, Maryland, and online at www.erindraper.com. I’m excited to be participating in the Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar for the first time. I hope you’ll stop by and say Hi!

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Meet The Maker: Jera Lodge Jewelry

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Making jewelry was always in my sightlines, but it wasn’t until my early 20s that I discovered metalsmithing as a primary method with which to bring my designs to life.  I love connecting to others through jewelry and adornment, creating exciting modern pieces for everyday wear. My focus is to create pattern-based jewelry that has the illusion of volume while staying very light-weight. I assemble architecturally inspired shapes with unique connections, resulting in playful, kinetic, and interactive jewelry.

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All of my jewelry is created from start to finish in my studio, located in the Crane Arts building in Old Kensington.  The process for each piece varies – some start as a sketch on paper, others I design as I build, so that the sketch is also the final product.
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Many of the jewelry designs I made are comprised of many individual pieces, so my desk is a covered in parts and pieces that I’ll arrange and rearrange until a final design becomes clear.
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I use a variety of materials in my jewelry.  The voluminous wire forms are made of sterling silver.  Keum-boo gold surfaces are achieved using 24K gold foil that has been bonded to silver sheet, and the color ombré effect is created with a spray-painting process. Further distressing is done by hand, resulting in a unique color application for each piece of jewelry.  All of the steel jewelry has been sealed with wax or a clear top.
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As a full time studio artist, I earn a living through a combination of gallery sales, online sales, and traveling to exhibit and sell at craft shows. Working in my studio is a constant balancing act between making the work and doing all the less fun parts of running a business; photographing work, submitting applications, ordering supplies, and doing web and postcard design are just a fraction of the many jobs a studio artists must attend to.

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Since graduating from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BFA in 2012, I have moved more than a dozen times. While building my business, I spent time living in New Jersey, Maine, Houston, and North Carolina, working at craft schools and doing residencies. All of the moving was both exhilarating and exhausting! I’m happy to have finally found a place to settle in to and put down some roots here in Philadelphia in the summer of 2016.
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This will be my second year exhibiting at Art Star’s Holiday Craft Bazaar, and I’m very excited be participating in such a well-run show! If you’d like to stay up to date on what I’m making and where I’ll be next, you can sign up for mailing list at website www.jeralodge.com – or follow me on instagram @jerarosepetal

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Meet The Maker: Lauren Quinn Ward of Felicette

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Felicette® is all about bringing more fun, creativity and delight into the world.

If you:

feel compelled to put a cat on everything you own,
are looking for the perfect personalized stamp,
or think it’s time to switch up the pins on your tote bag*,

then Felicette is perfect for you!

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I’m Lauren, the maker behind this one-woman shop. Growing up, I didn’t dress as a “stamp maker” for career day. And no, I’m still not sure what that would’ve looked like. But in 2008, I hand-carved my very first rubber stamp and within a few months, I found myself with a business!

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I’ve since graduated to a laser engraver, which makes those oh-so-clean lines, but I still create all of the stamps in-house, from sketching concepts to cutting blocks.


Most days you can find me working at my studio in Rockville, Maryland or sitting quietly on the couch watching Golden Girls with my husband and pets. It’s likely no surprise that we have not one, but two cats, Gidget and Wendy. Plus one big pup, Suki – who is fairly certain she is a cat, too. (The cats are 100% confident that Suki is not, in fact, a cat.) I am very excited about participating in Art Star Holiday Craft Bazaar, where I promise to say hi and will encourage you to stamp a postcard to take with you!

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I hope the things I create inspire you to share your one-of-a-kind personality with the world. And, of course, have some fun doing it.

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*Sometimes the soft pretzel wins over the typewriter, you know?

Find Felicette at our November 18th and 19th Art Star Craft Bazaar or at
Web  / Instagram  / Facebook

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Upcoming Exhibition with Casey Lynch

We are really excited to announce a solo exhibition with NJ based papercut artist, Casey Lynch of Squirrel Tacos. You may already be familiar with Casey’s work from the shop and all of our various craft bazaars and pop ups. I found her and her work at Inliquid’s Art For the Cash Poor a year ago and was enchanted. I immediately invited her to be a part of our Art Star family. Her new papercuts will be taking over the walls of our gallery from September 23rd through November 12th. The show is aptly titled, Joy Follows Like a Shadow. We will be hosting an opening reception with the artist on Saturday, Sept 23rd from 6-8pm. We hope to see you there.

Postcard front

Artist Statement
I often feel like a 3D artist working in a 2D medium. There is a drive to add more dimension, to make it more vocal. This show allows the paper cutter in me to live, very happily, with my sculptural heart. The portraits are up to 8 handcut layers of paper, each layer meticulously cut and assembled to build up depth that from a distance, can appear as a pencil drawing and up close seem to be a sea of chaos.

Meanwhile, the glass on glass frames and the shadow boxes of my single sheet papercuts let the work cast a shadow behind itself. I am intrigued with shadowplay, the themes of shadows in literature, and its failure to exist without light. Shadows allow me to add depth without compromising the clean lines and content created with my knife.

I make my work with a city dweller in mind, someone who loves the hive of activity but has a need to get lost in the woods to recharge and reanimate. I understand that desire to escape and keep a little wild and wonder in a concrete landscape. I am thrilled to create campers, forests, woodland creatures and mountain tops for this show. A lifetime of sleeping in tents and patiently waiting for owls to respond to my hoots is present in each piece.

Casey Lynch was born into a large family in Philadelphia. Childhood summers were filled with camping trips and exploring the woods. This continued into college where she traveled with the Penn State woodsman team, became a champion axe thrower, and later moved to Teton valley, Idaho. After returning to Philadelphia and experimenting with many craft and art forms she was star struck by papercutting. She started Squirrel Tacos, named for a corn tortilla loving squirrel that begs at the kitchen window, in 2012. Currently she lives in New Jersey, surrounded by woods and water and focuses her work on National Parks, camping, and lighthouses.

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Our NEW Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar Venue!

For the past 2 years we have absolutely loved hosting our Holiday Art Star Craft Bazaar at the Simeoune Foundation Auto Museum. The space was absolutely perfect but unfortunately over half of our customers who rely on biking/walking/public trans could not get there. Centrally located, clean, well lit, and affordable event spaces are non-existent in this city. Especially ones that can accommodate our 75+ vendors and over 5k customers. We happened upon a space right on the waterfront and just a 10 minute walk from our shop. It is the Event Center at Sugarhouse and it is absolutely perfect. Here are all the perks (for both vendors and customers):

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main event space

It is centrally located and easily accessible via public transportation and many of our customers can easily walk or bike there. For our drivers and vendors, the venue offers FREE PARKING. Vendors can pull up right to the entrance to the venue from the parking lot for easy load in.

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entrance from parking lot into venue where vendors will load in
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Free parking for vendors and customers!

The space is located on the 2nd Floor. Customers can access the event directly from an elevator in the parking lot. Or you can come in at the North Entrance and access the elevators directly on the left. If you choose, you don’t have to enter the Casino area (which is on the first floor) at all!

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the Event Space is located on the 2nd floor of Sugarhouse

The space is well lit and spotless. The sound system is excellent. The bathrooms are also super fancy and able to accommodate our big crowds.

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There will be a free coat check for guests.

There will be a full bar for guests to order drinks and we are able to bring in our food trucks.

There will be security throughout the event and the space will be secure for vendors overnight.

hallway make and take room
vendors will be lining the hallway leading to the large event room and this conference area will be cleaned out for us to use for Make + Takes.

We will be offering vendors a few space size options (6 ft table, 6×10 or 10×10 space). There will be booths lining the halls leading into a main event space where we will have most of the 10×10 spaces. There is a veranda off of the main event space that overlooks the waterfront. The view is spectacular and guests are invited to enjoy it, weather permitting.

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The main event space where most of the 10×10 spaces will be.

Erin creepin in the shadows 😉 Check out that view!

We hope love it as much as we do. We are working hard to bring you a fantastic holiday bazaar! If you would like to apply to vend, go here.

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