Thursday, August 12, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Annie Caswell and Jascha Sonis at Art on Main in Bristol

Art on Main announces its August-September 2010 Featured Artist Exhibit Women at Play. The exhibit features paintings & ceramics by Annie Caswell, of Burlington, and jewelry by Jascha Sonis, who is from Warren & West Addison. The community is invited to meet the artists at a celebratory reception on Friday August 20 from 5-7pm in the Gallery at 25 Main Street, Bristol. Both artists will be on hand and light refreshments will be served.

Annie Caswell is both a trained and self-taught artist who has been a freelance artist in a variety of media since 1981, living here in Vermont and around the world, particularly St. John, in the Virgin Islands. For this exhibit, her vibrant paintings are inspired by her tropical travels, the sea and sky, nature and the human form. “There is no separating art from life for me. My life is art. Exploring my creativity with passion and introspection fuels my soul,” she says. “I have traveled extensively, learning about cultures and traditions and expressing these experiences in my art. Painting the life around me leaves a piece of history, as seen through my eyes.”

For many years, Annie has also been working in figurative clay sculpture focusing mainly on the human form, women in particular. The history and relics of goddess imagery is of particular interest to her, and she creates goddess-inspired forms as sculpture, miniature meditation figures, and in jewelry. Her elegantly formed, unglazed, universal-featured women are expressive of passion and spirit, as well as compassion and reflection. In addition, she is currently working on Illustrations for a book to be released end of summer 2010.

Jascha Sonis is also inspired by ancient symbols and creates jewelry combining a variety of techniques and using the innovative, recycled material Precious Metal Clay. “I am fascinated by the combination of organic form, ancient ethnic symbols, and current urban designs,” she says, “juxtaposing ancient and modern symbols for the purpose of adornment. Jewelry allows me to use the body as a canvas to decorate in a playful manner.” Many of her pieces are designed to be reversible to enhance the wearer's adornment options.

She creates the designs and textures in her jewelry by first drawing them, then creating a texture plate from polymer clay using a technique called Tear Away. This process involves transferring the drawn images onto polymer clay with friction and then baking the plates in an oven. The Precious Metal Clay is then rolled over the texture to transfer the design. Once textured, the Precious Metal Clay is then formed into lentil beads, pendants, charms, and earrings. Often 24K gold is then added to the surface of a piece using an ancient Korean technique called Keum-boo.

Precious Metal Clay consists of microscopic particles of fine silver smaller than 20 microns in size mixed with a nontoxic organic binder. As a point of reference, it would take as many as 25 of these particles clumped together to equal a grain of salt. When heated to a high temperature, the nontoxic organic binder burns away and the metal particles fuse to form solid metal that can be sanded, soldered, colored and polished like conventional material. After firing, what remains can be hallmarked as .999 silver or gold. PMC is created using recycled silver, and Jascha reuses all the particles and dust created during her creative process in other steps of the process so her jewelry is, in essence, a green craft.

The exhibit will be on view in the Gallery through Thursday September 30th. Art on Main is open Monday thru Saturday 10am-6pm and Sunday 11am-3pm.

For more information, visit, find us on Facebook, or contact Carolyn Ashby, Gallery Manager at (802) 453-4032 or