TRENDER: Photographer + Jeweler Nancy Reid Carr
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
You studied art at URI and have worked as an artist for 15 years. What made you decide to be an artist?
I was not raised in a very creative environment, but from a very early age it was obvious to me that I needed an outlet. I began writing poetry and eventually went to Roger Williams University to pursue a degree in Creative Writing. It was there that I took my first photography class, and it changed my life.
It was the outlet that I had been looking for and thanks to the encouragement of my first professor, Providence photographer Denny Moers, I threw myself into it and never looked back. After that, I couldn't imagine living a life doing anything else. It was later at URI studying with Professor Annu Matthew that I finally completed my degree & learned the discipline and dedication that I needed to work professionally.
How has RI inspired your artwork?
Living in Rhode Island, the ocean has obviously been a constant source of inspiration to me. I love the idea that photographing the beach at sunrise is a mandatory part of my job description. Also, my fellow artists and crafters have been a huge source of inspiration. I've never lived anywhere where I see so many creative people successfully pursuing their art form. As an artist, witnessing others succeed is incredibly encouraging and it makes you believe you can do it too.
You produce photographs and jewelry. What medium did you start working with first and how have you grown over time?
I worked in jewelry first, mostly bead work and assembly. Then after discovering photography I dropped out of RWU and moved to Santa Fe, where I studied photography and metalsmithing simultaneously. I was always interested in the relationship between photography and metal. Before the current technology, I was printing on film and mounting it on aluminum and tin. It wasn't until this year that I merged the two mediums. Now that technology has made it possible to print on pretty much any surface the options are endless. The aluminum cuffs are just the beginning for me; I am excited to expand upon my jewelry line in the near future.
You work in many mediums, including aluminum prints. Can you tell me more about this technique?
My images are printed on sheets of brushed aluminum using highly adhesive inks that are then heat cured onto the metal. The whites and lighter values get little or no ink and it is in these areas that the metal shows through, giving the print a luminous three dimensional quality. I have been working with this technique for almost five years now and it has changed the way I shoot and what I look for in terms of light, value, and composition. The effect of the aluminum give the images a very lifelike feel; you really must see it in person to understand.
Tell me more about how you go about making your jewelry.
I start by designing the cuffs in Photoshop using small portions of my original photographs. I print them on paper and cut them out to see how each design will fall on the wrist. The designs I deem successful that are then printed onto aluminum using a slightly different method from the prints. The aluminum stock for the bracelets is much smoother and is coated with a special emulsion that receives the ink through a heat transfer process. The inks are basically fused into the coating on the aluminum which also happens to be scratch resistant, which is great for wearable art.
I recently had the honor of designing four cuffs for the George Eastman House Museum utilizing NASA imagery to be included in their current SPACE exhibition running through January 12, 2014.
What's the best part about being an artist in RI?
The very best part is being surrounded by so many creative people. I believe that Rhode Island has such a large population of artists because it recognizes the importance of art and exercises strong support for it in the community. This is reflected most recently in the statewide tax free arts legislation. An action like that makes me very proud of the little state we live in. Feeling that your passion is valid and supported is a very powerful thing. I am also very thankful for the love and support of my husband, oil painter R. Michael Carr and our two daughters who are always eager to help in the “family business”.
Where can people find and buy your work?
My work can be found in the following RI retailers and online at Etsy.com/shop/CarrStudio.
For a complete listing of US retailers please visit: nancyreidcarr.com/wheretobuy.
Studio Hop - Providence
Craftland - Providence
Rhody Craft - Pawtucket
Greenwich Gallery - East Greenwich
JW Graham - Wickford
Curiosity & Mischief - Narragansett
Shell Boutique - Narragansett
Primavera - Newport
Simple Pleasures - Charlestown
Do you have any upcoming galleries, festivals, or plans that RIers should know about?
11/23-11/24 - Arts In RI Handmade Holiday in the Red Barn - 30 Middle Rd, East Greenwich, RI
11/23-11/24 - Wellesley Marketplace, 50 Kingsbury St, Wellesley, MA
11/30-12/24 - Deblois Gallery Holiday Show, 134 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, RI
11/30-12/01 - Hingham Shipyard Holiday Market, 24 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA
12/05-12/15 - Foundry Artist Association Holiday Show - 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket, RI
12/14-12/15 - SoWa Holiday Market - 41 Berkeley St, Boston, MA
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306 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine. 1 (888) KIT-TERY.
Burlington is home to great universities, Lake Champlain and is the birthplace of Phish. But did you know that this Vermont city also has first class shopping? Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor shopping haven, is the center of the action. Perouse the cobblestone streets, featuring great shops like Urban Outfitters, Saratoga Olive Oil Company, Sweet Lady Jane, and more. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with outdoor shopping, pop into the Burlington Town Center Mall to check out the 802 Store—a place dedicated to everything Vermont.
North Conway, NH
North Conway, tucked away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is the perfect weekend retreat. There are picturesque mountain views and some much needed peace and quiet. Shopaholics need not fear, though, because this little New England town has got their back. Settlers Green Outlet Village is chock full of all your brand name favorites, plus some specialty shops well worth taking a peek in. In total, there are over 60 shops! If you’re got a sweet tooth, be sure to stop into White Mountain Cupcakery—their cupcakes are the best around. Don’t forget, New Hampshire shopping is tax free!
Route 16, North Conway, NH. (603) 356-7031.
West Hartford, Connecticut
Located in West Hartford, Ct, Westfarms Mall is only about an hour’s drive from Worcester and a two hour drive from Providence. This elegant shopping mecca is stocked with designer names and delicious dining. Makeup lovers will appreciate the handmade cosmetics at Lush while fashinistas will fall in love with the styles at Anthropologie. Of course, it never hurts to look inside Tiffany & Co. either...
1500 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut. (860) 561-3024.
Providence Place Mall
Okay, so this one is super close to home—but it had to be included! The Providence Place Mall is a destination that people from all around travel to visit, so why not take advantage of it if it’s close by? This multi-level shopping mall is any fashionista’s dream come true! Banana Republic, the Apple Store, dELIA*S, and Nordstrom are some retail favorites; while The Cheesecake Factory is a top choice for a bite to eat.
1 Providence Place, Providence, RI. (401) 270-1000.
Yankee Candle Vlg. Store
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Here’s another one that is close enough to home to make it a great day trip! Yankee Candle Village Store in South Deerfield is a kid at heart’s dream come true! This place is in the Christmas spirit 365 days a year, featuring keepsakes and ornaments alongside 400,000 of your favorite Yankee Candle scented candles. Head out on Nov. 16, 17, 23, or 24 to see Annie—everyone’s favorite musical; or on November 30 to see Santa arrive by helicopter!
25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield, Ma. (877)636- 7707.
Manchester, Vermont, is a vibrant community nestled in a beautiful Vermont setting. Besides its rich history and fabulous mountainside location, Manchester is also home to Manchester Designer Outlets. MDO features a unique blend of specialty and designer stores, such as Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Armani Outlet, alongside first class entertainment and dining. If you are a shopaholic who loves the outdoors and long, scenic rides—but don’t want to give up the convenience of a one stop shopping mall, this is the place for you!
97 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT. 1 (800) 955-SHOP.
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Newbury Street, Boston.
Photo: Rudi Riet/flickr
The Umbrella Factory
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4820 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI. (401) 364-1060.
The magic of the cape has been delighting artists and poets for centuries. Of course it is befitting that they have inspired shopping options as well. From the whimsical and free to the beautiful and dramatic; if you can dream it chances are it is on Cape Cod. Looking for sea glass jewelry, Cape Cod bracelets, or other great gift ideas? Check out Heart of Stone in Sandwich. For great art, take a peek in the Coastal Craft Gallery in Orleans. If something offbeat is more your style, Cape Kaleidoscopes in Mashpee is a do not miss!
For more on Cape Cod Shopping, visit http://www.capecodchamber.org/.
Photo: Cape Cod Travel Guide
L.L. Bean has long been the pinnacle of New England retailers. The company’s flagship store, which is located in Freeport, Maine, is a destination for all things outdoors. Visitors are greeted by a giant boot before they walk into the multi-level store. Inside, there is a plethora of men’s, women’s, and kids clothing and equipment that puts other sportswear shops to shame. If you decide to stay in the area, be sure to pop back into the store throughout the week for special clinics and courses. Oh, and don’t worry about closing time. This store is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
95 Main Street, Freeport, Maine. (877) 755-2326.
Vermont Country Store
Weston, VT & Rockingham, VT
Sometimes there’s just nothing better than good old fashioned hospitality and great products. The Vermont Country Store, with locations in West and Rockingham, provides just that. The Orton family, who opened the first Vermont Country Store in Weston in 1946, are self proclaimed “Purveyors of the Practical and Hard to Find.” This store has got everything and anything that you can’t find anywhere else, from old-fashioned games and candy to high end, high quality wool apparel, to house wares and more. The Rockingham location is even complete with a covered bridge dubbed “The Kissing Bridge!”
657 Main Street, Weston, Vermont. (802) 824-3184.
1292 Rockingham Road, Rockingham, Vermont. (802) 463-2224.
Do you love the feel and aesthetic of handmade pottery? If the answer is yes, Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, Connecticut, has got you covered. These guys have been the go-to specialists for pottery in New England since 1948. Take your pick of an assortment of beautiful crafts to give as gifts or keep for yourself. They are having a sale until December 15, so head over soon. They also offer tons of unique classes as well!
350 S Main Street, Middletown, Connecticut. (860) 344-0039.
The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is renowned for its striking views and world class winter sports opportunities. People flock here in the warmer months to bask in the sun; in the fall to take in the foliage; in the winter to fly to down the slopes. Why not come do all of that and more—plus get some shopping done? While you’re in the area, head to Stowe for upscale boutiques and specialty shops galore or head to Johnson for some warm country apparel at Johnson Woolen Mills. Designer shopping is located less than an hour away in the bustle of Burlington.
Fifth Avenue, NYC
No shopping getaway list could possibly be complete without 5th Avenue. Although this street is not located in New England, it is unrivaled for its shopping selection that is the epitome of upscale, elegant and classy. Where else in the world can you find Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Prada, and Apple all on one street?
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