Robert Hessler: Ceramicist
Robert Hessler's pieces have unique shapes, stunning colors, and an extravagant quality. He delights in improvising and experimenting with both the clay and glazes and is fascinated with the unknown aspect of what might emerge from the kiln. "My aim is to always try and surprise myself and come up with results that I find visually intriguing and exciting," says Hessler, "a constant quest to discover something new." Blauweiss spent a good part of the day documenting the process of creating a single piece, watching it grow from a lump of clay into one of Hessler's signature shapes: a very round base embellished with a magnificent long, thin neck. He then captured the beauty of a variety of ceramics with their intriguing one-of-a-kind glazes. He crafted the narrative in which Hessler describes his passion and his process, and completed the film by finding a perfect fit with the music of Claude DeBussy.
Mickey Mathis Photographer
Mickey Mathis has been shooting all subjects for fifty years. In fact he says, "all subjects matter," He's always ready with his camera and it's by his side ready for the image around the next corner. Mathis, a Kingston native who moved to New York City to work in the early 1970s and subsequently settled in Jersey City. Mathis has been inspired by all subjects for fifty years. In fact, he feels "all subjects matter." He is always prepared with a camera by his side ready for the image around the next corner. Mathis speaks about growing up in Kingston and the film includes dozens of his stunning images of people and places.
Carolyn Marks Blackwood: Photographer
Carolyn Marks Blackwood photographs nature within a several mile radius of her house, with most of her photos taken just a few steps from her door above a cliff along the Hudson River, facing the Catskill mountains. Blackwood particularly loves sky, clouds and water. "I find my photographs," she says. Using almost no manipulation other than cropping, her photographs burst with color and depth. Sometimes they are in gray tones, such as ice breaking up into beautiful cubist patterns in the Hudson River, and she is also a fan of abstraction.
Ze'ev Willy Neumann: Love Knot
Ze'ev Willy Neumann creates sculptures out of wood. This film documents his Love Knot project, which used 40 sheets of plywood and took a year and a half to complete. The premise is to link two neighboring towns in upstate New York—Woodstock and Saugerties—via identical sculptures to help bring the towns closer by encouraging each town to visit the other. He designed these love seats as a knot in the shape of a heart, incorporating the infinity sign. Visitors are encouraged to see both. "To bring forth the idea of conceptual art is a wonderful way of actually translating a daily object into a story," says Neumann.
Susan Basch: Jewelry Maker
It's absolutely mesmerizing to watch Kingston mixed-media artist Susan Basch engage in her chosen art form, the ancient Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo. "I use a round wooden stand called a Mura Dai, weighted wooden bobbins called tama, and an extensive variety of threads and yarns to create my hand woven braids," explains Basch, and "each braid is considered a reflection of the braid-maker." With a wide variety of colors and textures to choose from, Basch creates gorgeous patterns with endless possibilities. Having studied jewelry making and gemology, Basch developed her own unique craft by grouping different braids together to create necklaces as well as the handcrafted beads and silver clasps that embellish her wearable works of art. Blauweiss' short film provides a glorious treat for the eyes as we tour Basch's colorful and impeccably well-organized studio filled with colorful yarns she dyes herself using locally-grown plants. We listen to Basch guide us through her fiber and metal work areas filled with the tools of her trade, and see works in progress as well as finished pieces that would look stunning in any context.