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‘A natural progression’

Jill Beathard
jbeathard@vaildaily.com
Vail CO Colorado
Special to the DailyArtist Richard Carson has been creating art since he was 9 years old. He's pictured here with some of his work, which is on display at The Scarab in Minturn.
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The Scarab, a local store that sells handmade, authentic rugs and other merchandise, relocated two weeks ago from its location in Eagle-Vail to Main Street in Minturn. With the new location they are trying some new things as well.

Owner Jane Rohr said one of the goals of moving was to create space where artists could showcase their work. The store carries merchandise from all over the world, but Rohr wants to focus more on local and American artists.

“I’m trying to create an avenue for my friends who are so very creative. Most of them don’t have their own shops, they’re too busy doing their work,” she said. “I want this to be a cleaning house of sorts for their work.”

Rohr is creating that avenue by carrying their work in the store, and also by showcasing their work in an open house type of gathering.

One such artist, Richard Carson, is setting up his work in the store this week and will be available to discuss his work Saturday during the Minturn Market.

Carson has worked in a variety of media, including glassblowing, painting, sculpting and stained glass work, as well as other careers as a chef and a homebuilder. He said trying different things has always been a natural progression for him.

“It’s a constant growth, I’m constantly looking for a new challenge,” he said. “I’ve been doing art my whole life. I’ve been painting and sculpting as long as I know, since I was at least 9.”

Currently Carson is creating works using found materials. He got started by grabbing stuff from junkyards near his home in upstate New York. But he says he doesn’t really think about what he’s going to try next.

“I just grab stuff that I see,” he said. “(My art is) a natural progression, it’s kind of meditative for me. It’s a need … There’s no beginning thought, no end thought. It’s my freedom, I just get to be free for a little while, and that’s the best part to me.”

Beauty in the hammer marks

Jewelry artist Monique Payne, who lives in Oak Creek, will also have some pieces on display Saturday. Payne works primarily with fine silver, which is purer than sterling, and uses techniques inspired by ancient craftsmen.

“I like to use traditional techniques. So if you look at Egyptian jewelry, Mayan jewelry, you actually melt the two pieces together rather than soldering them,” she said.

She also bases her designs on the look of ancient jewelry, using more organic shapes. And she likes to forge jewelry, which she said is moving the metal around with a hammer.

“I don’t like to overfinish the metal,” Payne said. “When people think of silver they think it’s very shiny, but i like to show how it was made through the finish. I’ll see a lot of the hammer marks in the piece rather than have them all filed away, cause to me that’s the beautiful part.”

The Scarab sells all handmade, authentic merchandise, but another aspect the store is focusing on is what Rohr referred to as “repurposed vintage,” which is refurbishing pieces to be a useful, decorative item. The store carries a lamp made from antique pulleys, and another with a stand made from a French wallpaper from the 1800s.

In addition to the artist showcases, Rohr also wants to start a lecture series with artisans and an instructional series, where guests can learn how to make their own crafts.

“It’s always going to evolve and change, that’s what we’re excited about,” she said. “The theme will remain constant, but I think it will be nice for the different seasons for people to have a reason to stop in and see what’s going on.”

Carson said it would be nice if he sells a couple pieces on Saturday, but mostly he just wants to get the word out and see how people react to his work. He said making money isn’t really why he does it anyway.

“I really do it for me,” he said.

Jill Beathard is an intern at the Vail Daily. Email comments about this story to jbeathard@vaildaily.com.


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