CoMo Artist: Twinwood Carving

all photos courtesy of Joe Marshall

Joe Marshall is the craftsman behind Twinwood Carving, a fabulous shop full of gorgeous hand-carved wood bowls.

Joe was born and raised in Ireland. He came to Columbia 11 years ago after meeting his future-wife, a Columbia-native, while she was studying abroad. While in high school, Joe learned the craft of hand woodcarving – the teachers didn’t believe in teaching how to use power tools because they could be learned in an afternoon. Twinwood Carving was started shortly after his twin boys were born so Joe could be a stay-at-home dad while still earning some income.

He uses a single solid piece of wood that he buys locally to make each bowl by hand. Five different tools are used to create each one, including electric and hand tools but no jig or template. Each bowl is completely unique. He had to make his own vices because the hardware store didn’t have anything that would work how he needed.

Joe finishes each bowl with a natural tung oil, and they are completely food safe. This is not the same tung oil you buy at the hardware store. Joe used pure tung oil that was squeezed from the nut of the tung tree – a chinese tree. It takes 2 weeks to apply the finish. He puts on 6 coats with 24-36 hours to dry inbetween and then it takes two to three weeks for the bowl to fully cure – so each bowl takes five to six weeks to create. Joe says that most people use mineral oil, which is a chemically produced oil. He doesn’t use it because mineral oil evaporates after three to four months and you would have to re-apply the oil. Tung oil penetrates into the wood and creates a hard, permanent finish.

While speaking with Joe I could tell that besides his family, hand-carving was his passion. You have to care about something if it’s going to takes six weeks to create! He takes pride in his work and really enjoys seeing how people react to his work.

I stopped by Blue Stem Crafts {located at 13 S. Ninth St., near Sparky’s} to see some of Joe’s work in person, but I am most looking forward to seeing his booth at the Columbia Art League’s Art in the Park on June 4th & 5th at Stephen’s Lake Park. He has been working for months to prepare the items he’ll take with. If you visit Joe at Art in the Park, be sure to tell him the CoMo Collective sent you!

You can visit Twinwood Carving on etsy, Joe’s blog, facebook, or twitter.

CoMo Art: events tomorrow!

There are a couple of awesome events happening tomorrow (May 5th)!

The first is the craft sale at the Craft Studio on Mizzou’s campus. You can’t really find much info online, but I know it runs from 10am to 1pm in the basement of Memorial Union. I went last year and bought a bunch of fantastic handmade clay bowls of various sizes. They had the most beautiful glazes! I gave a couple as holiday gifts and kept a few of them for myself. They are priced wonderfully, so I hope to grab a few more to have on hand for gifts. They also had some knit and crocheted scarves and some sewn goodies. There is always a variety, so if you have time over your lunch break stop by and check it out!

The Museum of Art and Archaeology is also hosting an event tomorrow from 4 to 8pm called Slow Art Day. It is actually an annual global event. The idea is that you’ll slow down and enjoy a few select pieces of artwork instead of running through the museum trying to everything at once. It is free and open to public and they’ll be serving some snacks and wine. You can learn a little bit more on their website.

I also want to mention one event going on this weekend in St. Louis. I know it’s not in Columbia, but a lot of people might be traveling for Mother’s Day this weekend! The 24th annual Art Fair will be running Friday through Sunday at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Oh! And don’t forget to stop by the Columbia Art Leauge to see the Red Show. I stopped by the other day – there are some amazing pieces. I specifically enjoyed the drawings of the pomegranate and the Tootsie Roll Pop wrapper.


-christa jane

CoMo Event: Artragous Friday tomorrow!

Artrageous Friday is a quarterly event that is free and open to the community, and the second one this year is tomorrow. This is the fifth year they have brought together the artists of college campuses, downtown, and the North Village to showcase their work and present it to the public. And for the first time, they are including several local restaurants that support the local artists and the art community.

Make sure you stop by and enjoy some of the event tomorrow from 6 to 9 pm. The other two Artrageous Fridays for the year are scheduled for July 22nd and October 7th & 8th. You can find more information and a complete list of participating locations and restaurants on their website,

If you visit any of the locations, stop back here and let me know what you thought! Enjoy your Friday!

-christa jane

CoMo Artist: julierestless


You may have already seen some of Julie’s art around town. Have you ever noticed the knitted pole-warmers that adorn the parking meters on the corner of 9th and Broadway? Or the rainbow of sleeves that cover parts of the bike rack in front of Ragtag and Uprise? Were you one of the lucky few to see Thomas Jefferson sporting his leg-warmers in late October?

Knitted meter pole when first put up, and what it looks like currently.

Julie, also known as julierestless, started the knitted projects in the fall of 2010. She attended school in St. Louis, lived in Austin, TX for a while, and then  moved to Columbia in August 2010 to be closer to her boyfriend. After seeing the Handmade Nation film featuring Knitta Please, whose work she had seen while living in Austin, Julie said she got the idea to start the project. “I remember sitting in the crowd in the Q and A after the movie with the director, and someone said ‘That would be so cool if someone knitted Columbia.’ The wheels in my head started turning and I was like ‘Why not? Why wouldn’t someone do that?'”

Knitted meter pole when first completed, and currently.

So Julie set to work knitting some long strips, scarves basically, that she planned to wrap the town with. “I did the meters first. I woke up at five in the morning ’cause I was really scared that someone would catch me,” she recalls. “I went out there and I tagged them and that’s how it started.”

Julie covered the bike racks at RagTag and Uprise next, followed by the controversial leg-warmers that TJ wore briefly. “I put [the legwarmers on Jefferson] the Sunday before Halloween I think. And they were only up for a week.” It was featured on the Mizzou Facebook page as the photo of the day on October 28th, and the image recieved a lot of comments. “I think the school [took them down],” Julie said. “Some people were really excited about them and other people were like ‘This is vandalism!’ ya know. I didn’t think they were going to end up staying up, they aren’t a part of the original statue and I think that’s why they ultimately took them down.”

Thomas Jefferson sporting his warmers. Photo borrowed from the Mizzou Facebook page.

Julie and the other arists doing work like her are focused on bringing the handmade, tangible aspect into every day life. They want to cover up the industrialization that has come into the world, and remind people that we are human by bringing the humanity back to the machine-made structures. “It’s just something I figured I could do because I knew how to knit and no one else seemed like they were going to do it [in Columbia].” It’s hard for her to find things to accessorize in Columbia while staying original, but she plans to work on other projects. “I saw one in a sea-side town that has the big, huge iron rings so the boats can dock, someone had knitted one of those. [The larger towns] have cool stuff that we don’t have here. You have to look at your surroundings, and be like ‘Okay, this is what I have to work with. This is what I’m going to do to keep it fresh and original.'”

Bike rack when first completed, and how it looks currently.

Julie told me that larger cities have big groups of knitters who ‘knit-bomb’ the town. “It’s easier if you get a group of people to knit with you, there is only so much you can do on your own. It takes a lot of time and it’s hard work.”

Besides knitting fashions to beautify the stark, metal objects in town, Julie also writes a blog, runs an Etsy shop, tweets, and works several days a week at Clover’s Market. Her etsy shop is stocked full of thrifted items, most of them from St. Louis, as well as some handmade decor items.

-christa jane

CoMo Arts: events & shows

I always hate to discover that I missed out on an event, and I would be devastated if that to happen to you. 🙂 So here is a little round-up of Columbia’s upcoming art events and shows:

Make a point to swing by the MU campus, you have to check out the 18th Annual Women in the Arts gallery show. It goes until April 1st at the Craft Studio Gallery in Memorial Union, find hours on their website. Only a couple days left to visit this show, but it’s worth it!

Here is a chance to get involved in the community of music and art: If you’d like to volunteer at Roots N Blues N BBQ this year (in September), you should visit the Volunteer Fair on April 7th from 5:30 to 7:30 at ARTlandish Gallery. There are more details on Facebook.

Birthday by Anastasia Pottinger, courtesy KBIA

Columbia Art League’s current show is their annual tribute to the True/False film festival, Based on a True Story. It runs until April 16th. Their next show is called Red and runs from April 19th to June 18th. The opening reception is on Thursday, April 21st. CAL always puts on a good show, so make sure you stop by.

PS: Gallery’s spring exhibit runs through April 30th. If you have yet to check out their new location, go visit and kill two birds with one stone. I saw the show and the pieces are amazing.

Natalie Hellmann

The George Caleb Bingham gallery on MU’s campus is hosting Natalie Hellmann’s thesis show from April 4th to 27th. The reception is on April 8th from 5 to 7 pm. Natalie will have her ceramic sculptures and drawings on display.

And one of my favorite recurring events, the Craft Studio’s Craft Sale will be held on May 5th, 10 am to 1 pm, the location is TBA. They hold a sale every semester as an opportunity for the students to sell their creations, and to raise money to help fund the next semester’s classes and events. For the first time ever, they are allowing a limited number of faculty and staff to sell at the sale, too. In fact, you might even find some of my products there!

Of course this isn’t a complete list, I just gathered what I could. If you know of any other events or shows – please leave them in the comments and I will add them to the list!


CoMo Artist: Paul Mossine

Paul Mossine is an inspirational 22-year-old University of Missouri student studying photojournalism, fine art and french. He is a busy lad, so I just e-mailed him a few questions so you all can get to know him a bit. I’ll just let all his answers do the talking.

How did you decide to study photography in school?
I took a film photography class in high school and really loved the process of the craft. You go out in the world not really knowing what you’re looking for to photograph but always find something fascinating by mere chance. You get to indulge your curiosity, and learn a lot while doing it. I always looked at school books for the pictures anyway, so I figured that photography would be the best thing for me to study.

What photo have you taken that is your favorite?
One of my favorite photographs I took in the last year is a really colorful, spectacle-packed shot from the Flaming Lips concert on Ninth Street. One of the first bands I ever got to meet was the Flaming Lips at Wakarusa Music Festival when I was 16, and have loved their music since. I think the photo encompasses how I feel about losing oneself in music and the purity of emotion that music can bring about.

What inspires you to be creative?
People are largely unaware that they are constantly doing beautiful things. So what they do individually and together to push culture forward is my biggest inspiration.

I think that art is a means by which we gain a critical perspective on life. It’s a re-presentation; a reassessment of human experience.

For me, photography is a way I can try to understand and reevaluate my personal life, emotions, and environment, almost from an outsider’s perspective.

It’s so easy to get caught up in your own little world, and looking at photos reminds that there’s a much bigger universe out there. Other people are all dealing with their own understanding of what is, and that kind of varied perspective is really stunning to me. When I see a photo with a daring or unique viewpoint that teaches me something or helps me understand an issue in a particular way, it really speaks to me.

Creativity also comes from within. All you have to do to be an artist is pay attention to how you feel about things. Be observant, and the inspiration flows naturally.

What job do you see yourself in after graduation?
Image making is an essential way to communicate. Photography is very important socially, so there’s many opportunities in the field. It’s very competitive, but I think it’s foolish to let that get to you. I liked taking pictures for the Columbia Missourian newspaper when I worked there, but I think the pace of newspaper photography was too intense for me. I would like to be a photographer for a creative magazine or get involved with making a documentary film. Maybe that’s just True/False’s influence on me.

What do you do outside of photography?
I’ve been working at Broadway Brewery for almost a year now, and that experience has got me very excited about cooking. The chefs there are really inspiring. Food and photography are alike in that you can usually tell if something works well, whether or not you can quite put your finger on it. You’re also getting better all the time as long as you put the work in. Now whenever I go to my parents’ house, I’m increasingly asking my mom to teach me her traditional Ukrainian recipes, because she’s probably the best cook I’ve ever met. I’m also a huge beer and wine enthusiast, and I love playing guitar with fellow Columbia musicians while sharing a brew.

What is something really interesting about you that others should know?
The best thing I’ve ever done for myself was to let go of my “normal” life for a while and go travel. I had to take out some loans to do it, but living in France for half a year has affected me in more ways than I can count. I think we’re at a time when travel is easier and easier to do, and there’s nothing like it to help you become a wiser person.

You can visit Paul’s blog or his Tumblr to view additonal photo stories.


CoMo Gallery Tour: Perlow-Stevens Gallery

PS: Gallery

The Perlow-Stevens Gallery just relocated from Broadway to their new, larger location at 1025 E. Walnut. Their grand-opening event was on Saturday, February 26th, so I dropped by to see the new space.

PS: Gallery

Jennifer Perlow greets a guest.

PS: Gallery is owned by Jennifer Perlow and Chris Stevens and first opened in July 2006. The building on Broadway was sold and they had to locate a new space fairly quickly. No corners were cut, however. The space is beautiful and has a wonderful flow, I love the original touches.

PS: Gallery inside
PS: Gallery

They are now in the North Village Arts District, which will be great for Artrageous Fridays and other gallery crawl events.

PS: Gallery

Chris Stevens chats with some friends.

A crowd quickly formed, enjoying refreshments, browsing the art, and taking in the new space. They feature local artist’s paintings, mixed-media pieces, pottery, glasswork, fiber art, jewelry, and photography.

PS: Gallery

I always drool over Joel Sager‘s work. Go look at it up-close and you’ll see what I mean! In addition to creating his masterpieces, Joel is also a curator for PS: Gallery.

PS: Gallery

You can stop by any time Tuesday -Saturday from 11 to 6, or Sunday from 12 to 5, and watch their website and facebook page for upcoming receptions and events.

-christa jane