Happy Holidays Virtual Artisan Market

We'll miss seeing you in person this year as you browse our creations, however we decided during these uncertain times, in an effort to protect everyone's health, to go virtual as many other markets have done. Read our artisan bios and check out our artisan spaces pages . Each of us is responsible for our own sales and deliveries. You can contact us through the contact form on this site or at our links provided on each artisan spaces page. 817 Arts Alliance has provided in person holiday shopping experiences annually in downtown Arlington since 2011 along with other occasional artisan made events in the DFW area such as a couple of Fall Gallery Night events at BRIT in Fort Worth. Please support local artisans through this online event this year and help keep the creativity flowing while snagging unique gifts for the people on your shopping list.

Selkie Masks and Jewelry - Connie

Using unique components such as natural stones and handmade glass beads, I make masks and jewelry. Weird combination? Not really, jewelry is kind of the same as masks. Masks make shape shifters of us all. When we put on a mask, we can assume the identity of the mask character. We do the same thing with jewelry. The fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester said, "Jewelry is something that has to do with emotion. That aspect of jewelry really interests me."

"I have been making wire jewelry - and think I'll really do something with it, eventually." Did I say that? No, Alexander Calder did, but I completely agree. Working with wire is fascinating, forming three dimensions from what is essentially two.

Growing up in South Louisiana you have to love masks (or hate them, I suppose). I spent a lot of time during my formative years walking around the streets of New Orleans looking at masks. Twenty years ago I began collecting them: Noh, Balinese, Venetian, Cambodian, Mexican, as well as Mardi Gras. There are masks for plays, religious festivals and traditional fetes. My handmade masks are all original designs, created on a paper mache form and with multiple layers of gesso and paint to give texture, color, and expression, embellished with pearls, semiprecious stones, glass beads and more. Each mask has a stone or amulet in the forehead, the chakra or inner eye that leads to opening doors to one's consciousness.

For more examples of my work and where you can purchase it, please visit my artisan space.