Dispatch from Phoenix, 3/8/04 -- #
Document Title: A New Look in Pewter by Artisan Natalie Normand
Author: René ODeay
Whimsical Silvery Pewter
At the Sunday A'Fair, Scottsdale Center for the Arts
An Art Affair with music and wine most Sundays during the winter months,is sponsored by the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.
Talented artists and crafters show their wares in the park among fountains, flowers and trees. Some of the most popular area bands, blues, jazz, Dixieland and many other moods, draw local fans to relax on the lawn, sample wine, and the arts and crafts. Swans and lesser creatures cruise nearby ponds.
One among these artisans stands out with silvery unleaded pewter creations.
Artisan Natalie Normand with A NEW LOOK IN PEWTER.
Her whimsical pewter boxes are created with leadfree pewter. Pewter Worry Boxes she calls them.
You just put all your worries in the box, close them up and forget about them, she said.
Most of her boxes are small silvery pewter, round with little feet, tactile nubbly, fitted with different finials on the tops. Some are colorful wooden boxes, fitted with pewter feet and the whimsical finials. All are lined and shiny. Besides your worries, theres room for jewelry, keys or other small treasures.
The Vancouver artisan began working with pewter after a debacle with a supplier for pewter findings for the leather bags she had designed. Unhappy with the findings available for purses and bags at the time, Natalie arranged for someone to design and make them in pewter. When they failed to make delivery in time for a major show, she decided she had to make them herself.
After that she took some classes in silver jewelry making.
I fell in love with it. Something new to create with my hands, said Natalie enthusiastically.
Now she designs the little boxes, creates the molds, and makes them herself in her foundry in Vancouver.
Using leadfree pewter makes them safer to make, detail, and polish them, said Natalie, They look like silver. Some do have silver in the mix. They wont oxidize and turn dark or dull.
Unleaded pewter required by government standards for many pewter designs is not necessary for her boxes. Unleaded is harder to work with and more expensive. Yet they are safer and they do hold the polished shine she puts on them. Her boxes are moderately priced, ranging from around $50 to $70.
Even her booth display, which she designed and created, is stylishly unique and eye catching among the usual arts and craft booths, in black with chartreuse runners.
Her work also is placed in Galleries in Vancouver, B.C., Circle Craft Coop and Craft Association of B.C. on Grumble Island, the Art Island as the locals call it. Although she and her husband have been coming down to the Phoenix area for several years to visit family and do art shows, this is her first full winter in Arizona.
Some of her upcoming shows where you can see her work, include:
Scottsdale Arts Festival,
Scottsdale Civic Center Park
March 12 - 14, Booth #35
Tempe Festival of the Arts
Mill Avenue, near the University
March 26 - 28, Booth #1303
Photos of Natalie and her creations