As soon as you walk through the door, you know this couldn't be anything but an artist's studio. Canvases are stacked against the walls. Paints and art supplies are arranged on shelves. Three large tables fill the middle of the work space.
Smadar Livne's studio is located in a one-story commercial building in Owings Mills. Offices line the front of the building where they are visible from the street. Livne is on the side, a vast open space where she paints the mixed media pieces in which she specializes.
Livne is a native of Israel. She is one of several Baltimore County artists who are participating in the 36th annual Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, to be held April 25 to April 27 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Road.
Over 20 years ago, Livne visited the U.S., and stayed. "I went to a gallery in New York," she said. "Three months later, I had a one-woman show in that gallery."
Livne studied art in Israel. Her work often references the country and its traditions. "I like to tell stories," said Livne, the married mother of three and an Owings Mills resident.
She does so in acrylic paint with objects, from miniature plastic camels and tiny ceramic vases to pieces of fabric and beads, attached to the canvas. In some of her colorful canvases, she incorporates religious symbols and Hebrew text.
"I like to have layers of paint, texture and embroidery. I use different media," said Livne, who also makes fabric wall hangings on which she paints symbolic patterns and paints hand-made ceramic vases.
Livne travels around the country displaying her work at gallery exhibits and arts and craft shows. She also hosts open houses at her studio, 8 Music Fair Road, the next on April 19 and 20.
Olga Goldin also will exhibit and sell her work at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. She is known for her ceramics, from vases and figurines to Jewish religious objects such as Hanukkah menorahs and Passover Seder plates. Goldin graduated from the Minsk Art College in her native Belarus, where she was a professional ceramicist in a government-owned factory.
"There were no private art shops," said Goldin. The married mother of two lives in Owings Mills, where her studio is located in room off the den.
On tables, figurines, plates and vases dry, waiting to be painted and fired in her two kilns. Colors and glazes fill shelves. She uses two different kinds of clay. Goldin has a pottery wheel to "throw," in the jargon, cups and vases. Most of her pieces, though, are hand-built.
"No molds. One of a kind," she said. "Everything is fired three times" in the kilns.
Goldin and her family emigrated to the U.S. almost 30 years ago. As soon as she arrived in Baltimore, she began looking for opportunities for her art. She found art galleries and craft shows and, in 2000, created her own brand, Gold'n Ceramics.
Her pieces tend to be detailed and multi-layered. A Chanukah menorah in the shape of a gnarled tree is decorated with vines and leaves, birds and figures. Among her most popular offerings are figurines of musicians, based on folk art and with a "Fiddler on the Roof" feel. She also makes figurines of lawyers, physicians, sports figures and other depictions on special order.
Goldin sells her work on her website. She also participates in 10 craft shows per year, in the New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania areas and in Baltimore.
"A lot of my customers are repeat customers. They come every year to buy new musicians," she said. "They recommend other customers to me."
Livne and Goldin will be joined at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival by more than 250 American artisans who will show and sell their work.
For information about the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival, go to the website http://www.surgarloafcrafts.com or call 800-210-9900.
Smadar Livne's website is http://www.smadarlivne.com.