New Fellow Members within the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi

In March the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, held their Standards Review, a jury process to review the work of their members and new artists. Not only did the jury accept 10 new members into the Guild, but they also awarded 10 current members the status of Fellow Membership, each of whom passed their final required review in their category. Today we would like to recognize each of these members and congratulate them on their accomplishments.

Attaining Fellow membership status within the Guild demonstrates the exceptional skill of the artist. When new members join the Guild, they are granted a three-year membership period after which they are required to re-submit to Standards, a review of the artists’ work in a given category to evaluate their progress. After a member has passed three sets of Standards, they are awarded Fellow status and are no longer required to submit for review in that category. This is quite an accomplishment, and we are excited to recognize each of our new Fellow members.

Our first new Fellows are both basket artists. First, we have Danny and Becky Cook, who create pine needle baskets. After Danny retired, he wanted a hobby to keep himself busy. His son showed him how to craft baskets out of pine needles and the rest is history. Next is Aaron Griggs. While he and his wife were on a tour in Arkansas, he met two basket makers and decided he wanted to give the craft a try. Aaron makes baskets the ‘old fashion’ way, using primarily hand tools.

Next are our glass artists. First is Candace Spurzem who works with fused glass. After discovering her love for fused glass during a class at the Bill Waller Mississippi Craft Center, she has shown her work at numerous venues including the Chimneyville Arts Festival and the Renaissance Art Commission, among others. Next is Corley Marsalis who works with mosaics. She began working with glass in 2008 at the Mosaic Shop. Mosaics are one of her favorite creative outlets, and she believes that “the applications for mosaics are almost endless.”

Our next two Fellows are jewelry artists. DCZ Designs is run by Marek Dloughy. His nature-inspired pieces are entirely hand-crafted and inspired by the beauty of the land and the people around him. Next is Laura Tarbutton: The Beach House Studio. Although she works with a variety of materials, her focus is metal. The studio was developed as a cooperation of jewelry artists who work with various mediums to create beautiful pieces.

Our next two artists are quilters. First is Sarah Rick, who began sewing as a child. She designs many of her patterns herself, and enjoys hand quilting. Next is Rita Warnock. Rita began quilting in 2001, and is mostly self-taught. Her goal is to create heirlooms for her children, her grandchildren, and all who appreciate the art of quilting.

Finally we have Michelle Cleveland and Janet Preslan. Michelle is a paper sculpture artist. Her journey in this medium began simply as a way to entertain her five-year-old daughter, but she quickly fell in love with the craft. Janet Preslan is a fiber artist, specializing in knitting and crochet. She has taught crochet at ‘The Whole Nine Yards,’ in Vicksburg, and is active in several knitting groups.

Our new Fellows have put significant time and effort into their work and have demonstrated exceptional skill. We are proud to recognize each of these members for their accomplishments!

The Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi accepts members in March and August each year. For more information, please visit our website, at www.mscrafts.org, give us a call, or come visit us at the Outlets of Mississippi in Pearl or The Bill Waller Mississippi Craft Center in Ridgeland.