Owen Sea Luckey: Re-Imagine the Possibilities


To simply call Owen Sea Luckey, number 2 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map, a “textile artist” is a funny understatement. She’ll tell you herself, “I’m an artist, mother, fabric designer, knitter, seamstress, freelance decorator, fabric junky, color collector and pattern/texture crazy.”

It’s that eclectic mix of interests and skills (and quirky elegance) that weave together to become the story of Luckey RE-DO, a whimsical line of re-imagined Womens sweaters and Tops. Working from a collection of recycled garments, Owen transforms the familiar into creative pieces of wearable art combining traditional craft techniques—knitting, felting, sewing, embroidery and collage. To see her in action check out her video on luckeyredo.com.

Each one-of-a-kind garment, enjoys unique embellishments: antique buttons & lace bits, accents of pattern, bursts of colorful, repurposed fabrics, hand-knit tendrilled collars,cuffs and drop-stitch lace.

If there is a whisper of familiar in the Luckey RE-DO line of garments, then perhaps you have been privy to Owen’s hand-knit originals which include hats, fingerless gloves, mittens, scarves, shawls and decorative collars. She works primarily with a Japanese, hand-dyed wool-silk-angora blended yarn, but also incorporates angora, mohair and cashmere.

The practical function of these pieces combined with their luxurious textures, unexpected colors and imaginative designs creates an air of artistic levity that is a signature of Owen’s work. To see for yourself, visit her website www.owensealuckey.com.

There is as much playful movement and bold statement in her creations as there is in her career that began with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, and has included work as a corporate textile artist, an interior design consultant, a designer of custom, home textiles on the world market, and as an innovative artist creating an array of redesigned and hand-knit wearables.

In addition to participating as an artist on the Shoreline ArtsTrail, Luckey RE-DO is also a sponsor of the 2014 Open Studios Weekend.

Owen is once again sharing space with Kristin Merrill, and they are hosting Hannah Baldwins paintings this year, as well. Be sure to stop by the Luckey and Merrill Studio during Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014. For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

- by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Dayna Mankowski: The Science of a Crafty Life


Fiber artist Dayna Mankowski is known as the “Crafty Scientist” because she commingles her days as both a pharmacist and a crafter. Find out the results of this experiment when you visit her studio, Madison Wool, number 29 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map.

Dayna has been spinning yarn since 2006. In 2011, she purchased Madison Wool, where she sells an eclectic selection of yarn, fiber, spinning wheels, and books and notions. More recently, she has expanded the shop to include felting, weaving, and spinning, as well as lots of knitting and classes!

At the root of the success of Madison Wool is Dayna’s enthusiasm for creating all things fiber. “I believe in the power of color” she says, “and that knitting and spinning should be fun!”

Using humanely sourced wool, mohair, and silks, Dayna hand-dyes and cards them into one-of-a-kind Laboratory Batts. “Then, the sky is the limit,“ she explains. “I’ll add other materials like soy silk, corn fiber, and even tinsel and sewing scraps.” Her line of Art Yarns by a Scientist are spun thick-and-thin, and contain fun elements like sea shells, beads, and even felted items.

Perhaps Dayna looks familiar? You may have seen her on the DIY Network’s Uncommon Threads, demonstrating needle felting and sewing alternative materials. In addition, she has toured the country doing indie craft shows and local farmer’s markets with her creations.

Find out more about Dayna and Madison Wool online at www.madisonwool.com, or stop in for a visit during Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014.

For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com or click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Molly McDonald: Meditations in the Broad Brush Strokes of Art


The effervescence of colors that punctuates the canvases of Molly McDonald will stay with you long after you visit her Branford studio. It’s number 7 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map.

Molly’s work simplifies nature and puts the memory of a moment on canvas with striking color and articulate brush strokes. But she explains it best. “Painting is a direct, vital experience for me; it comes from the blood or the breath.”

“There is a conversation that happens,” she explains. “A conversation with the canvas, the oil, the modulated line, the hard and soft edges, and ultimately myself. It becomes my meditation.”

Her work shows an affinity with abstract expressionism, but grounded in her observations of nature and her consciousness as a woman.

“A structure begins with my response or remembrance of the sea, the light of the sun, or the birth of my child. Then at a certain point, the color of the paint itself leads me.”

And it leads her well. Molly has exhibited in countless exhibitions in Connecticut, and is a member of Connecticut Women Artists, the National Association of Women Artists, Shoreline Alliance for the Arts, New Haven Arts Council, the Madison Art League, and the Guilford Art League, to name just a few.

You can check out Molly’s work online at her website, but you really must stop by her studio during the Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014. For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Welcome to Our 2014 Lodge & Dine Sponsors

Each year, the Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend offers residents and visitors a chance to meet our local artists. It’s a great way to spend the weekend: meet the artists, explore their studios, see amazing art, and get a head start on your holiday shopping!

To complement the experience, the following Shoreline ArtsTrail Lodge & Dine Sponsors offer specials, discounts and/or promotional giveaways upon presentation of one of our Trail Maps during the Open Studio Weekend, November 22-23, 2014.

Click here for details, or see below.


1070 Boston Post Road
Guilford, CT

Bufalina owners Matt and Melissa’s passion for wood fired brick ovens took them to Italy where they learned the simple art of cooking in rustic brick ovens. There, they discovered the delicious taste of chewy, charred, and blistering pies baked in searing hot wood fired ovens. The Bufalina, a favorite selection topped with locally made water buffalo mozzarella, became the namesake of their Guilford pizzeria, where they bring home the flavors of sunny Italy.

*SPECIAL OFFER: $5 off a Bufalina pizza during Open Studios Weekend

Friends & Company
11 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT

Friends & Company is known for its Contemporary American Cuisine, daily baked breads, homemade soups, fresh baked desserts, colorful specials and selections of salads that include house-made dressings and signature trays of seeds, nuts and raisins.

*SPECIAL OFFER: $7 Off Lunch, Dinner or Brunch

1114 Main Street
Branford, CT

Stop by and check out Home’s local beer list and Chef Mike’s extreme comfort food. Enjoy drinks, appetizers and even full meals in the living room lounge or try some comforting sandwiches in our high-top fireplace area. Pull up a chair in our back dining room where you can order anything from soups and salads to a four-course meal.

*SPECIAL OFFER: Get One FREE Glass of House Wine with Lunch or Dinner

The Kelsey House Bed & Breakfast
2 Paynes Point
Branford, CT

Enjoy the spectacular coastal water views from the large, wrap-around, covered porch and from your room. Relax in a comfy rocker and watch the tide come and go. You will feel like you are actually on the water…and you’re just steps away.

*SPECIAL OFFER: 20% OFF Rooms with Any Two-Night Stay for Open Studios Weekend


La Rosticceria
Debbie Greco
500 Village Walk, Guilford, CT

The folks at La Rosticceria believe it’s possible to eat well in spite of the fast pace of our daily lives. They offer amazing lunch selections and ready-to-go meals that are fresh, healthy and delicious tasting. That quality of ingredients and expertise in the kitchen make La Rosticceria one of the best places to eat on the Shoreline. They also offer many options for vegetarians, gluten free, dairy free and vegan diets, and their cupcakes were voted “Best of Connecticut” twice by Connecticut Magazine.

*SPECIAL OFFER: Free Cookie with Purchase of Sandwich (One per customer. Saturday, November 22 only.)

Tidewater Inn
949 Boston Post Road, Madison, CT

Explore coastal Connecticut while relaxing at the Tidewater Inn B&B. Located in the shoreline village of Madison, CT, the Inn offers a cozy and elegant atmosphere of antiques and estate furniture.

*SPECIAL OFFER: 12% Off Any 2-night Stay during Open Studios Weekend

Tommy Sullivan’s Cafe
240 North Main Street
Branford, CT

Tommy Sullivan’s is a café and bar that offers ample seating—indoors and outside—and hearty meal options like pasta fagioli and prime rib, along with the pint of your choice. Soups are homemade and Happy Hour is always a popular time to visit. All ages are welcome.

*SPECIAL OFFER: One Free Drink with Lunch or Dinner

Wall Street Gallery
91 Wall Street (Corner of Bradley)
Madison, CT

In business since 1974, Wall Street Gallery boasts both locally and internationally renowned artists in its gallery. Its framing service has won ten national awards, each of which was the result of a creative solution in the framing of customers’ treasured artwork.

*SPECIAL OFFER: 20% Off Given to SAT Patrons with Brochure

OFFERS VALID DURING OPEN STUDIOS WEEKEND ONLY, November 22-23, 2014. Please present your Shoreline ArtsTrail Map brochure.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

- by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Jane Strauss Novick: When the Mind is Willing


When the mind is willing, it creates art that comes from the soul. You get this sense when you listen to potter Jane Strauss Novick speak about her work. She’s number 9 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map, and practices her craft at Clay Bodies Pottery in Branford.

Jane found her way back to pottery after her retirement. “It had been a consuming interest and occupation 30 years ago. I was part of a cooperative pottery in Rochester, New York before setting up my own studio at home.”

“I count myself as one of the lucky ones in having a consuming passion at this point in my life,” she’ll tell you as if sharing a secret.

The secret, perhaps, is tapping into the things to which we feel a connection. “I have always responded to the earthy, organic nature of clay,” Jane says. “I try to communicate that connection in my pots.”

She uses a variety of natural and manmade implements to give textural interest to her pieces that include both functional and decorative ware. And she is still learning and stretching her mind. “Recently, I started using glass as part of the glazing process. I am often surprised when I open the kiln to see the results of a new combination!”

Jane Shares the Clay Bodies Pottery Studio ArtsTrail member Pat Rist, and you can see both of their work on the studio’s website or during Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014. For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com.

(Please note that due to construction on School Ground Road, you’ll need to access the studio from Route 139. Follow the Open Studio signs!)

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Jackie McGuire: Nature Influences Art


“I am continuously amazed by the beauty that is created by Mother Nature,” says jewelry designer Jackie McGuire. That beauty inspires a variety of beaded jewelry pieces and one-of-a-kind belt buckles which you will find at the Chroma Gallery in Guilford, number 22 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map.

“My primary medium consists of beaded and silver wire-work jewelry,” Jackie explains. “I love working with semi-precious stones, beach stones, freshwater pearls, Swarovski crystals, and silver, pewter, and copper elements.”

A lifelong resident of Branford, Jackie says that it is the opportunity to be in nature that influences her work most. “One of my passions is working in my garden,” she says. “Often, my work even takes on the feel of a Zen garden or a flower in bloom.”

Jackie has been designing and handcrafting jewelry for the past eight years. Mostly self-taught, she has supplemented her skills through classes at the Guilford Art Center and local bead shops.

Be sure to check our Jackie’s work at the Chroma Gallery, where she partners with ArtsTrail member Barbara Shulman-Kirwin. It’s a great Shoreline ArtsTrail location that you can explore during Open Studio Weekend, November 22-23, 2014. For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com.

Click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

by Jen Payne, Words by Jen

Kristin Merrill: Creating Transformations


The headline on artist Kristin Merrill’s website reads: See, Touch, Adore. I always want to add the word “dream,” because her sublime sculptures and jewelry are so mesmerizing. You can see for yourself during Open Studios Weekend, she’s number 2 on your Shoreline ArtsTrail map.

There is certainly a mystical sense to Kristin’s work, which comes from its connection to the earth and natural environment. “My passion is creating beautiful things out of natural materials,” she says. “ I am especially connected to the sea, in both a literal and a psychic sense. It gives my work meaning and a reason for being.”

Kristin’s sculptures incorporate pieces of driftwood indigenous to the Short Beach shoreline. To them, she adorns pearls, hand-cast sterling elements, copper and symbolic found objects.

“The driftwood,” Kristin explains, “was once a tree, vibrant with life and growing. It goes through a metamorphosis at the end of its life, falls into the sea, and finds its way to the shore. By resurrecting it in my sculptures, I create a new phase in its life. It is re-born and immortalized as art.”

That same transformation echoes in her jewelry, where individual elements — sterling silver, semiprecious stones, amber, pearls — join together to become something new and different.

From your first glance at her distinct pieces, you can tell that Kristin has an intrinsic sense of art and beauty. Which should come as no surprise. “I have been surrounded by art all of my life. My father is a potter and sculptor, and my mother was an avid gardener and writer.”

Not bound by her right-brain talents, Kristin is equally adept at managing the intricacies of the business side of creative work, which she has proven as a former CEO, Vice President and Business Manager for small and large companies over the past 18 years. The combination of these two skill-sets reveal themselves in the success of the Shoreline ArtsTrail, which she has collaborated on since 2009, and her own company, Riverside Consulting, which provides bookkeeping services and support for artists and creative professionals.

You find out more about Kristin at her website, but be sure to stop by her studio, which she shares with Owen Sea Luckey, during Shoreline ArtsTrail Open Studios Weekend, November 22-23, 2014. ArtsTrail member Hannah Baldwin will also be joining them this year.

For more information, visit www.shorelineartstrail.com or click here to read more Shoreline Arts Trail member artist profiles.

by Jen Payne, Words by Jen