Teacher’s Sample Sale at Wall Candy Art Expo This Saturday!

fullsizeoutput_417eTeaching is a big part of my life as an artist. I love sharing my techniques and introducing both young and old to the joys of 3D sculpting and polymer clay. My style of teaching is to work alongside my students which means I create a new sample piece with each class I teach, but with a home and studio downsize, I’m running out of space!

If you like what I do, here’s an opportunity to pick up an original piece at very special prices. I’ll be at Wall Candy – Sweetly Affordable Art Expo this Saturday, November 23rd in the Aberdeen Building at Lansdowne Park from 10am to 6pm. It’s free admission and there are over 100 artists to check out. From Potted Elves to Framed Santa Reliefs, La Befana and more, come visit me at Booth #117. Here’s the link to the show . . . hope to see you there! https://www.facebook.com/events/2345798758991077/

Posted in Art, Art Awards, Art Dolls, art exhibits, Art shows, art shows in ottawa, Artists, Christmas, Christmas Elf, Elf, Elves, Figurative Art, Maria Saracino, Mother Christmas, Mother's Day Gifts, Mrs. Claus, Orange Art Gallery, ottawa, Ottawa 150, ottawa art scene, Perth, ON, polymer clay, portrait commissions, sculpey, Sculpting Workshops, sculpture, space, Studio 87, Uncategorized, Vingettes, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health, Witches, Workshops, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Buddha Commission

Not all artists accept commissions – they can be stressful because you are trying to meet someone else’s expectations. You might also be asked to create something that is outside of your usual area of work. As a result of this, commissions are often more expensive. A recent commission took me outside of my comfort zone, but I learned so much from this experience and I’m proud of the legacy this piece represents.

This is Buddha, a sculpture that took me almost 4 months to complete. It is my client’s offering to his temple. A large piece, 34″ tall, sculpted in polymer clay but guilded in 24-karat gold leaf. The robes are made from three colours of Dupioni silk. The under robe shown here is in a soft yellow orange hue, lined in cream silk. The traditional Kasaya is made from a deep orange/red Dupioni silk divided into 13 sections trimmed in gold. I had to learn the correct way to fold and wrap his body. The clasp is also made from polymer and gold leaf. I created the staff from scrolled wood and covered it in 24-karat gold leaf. It holds 12 metal rings. His crown is created from paper, polymer clay, resin and gold silk trim.

My client purchased a precious gemstone to place in his left hand. To protect the sculpture I had a museum quality acrylic box, custom made by Canus Plastics.

As challenging as this commission was, even more challenging was packing and shipping it to Philadelphia. I attended a seminar on how the National Gallery of Canada ships delicate artwork and used many of their tips and tricks. In addition to this I also built a wooden crate. Each step of the packing and unpacking of the sculpture had to be documented and photographed and the directions were included in the crate for both the client and possible inspection by custom officials.

After a couple of nerve wracking days, the sculpture arrived safe and sound. Happy client, happy artist, happy Buddha.

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Fish with Faces

A few years ago I developed a series of smaller sculptures for an exhibit supporting the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa.  Expanding on a polymer relief class I was teaching at the time, “Fish with Faces” came to be. These whimsical little humanized fish floating above sanded and polished burls of wood were a big hit, and sold out at the exhibit.

Since then “Fish with Faces” has become an ongoing series available exclusively at Studio 87 in Perth, Ontario. I’ve done them in various sizes and colours and I give them beautiful Italian names that reflect their mediterranean influence and a sense of peacefullness. Names like Sogno d’Acqua, Mare Azzurro and the two latest fish to find new homes, Tranquillita and Riposo.

Resin coral reefs support the two newest additions to the collection –  Aquaril and Meditazione. Brass rods support the fish over the reefs or wood burls, and tiny glass bubbles either pop from their mouths or are supported on their tails. The fish are sculpted from Living Doll and Sculpey.

You can find the whole collection at Studio 87, located at 87 Gore Street East in Perth, ON. Also available are my exclusive Galaxy Bowls and Pendants in polymer clay and 24K Gold. Only $40 – a perfect Mother’s Day gift. Check it out at http://galleryongore.com/artists-p-z/saracino-maria/


Posted in Art, art exhibits, Art shows, art shows in ottawa, Artists, Figurative Art, Maria Saracino, Mother's Day Gifts, ottawa art scene, Perth, ON, polymer clay, sculpey, Sculpting Workshops, sculpture, Studio 87, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Light, Space, Time Competition and Exhibit

1st Place, 3D Category The Railroad Traveller Polymer Clay, textiles, cement and resin. Available at http://www.orangeartgallery.ca

This morning I found out I received 1st place in the 3D category of the Light,Space,Time Figurative Exhibit. My winning entry was “The Railroad Traveller”. I also received a Merit Award for “Lunch in the Park”.  I’m beyond thrilled, not only to win this honour, but to be in the company of several other artists I know and respect.

Art competitions are a way of promoting your work and building your credibility as a professional artist. The benefits can range from exposure, exhibitions and even self-confidence to cash, promotional material and opportunities. In this competition artists were asked for their interpretation of the “Figurative” theme by submitting their best abstract or representational art for this competition.  The gallery received 845 entries from 35 different countries from around the world.   The exhibition was divided into three media categories.  Painting & Other Media, Photography & Digital and 3 Dimensional Art.  In addition, there is an overall Winning Artists Category, and also included Special Merit awards and Special Recognition awards for outstanding art.

Here is the link to the competition and the exhibit. Scroll down and click on the 3D category to see the entries. https://www.lightspacetime.art/figurative-art-exhibition-2019-april/

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Cormac, the Brew Master Leprechaun

The Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, their patron saint on March 17th, but did you know that St. Patrick was the son of Roman immigrants, so he is also widely celebrated in Italy. But it doesn’t stop there – St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated all over the world. As a matter of fact, for at least one day, everyone likes to be a little bit Irish. And who doesn’t love Leprechauns and the stories of those magical wee folk who live underground, causing mischief and hoarding pots of gold. If you are like me, every time I see a rainbow, I always look to see where it ends and think about that elusive pot of gold.

Thinking ahead and as a distraction over this long cold winter, I made one little original Leprechaun. He’s my wish for an early spring.  Meet Cormac, the Brew Master. Standing a wee 14″ tall, he’s one of a kind and available through my website at https://saracinocollection.com/collections/frontpage/products/cormac-the-brewmaster-leprechaun or on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/684984967/cormac-the-brew-master-leprechaun

May good luck pursue you each morning and night. May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks. … May the luck of the Irish enfold you. May the blessing of Saint Patrick behold you. 


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Does She Look Familiar?

Have you every met someone for the first time and you can’t help but feel like you’ve met them before? If you mention it, that person usually responds with something like, “yes, I get that a lot.” Well meet Edith. When I created her there was something so familiar about her. Since then, everyone who has seen her feels the same. I’m intrigued and slightly disconcerted at times at that feeling. I cannot explain vibes and auras and feelings (sixth sense type stuff), but I believe in much of that. Something about Edith makes her genuine, kind and friendly. She has joy of life. Maybe what we recognize in Edith is what we look for within ourselves.

I think subconsciously I dressed her in orange for a reason. It combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. It is associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics. Orange represents enthusiasm, fascination, happiness, creativity, determination, attraction, success and encouragement.

Edith is sculpted in Living Doll Polymer Clay and stands 20″ tall. She can be viewed in person at the Orange Art Gallery next week. I’ve tagged a few people who come to mind when I look at her.




Posted in Art, Art Awards, Art Dolls, art exhibits, Art shows, art shows in ottawa, Artists, Figurative Art, Marguerite D'Youville, Maria Saracino, Orange Art Gallery, ottawa, ottawa art scene, polymer clay, portrait commissions, sculpey, Sculpting Workshops, sculpture, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2019 Polymer Clay Workshops

Discover your inner artist. Check out my polymer clay workshop schedule for the next few months. Space is limited to 5-6 people for my in-studio classes so reserve your spot early. Looking for a different date or a different project call me to book a private or group session for you and a few friends. To reserve your spot or for more information visit https://saracinocollection.com/collections/beginner-classes

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When I was asked to participate in a collaborative exhibit called “Star Searching” I racked my brain trying to come up with some ideas that would fit in with the solar system and space and still have fun with my medium and my style of figurative sculpture. I decided a little Sci-Fi and a little Steampunk would compliment the theme. What is Steampunk? According to Wikipedia it is a sub-genre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery. But it’s more than that – it’s romance, fantasy and day dreams. It mixes old and new, fusing modern technology with the Victorian age.

It has reignited a love of “old fashioned” materials: brass and copper, wood, glass, mechanical workings, ornate engraving. The look has also influenced street fashion. Steampunk clothing typically adds the ‘best’ looks of the Victorian era to today’s most relevant street styles. I have to admit, I have a few pieces in my wardrobe that are definitely Steampunk influenced. The costume aspect of Steampunk is definitely an important part of the characters I’ve created for this current exhibit. “The Time Traveller’s Wife” incorporates a lot of these elements from leather corsets and frilly lace, burlesque style stockings and boots, and a pinch of goth, pirates and vampires.

There are five steampunk pieces in the Star Searching exhibit where they are interacting with Chris Banfalvi’s metal solar system and time travel vessels. You can see them in person at the Orange Art Gallery at 290 City Centre Drive in Ottawa from January 10-27th. Opening night is Thursday, January 10th. The work will also be available online through the gallery website at http://www.orangeartgallery.ca


Posted in Art, Art Awards, Art Dolls, art exhibits, Art shows, art shows in ottawa, Artists, Figurative Art, Maria Saracino, Orange Art Gallery, ottawa, ottawa art scene, polymer clay, portrait commissions, sculpey, Sculpting Workshops, sculpture, solar system, space, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Star Searching

I’m hitting the new year running and kicking off 2019 with a new exhibit at the Orange Art Gallery from January 9th to the 27th. It’s a sculptural collaboration called                     “Star Searching”, two artists, two mediums, one exhibit.

This exclusive exhibit unites two very different artists of different disciplines –              Metal Artist, Chris Banfalvi and me, Figurative Polymer Artist, Maria Saracino. We join forces for a cohesive theme of space, fantasy and time travel. While Chris creates the solar system and the vessels of space travel, I create the people who dream of exploring them. From everyday dreamers to steam punk time travellers, I had a lot of fun putting this collection together. I hope you enjoy it too.

Join us for the opening reception, Thursday, January 10th from 6pm to 9pm.
Orange Art Gallery, 290 City Centre Drive, Ottawa, ON

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Storytelling Vingette

Just before Christmas I finished a very special portrait commission. My client unveiled it as a surprise to her family on Christmas Eve, and has now given me permission to share it with you. The commission is of her late parents. When we first began discussing this commission, my client shared little bits and pieces of who her parents were, what they liked, where they came from and little personality traits that only close family members would know. It was clear this needed to be more than just a portrait commission, it needed to tell their story. We created a list of over 20 details to incorporate into this portrait commission. Designing this piece as a vignette was how I was able to include all these details. Some are obvious; some are subtle; some you have to search for – but all these details gave her and her siblings great joy over the holidays as they celebrated their family and remembered their parents.

The obvious details . . . their favorite colours; their love of books; piping hot coffee and Coffee Mate; wedding photo and anniversary photo; pineapples and crocheting.

The subtle details . . . Their roots in Guyana, hence the pineapple upholstery; the choice of books a reflection of their hobbies and passions; jigsaw puzzles; her favorite red rimmed glasses;

The hard to find details . . . His ring is engraved with her nickname for him; he’s reading a book of quotes with the page open to the quotes used on their tombstones; her wedding bands, watch and simple silver necklace are gifts from him.

If you are interested in how I created this vignette, check out my YouTube Channel for a little slideshow on the process. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ieyf6J0RDI



Posted in Art, Art Awards, Art Dolls, art exhibits, Art shows, Artists, Figurative Art, Maria Saracino, Orange Art Gallery, ottawa, Ottawa 150, polymer clay, portrait commissions, sculpey, Sculpting Workshops, sculpture, Uncategorized, Vingettes, Workshops, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment