When I retired from the Fall River Public Schools after teaching English
at Durfee High School for 35 years, I never imagined the magical, wonderful way my life would change. I had worked with polymer clay in my spare time for many years. I was very serious about my art, but I didn't know how to go to the next level. The day after my retirement, Frank and I looked at studios in the Narrows Center for the Arts. Within a week, we had signed a lease and moved into the new space. Suddenly my art had a focus and a direction. The Narrows is a wonderful venue, constantly filled with music and gallery exhibits. I spent an exciting four and a half years there, and Frank saw over four hundred concerts! But there was still something missing, and we began to talk about the possibility of opening our own storefront space. It would be the perfect opportunity to expand the market and gain some recognition. Once again, fate was on our side. In 2012, we opened Annie's Unique Boutique in Somerset, MA. Now our commute was a mere five minutes from home. We had regular hours and could spend more time together. I had always dreamed of owning my own store. Of course, we needed something to fill the space and customers in, and the idea of women's clothing on consignment emerged' From that point, it was only a short jump to enter the retail world. I began taking monthly trips to New York City's Garment District. It was the best of all worlds, shopping, fashion and creating art for an exciting eight and a half years. Once the pandemic hit in 2020, things changed drastically. People could no longer come into the store. Many of my New York suppliers could no longer get products. And just to add to this awful time, I developed an infection in my hands that was caused by polymer clay. After a hospital stay and surgery on my hand, Frank and I knew that we would have to close the store. For me, this was gut wrenching. Suddenly there was no store and no art. It was time for a new plan. Frank created a beautiful, inspirational studio space in our little cottage by the Taunton River. I now had time and space to develop something new. I had been fascinated by resin for a long time but never had the opportunity to learn much about it. I now had time. Frank developed created an online business and website. After a lot of soul searching, we decided to name our new venture Anniemara, which is Gaelic for Annie by the sea, or in this case, the river. Now we are a work in progress, and we are constantly evolving. I think that I have finally learned that change is inevitable and exciting! As Jerry Garcia said, "What a long, strange trip it's been." I would add one more adjective to that and it would be magical
I'll be using this blog to write about what I love about my art. I hope you will enjoy it.