We are always so amazed by the amount of talent that walks into our little store. Whether potential artists come carrying wares made of ribbons for little one’s curls, or carting creations carved from indigenous trees, we are so lucky to be privy to the uniquely creative minds of our area…
We welcomed Pasquale Pristera to SoMe in 2014. Pristera was born in the 1950s in the mountains of Calabria, Italy and immigrated to the United States when he was eight. Pristeria regularly wanders the area woods on a different sort of hunt — a hunt for inspiration and vision. What is he seeking? Wood and stone. As Pristera tells it “I am passionate about finding stone or wood, and taking it from an almost decayed state, and I take that rotted wood that looks like it is going to crumble and I work it,” he said. “I only produce what it says it is—if I see a beautiful nude woman or a hummingbird, I let that come out with minimal force on my part.”
All of Pristera’s pieces amaze us — the expression and movement he sees within and brings out makes him a true sculptor. His works are true conversation starters!
A native of Turkey, Gonca Kocyildirim found herself in Pittsburgh in 2010 for her husband’s career. When the marriage failed to last, Gonca steeled herself and decided to stay in Pittsburgh instead of returning to Turkey – after all, her son was happy here and already establishing friendships. And from this reserve came another — to fully commit herself to being an artist, something she had always felt herself to be at her core. She had had other various jobs throughout her life, but they left her feeling as if she “had lost part of her soul”.
Gonca’s mother was one of seven sisters, and it was from her favorite aunt that Gonca learned to crochet.
Kocyildirim’s beautiful work came to us in 2013 and her gorgeous rugs and pillows are always a source of many oooohhhhs and ahhhhhhs from customer’s. Personally, we love the colors, construction, and Turkish flair!
Connie Pardini is heavy into metal. “I use vintage silverplate flatware….spoons, forks, knives, in both jewelry and decorative items. I use steel horseshoe nails for jewelry. Hardware and empty bullet shell casings, too. Basically, any “found object” made of metal is sure to catch my eye and be saved for some future use. I use wire, sheet metal, cold connections, soldering…..I add beads here and there…..but mostly, by obession is metal, anything metal!”
We have carried Connie’s handmade jewelry and decorative items (Wirestorm Creations) since the Fall of 2013. We love her playfulness, her creativity and the heft and texture of her pieces. Always a hit with customers who want a unique gift for a friend or just themselves!
We hope you enjoyed this peek behind the scenes of a few of the artists carried at SoMe. What a talented city we live in!