About the Artist

bits,bios and blogs!

Karen Walker Chamberlin...She is a graduate of Art Center College of Design and has worked as a graphic designer and photographer for two decades. Karen has designed for the Grammy Awards as well as countless clients in the music industry. Karen has had a fascination with the Mexican culture and has traveled throughout Oaxaca and Mexico City.  her love of the Mexican iconography and symbolism has drawn her to incorporate these styles into her work.  Karen builds traditional Mexican altars with her family and local school children and holds a Dia De Los Muertos event at Zona Rosa Caffe annually in Pasadena.  Karen lives in Altadena with her husband and two children.  Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times Style, Communication Arts, Graphics, How and Print magazine and the Smithsonian.

Zazu Faure... Humankind is made up of hunters and gatherers.  I am a gatherer.  My paternal grandmother was a great gatherer (old snapshots, quotes, postcards, balls of string, loose buttons, scraps of paper, all manner of small containers, etc.)  My father got that same gene and passed it onto me.  I've stored away all these bits and pieces from their lives of gathering, intertwining it with my own.  It overwhelms me.  What shall I do with all the thread, the buttons, photographs, sketches, used wrapping paper, ribbons and scraps of fabric?  I save it all.
I aim to use all the bits and pieces.  
These plush toys are part sculpture and part craft.  All the animals are made from repurposed wool and cashmere sweaters filled with organic cotton and a pinch of lavender.  The patterns evolve directly from working with the material-catching a glimpse of a face in the folds and proceeding from there.  No two animals are truly alike.
repurposed animals

TYN ATOL...Pasadena artist Tyn Atol was raised by "maker" parents
who always challenged and encouraged her to try new mediums
and techniques in art and life. She has worked in metal, wood,
paper, glass, clay, fabric, and encaustic, and refuses to stick to one
or choose a favorite. Tyn is always seeking to learn new things, and believes that
is the cornerstone to being a creative person.
She holds a B.A. in Art History from U.C.S.B.
and currently lives in Pasadena on a hill with her husband, bees and posse' of cats.


I bought a really great pillow several years ago and loved how much it added to my
living room.

It was pretty but it also added a feeling of comfort and welcome to the room - -
like "make yourself comfortable".

I started noticing fabrics and would think "that would make a great pillow". The
only problem was that I didn't know how to sew. I would buy fabrics here and there
saving them for the someday that I learned how to sew.
This continued for a few years and then my friends Tyn and Kari taught me to make my
first pillow.

Well that led to another passion: antique French fabrics.

I stumbled across them and loved how the fadedness (is that a word??) and "flaws"
added to the depth and interest of the fabric and made you just have to touch it.

So now I make pillows out of vintage fabrics and new fabrics - - sometimes both in
the same pillow.

I still love how much they add to a room.

soozee van dyke woods I always wanted to be a race-car driver when I grew up. Now I make ceramic art-tile and love it! I love that life is always changing. I have transitioned through music, painting and sculpture, ceramics and photography, metal-smithing and jewelry making, and mixed-media/collage, and even taught classes in some of these as well. I am lucky enough to be married to a supportive and funny man who is helping me grow 2 new people--our kids. Hand-making ceramic tile combines so many of my interests--the possibilities seem infinite, as I constantly find inspiration in the color and activity of the world around me.
blog: www.RamonaPalomaTile.wordpress.com

soozee and tracy

tracy chamberlin True confessions...I am addicted to making things. Big and small, practical and impractical, makes no difference. I just love to make things. After decades of exploring all sorts of media in art using skills gained through formal training and trial and error I now find myself captivated by ceramics. In particular, hand pressed tile. This art form has given me the freedom to express my whimsical and abstract ideas where my only limitation is my imagination. What fun!
Tracy Chamberlin
Sierra Madre, Ca
blog: www.RamonaPalomaTile.wordpress.com

cynthia of cg ceramics

cynthia gonzales I live in Sierra Madre with my son and have been working with clay consistently for the passed three years.  I was first introduced to ceramic arts in high school. I worked with clay for a couple of years before I entered a career in Law Enforcement.

After serving the community for 22 years, I decided to revisit my passion for ceramic arts. I found a studio and began "throwing again.

I have been seduced by the sensualtiy and spontaneity of working with clay. I am inspired by art, different cultures, architecture, nature and fashion. My life is forever changed and I truly love the path that I am on.

LoRi KooP.com

lori koop Dreams are persistent, eager and real. Mine buzzed constantly until I met clay. Clay and I, that hot August afternoon, back in 2008, when our paths crossed. Time stood still, the world vanished, and I was swept up. Hi, I?m Lori Koop, and here?s how pots and poetry came together.
Don?t get me wrong, it?s been a journey. And as with every good story, it is filled with hardship, struggle and doubt. From business school to art school and all the years in between, I fought to find and get to know me.
And so when Clay happened, I was ready. I had something to give, experience to impart. Our creations come from the history of losing and finding, wanting and winning. I continue to explore, to experiment and to observe every day. We live honestly and unafraid.
This beautiful, imperfectly perfect life we share with you. Ceramics to awaken, encourage and inspire your bliss.



Tracy Chamberlin, ceramicists...

Tell me a little bit about yourself?  I was born in San Rafael, Ca, moved to Seattle as an infant, became a San Diego transplant as a youngster and now reside in beautiful Pasadena along with my dear husband who is ever supportive of my artistic endeavors. Briefly I thought I might like to be a forest ranger when I grew up. Mostly because I really loved those hats they got to wear.  Fortunately I came to my senses and chose art.

What inspires you to create?  Life, the universe, everything.  Random shapes and figures I see in clouds, peeling paint or doggie nose prints on the car windows.  Being with other creative people is especially inspiring. Brainstorming one idea after another until you come up with that "it's so crazy it just might work" kind of thing.  We have a running list of ideas going at the studio, I don't think we'll ever get bored.

How do you see your craft evolving over the next year or two?  I definitely don't enjoy making the same thing over and over so I kind of feel like my craft is continually evolving out of necessity.  The neat thing about ceramic art tile is that it's a canvas of sorts and I need to do is create a new picture to keep it fresh.  We like the idea of incorporating our tile in furniture either made by us at the studio or collaborating with a furniture artisan.  Also, creating large scale ceramic wall art and free standing sculpture are on our list of things to make.  Basically, if you can stick a tile on it we probably will.

What is your favorite aspect of being an artist? Taking an idea and turning it into something tangible.   If it puts a smile on your face, even better.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not creating?  I would say spending time with my family and friends, who I love dearly, brings me the greatest joy.  Although often humiliating, I like to golf.  I love camping but only if it's cushy.  I'm too old to sleep on the ground, in a tent, with bears.

Are there any tips you would like to share for someone who wants to turn their "hobby" into a business?  Well, what worked for me was having a longtime, trusted best friend to go into business with.  I thrive on being around funny, creative people and Soozee is tremendously funny, creative and as a bonus, very motivational in an unassuming sort of way.  I would also add that it's so helpful to talk with other successful artists.   I know there are lots of books on how to turn your hobby into a business but they're just books and you can't have a conversation with a book.

Any tips or suggestions on marketing yourself?  Get a friend to host an "art party" for you to sell your work.  Serve wine, it'll make your art even more interesting.  Donate your work to a local fundraiser auction.  Depending on the crowd, it can be very good exposure.

Anything you would like to share of interest?  I'm just happy to be here!

Interview with Soozee Van Dyke Woods...

Tell me a little bit about yourself?  I live in Sierra Madre, California with my husband, 2 kids and our many pets.  I love that I get to walk around on this planet--seeing the beauty, smelling the fragrance, and feeling the textures.

What do you make and what is the process?  I make ceramic tile with my friend, Tracy. We begin by drawing on plaster which we hand-press a slice of wet clay onto.  After firing once, we carefully apply glaze within the lines then fire a second time.  Remember those teachers who told us to color within the lines?...and fought it and broke free?...Well, I'm coloring within the lines of my own designs and loving it.

What inspires you to create?  I am inspired by the beauty of life-- it's cacophony beckons me.  I find myself trying to speak back through the voice of making something with my hands.  

How do you see your craft evolving over the next year or two?  I began this process in January 2010 so I am still taking small steps. I am confident that as long as I keep taking these little steps, a pathway (and evolution) will present itself.  Tracy and I have created a base for ourselves with our small co-op, Ramona Paloma Studios--and the future is bright.

What is your favorite aspect on being an artist?  I love making things and exploring the process.  I enjoy the problem-solving of manipulating materials and am so grateful that I am to express myself this way.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not creating?  I love to take long walks with my dog.  I love to watch my kids blossom into individuals.  I enjoy going to see a film in the theater, reading a good book and visiting the sea.

Are there any tips you would like to share for someone who wants to turn their "hobby" into a business?  Ask your friends what they are doing.  I have discovered that finding a like-minded individual to build your art along side of can be incredibly beneficial.  Together, you can create goals and work a schedule, share resources and offer perspective.  Take a class to find others with the same urge to explore.

Any tips or suggestions on marketing yourself?  Be appreciative and gracious with feedback.  Be bold when presenting your work!  If your expression is genuine, then the work will market itself.  I have also discovered that someone may love that piece that I thought "didn't quite work".  It proves once again that "one person's trash is another person's treasure". 

Anything you would like to share of interest?  I love this comment attributed to Henri Matisse,
"There is beauty everywhere, for those who bother to look".
Also, my friend Tracy and I are working on a blog.  It's in it's infancy and hopes to grow up to be a big strong blog one day.  You can find it at  www.ramonapalomatile.wordpress.com