Meet the Artists

Meet the Artist: Chris Sorenson (CMS Designs)

I find my inspiration in nature. Most of my pottery reflects my love of trees, leaves and the like. I tend to prefer hand building over wheel throwing, I enjoy the earthy quality of the finished piece. To start with a "blank canvas", be it a block of clay, a yard of fabric or a skein of yarn and turn it into something unique & one of a kind. I could easily go to an evil big box store and purchase a soap dish, but where is the fun in that?
I try to do something crafty everyday, be it going into the pottery studio or knitting while parked on my couch. Pesky things like housework and my "real" job tend to get in the way, but I truly hope one day to take my creativity to the next level and be able to do things I truly love on a full time basis.

I have taken my love of firing things at extremely high temperatures and begun fusing glass.  Right now I am creating mostly jewelry and dabbling in slumping bottles.  I am also organizing my second installment of Crafty Goodness:  A Modern Arts & Crafts Show on November 6 in Parma.  There will be so much local talent, I really cannot wait.  We will have everything from altered art to handmade bath & body goods to upcycled vintage jewelry.  And of course some stoneware & glass goodness.  Definitely something for everyone!  List of artists here:
You can also get daily updates from CMS Designs on Chris's FB fan page: 
As ususal don't forget to Buy Local, Buy Handmade:

Meet the Artist: Nicki Schneider (Zombie Socks) - Textiles
I never set out to be a crafter or an artist, I actually started making Sock Monkeys as gifts to give my family and friends during the holiday season.  It was my boyfriend who spoke up and suggested I participate in a local craft show.  I made ten creatures, sold them all that first show and I was hooked.   I started experimenting with different patterns, creatures, yarns, socks etc....  I love just sewing pieces together and seeing how they turn out.   

 I've been crafting for about 3 years now and I'm loving every minute of it.  I love it so much that in January of this year I got together with a few of my friends and started the Cleveland Craft Coalition (the CCC.)   My goal is to make ZombieSocks and the CCC my full time jobs.  I get so excited every time I'm asked to participate in a different craft show, have my stuff in a new boutique or gallery or when the CCC is asked to put together a show for a new venue.    

Everyday it's something new and I couldn't be happier.  Sure, I get stressed and over-whelmed sometimes - staying up til all hours of the night frantically making pieces for a show the next day - but I wouldn't have it any other way.  

You can see more of Nicki's creations at and on Facebook.
You can also become a fan of the Cleveland Craft Coalition on Facebook at

Susan Begin (Begin Designs) - Mixed Media
My creative process is a connection to the natural environment and to the creativity of cultures around the world. Having some experience in archeological and botanical illustration, as well as in surface design, my work tends to be realistic with a touch of Art Nouveau. Nature and cultural art both have influence on the designs I produce, whether they are intended for a mural, a watercolor, or a mixed media piece.

Developing my style of mixed media artwork, while often using hardshell gourds, was a transition that felt very natural and appropriate. The organic shapes of the gourds easily accept a natural, organic type of design. My pieces take on many forms, which include masks, vases, bowls, lidded containers, large-scale vessels, and sculpture. Each piece is one of a kind; most involve carving, painting, and pyroengraving, with the addition of wood, wire, paper mache, and other dimensional materials.

I have had the opportunity to show my work to a large audience with televised appearances. In March of 2005, a segment of ‘Del’s Folks,’ a series produced by Cleveland’s WKYC Channel 3, featured my art on gourds. I also found exposure on Home and Garden Television’s ‘Crafters Coast to Coast,’ which aired in May 2005.

You can become a fan of Begin Designs on Facebook!!