The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on Etsy.com.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Folkloric California - Celebrating the Folk Art of California

Hello! My name is Gwendolyn Garcia, known as seller GwendolynForever on etsy. The mainstream culture of my home state has always been influenced by a rich mixture and mingling of cultural diversity, ethnicity, and history. From the missions, street names, and names of cities influenced by the Spanish, China Town in San Francisco, or the farm workers from South America, and many, many others, our state of California is a colorful blend of many. I myself am a product of the American Dream and the promise of a free and easy society that all people associate with California. Though the American dream often seems unobtainable to most, and the free and easy lifestyle of California doesn't come without a price, folk art represents the hope and truth of a society. Being born of multiple ethnicities and descending from ancestors who immigrated to this country in search of freedom and an opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families, I have always been moved by the vibrant colours, sounds, and flavors of California. Folkloric is defined by Wikipedia as "Folklore culture, including stories, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group." In this article, I am featuring the art work that has a folk flavor and charm and represents the resilient, cheerful, competent, and culturally diverse spirit of Californians. This is the California that I know and love.
Beautiful hand embroidered cocktail napkins by IRobinson. These napkins represent resourcefulness, great skill, an eye for beauty, and a connection to nature that is present in most folk art through-out history. Our Lady of Guadalupe Cycle Cap by alloneword. This hat represents cultural fusion. The culture of Southern California is highly influenced by the year-round sunny weather, which in turn has influenced a desire to be fit and attractive, which in turn has influenced sub-cultures of fitness clubs, bicyclists, and out-doors sports clubs. Cross this with the influences of environmental consciousness and the religious influences and bold colors of South America, and you get a hat like this. Fruit Stand Fine Art Print by BarbaraGordon. This piece represents the truth of California. What says California more than a roadside fruit stand and a landscape of rounded mountains? Azuki and Mung Bean Mosaic Mini Birdhouse by SGArtCA. Resourceful, unexpected, simple, vibrant, and connected to that which is vital to all people- food. Folk Art Rooster Mosaic by BlackCatBazaar. The artist said it best, this rooster represents a Portuguese custom but is now a common piece found in many kitchens. My foster grandmother, who is of Mexican descent, has rooster decor in her kitchen. Does she know it is a Portuguese custom? I doubt it. However, she grew up on a ranch in Texas, and on that ranch there were chickens. Then she moved to Oxnard where she made her living laboring on farms, and she raised chickens there, too. Chickens are something people from many cultures can relate to because they represent a source of sustenance that crosses cultural boundaries. Folk Art painting of Spring Flowers by LindaKellyArt. Simplicity, bold colors, joy, and connection to place. Representing the hope and truth of a people. Patch the French Bulldog Pup by NatiCraft. Highly skilled artisan crafts using bright colors, whimsy and imagination, and another common theme, a love for our animal friends. Anima Sola Bottle Cap Earrings by FabDangle. Unexpected and resourceful, and ironic twist of religious tragedy, glitter, and strawberry soda. Little Spool Girl Granny Beth by StitchyImpressions. Folk art has always been about creatively making the most of the objects and resources around us. Remember Laura Ingalls and her corn cob dolly? This is a decorate piece but once upon a time it may have been an actual toy for a child who had limited financial resources but a very clever and imaginative mommy. Fanciful Fairy Figurine by Abbybelle. Handmade toys and sculptures of paper and clay express simply wrought figures that speak volumes about the spirit and imagination of the maker. There are so many fine examples of folk art within the CCCOE Team, and I could certainly list more but then I'll never be done with this post! If you are interested in discovering more talented folk artists within the CCCOE Team enter "CCCOE" and "folk art" in the etsy search engine. Until next month!

12 comments:

  1. What a great selection of california Love. A little something something for everyone! And Man I gotta get those earrings!

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  3. What an enjoyable feature! Our great state of California is full of such rich diversifies. Loved seeing some of the fantastic creations from some very talented artisans of the CCCOE!

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  4. Gwendolyn, Great blog especially enjoyed the background you wrote up. The road sign picture reminded me of trips in the summers when I was young with my family.

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  5. Gwendolyn, great post. I especially enjoyed the background you wrote. The picture of the road side sign in the desert reminded me of road trips with my family when I was young.

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  6. Love all the bright colors. Truly a tapestry of culture here in california :)

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  7. In a state that often feels devoid of the lengthy history of the eastern states and other countries, it's nice to be reminded of our own rich history! Thank you!

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  8. I have really enjoyed reading this post. Wonderful picks too. I feel very fortunate to live here in California.

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  9. Love to see all the wonderful pieces available from the CCCOE

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  10. Great blog post! Thanks for including my Fruit Stand pic - this area of the Central Valley is very special to me.

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  11. Great post and feature of the items made in CA!

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