Apr 26, 2009
CLICK to see pictures from this event.
Nationally known silhouette artist Clay Rice brought his rare skill of cutting silhouette portraits to Portsmouth, NH Wednesday, April 22 when he created over 70 of these heirloom memories for local residents. His scheduled day was packed full with fans of this simple art form.
The term derives from Etienne de Silhouette (1706-67), French Minister of Finance under Louis XV, who cut shadow portraits as a hobby. Until the end of the 18th century silhouette portraits were more commonly known in Britain as ‘profiles’ or ‘shades’. This form of portraiture, being relatively quick and inexpensive to produce, was very popular from the 1750s to the 1850s, when it was overtaken by photography.
Mr. Rice proved to be as interesting as his art. “I started cutting silhouettes at about age 6 when my grandfather showed me how to cut out simple shapes such as barnyard animals and trees.” In fact Carew Rice, Clay’s grandfather was hailed by Poet Carl Sandburg as “America’s Greatest Silhouettist”. His hauntingly beautiful landscapes of Southern life and lands are sought after by collectors worldwide. Rice’s first paying job as a silhouettist didn’t come until he was 20. “I was living in Nashville, TN, learning to write songs and commuting home to the South Carolina lowcountry in the summertime to make extra money cutting silhouettes at the Pawleys Island Hammock shops for vacationers from the upstate."
Mar 06, 2009
G.Willikers! Toy Shop is thrilled to welcome nationally known silhouette artist Clay Rice to Portsmouth on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22nd. Mr. Rice will be creating heirloom silhouettes of your child or family from 10 - 6pm by appointment only.
The Lonely Shadow is the story of a shadow in search of someone who connects with him. A story of friendship and discovery, Mr. Rice's first book is beautifully illustrated in the style that has made him one of the premier artists in his field, the silhouette. SEE VIDEO
With a flash of scissors Clay Rice is able to capture a silhouette portrait in a matter of moments. It is quite literally, performance art. Clay follows the contours of his subject as if the movement of his eyes is connected to his hands. In about a minute a featureless sheet of paper takes on the uniqueness of the individual it represents. Clay truly provides a gift of rare artistry in an uncommon craft.
Mar 03, 2009
Our first Play Day of 2009 was a huge success as you can see by the HUGE tower built by some of our new friends. Today we had big buckets full of Keva blocks (made in the USA) and Wedgits ( one of the most intriguing construction sets we've ever offered ). Every Tuesday from 10am -12pm we bring out a few of our favorite playthings, spread them out on the rug and build.
Keva Blocks are all the same size, shaped like small planks and are made of smooth maple. You build structures simply by stacking the planks in any number of ways, creating various geometric shapes but also, suprisingly, structures with curves and rounded edges. Our Play Day visitors all knew what to do with these cool blocks right away without much direction.
Check out the world record Keva tower.
Feb 24, 2009
One of the best things about going to Toy Fair is being able to see the toys up close and in action. Most companies are demonstating their products, and encouraging you to jump right in and play! "The Touch" is a geat new game for kids ages 5 and up. It's "hands on" in the true sense of the word! Players use their sensory,memory and matching skills to locate objects. It can be played competitively or cooperatively! This multi-award winning game will sure to be one of our new favorites!
Feb 23, 2009
Let the conversations begin!
Some of our favorite products come from the conversations we have with our customers. This is definitely a great recommendation! "Gather 'Round Dinner Game" is a new game is from a company called Family Time Fun. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet the owners of this Massachusetts based business! They have added a new game with each new year of their growing business, and we thought we'd give this one a try! "Spice" up the dinner family meals with this inventive conversation starter! This great new game should be on our shelves in no time!