Vino and Van Gogh › Design

Inside the Alamo: Jewelry Studio

Design , DIY , Greenville , Local

Have you ever walked into the Vino and van Gogh studio and wondered where all the jewelry came from? I mean, a wall tacked with earrings and mannequins draped in shot gun shell necklaces don't just appear over night!

The truth is, all of the fun accessories are made at my home studio. Want a tour?

This is where the magic happens!

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Below is my "think board" - this is where I tweak pieces and add extra detail to make make Marquin Designs unique

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Where everything electronic takes place!

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I added life to this desk by painting old song sheets from my college sorority on it. I love the pop of color it adds to the room!

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Plants are a MUST in my workspace. They bring life to the room and make it feel more homey

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Thanks for stopping by my jewelry studio!


We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

Stained Glass Made Easy

Art History , Design , Kids , Studio

Here at Vino and van Gogh we are constantly looking for new way to stimulate children's minds through creative kids classes. This week we decided it would be fun to teach a class on how to make abstract stained did we hear about doing this?

The students used sharpies to decorate plastic cups



Into the  oven they went!



And after a quick 30 seconds of melting we have "stained glass"




Just some cute kids makin' fun educational memories!

This is a great way to teach kids about artist Dale Chihuly and his glass artistry.

We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

Jazzy & The Dog Walk Book is Here

Design , Greenville , Kids

Marquin has illustrated a new book called Jazzy and the Dog Walk that is being sold in the studio.  It is perfect for a seventh grade reading level, but children as young as Kindergarteners have enjoyed it.  It is a sweet story about sharing and giving back to help those in need.


The Cover


Girls reading after one of our Kids Christmas Break Art Classes - perfect for 6 & 7 year olds to read


Reading away!

I am an avid reader, so it has been great fun for me to participate in working on a book that I hope will inspire young readers to enjoy books.

Please come to the studio M-F from 2-6 to pick up your copy of Jazzy! They are for sale for $14.99

Also be sure to contact us via the website if you want Marquin to come and do an on site reading and signing of the book.

Cheers! xx M

We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

Happy 2013!


Happy 2013 Creative Friends-
Cheers for all the Vino, Fun, and Friends from our Studio in 2012

We look forward to MORE Vino, Creativity, and Friendship in 2013




We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

Group Paintings

Design , Greenville

Sometimes a group will come to me and want to paint a joint painting.  This makes for a great team building activity and also adds a pretty grouping of art to a space in need.

Below is a shot of a group painting class from Zanti Power Yoga in Greenville.  Julie, my dear friend who owns the studio, rallied all of her friends to come paint around pre-sketched yoga poses.  Vino & van Gogh hosted a group of 20 painters and we played musical chairs all night long as we all took turns painting different canvas.

It was a great community activity, and got everyone's creative juices flowing.  I love anything that shakes folks up, gets their creative groove on, and gets them chatting.


We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.


Artist Interview with Casey Melton from F. is for Frank

Artist Interviews , Design , Jewelry

I hope you enjoy our Artist Interview with Casey Melton with F. is for Frank- she is a super talented artist who has literally carved out a great business in Dallas, Texas.  Casey is also an old friend who is bubbly and full of life: her work is a great extension of her personality.  I hope you visit to see her quirky, beautiful, work.

Where are you from? Atlanta, Georgia

Where do you live? Dallas, TX

What college did you attend? What did you study? University of Georgia, double major in Marketing and Sculpture

How did you get involved with F. is for Frank?  One of my first jobs out of college was working at a company called studio 3-0.  Shannah Frank was co-owner of that company along with a guy named Brad Oldham (Todd Oldham's brother).  Shannah sold her shares of that company and it was eventually bought out.  I decided to go work for Shannah and about year later I bought into f. is for frank to become co-owner

How has the business evolved since you started at F. is for Frank?  When we first started F. is for Frank, our main business was custom interior architectural elements like hardware, sculpture, lighting and furniture.  We did a lot of collaborations with designers and architects.  When the economy fell apart the custom jobs were the first to go because they were to most expensive.  We cast pewter in our studio and would make jewelry for ourselves, friends and family.  Shannah is trained as a jeweler so 4 years ago we decided to create a line.  We love creating jewelry because we can do it almost all in house and its all our designs.  We still do the custom side of our business but don't advertise it.  Last year it was about half our total revenue but this year our jewelry is leading.

Tell the readers about the name: how did you two come up with F. is for Frank?  Shannah started the company and her last names is frank.  It's cute and catchy.  People always comment.

What is your all time best seller?  Our woodgrain collection is still really popular and we have had it for 4 years.  Our fox and bunny collection draw the most attention

All time worst seller? The hickory collection was not that popular.  We cast a hickory nut with a natural impression of a heart.  I loved it but the nut was on the heavy side once cast in metal.

What, in terms of marketing works well for you?  Free press, editorial coverage, facebook, instagram, twitter, our blog and occasionally we will trade for advertisement on blogs, doing indie craft shows.  We focus on marketing that gives us a direct result.  People can click on something and go directly to our site to potentially purchase and then I can see the results on Google Analytics.

What, in terms of marketing has not been a success?  Buying print advertising.  we are not big enough or rich enough to just buy advertising just so people start recognizing our brand.  maybe one day but for now if i purchase anything i need a direct result.

How have you gotten the awesome press you have received? Being lucky helps, having a unique product, and of course getting to know the people that work for the magazines or knowing the people that influence the people that work for the magazines.

How do you get your work in stores?  We have done the New York Gift Show (NYIGF) 3 times and POOL in Las Vegas 3 times.  For us it took finding the right tradeshow for our product and doing that show consistently.  The first time you do a tradeshow do to expect to make all your money you have invested back.  I would be happy if you made your booth fee.  Stores don't always like taking chances on the newbies.  They want to know you are a brand that will be sticking around for a while.

How do you turn your ‘creative fire’ on? Experiences, surroundings and Pintrest

What is your favorite thing to create? I love creating new product.

What is your role in F. is for Frank? What is Shannah’s?  We both do the designing, sculpting, casting and finishing.  She does more of the technical aspects of the jewelry while I might focus on the production.  She does the accounting while I do the marketing.  She bids out the custom jobs while I focus more on the store relations.  We are both involved in all aspects of the business and its a true collaboration

What do you spend the most time working on?  It changes everyday.  Today I spent the majority of the day on the polishing machine, cleaning up jewelry we had just finished casting.

What is your least favorite part of your work?  Putting on the hard sell.   Its hard to sell your own work and a little awkward.

What do you want to happen with F. is for Frank in the next 5 years? Next 10 years?  I just want us to continue to grow.  I want us to be profitable enough that Shannah and I are making a comfortable living.  I want our company to fulfill our creative drive while not letting us loose focus on other important aspects of life like raising a family and taking care of our ourselves.


Artist Interview with Katie Poterala

Artist Interviews , Artist Marketing , Business of Being an Artist , Design , How to be an artist

This interview is a part of a rolling series I am working on about The Business of Being an Artist.  I will be interviewing all different types of artists, galleries, and professionals in art-based careers about their take on how to be a successful established artist.

It is my hope that this information will be helpful to an artist out there who is trying to make it.

xx M


Katie Poterala

 Jewelry Designer | Fine Artist

How did you get into metals?
I first fell in love with metals during high school, while taking a class at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, SC.

Have you always loved jewelry?

Yes. I inherited a love for jewelry as a child, most definitely from my grandmother. It's funny, though, that I only have become interested in making jewelry in the last year and a half or so. I always was sure I wanted to be an artist, but never considered being a jewelry designer, even while pursuing my BFA and MFA in metalsmithing. Looking back, I'm not sure why I didn't see this before -- the interest was there all along.

Why jewelry over larger sculptural objects?

Most of my artistic career has been focused on sculptural objects, including many of my more recent statement/fine art jewelry pieces, although they all tend to be 'small' in scale when thinking about sculpture in general. I became attracted to fine metalsmithing instantly. I think it's a combination of getting lost in and obsessing over the details, the intimacy of the size of the objects, the ability to work in a scale that I am comfortable with, and the relationship potential that small and functional objects have in relation to the body and to other people. Take heirlooms for example -- they're almost always functional, and almost always under 20" in size. I really get into the conceptual and contextual meaning of jewelry and objects -- which makes this a perfect match for me.

Working large poses some physical limitations for me due to some health issues -- but if there's something I want to make, I don't let this stop me. From time to time, I experiment with larger pieces, when the idea is important to me. For example, I just did a series of modified mirrors, still concerned with issues relevant to jewelry. I also hand built Oak display cases with steel legs and fixtures, utilizing blacksmithing techniques. There are images of these in the 'Decadence + Decay' section of my website:

Favorite medium to work with?

I'm not sure I have one favorite -- but I tend to be attracted to materials that allow me to achieve texture and unique surface quality. Some of the materials I've been using most recently are: powder coat, brass and copper modified with chemical patinas, and enamel. My work is all about combining materials, so you'll find some precious stones and metals thrown in there sometimes, too. I love the combination of high and low perceived value, and am freer to explore ideas and experiment technically using these materials in combination.

Favorite jeweler/artist?

This is a tough one. I'm finding new amazing artists/jewelers every day. I tend to be most attracted to work that is very different from my own. Some of my favorites are Amy Tavern, Jennifer Trask, Michael Dale Bernard, Todd Reed, and Lisa Gralnick.

Favorite color?

This changes, often. I am always very attracted to whites, grays, and neutral colors. Right now, though, I really like coral and yellow.

Where do you sell your work?

I sell at various galleries and shops across the country, as well as through my website and a UK company online.

Any other sources of income?

I also do commission pieces for private collectors, contract work for other artists, and teach all levels of classes, from beginner to advanced.

What does your typical day look like?

Currently, my typical day is split about 50/50 between doing administrative work (website modification and updates, marketing, answering emails, applying to calls for entry, blogging, taking care of class details, shipping out work, etc.) and producing my own work in the studio.

What do you spend the most time on in your work?

I spend a ton of time on the computer, believe it or not. Much more than I ever would have anticipated. This is because I manage my own website and do all of my own graphics, which is great as a young artist just starting out, but can be very time consuming when I'd rather be making things! In the studio, most time is spent cleaning up and finishing work. It takes way more time to file, sand, and finish pieces than it does to form and solder them. I also use a lot of patinas and surface modifications, which can at times be tedious, as they are carefully applied and reapplied until I get the exact effect I am looking for.

Favorite part of your job?

My work is all about interaction and perception. I love the excitement a person gets when viewing or handling my work for the first time, and watching their surprise to discover something radically different than what they're used to. I thrive off of being able to open people up to something different, and to expose them to the still thriving world of the well made, handmade object. It's really rewarding to see people get excited about objects that they can personally invest in, things that possess a story and history. We've become so detached from objects in our culture because everything is mass produced and disposable. It's so refreshing to see people find value in something handmade.

Least favorite part of your job?

The dry administrative stuff: business paperwork and such. I don't hate it, and it's necessary, but I'd love to just be able to shut myself up in my studio, jam out to 90's music, and play with my torch all day.

How do you approach a gallery?

I've done a variety of things. Unfortunately, there is no 'right' way to do it. Some gallery owners prefer email, some delete them. Some may notice a postcard sent through the mail, others have a special stack for them next to the trash can. Some want a personal drop in, and some will send you away before you can even say your name. I always scout a place out first, to make sure it's somewhere my work would fit into and to determine if it seems like a reputable business. If I can make the drive in person, I go in person, and leave physical information. If it's out of my reach geographically, and I really want to pursue a place, I'll email them with a link to my website.

What works when approaching a gallery?

I'm not a hundred percent sure that anything does. So many things have to fall into place to make a connection with a gallery. Personally, I've gotten the best responses by showing up in person with a no pressure attitude, good photographs, and something to leave behind with my information on it.

What has not worked when approaching a gallery?

Email, in my opinion, is not the best approach. I have gotten responses this way, but I have a suspicion that many times they hit the 'trash' folder without ever being opened. Having said that, in my opinion it's still worth a shot since it's quick and virtually cost free, especially if it's a gallery that's far away.

How did you learn how to ‘sell yourself’ as an artist?

Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of direct focus on professional development topics when I was in school, however one of the best things I learned was how to write and talk about my work. This is so important, because all of the other contributing factors to selling myself have found their foundations in this skill. Although typical expectations for professionalism in the art world tend to be a bit more lax, I think that there is still value in dressing professionally (at least decently) at events and meetings (avoiding the artist/genius grunge look). It is also crucial to be punctual, have good follow through, and be able to interact well with other people. If people like you as a person, or have a good first impression, they are way more likely to appreciate your work and develop a relationship with you or your product. I know a lot of stereotypical artist types, and unfortunately many of them aren't meeting their full potential because they've bought into the lazy, sometimes careless lifestyle that our society associates with creatives. It's just not professional, no matter how good you are at your craft.

There are also the technical things that shouldn't be overlooked, like killer photographs, uniform styling throughout your marketing collateral, and using spell check and professionalism in correspondence.

What are your goals?

I have a ton of goals, and they're always growing! My main goal is to be able to create a sustainable creative career for myself that allows me to produce my own work and continue to contribute to the growth and support for the craft and art fields.

How big do you want your business got get?

I would love for it to get big enough that I could have an assistant or two to help out with some of the business related tasks, freeing me up to design and make more pretty things. I'd have no problem bringing on more makers, too, which would be great because it would mean there's a growing value for the handmade. I definitely don't have ambitions to become a gigantic cliche 'designer' brand that everyone knows by name. That's not what Katie Poterala jewelry is about. It's more personal than that. It will remain handmade, artistic in concept, and designed for a bold and inquisitive wearer.

We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

September Guest Jewelry Artist

Design , Events , jewelry class , jewelry class Greenville , jewelry design , jewelry Greenville , jewelry making , Katie Poterala , Visiting Artist

I can't wait to introduce you to jewelry designer and Greenville native Katie Poterala.  She is immensely talented, sweet, and will be leading two fantastic classes in September.  I'm excited to have her as a guest blogger to give a little background on her work-- xx M

From Katie: Hi there!  I’m so excited about the upcoming metals and jewelry classes that I’ll be offering at Vino and VanGogh!

You’re probably wondering who I am, what my work is like, or how I got into Jewelry in the first place.  So, let me share with you a little bit about who I am and what I do.  My name is Katie Poterala, and I am a professional artist with a focus in metalsmithing and (most recently) jewelry design.  I make both one of a kind sculptural objects (both wearable and not), and I also maintain two production lines (including a brand new bridal line) that I make out of my personal studio, which are available online and in various galleries and shops across the country.



Earring Design Night - September 18th - 6:30-8:30 Sign Up


Necklace Making Night: September 25th - 6:30-8:30 - Sign Up

      I grew up here in Greenville, SC, and have just recently returned (and man, is it nice to be home!).  I first became excited about jewelry as a high school student at the Fine Arts Center, and can’t possibly say enough wonderful things about that place.  I fell in love with metals after my very first class.  From there, I went to Winthrop University to pursue a BFA in Jewelry, and then to Arizona State University for my Masters in Metals.  Along the way, I became connected to a wonderful community of other artists and metalsmiths, learned a ton of techniques and processes, and have found countless amazing opportunities and organizations in this field.   I absolutely love what I do, and am excited to share some of it with you!

     I’ve included a couple of images of my own work, one from my recent MFA Thesis Exhibition, Decadence + Decay, and one from my production line.  If you want to see more, head on over to my website,, and explore! You can also find a detailed artist statement there (under Decadence + Decay), which gives a more thorough description of the motivation and aesthetics behind my designs.  If you want to see some work in person, head on over to the Matthew Campbell Gallery in downtown Greenville!

There are some really great classes coming up, and some fun techniques I can’t wait to share.  I’m really looking forward to meeting you and making some awesome bling!

We are a BYOW art studio based in Greenville, SC. We offer art instruction - primarily painting lessons - to children and adults.

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