By Alexandra Tregre
This past December, at the San Diego State University handcraft fair, held twice a year, two California artists returned for another successful appearance.
Huntington natives Eric Silk and Mike Newmark have been attending the popular fair for 12 and three years, respectively. Both intend on returning in the many years to come.
Although both work with dichroic glass, a melting of glass and metal, and attend many of the same shows in California, they each have something different to offer their customers.
I must admit when I first met Eric back in 2006, my first year in attendance at State, I was originally drawn to his Grateful Dead tunes and the hippie vibe he gave off. However, I began talking with him and immediately, his kind disposition and passion for what he was doing outshined the 70’s exterior that seemed to enchant me in the first place.
Silk began a life in the arts about 20 years ago, first creating visual art and candles. The once-college student says the lure of working with his hands and having fun was just too appealing. About 12 years later he started working with dichroic glass and expanded his work to include jewelry and other art forms.
Silk’s passion for art has taken him on journeys to parts of California, Arizona and Nevada in order to sell his work. But he says SDSU’s handcraft fair is his favorite.
“SDSU is a fun campus, I do well here as opposed to a lot of schools; they allow less commercial vendors,” says Silk.
Students, faculty and administration alike appreciate his creative, stylistic jewelry, his visual art, and most fascinatingly, his shake me bottles which are bottles of swirly, shiny awesomeness. Silk says they’re bottles of simply water and ‘magic dust.’
Known for his more than reasonable pricing and his kind heart, Silk hopes to continue improving his work, travel more and looks forward to receiving feedback about new additions to his art. Look out for him in May at SDSU’s next handcraft fair.
Mike Newmark of Fine File Line found his way into the arts in a more abstract way. After retiring from the Vegas restaurant business, the OC native decided to take on a different field and first teamed up with his nephew in the crystal glass art nail file business. These creative files are made of dichroic glass and profile simple artwork on the top of each one. He soon parted ways with his nephew and began his own business with his wife a year and a half ago. The crystal glass files actually come from Europe, the technology was discovered in the Czech Republic.
These files differ from others not only because of their creative designs and dichroic glass base, but because, “the file does what it’s supposed to do; it never wears out and seals your natural (or artificial) nails,” says Newmark.
Newmark and his wife have a studio in Lake Forest where they sell the files, but also travel to various art markets around southern California to profile their work; Temecula, La Jolla, Hermosa Beach and Santa Barbara, to name a few.
“It’s been a pleasure,” says Newmark in an congenial tone.
However, Newmark invites artists to send their work to him as he’s always looking for new talent and new designs for the files. Artists can contact him on his website. If your artwork is chosen, he encourages the artists to come to shows with him around SoCal. SackMagazine encourages you to get artistically involved!
Both Silk and Newmark can be found in Huntington Beach at the Huntington fair every Friday; once a month the fair extends from Friday through Sunday. Silk and Newmark will be back at SDSU in May for the summer handcraft fair before the semesters end. So, if you’re in Huntington Beach, or any of the other mentioned locations, pay a visit to these chill dudes and be a part of SackMagazine’s art-centric revolution!