Three Pines Studio is Gene Reck and Joann Condino’s baby. Founded 14 years ago, the studio features works from more than 40 Emmet County artists, along with others from north of the 45th parallel.
In the airy, cedar shake structure, watercolors and oils, pottery and photography abound, as well as decorative lighting and other home accessories.
Hand dyed and/or painted scarves and vests, indigo batik and silk shiborim – all created by Condino – are colorful punctuations in the gallery, where creativity and stories all have their place.
Condino and Reck met while both were working at Wayne State University. Reck, a retired scientist turned potter, works in ceramics used for growing plants and cut flowers, as well as hand-formed functional pottery.
For her part, Condino is at home in the world of fibers, dyeing and painting functional and wearable art.
Constantly in motion in the gallery, she is passionate about her work and her studio.
“I’m Italian, and my father gave me crate tops. I’d paint on the tops,” she said.
While Three Pines displays a variety of artists and media, it is more than a gallery. It is a working studio, and not just for its two owners. It offers a number of work shops, in such media as plein air pastels, papermaking, quillwork, and jewelry.
Fabric arts workshops include open studio woodblock sessions, which are held every Wednesday in July and August. These offer insights and instruction on how to use a wide variety of woodblocks and textile paints on cotton. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the studio offers instruction for Shibori-Indigo and Batik-Indigo during dropin studio time.
Cultivating kids into artists is also a passion for Three Pines: Thursdays, there are kids workshops in painting, sculpture, collage, and jewelry. Some July and August Fridays will find the studio enchanted with fairy fun.
“It’s the excitement of constantly doing and making,” said Condino.
The “doing and making” is primarily local, with all artists from north of the 45th parallel save for one who moved to Grand Rapids, Condino said.
Artists with works on display include Harry Boyer of Harbor Springs and Lynn Dinning of Good Hart. Their colorful blown glass decorations are among the many highlights at the gallery, which also includes a fall glass pumpkin patch that visitors line up for, Condino said.
One of the more striking visual displays, however, is Three Pines’ yarn display, the result of the studio’s The Colors of Crooked Tree Yarn project.
Begun eight years ago to support a sustainable farm-to-market enterprise in Cross Village, Three Pines hand paints its own yarn, which is sourced from English Leicester longwool sheep raised at nearby Lake View Farm and spun at Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan.
In addition to the studio display, Condino’s artisan yarns may be purchased at the Harbor Springs Market every Wednesday and Saturday from June-October.
This year’s yarn colors include what Condino has dubbed the Coffee House Collection, with latte, cappuccino multi, chai and green tea colors. The Spice collection includes cayenne, cumin and paprika; the Lake Collection with blues and sunset colors; and Spice Carnation, the studio’s version of Radiant Orchid, the Pantone color of the year. Fine arts weaver Jerry Ripley uses the studio’s yarns to create his works of art.
Beyond beauty, art is also about surprise.
One might not expect to find such a voluminous array of artwork in the tiny town of Cross Village…but lucky for us, it’s there.
Three Pines Studio is located at 5959 W. Levering Road in Cross Village. Phone (231) 526-9447, or visit threepinesstudio. com or its Facebook page for more information on workshops.