Linda Stiles Smith
Crafting, painting, "Arting", creating has been my life since.....well forever!
Pulled to the outdoors - lakeshore waves, quiet streams, woodland paths and open fields with clear blue skies I've always sought out ways to capture the mood, the feeling, the peace that being in nature has brought to me.
Creating art has been a way for me to express those feelings and hold onto the moments of that experience. I can relive them thru the work of my hands making nature inspired jewelry, painting landscapes or crafting accessories peppered with bits and pieces of the environment.
One of my favorite things to do is to sit in my swing and watch the clouds sail overhead as birds fly by and leaves flutter down. The quirky combination of colors and sights outdoors often find their way into my work. The shores of the Great Lakes call to me every year and most years we travel to our favorite spots to sit on the beach and listen to the waves. Even the huge pounding waves of a storm on Lake Superior are treasured moments for me. (But more often I can be found rock hunting along Whitefish Point!)
I'm blessed that my husband of 40+ years, Dale enjoys the same things and shares these times with me. Having traveled a regional show circuit for a while these days we are more often found at home in the studio, putting our hands to work creating from the spirit. The inspiration is abundant. We hope to make your moments memorable with our art. Enjoy!
Inspiring Artisan & Designer
Linda’s designs often speak to women who are growing into their life purpose, who accept themselves and feel in tune with natures’ expression of wholeness, interconnectedness and joyful growth; women who are selective, appreciate and value quality, integrity and personal connections. Those who own a piece of Linda’s art say they are uplifted by the beauty and meaning that is an integral part of each piece.
Growing up near the Great Lakes, Linda has been making crafts and paintings since before receiving her BFA from Wright State University. Although fascinated with a variety of media in college, she earned a fellowship to Yale summer School of Art for her skill in painting. Being the oldest student in the group at 40 she managed to complete the session in spite of a nagging back injury upon arrival. It was a challenging yet inspirational time. Painting and printmaking was her focus for several years after graduation.
Linda then began making jewelry with husband Dale's lampwork beads until she discovered silver metal clay in 2002. Since then she’s earned multiple awards for her designs in metal clay including Best of Competition in the national 2006 Bead Art Awards from Lapidary Journal. The winning piece incorporated metal clay beads which echoed the lampwork glass beads made by her husband, Dale. Among the list of successes is winning the Presidents Choice award from the CEO of Art Clay Japan at the Art Clay World, USA conference. Regardless of the medium, her work continues to be recognized by her peers establishing Linda as a talented and creative designer.
Although Linda continues to make jewelry the lure of silver has been replaced by the colors of polymer clay and the many techniques available to apply to her work. The vitality of a mix of materials makes the results even more rewarding. The challenge of taking a material with color and crafting it into a unique piece of art that embraces the natural world is her passion. She unleashes the creative spirit in all of us.
Since 2005 Linda has been writing about creativity, metal clay techniques and being an artist to “connect people with ideas and information to nurture the creative spirit.” Her book, Metal Clay Basics and Bench Reference, released in Summer 2009, (now out of print) rapidly became the resource for beginning silver metal clay artists.
Among her many published articles is one about specific innovative ring techniques published in Art Jewelry Magazine in 2005 and reprinted in Metal Clay Jewelry in 2010. Over five years, Linda wrote a column, Teaching Tips, for Art Clay Society Quarterly, the USA based organization. She also was featured in a column on creativity, Eclectic Elements, for the industry specific Metal Clay Artist Magazine, published in Canada and distributed world wide. She was a regular contributor for several years to Metal Clay Today, the online magazine for metal clay artists.
As her interests reached into the polymer clay world, Linda wrote several articles for The Polymer Clay Arts Magazine in 2013-14. Tutorials and workshop lessons are also part of the long list of writings that Linda has published throughout her art career. "Creativity is an inherent part of everyone's soul" she says. Linda believes that the best teachers are facilitators who introduce you to new and exciting methods and materials and then step aside to let you create. Her writing has been an extension of that belief.
Selling what I make is in my blood! When I was very young my parents owned a small hometown business - "Stiles Shop" a store for children's clothing. I still have the stamp they used on receipts, and copies of the newspaper advertisements from the 1950's, as well as an advertising photo of them with a loaf of Wonder Bread for a local grocer! It seemed inevitable that I would follow in their footsteps. So in 1996 I opened Naturescapes Studio, now known for innovative tools, artist education and quality designs in wearable and visual art.
Being a working artist allows tool designers to learn and develop the methods that get them from point A to point C faster. Linda has shared a lot of that knowledge thru writing and teaching. She feels using tools and materials that perform well are the key. When a ready made tool wasn't available for a task she created it! (With the help of husband and tool expert Dale.) Her tools are now used by artisans around the world. Her line of original tools include Linda’s Lid Metal Clay Syringe Holder™ developed in 2006, and now Linda’s Turnabout™ and the Clay Punch™ and others.
Participating in many conferences, events and retreats, she introduced the creative artisan to the methods and supplies that she used herself. Eventually she decided that to offer her unique tools and supplies to a broader audience, Linda needed to open a shop on Etsy.com so in 2009 she did. Her shop, Naturescapes Creative Elements on Etsy offers her creative products to artisans around the world.
Today Naturescapes Studio is devoted to providing you with original and creative wearable and decorative art. Staying true to their roots in nature and spirit, they are exploring new ways to capture that feeling, that moment in time that best expresses your experiences.
“Living is a continual learning experience. Use every opportunity to explore, play and enjoy it!"