Howard Lake Herald, November 16, 1998

Dancing ladies in wire art


"I don't think I saw four men the day of the Clara City craft show," said Jill Zurawski of Howard Lake.

That was because it was on opening weekend of deer hunting, she said.

Zurawski is hitting some of the craft shows this year for the first time.

She uses her artistic talents to create framed pictures of dancing ladies in three dimensional homemade paper and wire sculpture.

Matted and framed, the art pieces are also signed and numbered. She creates about 15 different designs.

"This is my first year, and I have hit some of the bigger shows, like the one in Clara City," she said.

There, buses shuttled shoppers from a high school to a middle school and a local church, she said.

"I thought after a year I would know what I want to do and what shows to attend. But I'm still learning," she said.

Some shows have prizes they give to the exhibitors. In Zurawski's first show, she got best in the mixed media category and a free booth at that show for next year.

"They look at originality of the product, plus some other things," she said.

She and her husband Rick have two little girls, so he babysits, and she packs up and goes to the shows alone.

"The people are all so nice. I just have to ask for help and I get it," she said.

Why handmade paper and wire? She already knew how to do the paper. She had seen some beautiful books made from handmade paper at some of the craft shows and learned the process.

"Well, I wanted to make a present for a friend about five years ago, so I started grabbing whatever I could find around the house," said Zurawski.

She made a form to mold the handmade paper on to make it a relief, then she took some wire and made some shapes.

"I had four different paper forms on the picture. It was kind of abstract," she said.

Friends and family liked the outcome so well, Zurawski spent a lot of time making them for friends and family as gifts.

"This year I sat down and made up the designs. I made about 30 to take to my first show," she said.

She tries to be selective about the number and size of the shows she attends.

"It cuts down on my time away from home and the work involved," Zurawski said.

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