Monday, July 19, 2010
Mark Todd, Staff Writer 20.JUL.10
Aubrey and Shasta Deaver of the Little River community are blessed with creative gifts and have been putting them to good use.
Aubrey, 26, is a wastewater technician by day and an artist who works with metal by night and on weekends.
Welding, metal art and more are his specialties.
His wife, Shasta, 27, is a teller supervisor with the State Employees Credit Union. Her background in business and design is now put to use as a website manager, photographer and office manager in her time away from the credit union.
In early 2007 the couple started their family business, Iron Expressions, at their home off Crab Creek Road near the Little River Baptist Church.
The green stucco house they live in is also a product of their hard work and creativity.
It has been transformed by the couple from a bland, rundown building that used to house an antique store, gas station and beauty parlor into a completely different place.
Again, their determination and attention to detail got the work done complete with new interior walls finished with heavy wood panels.
They have a garden, a separate workshop, five dogs and a cat and keep going from morning to night.
There have been a few near disasters along the way. Welding can be dangerous, and Shasta said of her husband, “he’s been on fire a couple of times.”
At the age of 14, he spent three months at a Shiner’s Hospital in Ohio recovering from an accident that involved lacquer thinner.
Despite that, his enthusiasm has not lessened.
Ideas come from all sorts of objects that he sees, including flowers, while animals such as wolves and bears inspire other work.
“I try to stay away from stuff that people have already done,” he said.
The business has grown via word of mouth, through the Web site, and appearances at a variety of arts and crafts shows.
Their first invitation to a show was the Cashiers Valley Spring Fling last year. Things went well and they have become regulars on the crafts show circuit since then.
While they sell a number of items from their existing inventory, they do much of their work to order.
Have an old shovel or piece of iron that you’d like to turn into collectible art? They can help.
Aubrey graduated from Brevard High School in 2002 and enjoyed welding, shop and maintenance work while there.
Shasta is a graduate of the class of 2000 and enjoyed business and art at Brevard High.
The welding experience Aubrey received in high school built the foundation on which they were able to create their own business.
He was initially in a masonry class located not far from the welding class. The sparks caught his eye and masonry was soon in his rearview mirror.
He began early on using scrap metal to make tables and plant stands and helped raise money for the school by selling his creations.
He finds it hard to relax, he admitted.
“I’ve got to be doing something,” he said.
Leroy Richter, his welding instructor, immediately noticed something special in Aubrey and began encouraging and fostering his growth.
Richter continued to teach Aubrey even after high school, as they became partners in a welding business of their own.
As Aubrey’s skills grew, so did his creativity.
Soon after they founded their own business, the couple expanded beyond just welding and handrails to include metal art and custom ironwork.
Copper pictures with metal frames, fire screens, yard art and much more are among the creations.
As Shasta said, yard art “adds color all year and you can’t kill it.”
He bases his designs on the personality and home decor that customers have and goes from there. The result, he said, is “anything anybody can imagine.”
This approach allowed Aubrey to explore his passion for making unique products and nurtured his creativity.
Shasta contributes her own artistic abilities to the work helping with design, coming up with new ideas, painting, and using her love of photography to capture and display their work. They have an online photo gallery where anyone interested can browse through photos of their work. The website also has a blog and a show schedule so customers can stay up to date on their upcoming shows.
The web address is www.ironexpressions.com
The couple may also be reached by phone at 877-3655.
Special Thanks to Mark Todd & John Lanier of the Transylvania Times. We really appreciate you guys!
We participated in the 3rd annual Whimsical Art Sale preluding the SongSmith Gathering at the Porter Center on the Brevard College Campus Saturday. This was a small show only lasting part of the day. I think there was a total of 12 vendors, 2 food vendors and 10 art booths. For there to be so few vendors there was quite a variety of art among us. Live music was provided by The MoonShine Babies during the sale. News 13 even stopped by and got some footage of the event. And we were excited to find out a couple of our pieces made it on the news! There weren't many patrons for the Art Sale, but we did manage to sale a couple of items. I think the event was lacking in advertisement and signage, but I think there is lots of potential for an amazing event in the future. The Whimsical Art Sale was added to help create a buzz in the community for the SongSmith Concert. The concert was actually a benefit for SAFE, Inc; a non-profit for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. And what an awesome concert it turned out to be! Nikki Talley, Julie Lee, Beth Wood & Shannon Whitworth all preformed. If you missed it in 2010, you will definately want to check it out next year...
www.songsmithgathering.comAlso, I want to give a special thanks to Becky & John for coming all they way from Black Mountain to see us and for keeping us hydrated in the heat! Thanks guys!
If you have never been to Poppies in Brevard then you are missing out...It is such a cool store!
We had a great time at the White Squirrel Festival! There was so much going on; a parade, a box derby race, tons of live music and all of the vendors and games, that the whole weekend was exciting. And living in Brevard you have to take in to account our crazy weather too... we did have a few good showers on Sunday but it was so hot that I really didn't mind and it didn't seem to slow down the crowds much. Even though we grew up here, I don't think Aubrey or I had ever been to the White Squirrel Festival before... well, we are so glad we decided to participate this year! We enjoyed seeing all of the familiar faces and of course we made lots of new friends too. We had some new items for this show and they turned out to be pretty popular. We sold several of our bigger items which was really exciting (but now we're having to bust our butts trying to get new stuff made for the next few shows...I guess that is a good problem to have though, right?) But the best part of the weekend was definately winning 1st place in the White Squirrel Feeder Competition! Our Corn Stalk Squirrel Feeder turned out to be a big hit and I think it could become one of our 'best sellers'. The Transylvania Times published our names in the June 3rd issue for winning but didn't include a picture. (See article below)
Check out the pictures below and take a look at some of our new stuff in the 2010 Photo Gallery. We hope that if you missed it this year we will see you at The White Squirrel next year and don't forget to visit us at one or more our other upcoming shows this year! Check out our Show Schedule for more info.
The Hard Candy Christmas Show was great. Surprisingly, the Friday after Thanksgiving - Black Friday - drew in a fairly large crowd. Saturday slowed down quite a bit, but still a pretty good day for us. We designed a whole new setup / layout for our booth at this show. We were very happy with the way it turned out. We even got several compliments on our display, some from crafters we had never met before, and some from crafters who had seen us at previous shows and were impressed with the improvement. We also had several new items we introduced at this show. Our Christmas Ornaments were a big hit, especially the 'Christmas Tree' Ornament which was our top seller of the weekend. Aubrey made two 'IronWood' Trees to display the ornaments. Also new were the Painted Daisy Card Holders, Copper End Tables, Maple Table & the 'Harvest Moon' Copper Picture. Check out pictures of all the new items in our 2009 Photo Gallery.
Doris Hunter from Mountain Artisans did a great job organizing the Hard Candy Show. We loved that the show was indoors, and the Ramsey Center at WCU was such a good location. The setup inside was really nice; a large mat covered the gym floor and curtains separated the crafters. We were in the middle of a center isle so we were happy with our spot. We liked being able to leave our stuff set up at night and not have to worry about anything happening to it. We went ahead and reserved our spot in next years SUMMERTIME Show the 4th of July weekend.
Now we are getting ready for our last show of the year with the Transylvania County Handcrafters' Guild. Come and see us at the American Legion Building in downtown Brevard Friday Dec 4 & Saturday Dec 5 from 9 - 5 each day. The Twighlight Tour will also be going on Saturday so there will be lots to do... and they are saying there is an 80% chance of snow so come inside and get warm! Also, you can pick up some great Christmas presents for everyone on your shopping list. Hope to see you there!
Aubrey and I attended the last meeting of the Transylvania County Handcrafters Guild in order to have our work juried in hopes of joining. We are very excited to have been accepted as new members of the guild. We will be in the upcoming show December 4-5 at the American Legion building in Brevard. This will be the last show of the year for us and the last chance to get some unique Christmas gifts for the special people on your shopping list. Hope to see you there!
I know this is pretty last minute, but we just found out ourselves today... we are going to be in the Waterfall Crafters 21st Annual Craft Sale at St Timothy's Methodist Church in Brevard tomorrow, Sat. Sept 19. It is off of Hwy 64 at the entrance to the Transylvania Regional Hospital. This is an indoor show, 10 - 4, and admission is FREE. What better is there to do when it is suppose to rain all day?
We had a great time last night at the Gallery Walk in Brevard. Since we have pieces in the 'Art Unleashed' - Art About Animals exhibit we attended the artists' reception, along with Bella, our Morkie puppy. (Morkie = Maltese + Yorkie). While we were out we wanted to browse the numerous art galleries in downtown Brevard. We were a little skiddish at first about walking into the fancy galleries with Bella, but we discovered that Brevard is surprisingly dog friendly. Each time we entered a gallery, we were welcomed with oooohs and aaaaahs and occasionally a dog biscuit. As a Brevard native, you would think I would be familiar with the goings on of downtown Brevard. I am regretful to say that I have not spent a lot of time visiting the shops or attending the festivals in Brevard. I always saw downtown as more of a tourist attraction and usually tried to avoid the area if at all possible. I will definately be spending more time exploring downtown Brevard and appreciating all of the wonderful culture our little town is so full of.
This area is rich in artists with great talents. The mountains of North Carolina are full of so much natural beauty; from our abundance of waterfalls, to our magnificent mountain views and our spectacular sunsets, it is to be expected that artists of all sorts would find inspiration here. I was actually a little caught off guard at the beauty I saw just walking through downtown. Brevard has so much history and character that you can even find wonder in the seemingly ordinary. Last night I did just that... look below to see pictures of my discovery.
I want to say a special thanks to my Mom & Dad, Kell & Jami, and Melanie & Wesley for coming by last night and supporting us at the art show. We really appreciate you guys!
Until next time...