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Unique finds: August 2017

LaCott Fine Art
Laura Cott

Laura Cott’s distinctive mixed media painting style and process showcase her fascination with pigment and fluidity. Using alcohol ink, a dye specially formulated to create a colorful, vivid pigment, Cott masterfully employs a no-brush-required dripping style to create random, organic and fluid patterns on stoneware and pre-fired ceramics. Her bold pieces offer people a way to inject art into their everyday lives…whether drinking a cup of coffee or giving a one-of-a-kind gift. See more at or at local stores including Fred Handmade Wares, MuseJar and The Painted Poppy.

Buffalo Bannon Designs
Tess Bannon

After graduating from Buffalo State College, Adirondack native Tess Bannon set up shop making and selling jewelry in Buffalo. She draws inspiration from a variety of sources including authentic Navajo pieces, urban settings, the outdoors and music. Incorporating these varied influences into her work, Bannon’s designs have a vintage vibe. The clean, simple lines of the pieces are sometimes enhanced with a hammered texture for a studied meld of sophistication and Boho chic. See more at or locally at Wild Things and Fred Handmade Wares.

Wood Turning
Frank Stanko

After retiring 20 years ago, Buffalo native and now-octogenarian Frank Stanko used his newfound time to indulge his inner artist. His hobby has become a passion and he is now a skilled craftsman producing bold and polished wood-turned pieces. Stanko’s striking creations rely on using a wood lathe, along with hand-held tools, to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of rotation. He also harvests much of his own native wood supply, occasionally using exotic (imported) woods to add color to his designs. His bracelets, French rolling pins, pepper mills and bottle stoppers can be found at Village Artisans on Main Street in Williamsville.

Weekday Best
Shaunna Russell

Painter Shaunna Russell is best known for her vibrant use of concentrated watercolors in animal portraits. Her custom pet portraits are focused on capturing a pet’s distinctive personality via bright and bold strokes. Animals, especially rescues, have a special place in Russell’s heart and she strives to portray their spirit in a manner that will be happy and memorable. She regularly works with rescue organizations including Buffalo Cares. While she specializes in custom paintings, many of her animal and dog paintings can be purchased as prints, too. See more of her work at

Doolittle Custom Engraving
Nan and Tim Doolittle

Former Artisan Hands owners Nan & Tim Doolittle are guided by the philosophy, “Reuse, Repurpose, Recreate,” as they etch beauty into recycled glass and rocks gathered from the shores of Lake Erie. Each piece is hand-cut and engraved to create distinctive vases, candle holders, cheese domes and more. Their copyrighted design for an engraving of Buffalo’s latitude and longitude coordinates on glassware (specifically, City Hall) makes a lovely keepsake for Buffalo ex-pats. They can also custom-engrave coordinates that designate any meaningful place. See more at or locally at the Burchfield Penney Museum, Visit Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens, Fred Handmade Wares or Urban Leisure & Luxury.

Glowing Glass Studio
Mandy Weatherston

Niagara Falls native Mandy Weatherston has always been fascinated by glass and captivated by its interplay of light and color. So when her children started school, Weatherston decided to learn glass fusing, devouring books on the subject and mining social media for assistance and advice. Her efforts eventually led to the development of her line of nightlights, lamps and glass accents.
Continually learning and experimenting with new techniques, Weatherspoon aims to give her pieces a modern and sophisticated vibe. All of her fused items are handmade, and each glass creation is one-of-a-kind. To see more, go to

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