Forks and Corks anounces this years Artisans

This is our 8th year doing Forks and Corks, a meandering of Art, local Foods and Wine tasting. The event takes place at the West Allis Farmers Market each September; when it is converted into a lively evening of friends, food sampling from local restaurants, music, beautiful art, and great wine and local brews.


This year we welcome the following Artisans for you to puruse their handmade gifts.


James Steeno


James has always been interested in drawing and illustration, doodling on every scrap of paper within reach since he was a small child. Throughout his childhood his parents enrolled him in various drawing classes outside of his regular schooling to explore his creative interests. Earning recognitions and numerous art excellence awards as a teen prompted him to follow graphics and illustration interests in college. Since earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh, James became a professional artist and illustrator.  A lifelong Wisconsinite, James now lives in Milwaukee with his wife, daughter and two crazy dogs.

I am a full-time freelance illustrator and graphic artist from magnificent Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I grew up in Green Bay, and studied illustration and design at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh where I received my Bachelors. I specialize in product design, architecture, wildlife, and sports illustrations.

I love illustrating with watercolors, paper collage, and painting. I get a little rush out of making marks on fresh white paper or canvas, the creative process and watching images spring to life through color and lines. I am extremely lucky to have my own home studio space and that my creations are being purchased and sent all over the world to Etsy art-lovers everywhere.

My art is inspired by local strange history, impassioned architecture, birds, animals, and creatures, flora and fauna that share our habitat.


A creation by CJ Sanculi

CJ has a unique method used by the vikings for her jewelery. I own a few myself. Be sure to stop by and try some of her work on.

First off – can we have a little background information on you – Where you live? (if you don’t mind answering)

West Allis, WI

What first drew you to Art?

A project for school.

How long ago was that? 

When I was in grade school. 

How would you describe your medium? 

Jewelry with a statement incorporating intricate detail. 

What does it feel like to create? 

Very Relaxing.

What motivates you?

I normally don’t need to become motivated. I always look forward to creating.

What inspires you? Buying some new beads and other materials. 

I can hardly wait to get home to work with them.

Are you working on any new Art Projects.

 Tell us about your main project?

  My current main project is a Viking Knit necklace. 

Why did you choose this forum to express your art?

I like the light and airy look given to the finished piece.

 Where are you at with your main project now? 

As I am working on this piece I am giving some thought to several different ways that I might complete it. 

 What advice would you a young Artisan in promoting their Art?

Do not become discouraged. 

Do you think that being an Artisan is something that is in your blood?

Or is it something that can be learned?  Personally, for me it is something that is in my blood.  Only once have I taken a class to learn something. 

What is the best advice you have ever been given in your field of Art?  That I should not be so modest about my talents. 

How many hours do you work daily on your Art and what are your daily tasks for your work?  I am employed as a caregiver so my work schedule does not have set hours.  I can work on my art as little as no hours for several days up to 8 or more hours per day.  There really are not any daily tasks for my work. 

What will you be showing at Forks and Corks this year?

Viking Knit jewelry and hand knit chip bead bracelets with semi-precious stones.

You can contact CJ at


Debra Stubbe Burkart

What first drew you to Art & How long ago was that?

Since 2nd grade I just knew I was an Artist. My interest in the Arts (especially Music and the Visual Arts) became a real focal point of my life. I would have my Dad drive me to the library where they would have live Classical Concerts playing. After the Concert I would spend the rest of the day looking at the Art books.

How would you describe your medium?

My medium is non-traditional. I use acrylic paint on raw or unprimed canvas and then draw the details with magic marker.

Why did you choose this forum to express your art?

I love to paint and I love to draw and this technique allows both loves to unite and complement each other.

What does it feel like to create?

Creating is a high and makes me want to create even more.

What motivates you?

The need and desire to create.

What inspires you?

Many things inspire me but I enjoy textures especially the look of paint on a surface.

What advice would you a young Artisan in promoting their Art?

Believe in what you are doing and continue to ignite your creativity by challenging and stretching yourself. Always practice thinking outside the box.

Do you think that being an Artisan is something that is in your blood or is it something that can be learned?

You really have to have a desire, and a knowing that you are a REAL Artist. Yes you can learn techniques and dress the part but face it being an Artist is not for the faint of heart. It’s tough yet a rewarding road.

What is the best advice you have ever been given in your field of Art?

Always be true to yourself.

How many hours do you work daily on your Art and what are your daily tasks for your work?

I am constantly thinking and producing art. Sometimes the most obscure thing will trigger an idea or solution for a piece of art I might be working on or stimulates a new piece. I carry a sketch book everywhere I go. I’ve been known to wake up at night and start sketching out ideas or at the very least making notes. I normally work at night into the morning. I need to get the busyness of the day out-of-the-way and then I can be “Free to be me” and create without interruption.

Forks & Corks I’ve been working on some NEW and EXCITING paintings and drawings of Italy and Milwaukee Landmarks. These paintings are done with acrylic paint on raw canvas and magic marker. Originals as well as affordable prints and greeting cards will be available for purchase. Commissions are welcomed.

Barbara Kruck

All Artisans create from their intuitive centers and Barbara’s Art comes from their as well.

Barbara is a intuitive reader Artisan that will be joining us and her website is

Native American Animal Wisdom

Barbara lives in Wauwatosa however she is formerly from Boston Mass. near the ocean. You can often find her sitting on a rock down at the lake front in Milwaukee. “It’s one of our treasures” Barbara says.

What first drew you to your Intuitive Art?

It was a natural progression for me from working with clients to help them become healthier in their bode and mind to now their spirit, a complete circle.

How long ago was that?

It has been about  25 years.

How would your describe your Art/Medium?

I am an Intuitive reader that works with the Native American Animal Totem Cards to help guide and enlighten you.

What does it feel like to create as an Intuitive?

It’s wonderful and it’s a constant discovery about myself, my client and the universe.

What motivates you?

The Excitement of finding answers that will help clients on their journey.

What inspires you?

Life! I find so much in a day to appreciate.

Why did you choose this form to express your Art?

I feel very comfortable with the animals and their “medicine” or “spirit” and want to share my intuitiveness and advise wherever I am needed.

What will you be offering at the Vitality Art show “Creating life pathway” this year?

I will be offering my Intuitive  services to help others on their path.

Here is more from Barbara on her work

Ever wonder why someone is said to be “gentle as a lamb,” “stubborn as a mule,” or “sly as a fox?” These clichés originate from the time when humans studied their animal friends to learn their ways. Animals taught us how to hunt, what plants to eat and how to exist in an otherwise harsh reality.

It is believed that every animal has a “medicine” or “spirit” about them. Knowing their particular wisdom can be a message of help and healing to anyone who seeks them out. Animals impart knowledge towards a major path to spiritual and emotional success, guiding us to live in harmony with ourselves, others and nature.

The belief is everyone has power animals or animal spirits which walk with us. They protect us from harm and guide us on our path. It is a similar belief to the Guardian Angel concept found in many Christian faiths. Power animals are thought to keep negative things away while bestowing various kinds of knowledge and strength to us.

To the Native American people, the Creator is in everything that breathes, hears, tastes, smells, touches and sees, all with lessons to be shared. The lessons that nature teaches sets a pattern, and each person must find a way to fit into this pattern for happiness and harmony with self and nature. All creatures are equal, each performing its talents according to its abilities.


Cynthia Collins & Sue Stachelski

Where do you live?


What first drew you to Art?

Quilting with my Grandmother.

How long ago was that?

I started quilting when I was four years old.

How would you describe your medium?

I would with a variety of mediums and they all have their attraction.  Some, like chain maille provide a very structured framework to work within.  Others like polymer clay provide a very

tactile and organic freedom to explore.

What does it feel like to create?

Freedom.  Freedom to use whatever medium

calls to me today.  Freedom to use whatever colors I “feel” today.

Freedom to repeat something I’ve done before or jump into something completely

new.  Freedom.

What motivates you?

Sense of accomplishment.

What inspires you?

My work is often influence by my emotions, the

colors around me, and often people (Family, Friends, co-workers).

Are you working on any new Art Projects (if more than one);

I am drawn to Polymer Clay right now.  I’m working to be more free in my work with

less structure and rules.

Tell us about your main project?

There are several new techniques in the works but the main one I’m focusing on right now is adding Resin to my pieces.

Why did you choose this forum to express your art?

In a word, FUN.

This will be my third year at this event and I always meet such fun people.  The

atmosphere is so relaxed.

Where are you at with your main project now?

Early stages but these types of explorations generally result great things very quickly.

What advice would you a young Artisan in promoting their Art?

Know your targeted audience and market accordingly.  If your art will attract

certain age groups or has ethnic influences or geographic content, market in

places and ways that target those markets.  As an example, you will be much more

successful targeting a young audience electronically through Facebook, Twitter,

etc.  This approach may not be as successful with an older audience.

Do you think that being an Artisan is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?

Both!  I have always “doodled” or had a

need to keep my hands busy.  I had to be “taught” what I was creating was

art.  I am very grateful to the people I’ve been blessed to meet that have helped

me understand this.

What is the best advice you have ever been given in your field of Art?

Make what you like, not what you think your customer will like.  No matter

how well executed, if you don’t like what you’ve made it will show in your

work.  When you love what you’re creating its like a piece of you is embedded in

the piece.  A customer can’t help but feel that special nature when they see or

touch your art.

How many hours do you work daily on your Art and what are your daily tasks for your work?

This varies a great deal based on my other daily

obligations.  I try to spend 2-3 hours per day but this rarely happens.  At a minimum I

target an hour a day looking at things that inspire me.  I try to create one

thing every day.  It can be something that takes 10 minutes or 10 hours.  It just

needs to be something.

What will you be showing at the Forks & Corks Fine Art Fair?

My art is almost exclusively Jewelry.  The mediums are varied and will include

chainmaille, glass, polymer clay and more.

Mike Frye

Metaphysical and Healing Jewelry

Mike’s interest and inspiration in the Arts surrounds the more metaphysical and healing practices of gemstones and mineral’s. He has studied extensively over the last 15 years to understand the both the positive and negative effects of stones. Mike has a way of bringing this study to the art world via his jewelery work. He combines not only style and color but the healing aspects of each stone together in a package that allows those energies to come to you; what every that energy is. Mike also has a book that he has worked on over the years that allows you to look into what stones you’re wearing and what energies or aliments require certain stones; quite a read


Kelly Frost Fine Art Photographer

Kelly loves to travel, and the West coast is her favorite destination. Glorious rose gardens, desert landscapes and rocky California cliffs have given Kelly amazing photographic results. Emphasizing color, light, and texture. Kelly’s collection represents her achievements. Kelly also believes photography is a never-ending learning process. It is an ongoing challenge to capture that perfect reflection of a moment, a subject, a feeling. The pursuit of the perfect translation from eye to camera to paper is what Kelly enjoys most about her craft. She hopes you are inspired by her work.

Artisan Kelly Frost


Shelley Heath

I am a Milwaukee area free-lance artist.  I specialize in portraits of children, adults, or pets, architectural renderings in watercolor and ink, bold acrylic compositions of color and texture, and paintings of my favorite flora and fauna. I have done reproductions of Vermeer, Klimt, and Van Gogh. My portfolio can also be seen at go to

Valorie Schleicher, Artisan, Sculptor Photographer

First off – can we have a little background information on you – Where you live (if you don’t mind answering);

I reside in Wauwatosa and my roots are in the third ward Milwaukee, and  where my great grandfather took up residence in 1901-1903 213 Jefferson Street, after arriving in America with his three brothers while they stayed in NY Stephano came here, my family has lived in the surrounding area since the early 1900’s.

I Am an Artist, and Arts Advocate I hold many Art Chairs around my community to show Art in unexpected places. Where the everyday person can step into a space filled with Art and experience that shift out of time and space, into spaciousness, timelessness to experience spiritual healing, other people, and just be inspired.

I just completed my third and fourth Public Arts Commissions.  Last year I worked with students from MadisonElementary School in West AllisWI, and the last two for the Village of Grafton. They are Metal Guitar Banners, that show give a sense of History. They will reside in their historic downtown district, hung from their light poles acting as signage and giving you a sense of Grafton’s History. The Guitars will be installed shortly.


I was honored with my 13 award for my Strong Woman Series. The Strong Woman Series is a collection of women’s’ faces within sculptural ground that symbolizes the various moments in ones lives, moments defined through and about women.


I am humbled and honored to be a volunteer at Aurora Zilber VNA Family Hospice in Wauwatosa. I love being able to assist in the transition that comes with end of life, not only for the dieing but their families and friends.

What first drew you to Art and how long ago was that?

For me it was a series of connections first, as kindergartener I drew a clown in finger paints. The principle Ms. Maxwell hung it in her office at in Milwaukee.

As time went on in the 5th grade I drew the house next store to scale with all the landscape. When I brought it to school my teacher claimed I did not do it. I’m guessing it was pretty good.

My younger self was always writing and drawing. I knew I would end up in clay at the age of 12.  

However, I also do photography. It allows me to see the world in another view point. I picked that up at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design when I went to college later in life…

How would you describe your medium?

My medium is two fold using both clay, and photography it is grounding and very malleable. I can create from my imagination and form it, bring life to it. My Photography is my connection to architecture, cultures and the connections between all people and what connected us to each other.

What does it feel like to create?

Like I have my best friend next to me and we are living in pure joy, if one has ever experienced true joy and happiness all rolled into one that is me when I create.

What motivates you?

Building & Connections, I am good at it, seeing the dots and being able to connect them to people, places, time and space. It is so inspiring when they all come together.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by gifts that we all have, unique unto ourselves. I am inspired by love, children, strong women, people, places, History, cultures and communities.

Are you working on any new Projects (if more than one);

Tell us about your main project?

I have many projects on the burner, some have been simmering for a while I am a new artist at the Arts Mill in GraftonWI. A sister site to the NorthShoreAcademy of the Arts. A beautiful old building built in 1884 that wants to come to life again, we house about 20 artists some of us create there, others sell their work there all are on the second floor.

I am working on collecting faces of women from around the world, for my DNA pc. Back in 2005 A DNA expert found that the world was descended from 7 women, the book was called the seven daughters of Eve. I am creating a work of Art that shows these women and their daughters.

Why did you choose this forum to express your art?

Clay is so malleable that I can create anything with it, its like thinking an art piece in your head, but it moves from your head to your hands like precision and clock work.  It is so natural and part of the earth we walk on each day.

Where are you at with your main project now?

I am getting ready to put the Boards up and begin the layout with the 10 years of accumulated history.

What advice would you give a young Artisan in promoting their Art?

Dream, Love, and give life to your passion, what ever that may be. Learn all there is to know about it and work through each thought you have with your art. Play, have fun, laugh, trust your instincts.

Do you think that being an Artisan is something that is in your blood? Or is it something that can be learned?

We are all Artisans at something; it’s our unique gift, to our jobs, our mates, our friends and family. Give passion to your gifts so that they go out into the world to and speak to people, help people, heal people, move people, change the world.

What is the best advice you have ever been given in your field of Art?

Trust your instincts!

How many hours do you work daily on your Art and what are your daily tasks for your work?

I never shut down I am always working on something, whether its promoting young artisans or older ones, or some project that allows people to get in touch with who they really are their “Gifts”.

What will you be showcasing at the Tosa Fest Fine Art Show?

I will be showing my strong Woman series which has now taken 12 awards since creating them and my Photography.

I also organize the Fine Art Tent so I will be helping the artisans be at home, have fun, and create a great escape for our attendees to connect with Art and themselves; Sort of like stepping out of time and space, into timelessness.


ECE Candle

ECE Candle’s is a web-based 100% soy candle shop located in the Wauwatosa/Milwaukee area. ECE Candle’s handcrafts 100% soy candles that are modern, long-lasting, smell great,environmentally friendly and affordable. This local business is involved in several community events and markets to allow customers to sample their products. You may visit their website at for more information.

Contact information:
ECE Candle’s
6650 W State St
Suite #241
Wauwatosa, WI 53213


Linda Lenz

Lenz Associates LLC
S77 W16199 Mariner Ct.
Muskego, WI 53150

Artist Linda Lenz feels there is beauty in nature – even in the skeletal remains of animals who have died a natural death. Lenz is an up-and-coming artist featured since October 2009 at the DeLind Gallery of Fine Art in Milwaukee. Her work is both unusual and striking.

A casual observer might not at first notice that the beautifully embellished pieces at the gallery are actually cow and horse skulls. The life size pieces are so ensconced in diachronic glass, art glass, copper, sterling silver, brass, fossils and found objects – their real identity isn’t at first evident.

Lenz, the daughter of Wisconsin painter and sculptor, Walter Lenz, Jr., never felt she wanted to compete with her father’s talents, but still felt creative urgings all her life.

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my artist’s pursuits for a long time,” Lenz said. “I dabbled in many mediums including soft sculpture, and I finally started experimenting with mosaic when my sister introduced me to the medium.”

The best description of Lenz’s work is mosaic embellishing with a hauntingly beautiful perspective.

In addition to the skulls, Lenz has created many unusual works of art by finding inspiration in forms including wall art with insects as an inspiration and embellished boxes.

“I’ve done everything from shoemaker’s molds to the embellishment of Beasties,” she said. “But at the end of the day, I’m always drawn back to the skeletons. It might be because when my father passed away, I inherited the skeletal remains he used as subjects for drawing and painting. I stared at them for many years until the inspiration hit – I could bring them back to life!”

Although her work might seem too cutting edge for some, Lenz stays focused on her medium saying she can’t imagine moving to what some might call a more acceptable art form. “Something speaks to me, and I follow it.”

“I truly believe I am honoring the deceased animal by bringing a newfound beauty to its remains. How wonderful to look at a piece and imagine that at one time it was a living, breathing part of our world and is now taking on a new life after dying.”

Lenz’s work can be seen at DeLind Gallery of Fine Art, 450 E. Mason St., Milwaukee.

Event Invitation

Please register through this link as our website is temporarily down., or call the office at 414 302 9901.

Forks and Corks 2012

Forks and Corks
at the West Allis Farmer’s Market

Friday, September 14th  |   5:30 – 9:30pm
Event PhotoMark your calendars for the 7th annual Forks and Corks at the West Allis Farmer’s Market! Join other wine and food lovers on Friday, September 14th from 5:30 – 9:30pm at the West Allis Farmer’s Market, 6501 West National Avenue. Forks and Corks is one of the Milwaukee area’s biggest and best wine tasting events.

Fork and Corks is an annual event that combines fantastic wine and beer with delicious cuisine, beautiful artwork and live music. Enjoy unlimited sampling of nearly 50 wines and beers paired with food from twenty of the area’s best restaurants, all within the warm atmosphere of the historic West Allis Farmer’s Market.

Forks and Corks is ALL INCLUSIVE! Admission, $40 – advance / $50 day of the event, includes unlimited sampling of over 50 wines and many beers.

Follow us on facebook:

Event Photo

Forks and Corks features wines from Lo Duca Brothers and Syriana Wine Company.          

Orders of ten (10) or more will receive a 10% discount

Sponsorship Information
Would you like to be a part of one of the best wine and food events in Milwaukee? Click herefor more information about sponsoring a wine table.

Restaurant Vendor Information
Your restaurant is invited to participate in Forks and Corks 2012. We already have some of the best restaurants in Milwaukee and our spots are filling up quick. Click here for more information about participating.

Date:   September 14, 2012
Time:   05:30 PM – 09:30 PM
Contact:   Diane Brandt 414 302 9901
Fees/Admission:   $40 – Advance
$50 – At the door
Related articles

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s