Meet Ian Davidson of Ian Davidson Instruments

IMG_9739Ian Davidson makes electric banjos out of his home workshop in Manila. After building banjos for Wildwood Manufacturing (not to be confused with Arcata’s Wildwood Music store) in the early 2000s, Ian decided to open up his own shop circa 2009 and he’s been making them since. The process requires not only working the wood, but also wiring and installing the pickups and tuners with hand-drawn wiring diagrams. Ian’s side project is making travel banjos–something high quality that’s also smaller and a little hardier. While he has a couple good looking prototypes, he’s
run into some supply issues getting the right tuners which are no longer in production.

When I first pulled up, Ian came out sporting a grin and a surfer vibe. “Are you Ian?”

IMG_9748“Yes! Come on in!” I got to take a tour of his space and we sat down for a few minutes talking about how he started and where his craft has taken him. For Ian, the move to Humboldt was living the dream, where he could have his own workshop, walk out the back door with his own trail to the beach, and be in an area full of

like-minded creatives. His banjos have been used by many, including Andy Thorn of Leftover Salmon, and Bela Fleck during a tour of Europe. 

This is Ian’s second year participating in North Coast Open Studios. Last year, he got around a dozen visitors per day and really enjoyed getting to talk with new people about what he does.


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Meet Robin Friedman of Robin’s Mosaics

Robin Friedman of Robin's Mosaics. Photos and profile by Ryan Filgas.
Robin Friedman of Robin’s Mosaics. Photos and profile by Ryan Filgas.

Robin Friedman is a mosaic artist who started creating Mosaics about 12 years ago while her son was still in junior high. She visited Arcata mosaic artist Laurel Skye during North Coast Open Studios and was taken away by the work she saw. After that she started making art and taking workshops, going to places like Mexico, Chicago, The Institute of Mosaic Arts, and Italy. Through these different places she’s drawn cultural influence and inspiration, especially from her visit to Italy where she visited the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, full of alabaster windows, cobalt blues, and 24k gold smalti.

Robin Friedman 3During Open Studios, Robin enjoys meeting a lot of people, and talking with other artists. It’s always fun to reconnect with return visitors each year, who sometimes walk in wearing her earrings and glass jewelry. This is her third year at Open Studios, and she’ll be located in Beth Kabat’s Thimbleberry Threads studio in Dows Prairie during weekend 1 (June 4th & 5th) along with Linda Parkinson.

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2016 Visitor BINGO & Survey


NCOS2014_BINGO teaserIf you haven’t gotten the full color guidebook for this year’s event, but you don’t want to miss out on the BINGO game, worry not! Here’s the BINGO link (PDF) for your chance to win a gift certificate to the Art Center. For a bonus chance to win a gift card to Wildberries Marketplace, fill out our 2016 Attendee Survey (PDF) and send both in to get in the drawings!

Thanks to the Art Center and Wildberries for sponsoring North Coast Open Studios 2016!

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Lemonade Day 2016 This Saturday, June 4th

This Saturday, June 4th, is Lemonade Day all over Humboldt County. Local youth participate in this much anticipated annual community event, earning money and contributing to local causes that are important to them. Lucky for us, Lemonade Day overlaps with North Coast Open Studios! Here is a list of artists we’re told are hosting youth lemonade stands on Saturday.

3. Lynn M. Jones

66. Christina Anastasia

91. Succulent Bliss


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