tis the season

to be jolly and support local artisans.   Hop around these venues tonight for Raleigh's First Friday and snatch up some original artwork to give to your loved ones!  


Susan Martin | Untitled (False Relic 1) | drypoint intaglio, watercolor monotype

Susan Martin | Untitled (False Relic 1) | drypoint intaglio, watercolor monotype



DesignBoxEpona & Oak & Anvil

featuring our 2014 Fontface desktop calendars (not available online) and cards.  these fun shops are your best bet for grabbing wonderful, locally-made goodies


Deck the Gallery show | Visual Art Exchange

lots of beautiful things for sale in their retail space and their annual holiday show is sure to be fun



Come visit me in studio 108 to see some new surprises, get a look at my newest installation in the entryway windows and see my friend's rad exhibition  








Gran Sabana Stalk Fungus Colony

With the help of my friend, Ron Skylstadwe've come up with a name for the installation: the Gran Sabana Stalk Fungus Colony.  


Ron Skylstad, Naturalist and Storyteller {big thank you to Ron for the imaginative description!  His creative writing and fascination with biodiversity breathes life into my work and I love collaborating with him in this way!}  

Imagine for a moment that this is a real fungus just recently discovered and you're reading about it for the first time...  




"In the Guiana Highlands of Venezuela are massive table-top mesas that protrude from the vast sea of tropical savannah that surrounds them.  Known as tepuis, these isolated geologic structures serve as veritable islands, hosting a unique array of endemic plant and animal species.  Tepuis served as the source of inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, in which a trio of Victorian explorers scaled their sheer slopes and discovered an ecosystem rife with prehistoric holdovers and species long forgotten to science.  Although we now know these formations don’t play host to 21st century dinosaur populations, new species have nonetheless been discovered inhabiting them.  Perhaps one of the most intriguing is a species of fungus that is found nowhere else on earth.  


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby


  The fungus Leucocoprinus sabanensis, also known as the Gran Sabana Stalk Fungus Colony, exists in a mutualistic relationship with a species of leaf cutter ant from the genus Acromyrmex.  The ants cultivate the fungus on the exposed cliff walls of the monolithic tepuis, making it largely inaccessible to predators such as the coatimundi and fungivorous insects.  The sandstone substrate of the cliffs, however, provides no nutrition for the fungus colony.  The ants tend it by collecting organic material (plant, wood, arthropod and flower detritus) and storing it within the fungus’ chambers, where it is further decomposed and converted into nutrients.  In exchange, the fungus provides nourishment to the ants who harvest portions of it for their own nutrition as well as for the rearing of larvae.   Pieces are regularly removed and “planted” elsewhere on the cliffsides, resulting in numerous fungus groups being tended by a single ant colony at any given time. 


  The organization of the fungus by the ants can be complex: “doorways” are often opened up between different chambers, allowing ease of movement for the ants throughout the fungal structure.  Some chambers are used solely as feeding pods where organic material is stored, whereas others are used for the rearing of larvae as well as a single chamber for the hosting of the queen."



- Ron Skylstad, Naturalist and Storyteller






Installation complete!

Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby

My studio manager runs a tight ship around here


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby

I love how the forms look different depending on the time of day


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby

The moment of truth


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby



Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby


Fungus Colony installation | waxed cloth | Shannon Newby


This was by far the biggest and most elaborate installation I've created yet.  It took about 72 hours, 2.5 yards of fabric, 2 lbs of wax, 640 black grommets, 2 blow torches (and a torch-buddy), and a boat load of patience to make.  More information, including the scientific name and description will be in the next blog post.  


this week in the studio

Erik and I are tickled pink to debut our first Fontface tshirt designs!  These will be for sale tonight in my studio (Artspace studio #108 6-10 pm tonight for First Friday) and soon, will make their way into Epona & Oak and our etsy shop.  



Raleigh awesome | silkscreened shirt by Fontface

{Geeking out with our new shirts}



Meanwhile, I've been plugging away on an upcoming installation piece inspired by barnacles and fungus.  It's a simple waxed cloth piece that keeps growing and growing....


new work by Shannon Newby

{work in process}



And here's another shot of my studio manager.  I mean, seriously.  Who can resist those blue eyes?


Shannon Newby{My little Sunshine}