Yorktown Victory Monument

Yorktown Victory Monument

We took a lazy morning today (7/16/15) to accomplish some things we needed to attend to, but headed out to Historic Yorktown to just get out of the house for a little while.  We initially strolled down by the river, and though we went into a  few shops and heard the music drifting down from the summer season of music on the waterfront, we didn’t really find anything that caught our fancy.

I had really looked forward to visiting some of the older shops in the historic area, so we drove up to the historic area.  Because we were so late in the day, a number of stores were closed.  I was disappointed to notice the antique store I was looking forward to visiting was closed.  But, just down the road was a little white building called the On the Hill Gallery.  We decided to go in, and I’m so glad we did.

We were warmly greeted by Lisa Mosser who told us that this Gallery displayed the work of between 50 and 60 local artists.  The artwork varies from photography to paintings, from sculpture to beadwork to specially dyed scarves, but there is truly something for everyone.  One of the most fascinating things for us is the creativity people have.  Seeing wind chimes made from keys, silverware, shells, and bead work;  sea glass jewelry, or beautifully painted furniture, we were impressed by what these artists have developed.

Some of John Tobin's sculptures

Some of John Tobin’s sculptures

One of the artists who happened to be at the gallery was John Tobin, who creates clay sculptures, though his website displays his work in some other mediums.  He took us to the rear of the Gallery to see a few of his pieces in the beach theme exhibit.  He shared that he’s been with the Gallery for about a year, but before that, he had taught overseas in the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in Germany and Japan.  We also saw a collection of his work in the main Gallery.  John was both very personable, and it turns out, very humble as well.  His resume’ is a mile long, and he has won numerous awards for his work.  His website also shared some incredible pieces that it would be neat to see up close.  This is where you can check out John Tobin.

While we were talking to John, we were standing at a display case featuring some incredibly detailed bead creations.  I admired them audibly, and Lisa responded, “Oh, thanks.  Those are mine.”  I was intrigued.  I had noticed the beautiful necklace she had on the instant I’d walked in.

Lisa Mosser with some of her creations

Lisa Mosser with some of her creations (Check out the necklace!)

I asked how she made them, and she took out a few handcrafted pens with differently designed elongated bead handles.  She explained the different types of bead work she designs, showing us an example of each.  She shared that she gets her glass from Italy and then designs the patterns. through a lampworking technique.  For those unfamiliar with lampworking, it involves heating the glass to the point where it becomes molten, then shaping it using tools or hand movements. Lisa uses the beads she makes for jewelry, handles of utensils, display beads, thimbles, and a variety of additions to other pieces.

Lisa also shared that her husband is a craftsman as well.  I learned from their website that he does incredible woodworking.  In addition to the work they do separately, Lisa and Chuck also make some items together. You can check out their website for yourself here.

All in all, we had a great visit and learned more about this beautiful area.