47 episodes

This podcast connects artists and collectors of Halloween art. You will experience the stories and inspirations behind some of the best Halloween art being created today. You’ll hear from dedicated collectors who capture their dream pieces. You will add to your Halloween travel bucket list as we explore Halloween-centric destinations.

Halloween Art and Travel Kristen Stafford: Halloween Art Collector and Podcaster

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 24 Ratings

This podcast connects artists and collectors of Halloween art. You will experience the stories and inspirations behind some of the best Halloween art being created today. You’ll hear from dedicated collectors who capture their dream pieces. You will add to your Halloween travel bucket list as we explore Halloween-centric destinations.

    Danielle James: Neon – The Brightest Art

    Danielle James: Neon – The Brightest Art

    Artist Danielle James (DJ for short), is conjuring up neon lights in her Durham, NC shop. Under the name Hex Neon, she creates custom work, restorations, and teaches classes. Her shop name and logo were inspired by the hex signs on Pennsylvania Dutch barns in Lancaster, PA.  
    DJ studied metalsmithing and jewelry making in art school. As a student, she got the desire to make small wearable neon pieces. This desire took her to a neon company in Atlanta, where she discovered neon is a VIP pass to really cool historic places. She also loves that she can make a big impact in the neon industry since it is so small and it needs more skilled artists. Besides the lack of skilled artists, another contemporary challenge is clients not understanding the difference between LED and neon signs. DJ gives us a good primer so you’ll know the difference. 
    Neon workers are called benders, because they bend premade glass tubes. DJ likens it to manipulating spaghetti. Benders skillfully curve the glass, avoiding shrinking the diameter of the tube. Sign colors come from the combination of the gasses pumped inside and glass tinting.  
    Neon work is exciting and dangerous. DJ uses two different types of torches: a crossfire and a ribbon burner. While neon and argon aren’t poisonous, some signs do contain the poison mercury. Benders must be knowledgeable of safely protocols for working with electricity to avoid serious injury and death. 
    She gave an overview on the glowing history of neon, from the pioneering French inventor, Georges Claude, to the golden age in the 1950s, to its downfall in the 1980s and 1990s, and the niche renaissance of today. Historically neon has been a secretive art, since some benders only trained family so they weren’t risking training future competitors.  
    DJ lives a Halloween lifestyle. She makes at least one Halloween piece of work a year. She worked for many years at a haunted attraction doing set design, make-up, and acting. Her favorite haunt job was being a crowd walker, entertaining patrons as a creepy clown. She collects retro horror posters and loves watching horror movies.  
    DJ closed out the interview by sharing a touching sign restoration she worked on for The Echo Project. This non-profit is transforming a building with a deeply racist past into a civil rights museum.  
    Alleson Buchanan, bender: https://www.radiantneon.com/  Eric Franklin, “The Body Electric” art: https://ericfranklin.com/  Frightland Delaware: https://frightland.com/  Hex Signs of Lancaster Country, PA: https://lancasterpa.com/shopping/hex-signs/  Leticia Maldonado (Tiza), bender: https://www.leticiamaldonado.com/  The Echo Project, Rehab Hate: https://www.rehabhate.com/    To learn more about Danielle and her work, visit: https://www.hexneon.com 

    • 1 hr
    Alycia Matthews: Painting it Orange

    Alycia Matthews: Painting it Orange

    Alycia Matthews creates joyful papier mache Halloween sculptures. Her process starts with a terra cotta base which gives her characters a distinctive warm vintage glow. She proudly declares orange her favorite color. She loves to wear orange clothes and Halloween socks all year. 
    Alycia turns to old black and white movies for artistic inspiration. She can lose herself in studying all the wonderful props. She’ll watch with a sketch pad in hand to capture interesting facial expressions. One of her favorite things to sculpt is the moon. George Melies’ “Trip to the Moon” movie has inspired several of her pieces.  
    She is a member of the Eclectic Halloween Artist Guild (EHAG) and uses her graphic design skills as part of the promotions team. This juried group of artists has an art sale on the last day of the month, January – November on their blog. Each month there is a new theme. Her favorite was “Creepy Carnival.”  
    Alycia is recharged by nature. When she’s not creating in her studio, she loves to watch the birds at her feeders, ride her bike, and walk on the beach with her dog, Tucker. She is infatuated with all four seasons and even enjoys shoveling snow.    
    As a believer in magic, Alycia believes anything is possible. She ended the interview by encouraging us to share kindness and smiles.  
    Autumn Brilliance Magazine: https://www.autumnbrilliancemagazine.com/  George Melies’ Trip to the Moon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Trip_to_the_Moon  Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum: https://www.pem.org/  The EHAG Emporium: https://ehagemporium.blogspot.com/  Please visit Alycia at: https://alyciasart.blogspot.com/.  

    • 26 min
    Jeff Osgood: Painting it Black

    Jeff Osgood: Painting it Black

    Jeff Osgood’s bold line of pottery features historic gravestone art that thrills collectors of Halloween, cemetery, and macabre art. His distinctive work is black and white, and filled with gravestones, skulls, crypts, willow trees, and epitaphs. His business name, Clay of the Dead, is a pun of the George A. Romano zombie movies.  
    How did an Ohioan fall in love with New England gravestones? During middle school, Jeff took a field trip to Boston which included historic cemetery tours. Jeff instantly fell in love the history, craftmanship, and messages of old gravestones. Today you’ll find him taking his students and own kids on cemetery tours. 
    Jeff worked as a groundskeeper and gravedigger at Wooster Cemetery in Ohio. In college, he majored in film making and created a documentary on a trip he did with his now wife and mother-in-law to collect New England gravestone images. He still uses those images as reference materials and inspiration today. 
    Collectors flock to his work for a variety of reasons. Some are interested in cemeteries, art, and history. Others cherish his pottery as mementos of deceased love ones. New Englanders have told him it reminds them of home. 
    His work serves as a memento mori – reminding us to live a rich life. In this way, he finds his work as inspirational, not dark. Creating helps him process the loss of his father. Carving clay is mediative and brings him a feeling of serenity and peace.  
    Jeff actively seeks out opportunities to collaborate with other artists. He craves how it pushes his craft, and enables things to come into the world that wouldn’t have come out in his solo work. Through collaborations, he’s expanded his work to wheel thrown mugs, urns, figures, jewelry, and linocuts for book covers. 
    His favorite cemetery symbol is the skull because it commands attention. Jeff ended the interview with his favorite epitaph: “Memento mori. Redeem thy hours. My glass has run and so must yours.” Jeff encourages us to cherish our moments and to be intentional every day.  
    Author Stephen Graham Jones: https://www.demontheory.net/  Ceramic Artist Curt Hammerly: https://www.hammerlyceramics.com/  Potter Mark Rossier: https://www.markrossierpottery.com/  Jeweler Star Strung: https://www.starstrung.com   Podcasts: Spooked, Strange and Unusual, and Pleasing Terrors   You can find Jeff at http://clayofthedead.com and https://www.instagram.com/clay.of.the.dead/ 

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Alyssa Thorne: Still Life Storyteller

    Alyssa Thorne: Still Life Storyteller

    Interweaving her skills in photography, sculpture, writing, design, and history, Alyssa Thorne is creating still life compositions that will transport you to other worlds. Her photographs are heavy with symbolism, rich colors, duality, and flowers.  
    Historical still lives have a language of symbolism that is easily decoded with a bit of knowledge. Alyssa is passionate about teaching this language and shares a little “Still Life Appreciation 101” in this episode. Still lives can document anything from trade routes to warnings that earthly pleasures will fade away. 
    Alyssa’s work is heavy in symbolism. She uses butterflies and moths to symbolize transformation. The skull is an obvious symbol of death. She doesn’t see it as creepy; it’s an educational tool. A burning candle stands for life and one that has been snuffed out represents death.  
    Her writing cannot be separated from her photos. Each has an artist statement that explains the story and symbolism of the piece. However, Alyssa welcomes all viewers to apply their own stories to her work. 
    Every piece of her work is a portal to another world. Sometimes the work will have an actual window or doorway in it, and other times the photo itself is the portal.  
    Death is a recurring theme in her work. She uses art as a tool for processing grief. She is honored to be part of the death positive movement. She finds the more she expresses death in art, the less she fears it. While she’s still goth, she doesn’t dress that way anymore. She found the more she put grief into her work, the more she wanted to wear pink and fairytale type clothes.  
    Alyssa gave us a peek into her process. Once an idea pops into her head, she’ll research and plan the story. Next, she gathers props from her extensive collection. If she needs new props, she contacts one of her antique friends. Once everything is together, she shoots the work, using only natural lighting. Editing takes 3-12 hours and consists of using a digital paint brush to bring out the desired colors.  
    Alyssa encourages ALL of us to try the art of still life. You don’t need to be skilled or a professional to use it to document an event or tell a story. She suggests starting out by watching some natural lighting tutorials on YouTube. Grab some posterboards and most important of all, HAVE FUN.  
    Antique Dealer Roses and Rue: https://www.instagram.com/rosesandrueantiques/  Artist Elisa Vita: https://elisavita.com/  Author Lyndall Clipstone: https://lyndallclipstone.com/  Author Sarah Elizabeth: https://unquietthings.com/  Dark décor of Star Strung Manor: https://starstrung.com/  Paper butterflies and moths: https://www.moth-and-myth.com/  Visit her at her web site: https://alyssathorne.co/ 

    • 52 min
    Stephanie Sherratt: Producing Halloween Magic

    Stephanie Sherratt: Producing Halloween Magic

    For over a quarter century, Halloween art fans have flocked to Petaluma, CA to collect exquisite pieces from their favorite artists. The original show, Halloween and Vine, has evolved into All Hallow’s Art Fest. In this episode, you’ll meet the show producer, Stephanie Sherratt.  
    Stephanie is driven by nostalgia.  She loves helping adults relive the excitement of their trick-or-treating days. Stephanie has witnessed the importance of marketing on social media go from being a novelty to a necessity. Even with the rise of social media, in-person shows will always have a place. She said, “when you become a true lover of Halloween art, it is important to see the pieces in person.”  
    The Petaluma community has embraced Halloween. Not only is it the host city for the show, it is briming with pumpkin patches, apple picking, wine, and residents who go all out with their decorations. The town is seemingly frozen in time with antiques galore.  
    Stephanie’s whole family is involved with the show. Her husband puts up with the house being swamped with swag bags and glitter. Her sisters and friends help with logistics. Her teen daughters know all the artists and enjoy selling tickets and drinks. 
    In addition to producing the show, Stephanie also does marketing, staging, antique dealing, and she owns a vintage holiday favor and décor business called Paper Fabric Glitter. She loves having a mixture of creative jobs, especially after having spent 25 years in corporate.  
    Stephanie encourages us all to continue the magic of Halloween art by supporting artists.  
    Visit Stephanie’s web site at:https://www.halloweenfolkartsociety.com 
    Mentioned in the show: 
    Artist Nily Nicef: https://www.etsy.com/shop/nilyfer  Artist Sharon Bloom: http://www.sharonbloom.com/  Round Top (TX) Antiques Show: (https://www.roundtoptexasantiques.com/) 

    • 23 min
    Sheila Bentley: Hags and All Things Halloween

    Sheila Bentley: Hags and All Things Halloween

    Sheila Bentley is creating one-of-a-kind hags, witches, zombies...everything creepy and Halloween. While Sheila will create young hags, her heart really is for more experienced ones.  Her motto is the more wrinkles the better.  She doesn’t plan or sketch; she works intuitively and never knows who is going to emerge from the clay.  
    The weirdest character she ever made was a rat witch with a human face. One of her favorite things is creating the small companions for her larger pieces. Sheila is known for the detail and styling of the clothes on her dolls. She makes her own patterns and sometimes paints on the clothes because it is tricky finding fabric with patterns in the right scale.  
    She started her career in the early 1990s doing craft shows. She created whatever was trendy, then moved on to Santas, and finally found her place in Halloween. Sheila loves that there are no rules with Halloween; you can be as sweet or as dark as you want.  
    Her home studio is a “hoarder’s delight” with “hag parts everywhere.” Sheila lives on a farm with her husband, who grows pumpkins for wholesale. Farming and art are a family affair and Sheila’s sisters have assisted her with booth duties at Bewitching Peddlers of Halloween. 
    Sheila is passionate for dog rescue. She has four dogs of her own and always has a foster dog or litter unless it is high Halloween creation season.  
    She recommended the collage work of Janice Lowry and wickedly whimsical works of Lurena Williamson.  
    You can find her work at: https://sheilabentley.com 

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Susiewhc ,

Creativity at its best

It’s a meshing of the talents and vision of one “Eclectic Halloween Collector/Podcaster”and the equally magical guest artists that make this podcast entertaining and super insightful.
Learn the Who What Where and Why they became an artist, and what drives them creatively.

I personally listen to the episodes more than once and scroll their art on social media if I can’t travel to the various shows.

GlowingTombs ,


This is the podcast I’ve been waiting for. Just binged every episode available and can’t wait for next season. For the Halloween- and Halloween art-obsessed, podcasts don’t get better than this. 👻👻

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