About Carolyn Schena

Studio 12 is a working studio and gallery owned and operated by husband and wife artists Gary and Carolyn Schena. The Schenas' art work includes pottery, glass fusion and mixed media. Located in Avon, North Carolina on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, studio 12 welcomes all ages to paint pottery, make mosaics or try glass fusion. The Studio 12 gallery is filled with hand Crafted American art with a focus on North Carolina Artists.

Fun things to do in Avon!

Sea glass jewelry class July 18th or 19th AND Good Clean Fun for toddlers ages 3 and up on July 23rd!

Laura Howard will be back again at Studio 12 on Thursday July 18th and Friday July 19th offering several classes in sea glass jewelry making.  Here is what student’s had to say during her last visit to Studio 12:

“Laura is a great instructor, I learned so much and had a lot of fun!”

“I learned more from this sea glass class than from other classes I took with other instructors, she makes it easy to create beautiful pieces!”

Sign up for one of Laura’s classes and create your own unique pieces of art. You can do earrings or a pendant or both! The cost of the class is $26 pp to make a one piece and you have the option of making more for additional costs.

Thursday’s class will be at 4pm and Friday at 10 am. The class is great for ages 9 and up so bring the whole family for some sea glass fun!

There is limited space for each class providing excellent student to teacher ratio so sign up online and reserve your spot today!

Another fun class coming to Studio 12 is Soap Sculpty!  Great for toddlers ages 3 years old and up!  OBX soap maker Christina Deneka from Hollow daze Surf Designs will teach kids how natural soap is made while having some good clean fun making their own animal sculptures. Soap Sculpty will be Wednesday July 23rd at 9:30am. $22 per child.

Make Your Own Body Butter – This class will be held on Wednesday July 24 at 4 pm for ages 13 and up!  Soap maker Christina Deneka of Hollow Daze will help take you through the world of handcrafted soaps and the beneficial properties of essential oils.  You will learn about and experience first-hand a variety of essential oils and other terrific natural ingredients (think: Lemongrass, Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint (and more) Essential Oils, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax).  Then apply your knowledge to create your very own customized body butter.  And you won’t stop there — you will also choose the Essential Oils to create a special blend for your customized bottle of liquid castile soap.  Sign up online today!

These are just two of the many different classes Studio 12 has to offer, check out our website and be a fan on our facebook page to get the latest info!



Win a Betty Horan Photo Print

Enter for your chance to win a photography print from OBX photographer Betty Horan by clicking on this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway  And if you are on Hatteras Island June 27th sign up for Betty’s Photogrpahy class “Tricks and Tips for Photographing the Beach” her class will cover the basics of light and composition. With over 20 years of teaching experience Betty’s classes are fun and informative! Great for ages 12 and up! $18.00 pp. Sign up for her class right here online! And don’t forget to click this link a Rafflecopter giveaway to enter our giveaway for your chance to win a 8″ x 10″ matted photography print of the beach from Betty Horan!

Things to do on Hatteras Island

We always welcome kids and kids at heart of all ages to the studio any time to paint pottery or do mosaics and in addition we have a series of special art classes happening throughout the summer! Check out the list below and then secure your spot by registering online!

GLASS FUSION DISH with Carolyn Schena  June 19th 4 pm   Learn how to cut and design glass that will be fused and slumped to make your very own special dish perfect for candy or other what nots! This class is great for ages 10 and up.  Pieces are kiln fired and ready for pick up on Friday. $32  per person

Get a better beach Shot! Photography with Betty Horan Thursday June 27th 7pm.  Learn about light and composition to help you capture some really beautiful beach memories! $18 per person, great for ages 12 and up!



SEA GLASS wrapping to make your own jewelry with Laura Howard.  Thurs July 18th 4pm and/or Friday July 19th10 am. Back by popular demand Laura’s classes are really fun and informative. All materials will be provided but feel free to bring your own pieces of sea glass if you have them! $26 per person.

Sea glass wrapping!

Soap Sculpting for kids! with Christina Deneka.  July 23rd 9:30am Now this is what we call good clean fun! Soapmaker Christina Deneka of Hollow Daze will be here  to lead a hands-on soap sculpting activity! Don’t miss this fun  opportunity to create your very own unique soap sculpture and learn a  lot about soap in the process.
Hollow Daze sculpting soaps are colored with natural ingredients like  paprika, lavender and cornmeal and scented with kid-friendly essential oils. Hollow Daze soaps contain no synthetic colorants or fragrances.
Class is $22 and includes all materials.  Ages 3 and up.Make your own Body Butter  July 23rd 4pm Essential Oils, Body Butter & Liquid Castile soap!!! Soapmaker  Christina Deneka of Hollow Daze will be here to lead this hands-on  class.  Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about essential  oils, natural body butters and liquid castile soap.  Participants will  create their very own body butter and choose the essential oils to  complete a customized Liquid Castile body wash.
Hollow Daze soaps are made exclusively with premium natural ingredients.  Hollow Daze soaps feature essential oils, are paraben  and sulfate free and contain no synthetic fragrances or colorants.
Class is $39 and includes all materials. 

Acrylic Painting (Sip and Dip South) with Katy Caroline  Aug. 8th 4:30 pm  Take advantage of this rare opportunity to have a painting class at Studio 12 with renowned OBX artist Katy Caroline.  Katy has received local and regional recognition for her work including The Beach Beach Cover Competition, The Glenn Eure’s Self Portrait Exhibition and the Landmark Exhibition. Sign up for this fun and interactive class and you will get to make your own 16″ x 20″ canvas masterpiece!  No experience is necessary; a great class for ages 12 and up! Everyone will get to paint their own Funky sea turtle 4:30pm to 7:30pm (ish) feel free to bring your own libations to sip and munch while painting. 

GLASS FUSION JEWELRY with Studio 12 owner Carolyn Schena.  This is an ongoing class held every week on Thursdays at 10 am.  Carolyn will teach you how to combine different pieces of fusible glass to make your own sparkling jewels perfect to wear and great to give! $28 per person receive 15% off any additional pieces!

Each of our classes have a maximum number of students, in order to ensure that each students gets good attention from the instructors.  So if you want to secure your spot, visit our website and you can register online or call us we are open Monday thru Friday 10 to 7pm and Saturday 10 to 4 pm. 252-995-7899  Make sure to like us faceook in order to keep up with the latest schedule and to find out if we have added any new classes.  If you have a group of 6 or more people who want to schedule a private class we can accomodate that too!

Photography Workshop – Outer Banks Art

Local Photographer Betty Horan leads a workshop on Thursday May 30th “Tips and Tricks for Photographing at the Beach”

Although Betty Horan was born in South West Virginia, her heart it seems has been in Hatteras forever.  Many of you may remember the Blue Parrot restaurant located on the North end of Avon, with beautiful water view and delicious food. Betty and her husband Bill started the Blue Parrot with its first location being in the old castaways hotel.  Or if you have visited Studio 12 in the past several years, chances are Betty would have been once of the smiling faces greeting you!

Betty’s camera has been a trusted friend that she has carried throughout her life.  She remembers as a child never handing in a school project that didn’t involve the use of her brownie. “I just seem to have a penchant for beautiful places,” Betty says. “Having grown up on in a small town located on the Appalachian trail and then getting to live on Hatteras Island.”

Take advantage of Betty’s knowledge both of the Island and of composition and how to get a great photo. Listen to an interview with her on our Youtube channel!  http://youtu.be/6FmLIBOkGYc Studio 12 carries Betty’s prints in the gallery both matted and bagged as well as framed. Like us on facebook and get you chance to win one of her prints during our FB contests May 15th – May 28th

Betty’s workshop will be Thursday May 30th at 7:30pm. Limited space so sign up early! $18.00 per person recommended for ages 12 and up. Click on the highlighted link to register via the web or Call to day 252-995-7899!

Mothers Day – Peace Day

“God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers” Rudyard Kipling

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  ~Elizabeth Stone

 As I prepare to celebrate Mother’s day Sunday May 12th, I have been thinking about the origins of this holiday, which I discovered are rooted in the desire for peace.

Mother’s day, the American holiday began as an effort by Mother’s protesting the carnage of the civil war. Led by Juliet Ward Howe, in 1873 18 North American cities observed a new Mother’s holiday calling on Mother’s to come together and protest what was seen as the futility of their Sons killing the Sons of other Mothers.  Those initial Mothers day celebrations died out, but despite the decided failure of her holiday, Howe had nevertheless planted the seed that would blossom into what we know as Mother’s Day today. Years later a West Virginia woman’s group led by Anna Reeves Jarvis began to celebrate an adaptation of Howe’s holiday. In order to re-unite families and neighbors that had been divided between the Union and Confederate sides of the Civil War, the group held a Mother’s Friendship Day.

After Anna Reeves Jarvis died, her daughter Anna M. Jarvis campaigned for the creation of an official Mother’s Day in remembrance of her mother and in honor of peace. In 1908, Anna petitioned the superintendent of the church where her Mother had spent over 20 years teaching Sunday school. Her request was honored, and on May 10, 1908, the first official Mother’s Day celebration took place at Andrew’s Methodist Churchin Grafton,West Virginia and a church in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania.  Then by 1909 forty six states were holding Mothers day services. In 1912 West Virginia became the first state to officially recognize Mother’s Day, and in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed it into national observance, declaring the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

When we started Studio 12 our desire much like Juliet Howe and Ana Jarvis was to contibute to peace. And there are many days that we find mother’s relaxing with a pottery painitng project, doing a mosaic or enjoying taking a class with us and re-gaining a little peace in their lives. In the spirit of Juliet Howe and Anna Jarvis we would like you and your mother to enjoy some peace.  If spending a few hours doing some art sounds like a peaceful experience for you or your Mom then take advantage of our 25% off $35 and $50 gift certificates NOW THRU MAY 10th.

On this Mother’s day  I will not only celebrate my Mother but think of all of those Mother’s whose lives have been tainted by war or other sufferings and tragedies. for our family and our household it might just be a good day to not watch the news, turn off the computer, speak to each other with our kindest of voices and enjoy delicious food and relaxation. How might you foster peace in your household? I’d love to hear your suggestions! What ever you do I hope you and your Mother’s have a peaceful day.

“Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.”  ~Oprah Winfrey






Special Event with Jewelry Artist Laura Howard

Meet Jewelry artist Laura Howard April 25th and 26h during a two day special event at Studio 12. On Thursday April 25th  Laura will be doing a demonstration on hand hammered silver followed by a trunk show. Sign up for her seaglass class on Friday April 26th at 10 am and make your own unique piece of jewelry. 

Laura Howard Pendants

Two winters ago I was picking up some of my art work at the Sea and Sounds Gallery and was stopped in my tracks at a beautiful sea glass necklace. There are a number of artists creating sea glass jewelry with wire wrapping, but I had never seen sea glass combined in a collage effect with multiple layers and intertwined with beads and silver. I wanted to know who this artist was. When I contacted Laura Howard I was immediately warmed by her open and friendly manner. It was as if I had met an old friend, and this is just how Laura is with anyone she meets, she is one of those special people who are comfortable around anyone, probably a tribute to her years working in the mental health field.

Sea Treasures by Laura Howard

Learning to live an abundant life says Laura “meant taking a creative risk and moving from a career in the mental health care field and pursuing my own spiritual and emotional health, venturing into the art world has been a breath of fresh air for me. Trepidations at first, I wondered if, after 40 the mind could learn so many new things. I found that fine art revitalized me and brought a whole new perspective on the world at large.”Working in the arts was not too far a stretch for Laura, as she grew up in a family of artists. Laura’s mother is a painter, working in oils, watercolor and pastels, and her brother works in many artistic media including fine art graphics, painting, multi media collage and photography. She grew up singing with her brothers in choir, and later with friends and bands for fun. Their home was filled with music, laughter and creativity.

Sea Glass Earrings

Laura first came to the Outer banks of North Carolina in the late 1980’s for annual vacations with friends when she says her heart found it’s home. She found the Outer banks to be a place of great beauty, natural wonder and inspiration, both artistically and spiritually. Laura visits every month, to keep her creative cup full, and to spend time with her beloved parents, who have resided in Southern Shores since the early 90’s.

Laura loves working in sea glass, crystals and pearls because they capture most closely the beautiful tones and feel of the sea. Hand hammering silver and mixed metals, allows her to capture the images and ancient shapes created by nature, through fossils, sea life and the earth. When not creating beautiful jewelry Laura enjoys singing with a contemporary choir, and enjoys all genres of live music.

Meet Laura Howard on April 25th and 26hduring a two day special event at Studio 12. Laura will have a large selection of her work on display during a special trunk show Thursday thru Saturday.

Laura Howard

Laura will be doing a demonstration on hand hammered silver Thursday at 4pm. Sign up for her sea glass jewelry class on Friday April 26that 10 am and make your own unique piece of jewelry.  The class will be $26.00 and includes most materials.  Limited space so sign up early!Attend any of these events and you can register for a drawing to win one of Laura’s special piecees.

The next event at Studio 12 is May 30th “Tips and Tricks” on Photographing the beach with Hatteras Island photogrpaher Betty Horan!

Partying and Taxes

Have you ever read a blog that talked about celebrating and taxes? Please read on!

Busy, busy, busy that is what is going on for us this week. Monday marked the first day of being officially open for the 2013 season and we were delighted to have several tables full of pottery painters and shoppers in the gallery. It has been 3 long months since we had that many bodies in the studio we hardly new what to do with ourselves! On top of getting the place all spiffed up for customers we are getting ready for our 10th year party on Friday! You’re coming right! Several local business are joining in on the celebration, we have sliders coming from Burger Burger and pizzas from Gidget’s Pizza and Pasta, Fresh cut flower arrangements from The Slough and a tower of cupcakes from the Cotton Candy Baking Company.

Sean Bendula playing Friday

Singer songwriter Sean Bendula will be performing at the party, click on his name and you can link to his FB page and get a chance to  listen and down load some of his music. Sean is working on a new album so we look forward to hearing soem great stuff on Friday!

During the party on friday you can also pick up some great last minute gifts for those  Easter baskets with our party specials that inlcude $10 off Gel beach candles, $10 off Recycled tin can jewelry and Shea butter Lotion bars 2 for $10.

$10 off Earrings!

So while all this stuff is going on at the Studio, my better half, the guy that most of you know as our resident potter my business partner and husband is busy doing taxes. Wow did I just kill the party vibe by mentioning taxes?  Gary, bedsides being a gifted potter and our go to guy for the studio is also a Certifed Public Accountant.  Before we moved to the OBX and set up Studio 12 he spent 15 years as a CPA on Wall Street in various finance areas.The black and white sign you see beside Studio 12 “Gary Schena, CPA Tax and Accounting Services,” well, that is him. So if you find yourself in the thick of it with your taxes and need some help, do give him a call. He can be reached at 252-305-0181.  So, I hope that instead of killing the party vibe by mentioning taxes I gave you a glimmer of hope knowing that Garyis here to help!

And that’s what we got going on here at the Studio 12 this week.  Partying and taxes! We are looking forward to seeing many of you on Friday for our 10th year celebration and if not on Friday then do stop by during your next visit toHatters Island!

Studio 12 celebrates 10 years!

Studio 12 celebrates 10 years with a party on March 29th

In March of 2004, Gary and I gathered friends and family on the beach North of Avon and tied the knot. One week later we opened Studio 12. What started as a paint your own pottery studio has expanded into our working studio where Gary and I produce our line of  art work and a gallery that represents over 25 local, regional and national artists.

When we first started Studio 12, we just wanted to have a place where families could come and enjoy some quality quiet time together.  We understood that when you get a break from your hectic life you just feel better and in turn your interactions with

Studio 12 in 2004

others tend to be nicer, painting pottery is just a fun way to do that. As our creative interests grew so did the Studio, to include other mediums like the mosaics and then the glass fusion.  Over the years we have also offered classes in lots of different mediums from ceramic painting, and jewelry, to water color, oil and acrylic.

Studio 12 2012

Several hurricanes including Irene and Sandyand a five year recession have not stopped us from doing what we love, sharing art with others. And it is time to celebrate!join us as we gather family and friends to celebrate our 10th year of business with a party at Studio 12 on Friday March 29th from 4 to 7 pm.

There will be live music from singer songwriter, Sean Bendula, one of our favorite artists who as a very down to earth personality and a wonderful voice that has often been compared to James Taylor. Good eats will also be part of the party fun including pizza from Gidget’s Pizza and Pasta and a tower of cupcakes from Cotton Candy Baking Company.

And what is a party with out party favors! Studio 12 will be giving away lots of cool prizes during the party event including a drawing for one of Carolyn’s Glass fusion Coral bowls.

The party on March 29th will kick off a series of events for the 2013 season.  On April 26th and 27th Jewelry artist Laura Howard will be doing demos and having a trunk show with her beautiful sea glass jewelry and Local Photographer Betty Horan will be conducting a photographic trips and ticks workshop in May! Other fun events will announced soon but in the meantime put March 29th down on your calendar and come help us celebrate our 10 year anniversary!

Art and Insights

We have the great fortune at Studio 12 to meet talented young artists everyday.  I met Carter Stuart last year when she and her mother and sister wandered into our shop.    I don’t remember what words of advice I dipsensed to Carter upon that initial conversation, but I am glad that those words led to me getting to know her and her talented drawing.  Carter observes much about the world around her and her insightsCarter has launched a challenge for herself, 15 drawings in 15 days.  I wanted you to get a first hand look at some of the neat things she is producing.  Stop by the gallery to see some of her work in person, we have several of her framed originals and pirnts as well!

But, in the meantime enjoy following Carter’s Blog and her adventure in drawing!

Day 4 – time capsule

by Carter Stuart

After yesterday’s overeager attempts I chose today to do a “just because” photo.

This Waffle house was on the main road heading back to campus sandwiched between a hotel and a gas station. On my way back from many a late night run to Walmart or Kinkos I stopped in and took this picture.

It was like I stepped through time, and was living out Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. A dark night, a vibrantly lit interior, with regulars drinking coffee as the staff cleaned and prepared for the next day. A very subtle reality in the midst of a hurried, high tech world.

It may be due for a touch up but here is what I managed to complete today.

by Carter Stuart


Winter Time is Art Time!

“Winter Beach” acrylic on canvas by Carolyn Schena

One of the most frequently asked questions we get during our busy summer season is “what is it like in the winter on Hatteras Island?” Our answers are almost always the same, in one word we can describe it quiet.  The masses of tourist and summer workers are home (and probably dreaming about their travels back to OBX!) so the streets are relatively quiet, the beaches empty.

It could be a cause for winter blues between grey skies, cold temperatures and a haunting quiet. But in fact Winter on Hatteras Island also holds many unexpected delights, the things that one only gets to witness in winter. In the past two weeks the talk on the island has been about the baby sperm whale beached in Hatteras. And on the North end of the Island, the shifting of sands after our last winter storm revealed more of the George A Kohler shipwreck. And then there is the exciting discovery of a seal on the beach, always  a treat to come across one of these doe eyed beauties, a wondrous sight.  I even had the opportunity to witness a flock of gulls descending upon juniper trees in the Buxton woods area. Ever see a seagull land in a tree. That was new for me too!

Whales, shipwrecks and seals are the types of moments that make winter time a special time on Hatteras Island. And it is also time for Gary and I to be busy in the studio. Summer we love helping others create art, but winter is our time to make art!

This winter Gary has been on the wheel throwing bowls, mugs, yarn bowls and trying out some new pieces.  Those new ones have yet to make it all the way through the drying, bisque, firing, and glazing to say what they are yet.  But we are pretty sure you’ll like them!  And he as even been working with our daughter samantha showing her the ropes, or mud so to speak!

Gary and Samantha on the wheel

Carolyn has been pushing paint around on the canvas when not producing more jewelry and coral glass bowls.

While the ole ground hog says we have 6 more weeks of winter, the calender shows us that it is getting time for us to dust off the shelves and be open for Spring. And once again we will be excited to fill this empty studio with new friends and old familiar smiling faces, especially as we celebrate our 10th anniversary in business!

“JoBells” by Carolyn Schena

10 years of business is certainly something to celebrate and so when Carolyn is not busy making art she is putting together some great events to celebrate art! You’ll be hearing more about those soon!If you’d like to see some of what we find on the beaches in the winter and what our winter art works are looking like then follow us on facebook.

We look forward to your next visit to Stuido 12 and celebrating our 10th anniversary with you soon!