When Suzanna Carugini moved to the United States from Italy 16 years ago, she wanted to bring some of her heritage with her.
The artist, who had attended art school in Tuscany to study glasswork, took a chianti wine bottle from what she calls "Italy's best wine producer" - Fiasco - and decided to work with it.
"It is a rounded bottle, beautiful," said Carugini, who now works as activities director at Prairie Springs Assisted Living. "I wanted to keep a Tuscan style."
Carugini wrapped jute around the bottle and decorated it with beads, coral and 14-karat gold pieces.
"I go around and find things that I like," she explained. "It's all one-of-a-kind."
After decorating the initial bottle, now Carugini looks for wine bottles with interesting shapes, makes her own corks to fit the bottles and some of her own beads. Two years ago, Carugini also started making jewelry, using her previous engraving and stained glass experience to create beautiful pieces.
"I wanted to do something totally different," she said.
For her first exhibit in Sequim after she and her husband, Conan Royce, moved here from Florida seven months ago, Carugini partnered with her father-in-law Richard Royce, who has lived in the area for two years. They put together an exhibit at The Gallery at the Fifth, where it will stay through August.
"We wanted to do a father-daughter type exhibit," Royce said.
While Carugini prefers to perfect her bottles, Royce creates flamenco guitar music, cast paper paintings, sculptures and children's picture books; the last three are on display in the exhibit.
Royce has an unusual method for creating his Southwestern-style cast paper paintings: The former Arizona resident begins by drawing an image onto a wooden board, then he carves the board in reverse. He presses liquid paper pulp onto the board with sponges and when that dries he finishes by painting it.
"I love the colors of the Southwest," Royce said. "So I like incorporating them into my paintings."
Royce also creates sculptures in a unique fashion - by spraying molten bronze onto a surface and then polishing it, a method he calls "fusion bronze."
Also inspired by his Arizona days is Royce's children's picture book, "Hard Day for Harry." Royce began drawing the pictures after seeing several javelinas - wild, pig-like animals with razor-sharp tusks - in his yard. He added text to go along with the javelina pictures and the result is a story about Harry the Javelina and his bad day.
For both Carugini and Royce, their first time exhibiting their work in Sequim is extra special because they are doing it together.
"She is so talented, I want everyone to see that," Royce said. "I'm glad we have this exhibit together."
A joint display
Who: Richard Royce and daughter-in-law Suzanna Carugini
What: A joint exhibit featuring Carugini's artwork with wine bottles and Royce's cast paper paintings, bronze sculptures and children's picture books
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through August
Where: The Gallery at the Fifth, 500 W. Hendrickson Road
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