Young artist featured at 12 Paws first anniversary celebration

Young artist featured at 12 Paws first anniversary celebration

March 7th, 2012 by Emily Crisman in Local Regional News

Betty Crawford, owner of natural pet treat store 12 Paws, is hosting a celebration in honor of the store's first anniversary Wednesday, March 14 during store hours.

"It's a thank you to the community for supporting us this year," she said. "We foresee a long future here."

Young portrait artist Gabriela Piccolo of Signal Mountain displays her frosted glass ornaments featuring popular dog breeds available at 12 Paws Pet Bakery. Piccolo, who also does custom ornaments and notecards, will be at the store's first anniversary celebration Wednesday, March 14 after she gets out of school.

Photo by Emily Crisman

In addition to offering free samples of her all-natural treats, Crawford is also using the celebration as an opportunity to introduce the community to portrait artist Gabriela Shrumpf (artist name Gabriela Piccolo, after the Italian side of her family).

Piccolo came into the store around Christmas with her mother, who showed Crawford some of Piccolo's portraits on her smartphone.

"I asked if she would be interested in trying dogs," said Crawford of the beginnings of their collaboration.

She asked Piccolo to paint popular dog breeds onto frosted glass ornaments, which she now sells at 12 Paws for $15 each.

"That's not bad for a one-of-a-kind ornament," she said, adding that ornaments can be personalized with the dog's name and year, and custom ornaments are available for customers who bring in a photo. "They're great as gifts all year round."

Piccolo said with her human portraits she works mainly in pastels, which she learned from Signal Mountain resident Gordon Wetmore and his daughter Alexandra. She said at first she found it difficult to paint on round, delicate glass and ended up breaking a few ornaments.

"I had never tried ornaments before, so this is kind of an experiment," said the 17-year-old, who will be at the 12 Paws celebration after school.

Currently Piccolo is working on custom notecards, which customers can order through 12 Paws with a photo of their prized pooch in order to show off their furry friend with every correspondence.

Crawford and Piccolo plan to continue their partnership with a shared booth at this year's Hodgepodge, they said.

The first anniversary celebration is also the debut of Crawford's new dry food toppers, and she will be offering samples in flavors such as chicken soup, sloppy Joes, turkey bake and meatballs.