Give in to Your Animal Instincts During Open Studio Weekend!

Artists and Animals – A Sampling for Fall Open Studio

by Elissa Campbell

NOTE: Studio numbers correspond to numbers on our free Vermont Studio Tour Map. See it online at this link (link: 

The artists participating in Open Studio Weekend work in a wide variety of mediums and settings. It can be hard to figure out where to start your journey. This tour features artists inspired by the animal kingdom.


Studio #1: NEW ARTIST Winters can be tough for dogs – not all breeds are equipped to deal with cold environments. Janet Dooley of Vermont Canine Countrywear  has you covered! In her Milton studio, Janet creates functional and stylish coats and snowsuits for your canine companions.

Jane Dooley

Dog coat for a medium sized dog by Janet Dooley.

Studio #12: NEW ART SITE Could you imagine a museum tucked away in rural Huntington whose mission is to present education about birds and their habitat using wood carving? Yes, there is such an organization and you can visit during Open Studio Weekend.

This carved wooden hummingbird is on display at the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington.

This carved wooden hummingbird is on display at the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington.

Studio #16: NEW ARTIST If you’re looking for a fully immersive animal experience, look no further than Elysabethe James of Bryn Meadow Farm Studio. This studio is part of a farm that raises heritage animals, including turkeys, sheep, and chickens. Elysabethe’s watercolors focus on the life that surrounds her on the farm.

Brynn Meadow Farm

A colorful hen and chicks by Libby James.

Studio #48: Caryn King loves animals and it shows in her work. In her studio in South Newfane, you can find paintings of cows, chickens, rabbits, and more. Her portraits really capture the personality of her animal subjects.

Caryn King

Painting by Caryn King

Studio #64: NEW ART SITE The Great Hall, in Springfield, an historic, renovated factory building located on the Black River, will present Fur and Feathers –  Open 11:00 to 4:00 Saturday & Sunday. Saturday, 12:00 Meet the artists. On hand will not just be art and artists but live subject matter also – Raptor Program Saturday only, 1:00.

Great Hall Owl

Barn Owl – photo by Jennifer MaHarry

Studio #66: NEW ARTIST Are horses more your style? Visit Suzanne Nielsen of Equine Art in Chester. Suzanne is an accomplished horse rider and trainer and has a deep love for the subjects of her paintings and drawings.

Janet Nielsen

A dramatic painting of a horse by Janet Nielsen.

Studio #73: In Hartland, you can find Vermont Stone Design, the studio of Kenny Hamblin. He makes gorgeous bird baths out of locally sourced stone. A stonemason for twelve years, Kenny was trained by his father.

One of Kenny's stone birdbaths, perfect for your garden.

One of Kenny’s stone birdbaths, perfect for your garden.

Studio #86 NEW ARTIST Red House Studio, photographer Linda Bryan captures details of rural life in Vermont, with her photographs. Located in picturesque Newbury, Linda’s studio will surely treat you to many beautiful views.

Linda Bryan

Cows follow the farmer down a rural road in a photograph by Linda Bryan

These studios offer a wonderful slice of the life and work of Vermont artists. Might we suggest that you follow up this tour with a vegetarian meal?

Profile Hugo Mesa – Visit During Fall Open Studio 10/3 & 10/4



I just met Hugo Mesa recently, in spite of the fact that we live only a few miles apart, and I felt as though I had discovered a hidden treasure. Visiting his lovely rural home is like visiting a museum. It is full of whimsy and artistic touches scattered throughout the house and yard.

Hugo Mesa

Hugo at his work bench.

The man, himself, is also unique. I was immediately drawn to a like-minded creative spirit, and soon discovered that this is a man with integrity, depth and commitment. His drive to create has molded his entire life and every decision he has made has honored his art and his desire to live life on his own terms.

Hugo Mesa Deer Door

Hugo Mesa carves many doors or screens featuring wildlife.

He was born in Bogata, Columbia and lived in Los Angeles from the age of 17 until 1975. During this phase of his life, he discovered his talent, set about acquiring skill with many tools and a variety of media, and built a business that produced custom-made architectural elements from a combination of carved wood, metal, ceramics and Glassplex (a unique acrylic material that resembles stained glass). His unique creations were wildly popular and brought him both wealth and fame, but like many artists before him, Hugo discovered that success drew him away from the creative pursuits that are the foundation of his life.

Hugo Mesa door post

A signature carved door and door post by Hugo Mesa.

So he walked away, leaving the business behind. He moved to Florida where he built a smaller studio practice that allowed him to mold his life around his art. He continued to make doors, furniture and mirrors but each piece was hand carved, the product of his own hand and imagination. Scaling back his business allowed him to focus on his art, giving his creativity free rein and providing a life style more fitting to his personality.

Hugo Mesa

Carved Box by Hugo Mesa

In 1990 Hugo moved to Craftsbury, VT with his wife Valerie where he continued to carve large, custom items. While the beauty and serenity of the Northeast Kingdom provided nourishment for his creative spirit, it made it difficult to connect with customers. Once again, Hugo synchronized his career approach with his life style, and found that attending several home shows, and advertising twice a year in a log home periodical kept his name out there and word of mouth took it from there.

Underwater carved panel

Carved doors featuring underwater scene with fish and shells.

Recently Hugo discovered that as the years go by, the urge to create is still strong, but the realities of advancing age must be taken into account. The fact that he has amassed a huge collection of beautiful leftover pieces of scrap wood has provided the perfect solution. He now works on smaller projects such as intricately carved mahogany lamps that serve as night lights, pipes and all manner of whimsical items.

Water wheel lamp

Carved wooden lamp of a grist mill with a copper roof by Hugo Mesa.

Over the years, evolving circumstances have dictated change, but Hugo’s commitment to his art is constant. Visit his studio this weekend, October 3 & 4 from 10:00 to 5:00, and see for yourself the result of a lifelong dedication to creativity.



Southern Bennington to Windham – Choose From 21 Studios

Find maps and directions here.

Start in Readsboro at Readsboro Glass and travel east and north to visit a great variety of studios. For a downloadable map go to this link.

43. Readsboro Glass – Mary Angus and K. William LeQuier both work in glass but make very different art work.

Bill Lequier

Bill Lequier’s sculpture, Spiral Nebula.

Mary Angus

Mary Angus’s blown and carved glass perfume bottle.

44. Eric Sprenger Fine Woodwork – Wilmington, Eric’s individual design sense can be seen in all of his furniture.

Eric Sprenger

Table by Eric Sprenger

45. NEW – Wellman Farm – Plein Air Event and Exhibit – Leslie Brunn – Wilmington. Leslie has organized a group of artist who will paint “en plein air” at Wellman Farm. Visitors are invited to attend the event and view work on exhibit.

Leslie Brunn

Painting by Leslie Brunn “Mud Season”

After Wilmington, we skip up to Newfane and pick up the tour…

46. NEW Diane Echlin Ceramics – Newfane. Diane creates stoneware pottery and jewelry.

Diane Echlin

Echlin covered vessel.

47. Roger Sandes – Williamsville. Roger creates figurative paintings with symbols of life, fertility and repose.

Roger Sandes

Balancing Act – Acrylic on canvas, by Roger Sandes

48. Caryn King Studio – South Newfane.  Caryn King paints pictures of animals using mixed media. She also offers giclee’s of her paintings.

Caryn King

“Bull” a painting by Caryn King.

49. Matthew Tell Pottery – Marlboro. Matthew is a master potter who uses a wood-fired kiln to produce his work. The beauty of a wood fired kiln is that ash from the burning wood settles over the glazed ware and changes it so that each piece is unique. Besides being a past president of the Vermont Crafts Council, Matt has also participated in Spring Open Studio for over 20 years.

Matt Tell Pottery

Chattered Lotus Bowl by Matt Tell

50. JMB Glass – Josh and Marta Bernbaum, Marlboro. Josh and Marta both work with glass, each producing distinctive work.

 Josh Bernbaum

Blown glass vessels by Josh Bernbaum.

Marta Bernbaum

Blown glass beads and necklace by Marta Bernbaum.

51. Applewood’s Woodworking Studio and Gallery – David and Michelle Holzapfel, Marlboro. . David and Michelle both work with wood and produce sculpture, tables and other furniture using spalted wood and burls. Each artist begins with a particular piece of wood and proceeds from there to create the work. Michelle also works in fabric and paper. David is more of a sculptor than a cabinetmaker. See details on their website.

Michelle Holzapfel

Tartaruga. Sculpture by Michelle Holzapfel.

David Holzapfel

Wishbones, a table by David Holzapfel.

52. The Turnpike Road Pottery – Malcolm Wright, Marlboro. A life long potter and sculptor, Malcolm uses several kinds of clay and has cast some of his smaller ceramic sculpture in bronze. Not a production potter, Malcolm works both with hand building and with the wheel to produce unique pieces. Much of his work reflects his interest in Japanese pottery including pottery used in the tea ceremony.

Malcolm Wright

Ceramic Sculpture “White Form” by Malcolm Wright.

53. NEW Charles Townsend Landscape Artist, Marlboro Charles produces contemporary landscape paintings in oils and pastels.

Charles Townsend

Charles Townsend painting.

54. Jason E. Breen, Fine and Custom Woodwork – Brattleboro. Jason makes cabinetry, furniture, wood turning, and just about anything made of wood. Follow his process and see his custom furniture, each a story in design and build, at his blog.

Jason Breen

Shown here, Jason in his studio.

55. Ron Karpius, Brattleboro. Ron creates weathervanes, lanterns, and metal sculptures of animals and insects using copper and brass.

Ron Karpius

Shown, a metal sculpture of a heron, by Ron Karpius.

56. Center for Digital Art – Michel Moyse. Brattleboro. Michel Moyse is an artist, teacher and co-founder/director of the Center for Digital Art, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational resources and promoting filmmaking and videoart.

Michel Moyse

Example of Michel Moyse’s videoart.

57. Naomi Lindenfeld Clayworks, Brattleboro. Naomi Lindenfeld works with colored clay, carving forms to reveal colored layers and patterns. Her clay colors are blue, brown, peach, peacock, purple, raspberry, teal, turquoise, yellow, plum, or olive.

Naomi Lindenfeld

A tray showing the many lovely patterns and colors that Naomi uses.

58. Orchard Street Pottery – Walter Slowinski, Brattleboro. Walter works on the wheel and then alters his forms to create unique teapots, among other work. His teapots often have branch handles.

Walter Slowinski

One of Walter’s wonderful teapots.

59. Laughing Lizard Studio – Jennifer Wiechers. Brattleboro. Lately, Jen has been working with encaustics to create multi-layered and luminous paintings.

Jen Wiechers

An encaustic painting by Jen Wiechers.

60. Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2 – Brattleboro. Find art work from over 250 American artists in this spacious gallery in downtown Brattleboro. The work shown include a large selection of Vermont artists. Vermont Artisan Design is also an information center for the Fall Open Studio Tour so stop in and pick up a map from the gallery.

61. Fulcrum Arts – Randi Solin and Natalie Blake. Brattleboro At this ceramic and glass art center, find a gallery and glass and ceramic work by Randi and Natalie, plus demonstrations in each studio. Year round classes are offered here as well.

NNatalie Blake and Randi Solin

Natalie Blake and Randi Solin, seen through the shelves in Fulcrum Arts gallery.

62. NEW Virginia Wyoming Pottery – Putney. Virginia Wyoming creates pottery for the home and garden using sturdy designs and bright glazes. She also takes custom orders.

Virginia Wyoming.

Earthenware planter by Virginia Wyoming.





Fall 2015 Tour – A Potpourri of Pottery Studios

Open Studio Weekend – A Pottery Potpourri!

Written by Jennifer Boyer, retired from Thistle Hill Pottery

Vermont has a rich variety of clay artists, and it’s a treat to visit their studios. You could plan your whole Fall Open Studio October 3 & 4 experience just by following the roads to potteries.

Let’s look at them by County

NOTE: Studio numbers correspond to numbers on our free Vermont Studio Tour Map. See it online at this link: 

Chittenden & Addison Counties:
Studio Tour # 19 – Robert Compton Pottery offers a rare look at am amazing variety of hand thrown wood-fired stoneware. Even more interesting are the several different kilns on the property. A must see for any clay fan.

Chris Homer and Bob Compton with pottery.

Chris Homer and Bob Compton with pottery.

Studio Tour # 10 – Jean Meinhardt’s contemporary porcelain features unique microcrystalline glazes in an interesting palette.

Jean Meinhardt bowls.

Jean Meinhardt bowls.

Studio Tour # 27 – Andy Snyder of Mud Puppy Pottery specializes in functional artistic pottery for the home using a variety of techniques. See Andy’s brand new studio in Orwell complete with a couch for visitors who would like to sit and chat.

Andy Snyder Platter

Mud Puppy Studio platter.

Rutland, Windsor & Windham Counties:
Studio Tour # 34 – Nicholas Seidner & Diane Rosenmiller, husband and wife team,  of Rising Meadow Pottery offer wood, salt or soda-fired utilitarian pottery. Nick and Diane will also show a variety of their friends high quality artwork in their studio gallery.

Rising Meadow Pottery Bowl

Diane Rosenmiller’s lovely fluted bowl. See husband Nick’s work also at the gallery.

Studio Tour # 37 – David Stone has a variety of styles in burnished earthenware and stoneware.

David Stone Studio

David Stone stands on his Cuttingsville studio porch, ready to greet visitors.

Studio Tour # 58 – Walter Slowinski of Orchard Street Pottery specializes in wood fired and salt-glazed functional ceramics and teapots.

Walter Slowinski, Orchard St Pottery

Walter Slowinski makes teapots with branch handles among other ceramic forms.

Studio Tour # 49 – Matthew Tell of The Turnpike Road Pottery makes elegant wood and gas fired stoneware pottery. Matthew has been a part of Open Studio Spring for over 20 years and is a real master at his craft.

Matt Tell fires the kiln.

Matt stokes the kiln during a firing.

Studio Tour # 52 – Malcolm Wright is an internationally known clay artist who works with functional pottery and clay sculpture.

Malcolm Wright

“White Form” by Malcolm Wright. Photo by John Polak.

Studio Tour # 62NEW ARTIST – Virginia Wyoming makes stoneware pottery for home and garden.

Virginia Wyoming

Virginia makes a variety of pottery for the home and garden.

Studio Tour # 57 – Naomi Lindenfeld specializes in a unique line of colored clay pottery

Naomi Lindenfeld

Naomi Lindenwold works with layers of colored clay that she then carves and recombines.

Studio Tour # 46NEW ARTIST – Diane Echlin makes stoneware pottery and jewelry.

Diane Echlin

Diane Echlin’s jewelry shows off the lovely earthen colors of clay and glazes.

Studio Tour # 77 – Andrea Trzaskos of Frog Song Designs offers a beautiful line of hand-built, hand carved functional stoneware.

Andrea Trzaskos

Andrea Trzaskos carved peacock platter.

Studio Tour # 78 – Two Potters, Nathan & Becca Webb specialize in wood-fired stoneware pottery and will give tours through their two chambered kiln and new studio.

Two Potters.

From above looking at an autumn table setting of Two Potters pottery with Nathan and Becca Webb.

Studio Tour # 42 – Jane Wojick of Form and Function Pottery produces functional and sculptural stoneware. She will be showing at the Bennington Arts Guild.

Jane Wojick

Jane Wojick vase.

Orange, Washington & Lamoille Counties:

Studio Tour # 96NEW ARTIST – Noel Bailey features a line of functional high-fire porcelain.

Bailey ThumbStudio Tour # 100 – Mud Studio – A potter’s collective and educational center shows the work of more than 22 different people in the gallery. Also visit the wheel room and hand building areas to become tempted into a life of your own in clay.

Mud Studio, Abby Dreyer

Shown here, a handbuilt ceramic bird house by Abby Dreyer, one of the instructors at Mud Studio.

Studio Tour # 101SPECIAL EVENT – Jeremy Ayers makes functional and decorative ceramics in a studio on his grandfather’s property. Over Open Studio Weekend, Jeremy will celebrate his new studio in a renovated barn, just off the Main St in Waterbury VT.

Jeremy Ayers

Jeremy Ayers teapot. Jeremy makes many other forms for food and flowers.

Studio Tour # 105 – Lynn Flory of Mill Village Pottery produces functional pottery and tiles.

Lynn Flory

Lynn Flory has a showroom and studio filled with her work including examples like this.

Ten Ways To Plan Your Fall Open Studio Tour October 3 & 4, 2015

One of the best things about Open Studio is that you can easily put together a tour to match the interests of you and your companions.

This carved wooden hummingbird is on display at the Birds of Vermont Museum in Huntington. BOV will be participating in Fall Open Studio October 3 & 4, 2015, for the first time.

Here are 10 ideas to help you create a great studio tour experience and that brings you through the clean and beautiful Vermont landscape. Don’t forget to look for the Yellow Open Studio signs during the weekend!

1. Pick A Place! Let Open Studio Weekend be the spark to get out and explore places in Vermont that you have always wanted to visit. Check the map booklet for studios in that area and hit the road!

2. Visit A Village! Choose a classic Vermont village as your destination and combine studio visits with a stop at the General Store, the Creemee stand, the local diner, or the historical society.

Shown here are buildings that house the Craft Barn in the village of Newark. See many artists and artisans in one spot.

Shown here are buildings that house the Craft Barn in the village of Newark. See many artists and artisans in one spot.

3. Drive on Dirt! Some of the most beautiful places in Vermont are at the end of dirt roads, which is why artists choose to live there. Be adventurous. Let the yellow signs guide you to the out-of-the-way spots and experience the real Vermont, classic New England farmhouses and barns, hidden villages, stonewalls, streams, waterfalls and spectacular gardens.

4. Ask An Artist! While visiting a studio, ask for suggestions of places to eat, the best roads to take, and other local events that you won’t want to miss. Artists will also be able to point you to the shortcuts to the next studio and may have local maps for you as well.

Dreyer Thumb

Handbuilt ceramic bird house by Abby Dreyer. Abby teaches hand building classes at Mud Studio in Middlesex, where there are also classes in throwing on the wheel.

5. Meet Your Medium! Have you always dreamed of being an artist? Seek out specific mediums like woodworking, watercolors or jewelry. Many artists are also teachers and may be open to providing lessons.

6. Choose a Cluster! Have a couple of hours? Check the map for a high-density cluster of studios and see as many as you are able.

The area around Brattleboro has sixteen studios with a wide variety of art work to see.

The area around Brattleboro has sixteen studios with a wide variety of art work to see.

7. Keep It Local! Visit studios close to your home or vacation spot. Artists are EVERYWHERE in Vermont, even right around the corner. Now you don’t have to feel guilty for stopping in to talk to your neighbor the glassblower.

John Chiles shapes a piece of molten glass in his Orwell studio. He is offering  "Blow Your Own" ornament lessons during the event.

John Chiles shapes a piece of molten glass in his Orwell studio. He is offering “Blow Your Own” ornament lessons during the event.

8. Find the Familiar! Visit artists whose work you know and love. Seeing their workplace, watching them work, and talking with them will give you new insight and appreciation for their artwork. Would you like to purchase but can’t take it with you? Have it shipped later.

9. Notice the New! Visit artists who are new to you but whose work sounds intriguing (plan to visit this blog in a couple of weeks as we will profile newcomers to Open Studio). Explore mediums and techniques you know nothing about.

Rebecca Haas, jewelry maker, creates minimalist contemporary necklaces, bracelets and earrings. She is participating in Open Studio for the first time.

Rebecca Haas, jewelry maker, creates minimalist contemporary necklaces, bracelets and earrings. She is participating in Open Studio for the first time.

10. Go With The Tour Guide! Study the map and the listings. Explore the possibilities. Let inspiration strike! Go where your heart leads! For inspiration, check out our Facebook page and our Pinterest boards as we will be posting lots of images between now and Open Studio.

Vermont Crafts Council Facebook Page

Vermont Crafts Council Pin Boards

For more tips and information, including artist profiles and suggested tours, plan to visit our blog again soon!

Look for the 2015 Open Studio Tour guides at Vermont rest stops, tourist information areas and galleries across the state. Or contact the Vermont Crafts Council at 802-223-3380 or An online version of the guide can be found at Click Maps and Directions.

Robert O'Brien is a master watercolor painter whose studio is in Perkinsville.

Robert O’Brien is a master watercolor painter whose studio is in Perkinsville.

The Vermont Crafts Council is a non-profit organization serving the Vermont visual arts community. VCC launched Open Studio Weekend in 1993 to increase the visibility of artists and craftspeople in Vermont and to foster an appreciation for the creative process and the role that artists and craftspeople play in the vitality of Vermont’s communities.

Delsie Hoyt takes braiding rugs to a whole new level. Visit this master of contemporary fiber arts at her Fairlee studio.

Delsie Hoyt takes braiding rugs to a whole new level. Visit this master of contemporary fiber arts at her Fairlee studio.

Open Studio Weekend is supported by the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, the Point Radio Station, Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, National Life Insurance Company, and the Vermont State Employees Credit Union.

Fall Open Studio Weekend Special Notes

Events within the Event

While a visit to any of the 108 visual arts sites participating in Fall Open Studio October 4 & 5, will be a memorable experience, the following sites have created special offerings within their event.

Studio Tour # 87. Kent Museum at Historic Kents Corner 
7 Old West Church Road, Calais, VT • Visit website
 Now through October 5 – Reflections 
Over 30 visual and literary artists muse literally and figuratively upon the concept of reflections. Considering the actual return of light as inspiration or using internal thoughts as visual motivation are equal focuses of the show. Through the use of reflective materials and highly polished surfaces or through manifest content such as mirrored imagery or conjured repetition, we hope to enlighten visitors on many levels by providing an overt look at how art reflects life as well as how images and forms of thought bounce back.

Studio Tour # 1. Artist Led Tour with David Stromeyer at the Cold Hollow Sculpture Park
4280 Boston Post Road, Enosburg Falls, VT • Visit website
 October 4 – The final artist-led tour of our 2014 season. Enjoy a special one-hour tour through the park’s five meadows populated with 40+ of David Stromeyer’s large-scale sculptures that concludes with a very rare opportunity to see inside his state-of-the-art iron works and studio. 
As this is an outdoor event please dress accordingly with layers and walking shoes, and bring an umbrella for light rain.“We have visited many sculpture parks around the US, and this ranks as one of the best.” – David Roy

Deborah Falls's painted silk poppy.

Deborah Falls’s painted silk poppy.

Studio Tour # 70. Deborah Falls
 25 Grout Road, Hartland, VT • Visit website
 October 4 & 5 – Vermont Open Studio Tour – Deborah Falls welcomes visitors to her studio to see her newest paintings on silk. Local Vermont cheeses and fare will be served each day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Studio Tour # 15. Daryl V. Storrs Artworks
 235 Bridge Street, Huntington, VT • Visit website
 October 4 & 5 – Woodblock Printing Demonstration – Daryl Storrs will be printing on her antique printing press during the Open Studios event in Huntington Vermont, October 4-5. Using multiple blocks she will ink and print each block separately to create her final pieces. Additionally there will be more original block prints, jewelry and pastels for sale.

Daryl Storrs checks a print in her Huntington studio.

Daryl Storrs checks a print in her Huntington studio.

Studio Tour #s 104 & 105. Wind’s Edge Studio & Seasholtz Glass Design
 590 East Main St., Hyde Park, VT • Visit website
 For “hot glass in a cool state” take in Matt’s glass blowing demonstrations, and be among the first to view Marion’s new line of hand-dyed clothing – Happy Dog Hand Dyed Clothing.

Studio Tour # 39. Rising Meadow Pottery
 50 West Street, Middletown, VT • Visit website
 October 4 & 5 – “Hot and Fresh” – Potters Diane Rosenmiller and Nicholas Seidner will be participating in the third annual Fall Open Studio Weekend with new work and wood-fired pizza. You can expect to see fine examples of both Dianeʼs colorful and whimsical elegant porcelain functional pots and Nickʼs variety of wood fired and gas fired table and domestic wares. In addition, seconds will be available for sale and the studios and kilns can be toured and viewed. Each day will offer a a different type of experience at Rising Meadow Pottery. The wood fired pizza kiln will be fired up for everyone to enjoy on Saturday and on Sunday pots will be unloaded fresh from the wood fired pottery kiln. Join Diane and Nick for a “Hot and Fresh” themed weekend!

Studio Tour # 90. May Day Studio
 190 River Street, Montpelier, VT • Visit website
 October 4 & 5 – Open Print Studio with guest artist and live music – May Day Studio, a letterpress and bindery studio in Montpelier, will be offering letterpress-printing demonstrations and more as part of Fall Open Studio weekend! Come by and print a keepsake on one of our presses, watch artist Brian Zeigler work on one of his wall-size collages, and listen to the bands of Montpelier’s own State and Main Records in an all-day outdoor show!

Quirky paper goods, letter press and music at May Day Studio 10/4 $ 10/5

Quirky paper goods, letter press and music at May Day Studio 10/4 $ 10/5

Studio Tour # 32. John Chiles Glass
 690 Route 73, Orwell, VT • Visit website
 October 4 & 5 – John Chiles will demonstrate glassblowing and also help both adults and children to make their own blown glass holiday ornament.

Studio Tour # 77. White River Craft Center – Mystery Weave, Deflected Double Weave, Cell Weave with Elisabeth Hill 
50 Randolph Avenue, Randolph, VT • Visit website
 October 4 10 a.m. – 11:30. Elisabeth Hill will give a presentation about several specialty weaves, deflected double weave, cell weave and other “mystery” weaves.

Studio Tour # 49. Coombs Criddle Associates 
359 Rue Madeline, Readsboro, VT • Visit website 
October 4 & 5 – Free Glasscutting Lessons – Visit Debora Coombs Stained Glass studio during Vermont’s statewide Fall Open Studio event and learn how to cut glass for free! Demonstration and 30 minute glasscutting lessons start at 11am and 3pm on October 4th and 5th, 2014. Max 6 people. Tools and glass provided. Email me to reserve a spot, or just turn up.

Studio Tour # 79. Alice Cheney Painting/Encaustics – Alice Cheney. Carved encaustic paintings with luminescence. 19 Fuller Hill, Warren VT 05674. Come to Warren VT and see daily demonstrations of Vermont artist Alice Cheney. Alice works in the ancient form of encaustic painting. A 5th century method of painting using hot beeswax that is burned into the pigment preserving the color forever. It creates a luminosity that is similar to water color painting. Stop in her studio in the small village of Warren, and have some Vt cheese and cider, while watching the demonstration.


Encaustic painting by Alice Cheney

Studio Tour # 50. Readsboro Glassworks 
6954 Main Street (Rte 100), Readsboro, VT • Visit Bill’s websiteVisit Mary’s website
 October 4 & 5 – Readsboro Glassworks Sculpture and Glassblowing Demonstrations – As part of the 2014 Vermont Foliage Open Studio Weekend, Mary Angus and Bill LeQuier will be welcoming visitors to their Readsboro studio from 10am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday with glassblowing demonstrations ongoing throughout the weekend with handblown glass by Angus and glass sculpture by LeQuier on display and for sale.

Studio Tour # 62. Art, Birds and Coffee Gallery at the Vault – 
68 Main Street, Springfield, VT • Visit website
 October 4 – Woodcarver and former park ranger, Philip Morgan, demonstrates his skill at carving realistic bird sculptures while Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society provides delicious bird-friendly coffee to sample. Vermont birds travel to South America in the winter and bird-friendly coffee methods are crucial to their survival. Sign up for monthly coffee orders that can be picked up at the Gallery; select a handmade coffee mug; and consider registering for Phil’s Gallery at the Vault workshop next spring.

Deborah Coombs works with a student with stained glass.

Deborah Coombs works with a student with stained glass.

Studio Tour # 71. Collective – the Art of Craft
 47 Central Street, Woodstock, VT • Visit website
 October 4 ~ Vermont Open Studio Tour ~ Collective – the Art of Craft, a working artists cooperative gallery, holds a guest artists reception for Brattleboro jeweler T. Breeze Verdant, Bethel potter Andrea Trzaskos and Reading quilter Susan Balch. Breeze’s wooden jewelry features a variety of wood inlays. Andrea’s ceramic tiles are hand built and are all one of a kind. Working free hand, she carves the clay surface to create the designs and textures that incorporate themes of natural beauty. Susan’s quilts combine two life-long passions, quilting and fly fishing.

Studio Tour # 17. The Lyna Lou Line – Lyna Lou Nordstrom. Monotypes, collographs, silkscreen, fabric art. 1260 Pond Rd, Shelburne VT 05482. (802) 658-0019. Lyna Lou will be demonstrating monoprints on her professional Ettan etching press during Fall Open Studio.  In addition, guests will be able to create their own Jell-O (gelatin plate) monotype prints that they can take home.  This event is free and open to the public.  A display of various one of a kind prints will be on display as well.

Studios Participating in Open Studio for the First Time

Visitors who regularly tour during Open Studio might like to visit the following studios that are taking part in the tour for the first time ever!

Studio Tour # 1. Cold Hollow Sculpture Park – David Stromeyer. Large iron sculpture set in rolling meadows. 4280 Boston Post Rd, Enosburg Falls VT 05450. (512) 333-2119. See above for special event.

One of the sculptures at Cold Hollow Sculpture Park in Enosburg Falls. Artist - David Stromeyer.

One of the sculptures at Cold Hollow Sculpture Park in Enosburg Falls. Artist – David Stromeyer.

Studio Tour # 3. Red Cottage Studio – Joan Therese Hayes. Watercolor, acrylic landscape, atmospheric and colorful.10 Eagle Camp Rd, South Hero VT 05486. (603) 305-8731.

Studio Tour # 8. Pika Works – Joan MacKenzie. Paintings, prints, cards, magnets, whimsy. 7 Lavoie Drive, Essex Junction VT 05452. (802) 879-1131.

Studio Tour # 18. Shelburne Craft Center – Pottery and wood demonstrations and sale. 64 Harbor Rd, Shelburne VT 05482. (802) 985-3648.

Studio Tour # 24. ARTSight Studios and Gallery. Paintings, mixed media, monotypes, jewelry. 6 South St, Bristol VT 05443. (802) 578-8231.

Studio Tour # 25. John Filan Woodworking and Photography – John Filan. Unique wooden serving boards, photography. 291 Sheep Farm Rd, Weybridge VT 05753. (207) 776-3391.

Studio Tour # 45. Vermont Harvest Folk Art – Doreen Frost. Handcrafted needlework and mohair bears. 131 VT Rte 153, West Pawlet VT 05775. (802) 645-9543.

Studio Tour # 48. Ray Finan Furniture Studio – Ray Finan. Custom designed wood furniture. 269 Old Depot Rd, Arlington VT 05250. (802) 681-5393.


Ray Finan Furniture Studio opening to the public over 10/4 & 5 for the first time! Arlington VT.

Studio Tour # 61. Sage Jewelry – Michele Bargfrede. Handcrafted sterling silver jewelry and accessories. 78 The Common, Chester VT 05143. (802) 875-7243.

Studio Tour # 80. All Things Bright and Beautiful – Gaelic McTigue. Christmas ornaments, Santas, cats, dogs. 27 Bridge St, Waitsfield VT 05673. (802) 496-3997.

Kate Taylor specializes in jewelry boxes made of wood.

Kate Taylor specializes in jewelry boxes made of wood.

Studio Tour # 84. Torrey Caroll Smith Studio – Torrey Smith. Colorful acrylic painting, prints and cards. 55 S. Main St, Waterbury VT 05676. (802) 598-4008.

Studio Tour # 86. Flint Brook Pottery – Deborah Van Ness. Handthrown, functional stoneware pottery. 471 Minister Brook Rd, Worcester VT 05682. (802) 229-0259.

Studio Tour # 90. May Day Studio – Kelly McMahon. Quirky paper goods, letterpress, bookbinding. 190 River St, Montpelier VT 05602. (802) 229-0639. See above for special event.

Studio Tour # 93. Creative Woodworking – Kate Taylor. Fine woodworking, jewelry boxes, classes. 479 Stony Corners Rd, East Montpelier VT 05651. (802) 917-1772.

Nick Rosato's  Johnson studio will showcase many wooden bowls turned from local woods.

Nick Rosato’s Johnson studio will showcase many wooden bowls turned from local woods.

Studio Tour # 103. The Sculpted Tree – Nick Rosato. Woodturning, bowls of local wood. 562 Vt Rte 15, Johnson VT 05656. (802) 999-2976.

Studio Tour # 107. JH Forge – Jim Hurlburt. Handmade Vermont hardwood kitchen chef knives. 3986 Stowe Hollow Rd, Stowe VT 05672. (802) 253-8473.

Jim Hurlburt is a blacksmith and a chef knife designer. He opens his Stowe studio over 10/4 & 10/5.

Jim Hurlburt is a blacksmith and a chef knife designer. He opens his Stowe studio over 10/4 & 10/5.

The Open Studio Experience

If you’ve never visited a working studio, let me convince you to change that during our Fall Open  Studio Weekend, October 4 & 5 from 10 – 5 each day.

A compelling reason to visit a working studio is the chance to see the space, stylized tools, and machines that artists and artisans use to create their work. You’ll discover, through viewing the studio space and talking with the artist, the “how” and the “why” of handmade artwork.

You may learn that many artists have favorite tools.  Jason Breen a woodworker from Brattleboro, writes this about his two favorites.

side ax at work

Jason Breen works in his studio with the side ax and the low bench.

“Here is a photo of me working with two of my favorite tools.  The obvious one is the side axe.  This is beveled (or sharpened) on only one side, so it can hew a straight line more easily.  I use it for splitting kindling for the woodstove, but then it is great for roughing out short pieces that I would otherwise need to rip with a saw.  Electric or not, saws make dust.  Axes do not.  I can also use it to cut gentle curves, as here, or even rough out the waste on a cabriole leg or other relatively large carving.  I also use this for pointing the pegs that hold a timber frame together.”

The other tool, the low bench, I built for hand sawing, but it quickly became the most used piece in the shop.  It supports pieces held in a vice.  It is a chopping block, a saw bench, and it is comfortable to sit on at tea time.  My two favorite tools are the most humble, but also the most versatile in the shop.”

There is often a lot more story to be gotten. In Jason’s case, he harvests most of the wood he uses from his own land and plans the way the wood will be used even before he saws it. Go to this link to read a blog post describing his process from forest to shop.

Breen Image

Jason at work on a piece of furniture in his Brattleboro studio.

Visits to studios offer a way to become engaged with making, that viewing only in an exhibition or gallery setting does not. Plan to visit Jason # 55, and his three other Brattleboro neighbors during Fall Open Studio October 4 & 5. Download maps and directions at this link.

Screen Shot 2014-09-11 at 8.01.16 PM


Breen DeskBreen Desk


Artists vs. Time Management

As an artist, something I constantly struggle with is making the most of my time. How much time should I spend in the studio vs. working on business stuff? How do I balance my professional and personal lives? Even with large blocks of free time, it can be difficult to prioritize the many things on my to-do list (and it’s big).

Dee Boyle-Clapp recently presented on Time Management for Creatives for the Vermont Arts Council. She started by talking about the many time traps that people fall into. Several of them were technology-related – Email, texting, and social media. I don’t know about you, but it’s way too easy for me to fall down that Facebook rabbit hole.

In addition, she mentioned other time traps that I could easily identify with – attempting too much, inadequate planning, and the inability to say no. As I said before, my to-do list is huge and the aforementioned time traps aren’t helping me any.

clock faces

I think that many artists share my struggle. We try to be everything to everyone. If we work from home, we don’t value our time or space enough to postpone or refuse other responsibilities. For me, it’s really hard to ignore my home life when I’m working because my studio is in my home. Time to walk the dog, answer the phone, did I empty the dishwasher?

Dee offered some great suggestions on how to best manage your time. Start the day early. Check your Email once a day at a specified time. Set time limits for tasks – know how long it takes to do something and when time is up, you stop doing it.

Do the most important stuff first. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the task will be the fastest or the easiest. In addition, figure out when your most productive time is – it may be first thing in the morning or later in the day. Whenever that period of time is, that’s when you do the important stuff. I know that I function best in the morning, so that’s when I try to schedule my studio time. If I have a deadline for something, then I work on it in the morning.

Another tip – use your calendar. If you have things that need to get done, block out time in your date book and make an appointment for yourself – take yourself and your time seriously. Your studio time is just as important as getting to a medical appointment.


Use a timer. This can be especially useful for those tasks you’ve been putting off. If you need to clean your studio, set a timer for ½ hour chunks and when the timer goes off, you’re done for the day. It’s much easier to tackle ½ hour cleanup sessions than to look at cleaning your studio as a whole.

Create systems for tackling tasks you perform on a regular basis. If you sell items online, create a process for how you ship – keep shipping supplies in one place so you never have to waste time looking for them. Choose specific days for shipping so that you can process sales in batches.

Most importantly – take time off. You can’t go on endlessly without recharging your batteries. This can be as easy as having coffee with a friend or taking a class (it doesn’t have to be craft-related). I try to take attend at least one bookbinding workshop per year, just to keep my brain churning. Usually these involve travel, which is another great way to recharge.

I heard something recently that rang true for me – you can’t find time, you have time. Make the most of the time you have by employing strategies to help you manage it.

What strategies to you find helpful with time management? We’d love to hear your experiences!


Computer Fail – A Cautionary Tale





By Elissa Campbell

I recently suffered one of the most devastating losses one can endure as the owner of a small business. My computer crashed and I lost almost all of my data. While I do still have everything prior to January 2012, losing 1.5 years’ worth of data is heartbreaking.


And this loss is especially embarrassing because I work part time as a computer consultant! Why, oh why, did I not have a functioning backup system in place?


The fact is that I should have known better. It’s so easy to go through life assuming that nothing bad is going to happen to you. I never thought that everything would be gone in a blink. That I’d be scrambling to recover my inventory files or that I’d be rebuilding the structure of all of the new classes I developed in the last year.


One can consider computer backups as a kind of business insurance. You make copies of everything just in case. You hope you never need it, but it’s there like a security blanket.

An excellent source for specific information about safeguarding your computer files can be found here on the CERF+ website.

You know what else is like business insurance? Business insurance! I’ve mentioned before how important it is to think about the many different types of insurance coverage to consider for your business: property, liability, health, inland marine (away from business location), and worker’s compensation, among others. Another great resource section on the CERF+ website is here and lists different types of insurance and even carriers. This should be your first stop for insurance shopping.



Something you may not know, is that your insurance policy may have data recovery coverage. I discovered this possibility while having a conversation with a friend, (but you should not assume that your homeowner’s insurance has that). I found that my insurance policy offered $10,000 in data recovery coverage – this meant that I could send my drive out to a professional to see if anything could be salvaged from my crashed hard drive.

Unfortunately, nothing could be salvaged from my drive, but I still feel better knowing that I have the option to get professional help when necessary.

What’s your data worth to you? As much, if not more than your inventory? Read your policy. Call your insurer. For your own knowledge, find out if you have data recovery coverage included in your plan. The peace of mind is worth it.


Where To Pick Up A Map??

Fall Open Studio is here!

If you have somehow missed emailing or calling to get a Vermont Studio Tour Map, have no fear!

We printed 20,000 copies of these and they are all floating around Vermont.

View Where to Pick Up a Map – Fall Open Studio 2013 in a larger map

These seventeen galleries not only feature a varied mix of Vermont artwork, they have also pledged to hand out maps.

A. Grand Isle Art Works – 259 Rte 2, Grand Isle VT 05458. (802) 378-4591.

B. Frog Hollow Gallery – 85 Church St, Burlington VT 05401. (802) 863-6458. A Vermont State Craft Gallery

C. Emile A. Gruppe Gallery – 22 Barber Farm Rd, Jericho VT 05465. (802) 899-3211

D. Art on Main – 25 Main St, Bristol VT 05443. (802) 453-4032.

E. Brandon Artists Guild – 7 Center St. (Rte 7), Brandon VT 05733. (802) 247-4956.

F. Chaffee Art Center -16 South Main St., Rutland VT 05701. (802) 775-0356.

G. Epoch – 18 Vermont Artisans – 4927 Main St, Manchester Center VT 05255. (802) 768-9711.

H. Vermont Artisan Designs & Gallery 2 – 106 Main St, Brattleboro VT 05301. (802) 257-7044.

I. River Arts – 74 Pleasant St, Morrisville VT 05661, (802) 888-1261

J. Gallery at the VAULT – 68 Main St., Springfield VT 05156. (802) 885-7111. A Vermont State Craft Gallery

K. Collective – The Art of Craft – 47 Central St, Woodstock VT 05091. (802) 457-1298.

L. White River Craft Center – 50 Randolph Ave, Randolph VT 05060. (802) 728-8912.

M. Artisan’s Gallery – 20 Bridge St, Waitsfield VT 05673. (802) 496-6256

N. Artisans Hand – 89 Main St, Montpelier VT 05602. (802) 229-9492. A Vermont State Craft Gallery.

O. Blinking Light Gallery – 16 Main St, Plainfield VT 05667. (802) 454-0141

P. Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild – 430 Railroad St, St Johnsbury VT 05819. (802) 748-0158

Q. Miller’s Thumb – 14 Breezy Ave, Greensboro VT 05841. (802) 533-2045.

Also, every studio will have maps, so you should be able to pick one up at your first stop.

Every rest area/tourist information center on I-89 or I-91 should also have maps. (If they don’t, we’d like to know about it.)

Daryl Storrs, Huntington printmaker,  readies her signs for the weekend.

Daryl Storrs, Huntington printmaker, readies her signs for the weekend.