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.

A Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade leather journals by Elissa Campbell

By Elissa R. Campbell, Fall 2013

As a book artist myself, I have a particular interest in those participating in Open Studio Weekend. I created the Google map below, which includes all of the studios to help you plan your travels. Unfortunately, the book arts studios aren’t very close to each other, but definitely worth the drive.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

First stop on the book arts tour is #70, Lyna Lou Nordstrom. She is a wonderful printmaker, focusing her work on the painterly aspects of monoprinting. And if you stop by her studio, you’ll have the opportunity to make your own free jello print – they’re so much fun to make!

Next is #93 Meta Strick. Meta really is a Jackie of all trades. She does wonderful mixed media work, including dolls that have a book component. It’s quite wonderful to read the “history” of each doll. She has a great philosophy that you can make anything into a book. Meta has lots of fans, so don’t be surprised if you get to her studio and it’s mobbed. Perhaps pick up some coffee and a snack before you head on over?

Amy Cook #83 is the next stop. Not only does Amy make books, but she’s also a sculptor, painter, curator, and interior designer. And if that’s not interesting enough, she’s the first American woman to receive a PhD in Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Art Theory at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. A visit with Amy is certainly going to offer you fascinating conversation about her work.

Stop #110 is Ken Leslie. Ken primarily creates books in a circular format – a practice that developed out of his dissatisfaction with rectangular painting shapes. His themes often focus on natural cycles, such as day and night. The size of his work ranges from miniature to really ginormous – you can walk through some of his books when they’re open.

The last stop is studio #124, Elissa Campbell (that’s me!). Most of my work includes blank journals and photo albums, but I also create one-of-a-kind and editioned works. I have a strange sense of humor and my artists’ books reflect that. How could one resist the idea of seeing a small book in the shape of a tushie?

So book on over to one of these studios during Open Studio Weekend. You’ll be glad you did!

Make that Book Arts Tour map bigger!

Ten Ways to Plan Your Spring Open Studio Tour

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. 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!


David Hurwitz’s tools in his Randolph woodworking studio #8 on the Spring Open Studio map..

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 guide for studios in that area and hit the road! Also check the Vermont Studio Tour map here.

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.

Leave time for lunch at an eatery serving local foods. Above, Bristol Bakery where an intrepid Open Studio family plans the next leg of the tour.

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.

5. Meet Your Medium! Have you always dreamed of being an artist? Seek out specific mediums like woodworking, watercolors or jewelry.

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.

7. Keep It Local! Visit studios close to your home or vacation spot. Artists are EVERYWHERE in Vermont, even right around the corner. Your next-door neighbor just might be a world-famous artist!

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. Spring Open Studio is a great time to reacquaint yourself with Vermont’s charming small towns and back roads (recovered from mud season). Would you like to purchase but can’t take it with you? Have it shipped later.

Wahlstrom Trimming

Todd Wahlstrom trims a pot in his Whitingham studio #57 on the Spring Open Studio Map.

9. Notice the New! Visit artists who are new to you but whose work sounds intriguing. Explore mediums and techniques you know nothing about.

10. Go With The Guide! Study the map and the listings. Explore the possibilities. Let inspiration strike! Go where your heart leads!

Look for the 2015 Spring Open Studio guides at Vermont rest stops, tourist information areas and galleries across the state. Or contact the Vermont Crafts Council at 802-223-3380 or vt1crafts@aol.com. An online version of the guide can be found at vermontcrafts.com.

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.

Daryl's signs

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

Open Studio Weekend is supported by the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketingand the Point Radio Station. picture credits, top, Anne Majusiak.


By Anne Majusiak, Fall 2013

I admit it.  I’m a bit obsessed with rocks.

Whenever I walk my dog by the New Haven River near my house, I inevitably come back with another beauty that has been polished and washed up by the water.  My eye seems to be particularly drawn to heart-shaped rocks, and my found treasures are perched on the stonewall my husband built.  Did I tell you he is obsessed with rocks too?

#1 Pumpkins & Heart Rocks Low Res

So imagine how thrilled I am to learn that during this Fall Open Studio Weekend on October 5-6 is featuring not one, not two, but FOUR studios of stone carvers and sculptors!

They are:

My planning for this year’s tour is going to be easy!

To be clear, I won’t ONLY be seeing rock-carving studios during Fall Open Studio Weekend, but it’s easy for me to create my tour starting with a medium I love.

During last year’s Fall Open Studio tour, I fueled my rock obsession when I explored eastern Vermont and stopped in at the studio of Ken Hamblin and Vermont Stone Cross in Hartland off Interstate 91 near Windsor.  It was one of those Fall Open Studio peak experiences for me… literally.  To get to the Hamblin studio, you turn off the main road and drive up, up, up (2.5 miles worth of up!) on Hamblin Hill Road.  With incredible views and immersed in shimmering fall foliage along the way, it was a breathtaking experience!

But more thrills awaited me. Turning in at the stone pillar carved with “Hamblin”, I followed the road as it wound up even further until, around the last bend, I found myself at an extraordinary artist’s studio.

OSW Sign 5_Kenny Hamblin Sm

Not surprisingly, Vermont Stone Cross studio was a Quonset style building faced in stone.  But to my delight, the studio door had a real porthole with an iconic Long Trail beer sign hung on it!  I had a feeling this was going to be one of those studios with lots of surprises.

Kenny Hamblin 18 Sm

Passing through that door was a revelation!  There were interesting tools and drawings and a workbench, but also an environment to spark imagination, from the bleached skull above the door to the old pastel-colored bike hiking from the rafters.

#4_inside studio


#5_bicycleFather and son, the Hamblins are amiable and interesting folks. They have been working with stone for 25 years, and the clearing surrounding their studio is filled with one-of-a-kind stone benches, birdbaths, and their signature stone crosses, while inside the studio were rustic home furnishings and stone vases, trays and lamps.

Kenny Hamblin birdbath

This year, I may stick closer to home and check out the Jericho studio of stone-carver Christopher Cleary.   This photo from his website has intrigued me both as a gardener and stone-lover!  His home-based studio is in historic Jericho center, a classic Vermont village, and there is a great cluster of studios to visit there.

#7 OnTheRocks

Cleary is a 4th generation Vermonter who began exploring stone as a child while accompanying his father on stone masonry projects. Cleary uses a process called sand carving along with traditional stone carving to create designs in stone.  I can’t wait to see how he does it!

He learned his techniques while training at the The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland. Although not part of the Fall Open Studio tour, this is another place I hope to stop by to see while I am out and about!

Also close to home is Julian Isaacson’s Stone Revival studio and gallery in Stockbridge.  He is right on Route 100, which is always a pretty drive, especially along the Mad River Valley and especially during fall foliage!  Isaacson has some amazing sculptures on his website.  I especially love his work in bas-relief.  This artist is both talented and multifaceted!

#8 bas-relief

Last, but not least, is Stone Puddles in Wilmington where Frank Sprague, a master stonemason and welder, makes one-of-a-kind birdbaths, benches, garden art and wood chimes.  The Wilmington/Readsboro/Whitingham area has a sweet cluster of studios and it is always well worth it for me to drive to Southern Vermont to check them out.

#9 Stone Puddles

If you haven’t got your Fall Open Studio map yet, stop in at galleries or information centers throughout Vermont or check out the online maps and directions here.

Vermont State Craft Center Network – Recent Activity

Review of Three Vermont State Craft Center Galleries Has Been Completed

Among the tasks of the Standards Group members of the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission is to review existing Vermont State Craft Centers. All three state craft center galleries were reviewed in 2013.


Outside of Frog Hollow, a Vermont State Craft Gallery, looking in on renovations to the space.

The review included a site visit by a jury composed of SG members and other volunteers, a survey of state craft center exhibitors, and the completion, by the centers, of a report on their overall operation.

Frog Hollow site visit team, from left, Kathy Murphy, Anne Majusiak, Rob Hunter, Mags Bonham, and Susan Bayer-Fishman.

Frog Hollow site visit team, from left, Kathy Murphy, Anne Majusiak, Rob Hunter, Mags Bonham, and Susan Bayer-Fishman.

After the juries were completed, the Standards Group met to discuss their experiences. At a meeting of the full Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission, the Standards Group presented their findings and made recommendations. The VSCCOC then voted on the recommendations.

In Springfield, Gallery at the VAULT is located in a former bank. The vault is used for display.

In Springfield, Gallery at the VAULT is located in a former bank. The vault is used for display.

It was very important to the Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission and to the Standards Group, that individual state craft centers be allowed to be quite diverse in contrast to what is found in a “franchise” situation. The Vermont State Craft Center galleries each represent a distinct local identity and show a different mix of art work.

Artisans Hand in Montpelier is a cooperatively owned and artist managed gallery in its 35th year. Above, Steve Noyes, an owner manager and metalsmith.

Artisans Hand in Montpelier is a cooperatively owned and artist managed gallery in its 35th year. Above, Steve Noyes, an owner manager and metalsmith.

Vermont State Craft galleries must provide craft education to the public but may meet this requirement in a number of ways besides direct instruction, such as maintaining a list of area craft classes, or creating educational displays showing construction processes. Frog Hollow has partnered with area college students to create video profiles of some of its artists.

Gallery at the Vault offers hands on classes to children and adults.

Gallery at the Vault offers hands on classes to children and adults.

The vision for the Vermont State Craft Centers is that more sites will be designated, creating a diverse network of high quality galleries that can coordinate marketing, and can share information toward raising the profile of Vermont craft artists and their work in the view of the public.

View from inside Artisans Hand in Montpelier.

View from inside Artisans Hand in Montpelier.

The Standards Group has openings for two volunteer members whose terms will begin in September. Please consider volunteering for this important work (see previous post for more information.)

Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission Seeks Standards Group Members

Standards Group Has Openings for Two Members

Montpelier, Vt. – The Vermont State Craft Center Overview Commission (VSCCOC) is seeking new volunteer representatives from the Vermont crafts community to develop, administer and review applications for State Craft Center or State Craft Education Center designation.

Working with the Overview Commission, the Standards Group promotes crafts and craftspeople throughout Vermont and helps to grow and nurture the network of Vermont State Craft Centers statewide.

“Whether a gallery or an education center, Vermont State Craft Centers deepen the public’s understanding of the connection between the process of making something by hand and the beauty of the finished product through craft education. Galleries that have been designated as Vermont State Craft Centers demonstrate a commitment to quality Vermont made crafts while Vermont State Craft Schools provide a hands-on craft educational experience,” said Anne Majusiak, Chair of the Standards Group.

Vermont State Craft Centers and State Craft Schools that promote broader participation in crafts and raise the visibility of Vermont’s craft artists through education and exhibition may receive Vermont State Craft Center or State Craft School designation through an application process. The Standards Group facilitates the application process for designations and the annual review of designated State Craft Centers and State Craft Schools, and makes specific recommendations to the Overview Commission.

Standards Group committee members will:

Have knowledge of the Vermont crafts community

Attend routine Standards Group meetings

Attend subcommittee meetings as needed

Complete follow-up work between meetings as needed

Facilitate/organize at least one jury per year

Review jury committee recommendations

Present jury recommendations to the VSCCOC

Members must be comfortable working collaboratively both in person and online. Members of the Standards Group are reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their functions to the extent funds are available.

Please consider contributing your experience and leadership to serve the Vermont crafts community. Contact Martha Fitch at Vt1crafts@aol.com or complete the online Standards Group member questionnaire at: http://vermontcraftcenters.com/volunteer.html.