Category Archives: Vermont Crafts Council

Fall Open Studio Weekend, October 14 & 15 2017

Ten Ways to Plan Your Fall Open Studio Tour

83 Sites are Participating!

Open Studio is the opposite of a art fair where artists are all located in the same place. Instead, you have to plan your tour. But with the Open Studio map and website,  you can easily put together a tour to match the your interests. Here are 10 ideas to help you create a great studio tour experience. Always look for the Yellow Open Studio signs!

Yellow sign S20161. Pick A Place! Let Open Studio Weekend be a reason 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! In Franklin County there are two sites for Open Studio, so enjoy a lovely drive to visit #1 Carol Crawford, hand weaver, and #2 Claire Payne Studios, & 3, Mylissa Kowalski Davis.

Carol Crawford weaves densely patterned, contemporary scarves and throws.

Carol Crawford weaves densely patterned, contemporary scarves and throws.

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. One example of this would be the tour that begins in Moretown with Elga Gemst’s studio, right next to the Moretown Village Store. Next travel through Waitsfield, stopping at Mad River Glass Gallery,  and Noel Bailey Ceramics. Then travel on to Warren and the Warren Store, and Moosewalk Studios, and the Luminous Moose.

Gemst

Stained glass composition by Elga Gemst.

3. Drive Dirt Roads! 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.

Linda Bryan

A photograph by Linda Bryan who will be showing her work with Newbury Artists in Newbury.

4. Ask An Artist! While visiting a studio, ask for suggestions of special things to see and do in the area. Locals always know the best places.

5. Meet Your Medium! Have you always wanted to be an artist? Seek out specific mediums like woodworking, watercolors or jewelry. Do you already have a career in art – find colleagues in your field and talk shop.

Gerry Martin, shown here in his Shrewsbury studio with a large platter that he has turned.

Gerry Martin, shown here in his Shrewsbury studio with a large platter that he has turned.

6. Choose a Cluster! Check the map for a group of studios that are near each other and see as many as you are able. Areas with clusters include the Brattleboro area, the Montpelier to Worcester route, Huntington, Hinesburg and Charlotte, Middlebury, Greensboro and Craftsbury, and many others. Check the map.

7. Discover Local Artists! Visit studios close to your home or vacation spot. Artists are everywhere in Vermont, even right around the corner. A benefit to Open Studio is that you don’t need to worry about whether you are interrupting an artist at work as they have set aside this time for you to visit.

Metal Sculpture by Mark Goodenough of Belllows Falls.

Metal Sculpture by Mark Goodenough of Belllows Falls.

8. Follow the Familiar! Visit artists whose work you admire. Seeing their workplace, watching them work, and talking with them will give you new insight and appreciation for their art. Let Open Studio be a reason to drop into a friend’s studio and make a purchase or place an order for the upcoming holidays.

9. Meet New Artists! Visit artists who are new to you but whose work sounds intriguing. Explore mediums and techniques you know nothing about. There are 20 new-to-Open-Studio artists or sites on the Fall Tour. Look at the google map at the link below, to see who is new.

Painting by Marina Epstein of Worcester.

Painting by Marina Epstein of Worcester.

10. Consult the Map!  We have two maps, a paper map and a google map. View our Google map of participating sites. Each participant has a link to their personal website. Start with a studio that piques your curiosity.

Look for the 2017 Fall  Vermont Open Studio paper maps at Vermont rest stops, tourist information areas and galleries across the state. Or contact us at 802-223-3380. To order a hard copy of the map, go to this link. where you can also download pdfs of the map.

Open Studio Map F2017

Big and Small Outdoor Sculpture Sites for Spring Open Studio 2017

Visit Seven Diverse Sculpture Parks and Gardens During May 27 & 28

by Martha Fitch

People who appreciate sculpture have a treat waiting for them this Spring Open Studio Weekend. There are seven sculpture sites that offer a range of materials, and artist visions. Four are located in Chittenden County, with one in Addison and one in Rutland County and one in Washington County.

Start in Jericho in the middle of the tour that combines the Spring Open Studio and Jericho-Underhill. Chris Cleary’s fascination with fire, stone, wood, words, and Steampunk metal sculpture is in evidence throughout the building and grounds in his studio home at 353 Browns Trace Rd in Jericho.

Cleary LIVE

Giant wooden letters are part of the WORD section of the sculpture garden.

The sculpture garden at On the Rocks Carving Studio features the original Word Garden, which is an interactive installation of stones with words carved into them, that can be arranged and rearranged into poetry and messages by the user.

Other highlights of the sculpture garden are 8 giant wooden letters (roughly 8ft tall), displayed as a word or words;

Cleary Spider

Steampunk inspirations can be seen in this welded metal spider.

Steampunk artifacts including two Submarines, a Jet Pack, a Spider, an Angler Fish, and an outdoor Shower on wheels; along with the usual displays of stone & copper sea grass, stone birdbaths and carvings. We’ll also feature fire breathing as part of the Open Studio festivities!

Next travel to Underhill at the home and studio of Gerry Stoner. Gerry says about his event, “Gerald K Stoner Sculpture at Underhill Ironworks will be presenting over 50 crafted welded steel sculptures for Spring Open Studio weekend from 10 am -5 pm. Explore the sculpture fields at my studio and residence in beautiful Underhill, Vermont just twenty-five minutes from Burlington, VT.”

Stoner Sculpture

Gerry Stoner’s sculpture in the field near his studio.

Travel west to Leslie Fry’s house and studio located in Winooski at 48-B Elm St. “My sculpture garden is in Winooski, a working-class, multi-national resettlement community. For 26 years, I’ve planted and shaped the environment outside my studio into a fantastical landscape where my outdoor sculptures go through seasonal changes.” During Open Studio Weekend you do not need to make an appointment to view sculpture.

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Leslie’s garden in winter.

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Lovely organic shapes are the newer additions to the garden.

After leaving Leslie’s studio, travel south on Rte 7 to Shelburne and to Falls Rd on the right. Continue east on that road until you see large sculptures set into the field next to the road.

Donegan Finding Faith

“Finding Faith” by Donegan

“The Shelburne Pond Studios Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is comprised of 6+ acres of open fields and rolling farmland displaying 20 sculptures by Vermont artists. The property is also home to the working studios of 13 artists in a large converted dairy barn. The site is open to the public.”

 

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One of the sculptures presently at Lemon Fair, The Tiller by John Clements.

Back on Rte 7, travel to Middlebury and then east on Rte 30 and turn right onto Rte 74 and travel for 3 miles to the Lemon Fair Sculpture Park. The Lemon Fair sculpture park has a variety of 25 large outdoor sculptures. It is a special place because it sites large pieces of contemporary art in a rural setting. A mile long, mowed path brings you to all the pieces. Some of the sculptures are for sale and some are part of a permanent collection. Open Saturday and Sundays, May until November.

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Another sculpture presently at Lemon Fair by Dennis Versweyveld.

Further south on Rte 4 in West Rutland visit the Carving Studio and Sculpture Center on the grounds of the Vermont Marble Company. Here is a video that introduces you to the site.

Barre:  The Sculpture City

Barre is home to a thriving granite sculpture community and includes several bike racks that incorporate sculpture. Studio Place Arts (SPA) is a nonprofit community center for the visual arts located in historic downtown Barre that serves thousands of community members around central and northern Vermont.  SPA is committed to reaching out to bring all members of the community into its facility to become creators of art, and to view exciting contemporary artwork.

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Brothers enjoy Chris Miller’s sculpture “Unzip the Earth” sited next to SPA.

A group of talented studio artists work on the second and third floors at SPA. SPA makes available its Art Stroll map to describe the outstanding examples of stone sculptures sited around downtown Barre.  The Art Stroll map corresponds to a slide show with sculpture images at the SPA website.  [Go to studioplacearts.com; click at “Visit” and scroll down.]

8-30-11 GC on his Granite Chair 8x10

Sculptor Giuliano Cecchinelli II after completing his granite easy chair called “Daddy’s Chair.” This sculpture is sited in front of SPA.

For more information, directions, downloadable maps and pictures with other sites in the Spring Open Studio tour go to our map and directions page.

For a google map of all sites go here.

Bethel Artists Prepare for Spring Open Studio 2017

By Andrea Trzaskos

A group of four artisans in the ‘Bethel Group’ is busily preparing for Open Studio weekend.

Two Potters Shop welcomes visitors.

Two Potters Shop welcomes visitors.

At Two Potters, Nathan and Becca Webb are making pottery for a wood-firing in June.  Since their kiln is only fired once or twice a year, Open Studio will be an exciting time to preview many of the pieces before they are loaded into the kiln.  Nathan and Becca create pottery with the simple goal of adding beauty and enjoyment to life.  Their functional pieces include mugs for hot coffee and tea, bowls for all things, vases for fresh flowers, butter keepers, mason jars, and fermenting crocks.

During Open Studio, Nathan and Becca will be giving tours of the kiln barn – where visitors can walk inside the kiln itself – while answering questions about their wood-firing process.

Becca and Nathan have built this wood fired kiln. Firings happen twice a year.

Becca and Nathan have built this wood fired kiln. Firings happen twice a year.

The two potters will also be giving demos in their studio, and there’ll be an area for kids to play with clay.

Bowls on Shoulder

Three newly glazed bowls head to the kiln shed.

They’ll have pottery for sale, food and drink, and (hopefully) live music on Sunday afternoon – check out their Instagram feed (@twopotters) or website (twopotters.com) for more details on the music.  Two Potters is a family-friendly venue, and everyone will be welcome to come and stay a while

Grace Pejouhy holds a stoneware pitcher.

Grace Pejouhy holds a stoneware pitcher.

Across town at Naught Hill Pottery, Grace Pejouhy and Evan Williams have just finished a throwing cycle and are doing brushwork and glazing while getting their kiln ready for a firing.  Grace and Evan work in partnership, with Grace doing much of the throwing while Evan decorates using slip wiping and brushwork with pigments and wax resist.  Focusing on traditional functional forms with flowing curves and strong lines, then firing their pots in a Bourry box wood kiln, these potters endeavor to create work that is simple and honest to its materials and feels right to use in everyday life.

Evan shapes the lip of a large bowl.

Evan shapes the lip of a large bowl.

Visit Naught Hill Pottery during Open Studio Weekend and you will see that Grace and Evan have been working hard to prepare as many pots as possible in advance of their first showing at the League of NH Craftsmen Mount Sunapee Fair later this summer.  This will be the biggest show they’ve participated in, and Open Studio offers a great chance to get a first look at their newest work!

A carved raven peers out of his ceramic tile.

A carved raven peers out of his ceramic tile.

Over the river, Andrea Trzaskos has also been working hard at her Frog Song Designs studio to prepare for a busy summer show season.  Another Bethel artist working in clay, and with the devoted help of two four-legged studio assistants, Andrea has been at work through the winter to build up her collection of both functional ware and decorative wall art.

From plates and platters to vases, vessels and wall tiles, she hand-builds each piece in stoneware before painting and carving through layers of colored underglazes to create detailed, one-of-a-kind surface designs.  A long-time gardener and nature enthusiast more recently turned to ceramics, Andrea focuses on themes of birds and nature in her designs.  She’ll be on the road with her work for much of the summer and fall, so Open Studio is a great opportunity to catch up with her at home.

 

Frog Song plates, with a variety of underglazes, waiting to be fired.

Frog Song plates, with a variety of underglazes, waiting to be fired.

And just down the road, Open Studio visitors will be welcome at the Stone Revival carving studio and gallery of Julian Isaacson, housed in a beautifully refurbished barn at the edge of Stockbridge.

Julian has been sculpting in stone and hardwoods for over forty years, creating unique works deeply connected to Vermont’s people and land.  His work includes fine art, functional art, monuments and commissions that reflect his preferred themes of nature and community.

The Stone Revival gallery is filled with beautiful examples of Julian’s bas relief sculpture, while the gift shop offers a range of Vermont products including jewelry, quilts and gift baskets.  Julian will be carving during Open Studio, so don’t miss this terrific chance to see him at work!

Many Studios are New for Spring Open Studio

Fresh Faces at This Spring’s Open Studio Weekend

by Elissa Campbell

2016 marks the twenty-fourth year that the Vermont Crafts Council has celebrated the work and creative environments of Vermont’s exceptional crafts community. Perhaps you didn’t know that every year, the list of artists participating in Open Studio Weekend changes as much as 40%. This year 50 studios are new to the event or have not participated for several years.

This cool fact means the event is ever-changing and you’ll never have the same experience twice. Check out our new (or new-to-you) artists, some of whom are profiled below. For the complete list of who is new, see this google map with orange markers for new participants.

Studio #191: In her Middlebury studio, Danielle Gori-Montanelli makes colorful and spirited sculpted felt jewelry. She’s one of those people who is good at everything – she started as a painter and worked in metal for fifteen years before moving on to felt. Flowers and plants are a common theme in her work and it’s just fabulous – felt pretzel brooches, collars full of succulent flowers, and necklaces of spools of thread. Her work has such personality and shows her keen sense of humor.

Gori-Montanelli

Sculpture by Danielle Gori-Montanelli

Studio #118: Joe Breznick of Breznick Woodworking in Londonderry spends his time creating furniture from locally-sourced woods, as well as reclaimed lumber for salvaged buildings. Joe hails from a family of makers and clearly has craft in his blood. He is a skilled builder, creating beds, tables, and chairs with meticulous attention to detail. There’s no doubt that he has passion for and takes pride in his work.

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Armoire by Joe Breznick

Studio #124: Also in Windham County, Patricia Burleson of Townshend is a double threat, working in both painted silk and mixed media sculpture. Her dreamy scarves, banners, and Chuppahs are hand-painted in a manner similar to watercolors. Using traditional basket making techniques, Patricia constructs sculptural forms from natural, recycled, and found materials. Anything can act as a source of inspiration for her work – she sees the history and value in all objects.

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Painted silk banners by Patricia Burleson

Studio #143: Down in the southern part of Vermont, Joseph Tracy of Brookside Glassworks works in both stained and fused glass. He seems to have a deep respect for the transformative qualities of glass, especially for what it does with light. His resume doesn’t just include conservation work with historic stained glass – Joseph also combines fused glass with glass painting to create wonderful effects that take on the appearance of watercolors. He approaches the medium with the goal of exploring uncharted territory.

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Stained glass panel by Joseph Tracy of Brookside Glassworks

No matter what studios you visit, you’re sure to have a memorable experience!

Look for the 2016 Vermont Open Studio guides at Vermont rest stops, tourist information areas and galleries across the state. You can also contact the Vermont Crafts Council at (802) 223-3380 or vt1crafts@aol.com. On online version of the guide can be found on the VCC website.

Also, check out the google map showing new studios at this link.

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

A VISIT WITH HUGO MESA – by Judy Dales

 

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, http://www.ericsprenger.com. 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. http://www.rogersandes.com. 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. http://www.carynking.com.  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. http://www.matthewtellpottery.com. 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. http://www.jmbglass.com. 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. http://www.holzapfelwoodworking.com . 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. http://www.theturnpikeroad.com. 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, Marlborohttp://www.charlestownsendart.com. Charles produces contemporary landscape paintings in oils and pastels.

Charles Townsend

Charles Townsend painting.

54. Jason E. Breen, Fine and Custom Woodwork – Brattleboro. http://www.jasonebreen.com. 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. http://www.michelmoyse.com. 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. http://www.naomilindenfeld.com. 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. http://walterslowinskipottery.weebly.com. 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. http://www.facebook.com/laughing.lizard.studio. 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. http://www.vtart.com. 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. Brattleborohttp://www.fulcrumarts.com. 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. http://www.virginiawyoming.com. 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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

http://www.birdsofvermont.org

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.

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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 vt1crafts@aol.com. An online version of the guide can be found at vermontcrafts.com. 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.

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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.

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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.

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Breen DeskBreen Desk

 

Computer Fail – A Cautionary Tale

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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