Tag Archives: Vermont

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.

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.

Where Do I Get A Map?!!?

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

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

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

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


View Where to Pick Up a Map – Open Studio Spring 2013 in a larger map and see where the following galleries are.

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. Rockingham Arts and Museum Project – RAMP. 7 Canal St. #15, Bellows Falls VT 05101. (802) 463-3252.

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.)

Vermont Open Studio Weekend yellow signs

Ten Ways To Plan Your Open Studio Tour

Ten Ways to Plan Your 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 don’t forget to look for the Yellow Open Studio signs!

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Look for yellow signs during Open Studio Weekend. (Bob Compton’s studio, #55 on the 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!

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.

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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.

A painting by Kathryn Milillo. Kathryn is participating at #86 ion the map.

A painting by Kathryn Milillo. Kathryn is participating at #86 ion the map.

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 dreamed of being an artist? Seek out specific mediums like woodworking, watercolors or jewelry.

Nationally known for her wood sculpture, Michelle Holzapfel in her Marlboro studio.

Nationally known for her wood sculpture, Michelle Holzapfel in her Marlboro studio, #138 on the map.

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 work.

Liz Saslaw's signature style is created using the technique she demonstrates above.

Liz Saslaw’s signature style is created using the technique she demonstrates above. #58 on the 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 2013 Vermont 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.

This sign is in Maple Corner, Vermont.

Take your time and enjoy your weekend! (Maple Corner, VT)

Open Studio Weekend is supported by the galleries of Vermont State Craft Centers and by the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, and the Point Radio Station. picture credits, top and bottom, Anne Majusiak. Bristol Bakery – Lucia Bragg.

Open Studio Tour – Grand Isle and Franklin County

An Open Studio tour in northwest Vermont (Franklin County, Grand Isle)


View 2013 Open Studio Tour – North West Tour in a larger map and accompanying information about who is where.

Happily, adventurous Open Studio visitors traveling north past Burlington into Franklin and Grand Isle counties will have a number of studios to explore. Grand Isle itself is an incredibly scenic drive on Route 2 as it threads the islands of Lake Champlain. The regional information center, Grand Isle Art Works, exhibits the works of many area artists and craftspeople and also is home to Zach’s Cafe at the Gallery. A few miles north from here, Sara Rosedahl will show her original paintings at her studio in North Hero.

Sarah Rosedahl paints wildlife including this heron.

Sarah Rosedahl paints wildlife including this heron.

Back on the mainland in nearby Georgia, Greg Drew will show his woodturnings and lathe work and will also host Pat Burton‘s art jewelry and paintings. Also located in Georgia is Chasworth Pottery and farm, where Marcia Hagwood makes pottery, roving, soap and handspun yarn.

Greg Drew, a wood turner, works on a large bowl in his Georgia studio.

Greg Drew, a wood turner, works on a large bowl in his Georgia studio.

Heading north to St. Albans, visitors will find the original painting studio and gallery of Daniel Pattullo in the heart of downtown across from Taylor Park. Further north in Fairfield is the studio of mixed media artist Meta Strick, who believes in “veering off and staying outside the lines”. Meta, (rhymes with pita), creates one-of-a-kind, imaginative and playful works including unique wood and mixed media Art Dolls and other artful assemblages combining any of her various interests in calligraphy, drawings, paintings, needlework, book arts, printmaking, letterpress, and polymer clay, as well as incorporating artifacts, embellishments and buttons.

Shown above, a doll created with mixed media by Meta Strick.

Shown above, an art doll created with mixed media by Meta Strick.

Bearing east out of Fairfax, visitors who wend their way to Enosburg Falls will find the collective art gallery called Artist in Residence, which exhibits the work of over 40 local Vermont artists. South from Enosburg Falls is the pottery studio of Barbara Colgrove, who makes colorful earthenware mugs, bowls and tiles.

An earthenware bowl, glazed with bright colors, by Barbara Colgrove.

An earthenware bowl, glazed with bright colors, by Barbara Colgrove.

A stop at Carol Crawford‘s studio in Bakersfield completes the circle. Carol, who learned to weave on an old loom that was in the barn of a commune where she lived in the 1960s, has become known for her lush chenille scarves, shawls, and entertaining stories.

Carol's complexly patterned scarf in red and black.

Carol’s complexly patterned scarf in red and black.

A Bristol and Lincoln Tour for Open Studio Weekend

An Open Studio tour in west-central Vermont (Lincoln-Bristol)


View 2013 Open Studio Central West Tour in a larger map and find a list of who is where.

Another solid cluster in the spring tour can be found in the west central Vermont mountain villages of Lincoln and Bristol. The picturesque and fast-running New Haven River, considered one of Vermont’s top fly-fishing destinations for rainbow, brook or brown trout, connects the few miles between them.

A watercolor painting by Nick Mayer.

A watercolor painting by Nick Mayer.

It’s a perfect spot for Escape Studio in Lincoln, where naturalist Nick Mayer combines his love of fly fishing and tying, with art, by painting watercolor “portraits” of fish and wildlife that are both scientifically illustrative and an expression of his artistic passion.

Liz Saslaw's signature style is created using the technique she demonstrates above.

Liz Saslaw’s signature style is created using the technique she demonstrates above.

The village of Lincoln, situated at the foot of Mount Abraham, is surrounded by scenic beauty and home to many artists. New to Open Studio this year and located in the heart of Lincoln village is award-winning photographer Victoria Blewer, who meticulously and individually hand-colors black and white photographs to create dreamlike effects. Elizabeth Saslaw of York Hill Potter, has her studio on York Hill Road, and on nearby Colby Road, visitors will find the studio of Kathleen Kolb and Paul Forlenza, where Kathleen creates her luminous oil and watercolor paintings and Paul will show his landscape photographs of mountains, trees and water.

Victoria Blewer hand colors her photographs.

Victoria Blewer hand colors her photographs.

Leaving the Lincoln area, the road follows along the river and then over the Bristol Twin Bridges. On Bristol’s classic Main Street is Art on Main, a regional Open Studio information center and gallery, where visitors can pick up maps and see fine art and craft from over 100 artists. A few doors down the street and across from the Bristol Bakery is the studio of oil painter Rory Jackson, whose work reflects the different worlds in which he lives: landscapes evoking Vermont in the summer and seascapes of Ghana where he spends the winter.

A painting by Rory Jackson.

A painting by Rory Jackson.

Heading north out of Bristol towards Monkton, visitors will find the yellow signs directing them to the studio of Dale Helms, a contemporary furniture maker on Mountain Road (should we come up with a few more words for Dale as he is back in the tour after many years?). A few miles east on Route 116 is the studio of Jim Geier, maker of the Vermont Folk Rocker. The unique rocking chair was designed to be comfortable to the back, and is handmade out of strung blocks of solid hardwood that Geier says feels “like a quilted cushion.” Five miles further south, also on Route 116, is the studio of potter Robert Compton and weaver Christine Homer. Their studio is a landmark for area people, with an eye-catching tower and sheep grazing in the front yard. Also noteworthy is Bob’s large, wood-fired Noborigama kiln. This year, Bob is celebrating his 20th year of participating in the Spring Open Studio tour.

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Chris and Bob sit in front of one of their kilns surrounded by Bob’s pottery.

An Open Studio tour in the Plainfield-Marshfield-Cabot region

Deciding where to go during Open Studio Weekend can be an exciting challenge. To show you how to create your own tour, we’ve made four this year. This is the second one.

An Open Studio tour in the Plainfield-Marshfield-Cabot region


View 2013 Open Studio Central North Tour in a larger map and see more information about the studios mentioned in this post including who is where.

A high concentration of studios can be found in the Plainfield-Marshfield-Cabot area in central Vermont.

You can start your tour at the Blinking Light Gallery where you can pick up a map for the Open Studio Weekend.

The Gallery is located just off Rte 2 as you drive into the center of Plainfield.

The Gallery is located just off Rte 2 as you drive into the center of Plainfield.

About 2 miles from Plainfield on Fowler Road, visitors will discover the studio of Denise D’Abramo, who makes handspun and botanically dyed specialty yarns. “When you visit Denise, you will see not only her work but her whole lifestyle,” says Martha Fitch, Director of the Vermont Crafts Council. D’Abramo, who studied textiles as a Fulbright scholar in India and collects plants for her natural dyes, lives with “her husband, two sweet children, a pile of sheep, and various other fun farm animals.”

Plainfield is also the home of the Majolica-style pottery studio of Leslie Koehler. Koehler just returned from a year in Tanzania where she was working to develop ceramic water filter technology as a way to provide safe water in developing countries. Early in her career as a potter, she traveled first to Alaska and then to Africa to work with traditional potters and learn the artistic skills of indigenous cultures. Her pottery, with an exterior of earthy-red terra cotta and a colorful Majolica glazed interior, incorporates many elements of her global interests.

Leslie Koehler's studio is in the middle of a field.

Leslie Koehler’s studio is in the middle of a field.

Leslie uses a majolica technique to decorate her work.

Leslie uses a majolica technique to decorate her work.

Another Plainfield artist is award winning contemporary quilt-maker Kathie Alyce. Returning to the Open Studio tour after an absence of several years, Alyce designs quilt patterns including the Flip Flop Block curved template, the subject of her recent quilting book. She is currently working on a series of landscape wall hangings and creating machine-worked trees.

 Kathy's current work features trees in the landscape.

Kathy’s current work features trees in the landscape.

Continuing on Route 2 north of Plainfield, visitors will find Blackthorne Forge, the studio of Steven Bronstein, who makes functional and sculptural, traditional and contemporary ironwork. Less then 5 miles away is the studio of stained glass artist Fred Varney. From Blackthorne Forge, visitors can take Route 2 south to Marshfield, the home of locally famous Rainbow Sweets, a cafe and bakery with a devoted following, including a food writer from the New York Times and local poet, Louise Gluck. From there, Fitch says to follow the yellow signs and the Open Studio map/guide. “Fred Varney’s studio is amazing!” she says. “He lives on a spectacular high spot overlooking fields and mountains and has built his studio/residence with the lower level living space illumined with his own stained glass lamps, while the upper part is his studio and workshop.”

The exterior of Steve's blacksmith shop in Marshfield. You can even do Open Studio in the rain!!

The exterior of Steve’s blacksmith shop in Marshfield. You can even do Open Studio in the rain!!

After Marshfield, it’s a short drive to Cabot where Sandy and Richard Ducharme open their individual studios and their graceful gardens for visitors to see. Located on the eponymous Ducharme Road, Sandy will show her hooked wool rugs and handpainted canvas rugs, while Richard will show his workshop and the multitude of choices of Adirondack furniture that he builds from locally harvested wood and paints or stains with either natural or saturated colors.

A floorcloth made by Sandy Ducharme in use in her dining room.

A floorcloth made by Sandy Ducharme in use in her dining room.

Open Studio Weekend 2013 – East Central Vermont Tour

The self-guided Open Studio tour features studios of 242 artisans and artists including glassblowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers.

There are many possible combinations of studio sites that visitors can combine to create a tour that suits their interests. Here is one!

An Open Studio tour in Central Vermont (Washington-Tunbridge-Randolph-Bethel-South Royalton)


View 2013 Open Studio Tour – East Central Vermont in a larger map and see numbers and identification that goes along with the markers.

Pottery lovers can find an interesting group of clay studios along with a basketmaker and two well-known printmakers to visit in the region where Orange and Windsor counties connect in central Vermont.

For those traveling south of Montpelier and Barre, one destination that is new this year is the studio of Romulus Craft between Washington and Chelsea, where Ikuzi Teraki and Jeanne Bisson make functional and sculptural contemporary porcelain tableware and pottery. Ikuzi grew up in Kyoto, surrounded by Japan’s National Treasures. Jeanne grew up on a family dairy farm in Barre, giving her a strong connection to the land. Visitors can see a Japanese aesthetic in the forms, along with design elements reminiscent of stone, ripples in sand, or, in their latest work, Ra-Ku, the beauty of falling and drifting snow and the intricate, random patterns of cracking ice.

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Marilyn Syme creates prints using the white line technique.

Continuing south to Tunbridge, Open Studio visitors can experience a quintessential piece of Vermont as they drive through the Howe covered bridge on Belknap Rd. to reach the studio of Dona Nazarenko, who will be showing her handwoven baskets. Nazarenko uses reed, birch bark and other to create what she calls “a blend of traditional, natural and inspirational” baskets. Her birch bark baskets are made from materials collected from fallen white birch trees in her own back yard. Her traditional baskets are functional and used for anything from collecting fruit to storing items. Many of Dona’s baskets feature things like wooden feet, made by her husband Warren, not commonly seen on other styles of baskets.

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Dona Nazarenko’s woven birchbark purse.

In several villages near Interstate 89 are clusters of studios in Randolph, Bethel and South Royalton. Randolph, the home of the White River Craft Center, also is home to Holly Walker who makes contemporary, functional earthenware pottery. Bethel is home to several potters and their studios: Andrea Trzaskos, who will debut her new studio space during Open Studio; Grace Pejouhy and Evan Williams,who collaboratively create one-of-a-kind wood fired pottery; and Becca Van Fleet and Nathan Webb, makers of stoneware pottery who love to give tours of their large, two-chambered wood kiln and brand new studio building.

Maxine Hugon stacking bowls.

Maxine Hugon stacking bowls.

South Royalton features the studios of Marilyn Syme, a printmaker of woodcuts, silkscreens and solar prints;Jeanne Amato, another woodblock and solarplate printmaker, and Maxine Hugon, a potter whose work combines carved, wheelthrown and handbuilt techniques.

This tour features only a subset of the 242 artists and art sites open during Open Studio Weekend. We hope to see you on the tour!

Fred and Judi Danforth Celebrate 20 Years of Open Studio in 2013

VERMONT OPEN STUDIO WEEKEND

MAY 25 & 26, 2013

Vermont Open Studio Weekend yellow signs

An interview with 20-year Open Studio participants

Fred and Judi Danforth — Pewterers

www.DanforthPewter.com
Located on Seymour Street in Middlebury


Vermont Open Studio Weekend happens annually over Memorial Day Weekend. Although Memorial Day isn’t quite the beginning of summer here in Vermont, it is turning a page on the calendar. The Open Studio event has become a rite of passage for a lot of people, both visitors and artists.

Four studios are being honored this year for their 20th year of participating in Open Studio Weekend. One is the husband and wife team of Fred and Judi Danforth, who make pewter products at the studio/retail store in the heart of Middlebury.  We recently spoke with Judi to find out what visitors will see at Danforth Pewter.  Let’s do the tour!

What would you say is special about Open Studio Weekend?

The real power of Open Studio Weekend is in the opportunity to bring attention to the numbers and variety of fine crafts being made in every nook and cranny of the state.

We feel a sense of camaraderie as we join our fellow Vermont artisans all over the state in showing our unusual craft to interested visitors.

Federal Frames and Onion Oil Lamp

Federal Frames and Onion Oil Lamp

Tell us about Danforth Pewter. What will people see when they come for Open Studio?

Fred and I have been exploring what is possible to do with pewter for the past 38 years, and as it happens, that includes a huge variety of things! Over the years, our individual interests have led us in different directions within our craft. Fred has concentrated on spinning hollowware such as oil lamps, vases, and one-of-a-kind pieces. I enjoy the casting technique we use to make jewelry, ornaments, keyrings and home accessories like frames, measuring spoons, etc. Fred designs directly on the lathe as he works. I draw a design and then carve wax or employ a CAD mill to make original models. In combination we are able to produce a broad line of items and price ranges.

Fred spins pewter on the lathe in his Middlebury studio.

Fred spins pewter on the lathe in his Middlebury studio.

During Open Studio Weekend, Fred will be spinning hollowware, including one-of-a-kind oil lamps on a restored 19th century lathe. We’ve set up a viewing area so visitors can get the best possible view of the spinning process. Visitors can see our bronze and rubber mold casting area as well.

We also have a history wall and a collection of historic pewter pieces. The Danforth family started making pewter in 1755 and 17 craftsmen in the family followed. After a five-generation break, we revived the family trade in Vermont in 1975. This unique story is illustrated along a Time Line, and historic pewter collection features several antiques made by Fred’s ancestors, as well as pieces from our own archive of pewter work from 1975 to present.

These pewter pieces are part of a collection of work from the Danforth family.

Fred and Judi’s work from eariier in their career, part of a collection of work from the Danforth family.

Why did you first decide to participate in Open Studio Weekend 20 years ago?

Ever since we started our business in Woodstock in 1975, we realized how much people loved to see the process of working with pewter. It was so clear to me from the start that an Open Studio tour was a great idea. What a treasure-experience it is for visitors to get in their cars and explore the state and artists’ studios.  There are lots of dots to connect in the tour!

How has Open Studio changed for you over the years?

We are a little different than most of the studios during Open Studio Weekend.  Years ago, we did have our studio on a back road in Lincoln.  We have grown a lot since then, and now our facility is a full-time, year-round retail environment.

What has made Open Studio successful for you?

We have created a destination here in Middlebury, and we work with our local group of studios with Open Studio publicity and distributing a map for our local tour. We use our own email list and also social media to get the word out, not just for ourselves, but also for all the studios in the area.

Fred and Judi Danforth in their studio with interesting metal objects in the background.

Fred and Judi Danforth in their studio with interesting metal objects in the background.

Thanks for the interview Judi! We wish you and Fred the best of luck during Open Studio Weekend!