As you travel throughout the countryside and towns of America, you can’t help but take notice of the various weathervanes and whirligigs that grace rooftops and gardens as well as those that have made their way into homes and museums as folk art objects for display. Over the past twenty three years, I have developed an increasing interest and passion for this type of folk art. I began collecting antique originals and then started researching folk art objects to handcraft weathervanes, whirligigs and trade signs in the true folk art tradition. Most of the wood used in my work is over one hundred-year-old heart pine salvaged from various 19th century barns and outbuildings in upstate NY. I also incorporate antique copper, tin and iron into my work. Various tools used to handcraft each piece include chisels, draw knives, handsaws and carving knives.
I want to continue this type of American folk art so that it lives on for many years to come. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I enjoy handcrafting each and every piece.
Andersen and Stauffer
At Andersen & Stauffer, we create authentic copies of 17th, 18th, and early 19th century American antiques. How do we accomplish this? By being exacting. And passionate and experienced. Founders Alan Andersen & Tom Stauffer have been working with wood for as long as they’ve been able to hold hammers. Together, our team develops and perfects techniques to construct classic pieces and simulate antique surfaces, as well as conserve and restore cherished pieces.
Our deep passion for the history of American furniture, and knowledge of both its form and function, is what drives our desire to painstakingly recreate timeless bench-made furniture.
We use only the best grade hardwood, employ mortise and tenon joinery, and use hand cut dovetails. We use no automated joinery techniques, and never, ever, any plywood. All carving is done by hand, and we have been sought out by clients around the country for our highly specialized hand-rubbed finishes. We can match the color and finish of an existing object, or create a unique blend to suit a client’s individual needs. Then, we finish with the highest quality brass hardware available, from Londonderry Brasses.
We have been recreating pieces for clients for more than 25 years, and are proud to label, sign and date each one. And that’s why we have continually been rated among the 200 Top Craftspeople in America by Early American Home Magazine. And are engaged by renowned museums like Winterthur Museum and Old Salem Museum and Gardens to partner in their replication projects. Our knowledge also makes us a trusted authentication resource for auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s.
Ashley Garland Floor Cloths
As a young apprentice to my artist grandmother, I learned the process of creating floor cloths at the age of 13. While studying under my grandmother I was even mentioned in Country Living Magazine. I am very proud to be carrying on the tradition today. I love the process of putting an idea onto the canvas and seeing it come to life. I want my work to be enjoyed in your home as much as I enjoy creating it.
Barking Dog Jewelry Design Studio
As a specialist in hand forged and braided metal, I use a mixture of traditional silversmith, blacksmith, and goldsmith techniques and equipment to create historical wearable works of art. I am a native of North Carolina, trained in historical archaeology, with a subspecialty in metals. I am a trained jeweler and a self taught traditional silversmith.
I do all the work by hand, one piece at a time, from initial design to final polishing – no mass production. From time to time I teach this work to apprentices who also help me at art and craft shows while I demonstrate my techniques.
My knowledge base comes from period texts, paintings, etchings, and techniques which I’ve reverse engineered using methods learned in my training in archaeology and museum conservation and restoration. I spend hours in museums examining period paintings, etchings, prints, and sculptures attempting to tease out jewelry design and construction. Many of my patterns are based on archaeological research, published reports, texts, field notes, and interviews with curators at period archaeological sites. Two of my chain designs are based on artifacts recovered from period (1715) ship wrecks off the coast of Florida. The button designs are based on two period buttons (one pewter and one silver plated or gilded) excavated in Strasburg, Virginia. I also have fun creating some contemporary or art deco pieces.
As a result, my designs create some of the most accurate reproductions and examples of historic colonial style jewelry, especially with respect to my hand made chains, hand forging, weaving, repousse’, chasing, and embossing.
Baskets in Nantucket Tradition: Jane Theobald
I began experimenting with Nantucket basket construction about 35 years ago after seeing a small broken one at an antique show. I have been a hands on creator forever, jumping from sewing stain glass window making, weaving, knitting etc. I dabbled in shaker baskets at first but once I saw the Nantucket that was it. I still have my first basket with its handle made from a large twig from a tree in my back yard. My basket growth has been all on my own since in the early 1980s there was nothing available without being on the island. The third edition of the Seeler book in 1981 was my teacher. It however left out a number of salient facts which had to be learned by trial and error if you weren’t out on the island with a teacher. One of the greatest joys of my development as a basket maker has been that when faced with a technical obstacle and no teacher I consistently seem to have solved it the same way the old guys on the island did many years ago. Over the years I have participated in many lovely folk art shows and have been privileged to be included in Early American Life magazine of Outstanding Artists as well as being featured in Country Living. In addition I have had a nest of small baskets included in a show of miniatures at the Nantucket Basket Museum on the island. My baskets are in many personal collections both here and abroad. I have done all my work myself from the beginning. This includes molds, rims, handles, and for the last several years scrimshaw. Much of my work now is custom one of a kind baskets and historical reproductions woven of old cane, sometimes with baleen embellishments. In addition I do restoration of treasured antique baskets in private collections. I still learn from every project and enjoy it as much now as I did with my first homely attempt.
In the rural Vermont village of Perkinsville, the Henry Gould Farm sits at the base of picturesque Mount Ascutney as it has since the early 19th century. Peek into the large carriage house windows and you will find the studio of Lisa Curry Mair and the home of Canvasworks Designs.
Traditionally crafted canvas floorcloths and elegant murals are made as they would have been hundreds of years ago – one intricate and detailed step at a time. The subjects and stories of her murals are historically researched and lovingly infused with personal details. Her art often highlights the animals she holds dear – her horses, dogs and cat – as well as the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Lisa truly lives the traditional New Englander way-of-life and painting is just one part of her day. The farm’s old dairy barn is home to her four horses, which she tends to and rides daily. In the winter, the woodstove must be stoked and the walkways must be shoveled; in the summer, the flower gardens around the pond in the backyard require time and attention. Lisa has been known not to leave the property for a week at a time. “Why would I?” she says. “Everything I need is right here.”
Since Canvasworks Designs was established in 1992, Lisa Curry Mair has created over fifteen-hundred handcrafted floorcloths, paintings and murals, which now reside in private homes, historic houses, and museums across North America and Europe.
Daniel Bellow Porcelain
Made by hand on the potter’s wheel, one piece at a time, Daniel Bellow Porcelain is non-toxic, and dishwasher safe, and with proper care should last for hundreds of years. There’s a lot of iron in the new glaze and it will not go over well to have them smoke in someone’s microwave. Things that are made by hand have a life of their own, a spirit, that machine made objects, no matter how well designed, cannot hope to match
I measure the pots with my fingers and adjust the kiln according to the sound of the burners and the color of the flame, so some variation in size, shape and color is to be expected and valued for its is is the whole point of handmade pottery in a machine world where everyone agrees the highest and best use of silica is in the manufacture of microchips for computers.
The clay I use comes from ancient mountaintops washed down into stream beds over millions of years of rainy days. When my bones have crumbled to dust and this website is forgotten, archaeologists yet unborn will excavate my studio and find pieces of pottery with my stamp on them.
I decided that if Paul Gauguin could quit his job to become an artist at 37, so could I. But instead of leaving my wife, two small children and two large dogs and going off to Tahiti to drink myself to death, we all moved back to the Berkshires and established the Daniel Bellow Pottery in Great Barrington in 2002.
My work is sold in finer galleries and in Anthropologie stores from coast to coast. I teach at the Great Barrington Waldorf High School and IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. In the summertime, I fire wood kilns with my friends here in the North Carolina of the North.
Deluca Windsor Furniture
Joe has been making Windsor chairs and restoring period furniture in beautiful Lancaster County Pennsylvania for almost thirty years. After working as an engineering model maker, his time spent in a prestigious Lancaster County restoration and conservation shop allowed him access to some of the finest examples of Windsor furniture available. From here, Joe was able to choose the finest examples to reproduce, for both elegance and comfort. Paying special attention to period construction and joinery techniques,as well as historically accurate colors and surfaces, Joe’s chairs capture the 18th century in in both form and function.
Our pieces are built to last more than a lifetime. We work with locally sourced woods, including hard maple for the base, two inch thick tulip poplar for the seats, and tough and resilient hickory or red oak for the spindles, steam bent arms, bows and crest rails. While we are quite proud of the form and construction of our chairs, it is the paint surfaces that set us apart. DeLuca Windsors have been shipped coast to coast as well as Germany and numerous museums in the east.
Fascinated by American Indian beadwork, Faith Fellows studied the earliest forms of bead and quill work and the various tribal influences at the American Indian Museum in New York. Today she incorporates artistic influences from many indigenous cultures into her bags. Each motif is meticulously embroidered on a field of richly colored velvet or suede set into the leather of the bag, creating one-of-a-kind American treasures. She works in South Royalton, Vermont.
50 Little Birds
I carve birds and whales and boats. I spent a great deal of my childhood on the coast of New England. These were my passions than and the drive my artwork today.
My artwork comes from my life and my experiences. I spend much of my time in the woods and on the water…just watching and thinking about what I will make next.
Fire Crow Handwovens
I love sharing my joy through weaving. I draw inspiration from nature and the magical world around us to design and create beautiful, functional scarves, shawls and home goods that enhance one’s home or lifestyle. Specialties are my original “Story Scarves” and “Story Shawls” that share tales and life experiences woven into fabric with vibrant colors and rich textures. I often incorporate novelty yarns and contrasting fibers into the same piece. I weave mostly on an 8-harness cherry Norwood loom and enjoy demonstrating on my portable 4-harness Harrisville. . I spent two years artistically crocheting and selling original scarves; spent a year studying the centuries-old craft of basket weaving with reed, adding found materials collected in the woods; and traveled to the tiny villages outside Oaxaca, Mexico to experience indigenous handweavers’ craft and culture. Traveling provides an endless source of inspiration for me and I look forward to many more adventures!
I’ve been obsessed with books all my life – reading them, collecting them, and now creating them. I started studying bookbinding over 15 years ago, originally to learn how to repair the books I collect. But that has evolved into making my own creations, which gives me a huge amount of satisfaction. I love combining leathers, papers and other fabulous materials to make my journals, ornaments, and boxes. All are completely made by hand, using the traditional methods I’ve learned over the years.
Heidi Howard, Maker & Painter
Heidi began to paint historic reproductions of trade and tavern signs when her interest in early American country painted antiques collided with her artistic background. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree in Fine Art, Heidi went through a natural progression of nomad, waitress, seamstress, hatter, mother, and, ultimately, historic trade & tavern sign painter. What a wonderful culmination of a life-long interest in art and antiques and the actual (gasp!) use of one’s college degree! Her attraction to weathered surfaces and crusty paint began early though, having spent her childhood in rural Vermont, surrounded by barns, rusty farm equipment, and other glimpses of history. Heidi continues to be inspired by her New England surroundings.
Helen Howard, Painter
You may have read something about Helen in one of a variety of publications, including Country Living, Yankee, Early American Life/Homes, or the New England Antiques Journal. Further, what you read may have been something about Helen the antiques dealer, or Helen the wall muralist, or Helen the floor-cloth designer and painter, or about Helen the prolific watercolorist. All of these topics have been addressed in various articles about Helen over the last four decades. As a result, her artwork is displayed proudly on walls and floors of beautiful homes throughout the country. Many of Helen’s clients come to her again and again with a new request, a new space in mind.
Hooked Rugs, Peggy Teich
Fiber artist Peggy Teich’s collectible wool hooked rugs in the American Primitive style are created with hand-dyed wool, and hooked on burlap. Teich’s rugs, which are primarily used as wall hangings, have been featured on the 1999 White House Christmas tree, Country Living Magazine, Country Home Magazine, and other fine publications. She makes her home in Wisconsin.
Josh Axelrod Photography
Photography originates with light. Pattern is the form, the symmetry, the composition. Motion is an expression of time… I consider these the essential elements of photography. They are the pieces of the puzzle that is the creation. How and where I choose to place these pieces, a combination of my perspective and integrating elements to form the whole, is where I depend on intuition. This is where my art is born.
From the back woods of Vermont, to the western shores of Washington; high in the Andes of Peru and deep into the wild of Alaska, I find inspiration in what is often overlooked- the simple things that blanket the earth. Magic lives everywhere; the feathered blade of golden grass blowing in the wind, the current rippling in a mountainside stream and the ever-changing light defining the voice of those moments.
I am fascinated by how we perceive reality and how that perception determines what we see. I seek the poetry of our landscape; the imagery I hope to convey. The sacred moments where light, sound, color and texture harmonize make me smile…. This moment will never be seen quite the same again.
Spicher and Company is a leading manufacturer of framed artwork. It is our goal to provide the most current design options at an affordable price. We display our products in key Market Centers throughout the United States. Through our leading edge design and reputation we have acquired key positions in the market place.
Spicher and Company was founded in 1992, and has since become a leading manufacturer of framed artwork. It is our goal to provide the most current design options at affordable prices.
Artist Kolene Spicher has a unique style and flair with her paintings that is easily recognizable. Many of the current design ideas in the marketplace have been a direct result of her creativity. She has decorated most of the top name department stores with her modern abstract paintings, and her designs have been used by major brands in their advertising campaigns.
She splits her time between creating painting for gallery shows and working with school children to create permanent murals in public schools in the artist residence programs with the Maryland State Arts Council.
Combining her painting skills and her knowledge of vinegar-graining, she creates decorative furniture and accessories. Her Early American vinegar-grained furniture has been featured in Country Living magazine and sold at ABC Home in New York City. Her smaller grained boxes are currently sold at the gift shop of the National Archive Museum, Washington D.C.. She is a visiting artisan at Colonial Williamsburg where she gives vinegar graining demonstrations during the year.
Unlike some craftspeople who are simply designers with a factory here or abroad, and a warehouse of stock waiting to ship, Tom and I design and MAKE each piece that comes out of our workshop. Our simplest piece, the humble cheese knife, takes 11 steps, but most require 20 steps to complete.
Come to a show to get first dibs on our newest inventions and our one-of-a-kind work.
No big factory, no outsourcing, no crowds of employees. Just us. Meb and Tom. And a few friends from time to time. So we DON’T keep masses of product (all the same) ready for purchase. When you want something, maybe we’ll find the one you want waiting here in the workshop. But most likely we’ll make you one, out of the type of wood you want, with special requests (use your imagination) sprinkled in for good measure.
Mills and Zoldak Pottery
Maureen Mills finished her undergraduate degree in Chemistry while continuing to explore her love of clay and continued to pursue art through her MFA degree from University of Nebraska-Lincoln. With her husband Steven Zoldak they moved to Portsmouth NH in 1987 to operate a studio on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum. Her experience, like Steve’s, demonstrating at the studio at Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri under Harvey Bufford laid a solid groundwork for working with the public while continuing to work in clay.
As an author, a recent Arts Council Fellow and a recipient of the Artist Advancement Grant, Maureen has continued to pursue work fired in a wood burning kiln. She creates layers of imagery and patterns on her work, using the dramatic results of the firings to accent color and pattern. She is also the author of Surface Decoration for Ceramics, a Lark publication and is the Chair of Ceramics at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she has been faculty since 2001.
Steve has been involved in the arts since studying Graphic Design and Painting in college. His love of clay continued through college, apprenticing at the pottery studio at Silver Dollar City in Branson Missouri with Harvey Bufford. Since 1987 he and Maureen have been operating their studio on the grounds of Strawbery Banke Museum where his teaching skills excel in daily demonstrations to museum visitors while developing his own pottery style.
Continuing in the slip trailing traditions, Steve has developed a line of stoneware work that bridges Old World traditions with a contemporary sensibility. His functional and decorative forms have an elegant calligraphic style that is uniquely his own. From stately urns to serving platters, his inspirations come from a melding of cultures and a personal design aesthetic to create work that is beautiful to use and to look at.
Nine Patch Studio
Kathie Ratcliffe interprets 19th century quilts in miniature using historically accurate fabrics and authentic color combinations. Her quilts evoke the regional idioms and fabric trends of the most dynamic period in quilt history. Her work reflects the change in style from early chintz quilts to the bold graphics of the late 19th century. The vibrant colors and patterns recall the best traditions of American quilt art. “As I work, I sense a connection with the women who made those early quilts, with their creative choices as well as their lives and their historical context. In my miniature pieces I hope to preserve and validate these singular, deeply personal works of artistic expression.” Kathie’s intricate, signed pieces are offered in handgrained frames with archival mounting.
Nod Hill Soap
I am often asked why I started making soap. The answer is simple really – I love everything there is about soap – from fine french milled soap to rustic country soap – I am completely drawn to it….by the texture, the smell, the appearance, even the packaging!!
In 2009 I started Nod Hill Soap and embarked on my soapmaking journey. With no knowledge of how soap was made or even made from, I set out to learn how to make this alluring substance. Researching ingredients and techniques I began to create the soap of my dreams – a soap to nourish my body and soul – with a luxurious, creamy lather, gorgeous scents, light, fluffy bubbles, amazing skin loving properties and beautiful packaging. The entire experience resonated deeply with my creative spirit – from the artistry of designing the soap to the art of creating the packaging, I found pure joy.
In 2012 I took my soapmaking out of the kitchen and opened my shop in Wilton, CT where I both create my soapy masterpieces and also display them for sale in a lovely European-style inspired, tiny boutique full of light, soothing music and amazing scents. It’s the perfect place to come shop for that last minute hostess gift or special birthday present (knowing it was made right in the next room). In addition to soap, I make wonderfully luscious lotions and lip butters, refreshing rose water facial toners, soothing bath salts, rejuvenating salt and sugar scrubs, lovely scented sachets and room sprays to freshen up your home and so much more. I also offer elegant custom guest soaps, party favors and gift baskets perfect for bridal showers, hostess gifts, teachers’ gifts, corporate gifts, holiday parties or any special occasion.
As a kid, Jocelyn used to spend every free moment she had making little animal sculptures out of clay. Years later, she went on to study Metals and Jewelry at SCAD, where she tried desperately to avoid making jewelry and turn it into a sculpture degree. After graduating and spending a few years working and making jewelry on the side, she realized working with metal was not for her. She abandoned her attempts to use her degree and instead began working for SCAD as a recruiter. She spent her days preaching to students in high school art classes to not waste their creativity and to pursue artistic careers. It wasn’t long before she realized that she wasn’t following her own advice. Without a plan, she took a huge risk and quit her job to move from Atlanta to a small town in New England. Her big life change inspired her to start creating again and she picked up a felting needle. Once she started to spend every free moment making little animals out of wool…things fell into place and her inner child was found.
I specialize in hand painted signs which recreate iconic symbols that appeared prior to and during the American Revolution. There are many historic images that appeared during this period, instrumental to the formation of our country, that have been lost throughout time. I believe that Americans should know the meaning behind some of these images which helped to spark the birth of this great nation. My objective is to reintroduce some of these meaningful symbols as a way to educate and celebrate our national freedom!
I have been interested in type and printing since I was a girl; my father worked for Mergenthaler Linotype. Growing up I assumed everyone’s dad pointed out good and bad examples of typography. My love for the printed word was always in the background of my life. Raising a family and investing in my home and garden in Connecticut left little room for other pursuits except for watercolor. Now my three daughters are grown and I finally have the most precious gift of time. I started taking letterpress classes. Once I got my feet wet and my hands inky, I was hooked. Slowly and steadily I turned my basement into a Print Shop. So here I am, enjoying a new phase of my life. You could say it all started with watercolor. I love to paint flowers and little still lifes. That led to creating cards and invitations for friends, and that led to Saltbox Press!
Sue Brown Gordon
Nature is my primary inspiration. The tides and salt marshes of the Long Island Sound have been an area of contrast for me. Though it provides a sense of permanence, there is always growth and change happening. The sense of energy and freshness completes me, simple marsh grasses swaying skyward toward light.
I create organic textures with my jewelry and my painting. The work is sculptural and emotional, conveying a spirit of Zen-like calmness.
Three Point Design
We are a design studio located in Virginia Beach, Virginia and we specialize in creating custom one of a kind art using primarily wood, metal and paint as our mediums. Our focus remains mostly in the realm of traditional folk art, however we can custom create anything from scratch as long as you have an idea.
Vaillancourt Folk Art
When Gary Vaillancourt gave his wife, Judi, a gift of three antique chocolate molds in 1984, neither of them knew it would signal the start of a new family business of “made in America.” In the years since, Judi’s collection has grown to over 3,000 vintage molds — one of the largest collections in the world. She uses her molds to make hand-painted collectible chalkware figures for all major holidays — especially Christmas. Today, Vaillancourt Folk Art (VFA) is one of America’s last remaining Christmas ornament and collectibles makers. Unlike most Christmas collectibles, which are manufactured overseas, Vaillancourt chalkware figures are still made by hand at the VFA studio in Sutton, Massachusetts. Visitors can tour behind-the-scenes as artists hand-paint different variations of chalkware Santas, Father Christmas, Belsnickles, and non-Christmas figurines.