American Artisan Show 2019 Artisans

Josh Axelrod Photography

joshaxelrod.com

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.


Barking Dog Jewelry Design Studio

barkingdogjewelry.com

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.


BlueHills Crafters

bluehillscrafters.com

At BlueHills Crafters, we have a passion for unique and wonderful things made from recycled or repurposed items. We strive to exceed your every expectation. Our customers would tell you that the pictures don’t do the actual item justice.

BlueHills Crafters is a small start up business that was created out of a hobby for wood crafting.


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.


Sherry Dwivedi

fineartists.boston/sherry-dwivedi

My name is Sherry Dwivedi. I am a fiber artist with a background education in textile history of Southeast Asia and Europe. My calling is to revive centuries ­old lost textile techniques. They are a symbol of our creative understanding from the past. I am intrigued by the beauty, complexity, and simultaneously, the simplicity. I have been fusing European and Asian techniques such as 1800’s French prints (chintz) embroidered with merino fiber wool. These fiber art pieces are considered lifestyle products such as paintings, scarves, table runners, etc. I only use the purest of materials – organic Egyptian cotton, fruit and vegetable dyes, bamboo, leather, and sheep wool!

Additionally, I hand-crochet scarf accessories to complement my art. I also teach people who have a passion for this type of art. In addition, I also work with a non-profit organization under a program known as Fashion For Empowerment. I’m a master artisan and I teach underprivileged women skills like crocheting, hand-looming, and beadwork as well, keeping the handmade alive. Working with the UN Women Foundation as part of this organization, I believe in art that provides consumers with a conscious impact. (www.fashionforempowerment.org)


Emmy Starr Designs

emmystarrdesigns.com

Having grown up in a house full of creative people, I always knew I liked to make beautiful things. Whether building a cardboard box dollhouse, molding a pinch pot bowl or even performing an interpretive dance, I always liked creating. And then, one day, my jewelry-making mother and sister brought me to a local bead shop, and Emmy Starr Designs was born.

I am drawn to simple designs made with classic sterling silver and timeless gemstones. Nothing too glitzy or showy, just lovely stones in graceful designs. I want my work to be comfortable and easy for women to wear, whether it’s a day at work or a weekend date night out with friends. Jewelry should be a subtle complement to a woman’s individual beauty, and the delicate nature of ESD pieces echo that belief.

When I am not squirreled away making jewelry, I can also be found playing with porcelain in the clay studio. Again, a simple desire to make functional pieces that make people smile.

My most beautiful creations are, by far, my adorable four kids, original works with my charming husband. We all live happily together in Wilton, CT.


French Studio Design

facebook.com/frenchdesignstudioct/

I design and dye textiles by hand, using printmaking and tie-dye techniques. I trained as a printmaker in art school, and I have adapted printmaking techniques usually applied to paper. I hand-print my fat quarters one at a time using a mono-printing process that allows me to create spontaneous, lively patterns with fine, crisp details. Each design is completely unique and not repeatable. You can be sure that you are receiving a truly unique item.

I lived in India several years ago, and I learned many aspects of textile decoration while living there. I learned the use of indigo and other natural dyes, block printing, and bandhani, a traditional Indian resist dye technique using ties that bind small sections of fabric. Tied areas resist dye penetration, so the final design shows a complex pattern of contrasting colors. I also use Japanese shibori techniques, especially stitch resist. Hand-sewn stitches are pulled taut, thus resisting dye penetration. My scarves, and some of my art cloth and fat quarters, are patterned using these traditional tie-dye techniques.


Greystone Bookworks

Greystonebookworks.com

I’ve been making all kinds of books and boxes for about 10 years now. I got involved in bookbinding because I wanted to learn how to repair and restore the books I collect. But once I got started, I found that I loved making my own creations. All the materials are so fantastic – luxurious cloth, beautiful decorative papers, and gorgeous leather. Boxmaking is a craft related to bookbinding, since boxes are often made to house and protect many old, fragile books. I love coming up with the combinations of cloth and decorative paper that I use in my boxes.


Kristin Helberg

kristinhelberg.com

Kristin makes her home and painting studio in the historic neighborhood of Rodgers Forge in Towson, Maryland.

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.


Chris LaMontagne

lamontagnewoodworking.com/architecturalWoodwork

A native New Englander, Christopher LaMontagne is an accomplished, highly sought after builder and timber framer who has has travelled to Europe to study timber framed buildings. He is an extremely multi-faceted artist, furniture maker, architectual wood worker, expert wood carver, sculptor and wood turner with legions of satisfied clients. Christopher is one the most dynamic, versatile and multi-talented woodworkers in the U.S. today. LaMontagne’s attention to detail is the trademark of a master craftsman, as the intricate carvings of his work demonstrate. With integrity and innovation, he has found a perfect balance between Old World and contemporary building techniques.

His versatility, skill, energy and dedication to his craft are uncompromising, establishing him as a professional who is well suited to commission projects of any size.

What makes Christopher unique is his talent for taking an idea, thought or dream, whether his own or someone else’s and transforming it to reality.

His amazing two dimensional drawings magically transform concepts into masterpieces that are complicated and visually exciting.

If you have an idea or dream requiring an Artist and Master Craftsman, you’ve found the one who can bring it to life.


Leitz Leather

The Leitz family. Creators of luxury, handcrafted leather accessories. The finest quality bridle leather worked with skill and handled with care for simple, impeccable style.


LMNT Jewelry

lmntjewelry.com

Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University in Durham, NC. After college she worked in television production for four years before moving to San Francisco at the beginning of the dotcom boom. During her time in the Bay Area, Lauren rose from staff writer then Managing Editor at Electronic Arts, to Internet Content Manager at Lucasfilm, and Interactive Marketing Manager at 2K Sports, producing and and marketing consumer websites for major brands and individual video games. In 2010, Lauren moved to NYC as a freelance interactive producer at various advertising agencies before finding her passion as an “independent creative,” designing and launching her own jewelry line in 2014. Lauren honed her metalsmithing skills at the CT School of Jewelry Art and now has her own studio in her hometown of West Hartford, CT where she lives with her beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Maasai.


Thaw Malin Art

thawmalinart.com

I WORK EN PLEIN AIR, OUT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE… Welcome. I am back to painting again after a 4-year sabbatical that included a few pieces done for charitable fund raisers. While away from my easel and paints, we designed and had renovated part of our home, adding new studio spaces in the house and barn. Cynthia and I also rearranged the back woodlands. The initial reason was to make an 8 foot deep by 35 x 45 foot natural, swimmable pond and rocky stream, a couple of waterfalls and shallows on the sides for water plants and natural filtration. We easily surpassed that idea and began sculpting the landscape with abandon with the excavated dirt as if a small glacier had passed through the property! Then we rolled, dipped and planted the areas around and behind the pond creating new plein air studio spaces out back, building our own version of Monet’s Giverny (paintable landscaped “park” with many different and varied garden rooms and destinations). I am now REALLY ready to paint!!! Come visit us and we’ll show you around. I am continuing to make small, 6″ x 8″, landscape oils, but not every day. I am also working on larger pieces. I love to paint and am happy to share my painting experience with you. Most of my work is impressionistic landscape oils, inspired by the beauty of the Island of Martha’s Vineyard where I live.


Kiara Matos Ceramics

kiaramatos.com

I was born in Venezuela and recently moved to the US. I became a ceramicist before I knew I was one. I was born to be one, it fulfills me in every possible way.
I took ceramics from my mother, she had a studio at home, but she was never able to work on it, it was a hobby that never happened! It was there for me and my siblings though, and we grew around it.

When I turned 20 it became clear to me that I wanted to develop a career in ceramics. I had become a potter from the moment that studio was settle. Almost 30 years ago. I just hadn’t realized it until then.

I love wheel throwing, but, also enjoy the endless possibilities of hand building. My work clearly shows inspiration drawn from the natural world plants in particular and more recently birds, as well as my taste for color. My palette is the result of 20 years of research for the right tones and textures, I am very proud of it but I am sure it will keep evolving. Just like the work I do. I started working with earthenware but quickly moved to stoneware in which most of my body work I did while living in Venezuela was made.

After moving to the US 8 years ago, I decided to try and work with porcelain, given the fact that I was setting a new studio I thought it would be an interesting thing to do. I am loving it, though I’m not sure it is a definitive transition which is fine, I can deal with change, my work is always changing and I love when it happens, I allow it to happen. At the end it is my response to the world around me, a world in constant renewal.


Meb’s Kitchenwares

mebskitchenwares.com

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.


William Morrison

williambmorrison.com/windsorchairs

My Windsor Chairs are a fine and sturdy rendering of an American Classic.   Few chairs match the grace and none exceed the comfort of a handmade Windsor.  Each Windsor chair I make begins with the harvesting of native woods.  I use Maple for the legs and stretchers, for its strength and turning qualities;  Ash or Oak for the back and spindles, for their tenacity and bending qualities; and White Pine for the lightness and comfort of a well-carved seat.   Every individual piece is a delight to the eye, and the visual whole is greater than the sum of its parts.   I prefer a finish of several coats of milk paint, oiled and hand-rubbed to a lustrous and durable finishes.


Madison Nally Jewelry

madisonnally.com

Jennifer Nally Triantafillou always had a passion for design. In the spring of 2013, she turned to jewelry making as a means to harness her creativity and to help counterbalance the day-to-day demands that come with motherhood. She began taking classes in simple beadwork and immediately became enamored with the process of experimentation with colors, patterns, and stones. The infinite possibilities of each project she undertook motivated her to develop her technique. What started out as a passing hobby, quickly developed into something much more.

She began to explore other methods of the craft such as beadweaving, metalsmithing, and enameling. As her tools and materials expanded, her pieces started to become more intricate and the designs more complex. It wasn’t long before family, friends and even strangers began taking notice and requesting her pieces.

Today, she continues her passion for jewelry making by creating one-of-a-kind handcrafted pieces she can share with others.


Nod Hill Soap

nodhillsoap.com

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.


Rachel Paxton

www.rachelpaxton.com

Rachel Paxton paints in two distinct styles, both inspired by mid-century modern design. In one style, she depicts realistically painted neon signs from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Motels, diners, bowling alleys, drive-ins, cocktail lounges, breakfast joints and cowboy bars. Part documentary, part fantasy, these signs are re-imagined to represent vintage Americana, kitsch and the lure of iconic Route 66, forming a collective memory of the era.

Ms. Paxton’s other style is purely abstract. Colorful, glowing paintings sprinkled with quintessential mid-century motifs, such as boomerangs and atomic stars. She works in an asymmetrical hand drawn style with thick acrylic paint, layering transparent shapes, that float in ambiguous mysterious spaces. The paintings coalesce into unique, timeless worlds that are brilliantly alive while simultaneously quirky and curious.

Ms. Paxton’s love of pattern and texture was formed by her BFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design. She later received her MFA in painting from The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Ms. Paxon has taught painting and drawing for many years at colleges and universities and has exhibited her work nationally at many galleries and museums.


Mark A. Perry

markaperry.com

I began my artistic career on Nantucket Island, my home for more than twenty years. A chance meeting with a sculptor there created a spark of curiosity and wonder that continues to burn today, three decades later.

My first works were inspired by 19th century scrimshaw carvings. Once the whaling capital of the world, Nantucket has a rich heritage in the creative arts and crafts. Self-taught, I learned my craft through recreating a number of antique folk masterpieces, the first of which sold immediately.

Today I continue to carve sculptures with an eye to the past. Often the label ‘sophisticated folk art’ is suggested upon seeing my work for the first time. While this may well hold true, it is my hope that many of these works transcend their ‘folk art’ quality and prove to be simply contemporary works of art made with the heart and spirit often associated with historical pieces.

I have had the opportunity to exhibit my sculptures in some of the top shows in the country, including the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and the Architectural Digest Show in New York City, where I exhibited each March for 10 years.

Continuing my love of the seashore, I now live in Westerly, Rhode Island. Historic Mystic Seaport and Stonington Borough, Connecticut are nearby and beautiful Watch Hill is just a short jaunt down the road from my studio, where I welcome visitors with some advance notice.


Petit Felts

petitfelts.com

Jocelyn is an artist living and working in Kingston, NY. She created her brand, PetitFelts, in 2011 and since then she has made it her goal to create high quality, unique needle felted pieces. She strives to make animals that spring to life through their expressions and whimsical humor. She puts lots of love into her work and above all else, she hopes that people can sense that when they come across her creations.

Jocelyn works out of her studio in the Hudson River Valley. She crafts each of her pieces by hand dying wool and using a technique called needle felting. The process involves tangling the fibers of wool with a barbed needle in order to create wool sculpture.


Saltbox Press

saltboxpress.com

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!


7 Barrels

www.7barrels.com

The finest in true aged balsamic vinegars & extra-virgin olive oils.


Silver Stone Designs

silverstonedesigns.biz

At Silver Stone Designs, I provide you with unique, affordable jewelry design in CT. With more than a decade of experience behind I understand the importance of creating jewelry that is going to inspire and awe you. I’m not just a company that produces items that are not knowledgeable about, but instead, I spend hours learning about the metals, gemstones and fabrication of metals. My jewelry is handcrafted with silver and stone in a fully equipped studio. Even though there are numerous samples on the website, they are all truly unique in their own right. If you end up finding something on the site that you love, I can work to recreate something similar for you.

Silver Stone Designs attends numerous shows and events so you might be able to find us near you soon. My silversmith jewelry begins with an inspiration that is drafted on paper first before transferring it into a silver creation that is awe-inspiring. When it comes to handmade jewelry you can trust in the fact that I can do everything I can to create pieces that you will cherish for years to come. Take the time to browse through all of my products to see what I have to offer. Once you have the chance to view the items, you are sure to find a style that you fall in love with!


Kolene Spicher

kolenespicher.blogspot.com

Artist Kolene Spicher has a unique style and flair with her paintings that is easily recognizable. One of Kolene’s favorite places is the island of Nantucket, located 30 miles out to sea off the coast of Cape Cod where she showcases her original artwork. More recently she has been experimenting with making pottery. Kolene’s artwork has been produced and used on a special series of Alicia Klein’s leather “taxi wallets”. And TV shows from “the Sopranos”, “Even Stevens” and full feature films including “Deep End of the Ocean” have requested permission to use Kolene’s artwork in their filming.


Steinhagen Pottery

steinhagenpottery.com

Erich and Janice Steinhagen bring traditional redware of the 18th century to life for a new generation. Inspired by English, Pennsylvania German and other period sources, and backed by years of active research into the forms and function of this everyday ware from years past, they create fully functional ceramic pieces both plain and intricate. Their works reflect both Erich’s decades of experience on the potter’s wheel and Janice’s distinctive sgraffito, and include unusual forms such as puzzle mugs, harvest jugs, and pierced double-walled pieces.


Tatted Webs

tattedwebs.com

Tatted Webs was established in 1985 after Elaine O’Donal had been tatting for just three years.  As her daughters grew, so did the business.  Elaine is an international award winning tatter; some of her original designs have been published worldwide.  Elaine has also been chosen in the past as one of the top 200 Traditional Craftspeople in the United States by Early American Homes Magazine.


Vaillancourt Folk Art

valfa.com

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.