Weaver & Spinner Julie Nauceder is June’s Artist of the Month

IMG_0185_72One of our newer members, Julie Nauceder, who joined last autumn, is our Artist of the Month. Julie is a spinner and weaver working primarily with wools or wool/bamboo blends that she buys as ready-to-spin roving. She moved on to weaving after her husband pointed out: “What are you going to do with all that yarn?!

After teaching herself how to weave, she began to purchase cotton to weave into towels as gifts for friends and this led her to acquire a “charka.” Made famous by Ghandi, a charka is a little portable spinning wheel for spinning cotton thread. She now has five looms, six spinning wheels and two charkas.

“Almost all of them have different uses and most have a project in progress on it at all times. With a portable wheel I’ve made yarn in many different places —even on a camping trip to Hammonasset State park in Connecticut… It’s a great way to meet people and start a conversation too. Both spinning and weaving are very relaxing for me and at times these are the only therapy I need,” Julie explains. If you visit the River Artisans Cooperative and you’ll see that Julie’s “therapy” results in some beautiful skeins and woven textiles.

River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River Village, across from the Saxtons River Inn at 26B Main St. Open year round, RAC’s May–December hours are: Mon – Fri 12-5 • Sat & Sun 10-3. Over 50 juried members keep the store filled with a wide variety of items, each finely crafted by hand. New artists are welcome and may apply for membership at any time. For more information on Julie’s work or the River Artisans, please call 802-869-2099, visit www.riverartisans.com or, even better, stop in at the gallery!

Artist Jennifer Meehl is River Artisans’ Featured Artist for May


The River Artisans Cooperative in Saxtons River, VT is featuring its member, Jennifer Meehl as their Artist of the Month.

Jennifer is a mixed media painter (oil, acrylic, and watercolor) who is inspired by nature and sometimes incorporates natural and manmade materials – such as beads, fabric, wood, feathers, shells, and stone – into her work.

I have been creating and making useful items with my hands all my life. Watercolor painting is my current medium of exploration. Because nature is my muse, walking, observing, and collecting are my preparatory actions. Sitting in silence or listening to music provides a space to find a way into my work. I paint to discover what can be drawn from within. Recurring abstract shapes emerge, distinct marks, tracks, and layers of color follow. My predominant view is of topographical or aerial landscapes. Sometimes animals and birds emerge from what I call internal landscapes. Often I cut up my paintings to use in collage or to rearrange on blank note cards. When I am asked what it is I have painted, I say my work is a window for the viewers to perceive for themselves. I trust my artistic process and do not fear a blank canvas as images always appear. For me painting is both meditation and a dance with my hands.

Jen, now retired from teaching communication at Landmark College, has been an active RAC member since 2011. The River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River Village, across from the Saxtons River Inn at 26B Main St. Open year round, RAC’s May–December hours are: Mon – Fri 12-5 • Sat & Sun 10-3.


Unique Fibre Art Highlighted by the River Artisans Cooperative

Unique Fibre Art Highlighted by the River Artisans Cooperative

jane-editedWe are featuring the work of Jane Parhiala for the month of December. Parhiala, a fibre artist, is one of the cooperative’s newest members, having moved from Cape Cod to Athens, Vermont. She weaves on a Japanese Saori Loom, which is a free style of weaving that encourages free expression and spontaneity through the use of color and texture. Parhiala’s work runs the gamut from functional to fine-art creating table runners to three-dimensional hangings adorned with beads, buttons, feathers or other objects. Her utilitarian pieces include scarves, pillow covers and bags. Her work can be seen during regular business hours for the month of December: Monday through Friday from noon–5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10­ a.m.–3 p.m. More about Pahiala and her work may be found at http://parhialaart.com/index.html.

Holiday Raffle and Open House at River Artisans

Beautiful lamp created by members Debbi Wetzel and Franklin Geist is being raffled to raise funds

Beautiful lamp created by members Debbi Wetzel and Franklin Geist is being raffled to raise funds

Detail from lamp

Detail from lampshade

We are holding a raffle for a beautifully crafted lamp turned by our woodworker Franklin Geist with a handpainted shade by our artist Debbi Wetzel. Tickets are available at the shop, or from co-op members for one dollar each, or six for five dollars. As a non-profit cooperative, the members periodically participate in fundraising activities to help with the overhead of the shop, and these two members have donated their time in hopes of offsetting the winter heating costs. The shop is fully stocked for the holidays with work from about fifty craftspeople, including weaving, pottery, jewelry, wooden ware, handknits, candles, cards and much more.

RAC-Open-House-PosterPlease join us for our Holiday Gathering

On Wednesday, Dec. 3, the River Artisans will have an Open House from 5–7 p.m. with light refreshments and raffle tickets will be available, as well as an opportunity to meet some of the artists.

Our regular hours are: weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.  For more information, call the shop during business hours at 802-869-2099.

November Artist of the Month Carol Keiser’s colorful work will brighten any home

Carol Keiser in her workshop

Carol Keiser in her workshop

November’s Artist of the Month, Carol Keiser, paints on both canvas and tile. She works in her Vermont studio creating rich and colorful images that include scenes of women at leisure, romantic couples, flowers, still-lifes and landscapes. Her work shows influences from having lived in Mexico and visiting other places, like Italy and Costa Rica.


Keiser’s work includes romantic couples, flowers, and landscapes

Each tile is designed and hand-painted by Keiser, using a palette of glaze colors and kiln-fired for permanence. The tiles can be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, spas, fireplace surrounds, or a single tile can be framed or unframed and enjoyed as a small work of art.

Keiser’s paintings and tile work have been exhibited in galleries in the United States and Mexico and is now at the River Artisans shop. In addition to being a cooperative member, she is a member of the Vermont State Craft Centers, The New Hampshire League of Arts and Crafts, and The Newbury Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston.

Her tiles and paintings may be viewed and purchased at The River Artisans at 26B Main St. in Saxtons River, Vt. For more on Carol and her work visit her website at www.carolkeiser.com.

For more information on Carol’s work or the River Artisans Cooperative, call 869-2099, visit www.riverartisans.com, or the shop. The open hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tues.–Fri.; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. New members are always welcome and are encouraged to stop by the shop during business hours.

A master crafter, Joan Lester is River Artisans’ Artist of the Month

Artist of the Month Joan Lester sets up her display of tea-cozies and tea blends.

Artist of the Month Joan Lester sets up her display of tea-cozies and tea blends.

Joan Lester was chosen as River Artisans’ Artist for the Month of October. If you search the word “multi-talented” on the internet, you’ll probably find Joan Lester’s name. A proficient artisan and chef, it seems whatever she learns, she masters.

Lester’s love of all things crafty began at the age of four when a neighbor taught her how to make shoes for her dolls out of ribbons. This sparked her lifelong passion for learning about, teaching and creating hand-crafted items.

Originally from Bermuda with its British influences and with 20 years in Vermont, it’s no surprise that the sea, the scenery and tea fuel her interests. Always seeking new sources of inspiration and outlets for sharing her work, she finds that being part of the River Artisans gives her opportunity to do both. Lester joined the cooperative 20 years ago, serving as its president for two years. Within the next few months, she is looking forward to teaching classes on crochet and how to set up an Etsy shop at the e-commerce site.

Many of Joan’s creations are available in the shop including: jewelry; crocheted hats and baby items, and teas and tea-cozies at our shop. Lester’s work can also be purchased online at her popular Etsy shop, Sunshine Cottage found at www.etsy.com/shop/sunshinecottage. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sunshinecottage1.

Serenity, fragrances and quality featured this month

Flo Nestor, our the featured artist for September

Flo working at home on her beautiful creations

Flo working at home on her beautiful creations

Flo Nestor has been named September’s Artist of the Month. Nestor, a newcomer to our cooperative, is the owner of Common Scents Sachet, a business she began almost two years ago. She enjoys working at home in a room filled with elegant fabrics, spools of colorful ribbons, bins of vintage buttons and beads, and the calming scents of lavender, balsam and holiday potpourris. She feels that creating beautiful items others can treasure and enjoy makes her efforts very rewarding.

Nestor retired in 2010 after teaching for 41 years. During her last years as an educator, she designed and implemented a gifted and talented program that included performing and visual arts for the public elementary schools in Brattleboro, Vt. Through the years she has been a designer and creator of costumes, clothing, draperies and a variety of crafts. Flo has enjoyed sewing and knitting gifts for family and friends. It was during the designing of her daughter-in-law’s gown and bridesmaids’ dresses that set her on the road to a new venture. Working with the beautiful silk fabrics inspired her to focus on designing one-of-a-kind sachets. Her product line offers sachets and eye pillows for men and women from quality cottons and linens with fragrances including lavender and balsam; apple and spice potpourri pumpkins; and balsam-scented favors for the holiday dinner table.

SAChet_RAC0007wChoose from a selection of Flo’s sachets and aromatic eye pillows at our shop. We are open year round: hours are from noon to 5 p.m. Tues.–Fri.; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat. and Sun. For more information on Flo’s work or the River Artisans Cooperative, call 869-2099, visit www.riverartisans.com or come in to the shop.

Special orders are available for bridal and baby showers, wedding favors and hostess gifts. Contact Flo directly by email at flo@sover.net or through www.etsy.com/shop/CommonScentsSachet.