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.

Pat Bellows August Artist of the Month


Seamstress par excellence Pat Bellows

We are featuring the work of Pat Bellows for the month of August. An excellent seamstress, Pat’s creations include a varied assortment of clothes for American Girl dolls, quilts, bags, aprons and wall hangings. She also collaborates with another member of the cooperative who makes doll bunk beds, which are outfitted with Pat’s original quilts, mattress and pillows. These unique bed sets do not stay in the shop for long, but the two artists are always ready to create replacements, each in new colors and patterns.

As a member of the cooperative, Pat can often be found clerking in the shop, which is open on weekdays from noon to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. She is available to help people with sewing questions and from time to time offers sewing project workshops. To get more information, stop in or call the shop during business hours at 802-869-2099.

River Artisan’s Featured Artist Carolyn Harris

2_IMG_3664The River Artisans Cooperative in Saxtons River, Vt. has chosen Carolyn Harris as the July Artist of the Month. Carolyn is a seamstress who creates a wide variety of items using colorful and lively printed cloth. Her work includes placemat and napkin sets, aprons, potholders, bags and purses, wall hangings, and baby bibs and caps.

After being a member of the River Artisans for only two years, Harris was elected co-president of the cooperative at the annual meeting in April. She has been sewing most of her life, first learning the skill at 10 years of age with her grandmother’s treadle machine. She tackles difficult projects with great skill, creating multi-pocketed wallet organizers and other goods that are not only beautiful to look at, but that will stand the test of time.

A retired school guidance counselor, she remains active, skiing and volunteering at Stratton Mountain in the winter and kayaking, biking and hiking in the summer. She also enjoys doing cross stitch, needlepoint and knitting. She works regularly in the shop, and welcomes questions about sewing anytime that she is on duty.

The River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River village, at 26B Main St. 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. Over fifty juried members keep the store filled with a wide variety of items, each finely crafted by hand and priced reasonably. Interested artists may apply for membership at any time. For more information on Carolyn’s work or the River Artisans Cooperative, call 869-2099, or come in to the shop.