Tom has always enjoyed working with wood. He spent over 30 years designing and building timber frame structures. In recent years his interest in woodworking has expanded to include turning wooden bowls.
He explains his process and inspiration: “Every species of wood has it’s own unique quality and for that reason, every bowl I make takes on a unique style and shape. In contrast to my work as an architect, the creation of a bowl tends to be a spontaneous and intuitive design process; as the proportions and curve of a bowl are often revealed as the wood is turning on my lathe. I draw inspiration from working and walking in our native hardwood forest here in Southern Vermont.”
Recently he was asked to make a series of bowls for his friend River, when a particularly beautiful old white birch tree on her property had to be cut. She gave the bowls as gifts, in tribute to a lovely tree that held so many fond memories for family members.
Tom’s bowls and other turnings are available through the River Artisan’s Cooperative in Saxton’s River as well as at seasonal craft fairs. For more information about his work feel free to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802 579 2207.
Virginia comes from at least three generations of horticulturists and that influence is easy to see in her planters, sculpture and vases. Her studio is bordered by woods and the patterns of the overlapping branches are an inspiration in winter, the shades of green so gorgeous in summer and the leaves so spectacular in the autumn – all this beauty deeply informs her very organic-looking pieces.
Virginia’s art has been nurtured by family, art teachers, and other artists throughout her life. She especially thanks Don Johns for first getting her hands in clay in high school, and Ka Kuong Hui at Rutgers/Douglass College for inspiring her to stay on a path of clay.
Virginia also sells her work on Etsy where she accepts commissions for special items like hanging planters, sculptural crows, dinnerware and bowls.
She is a member of the Walpole Artisan Cooperative in Walpole, New Hampshire.
Her website is: www.VirginiaWyoming.com and you can learn more about her work and her studio in an article on The Gardener’s Eden blog.
Carolyn Harris started sewing in the 4-H Club when she was just 10 years old and made most of her own clothing by the time she was a teenager. Working mainly with colorful calicos, today she makes a wide array of textile items such as: toddler quilts, wall hangings, aprons, baby hats, bibs, girls pocketbooks, mini purses, eye glass cases, checkbook covers, scarves, fleece hats, pot holders, towels, pet placemats, dog coats, and felted mittens.
Originally from Massachusetts, Carolyn taught in Springfield’s schools for 39 years, retiring in 2011. She’s been a member of the Saxtons River group since 2012 and now splits her time between Mass and West Wardsboto, VT, where she enjoys skiing, kayaking, biking, hiking, gardening.
The River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River on Main Street, across from the Saxtons River Inn. The shop displays the work of about 50 local artisans and new craftspeople are always welcome.
Winter Hours are: Monday & Friday 12-5; Saturday & Sunday 10 – 3. Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. For more information, visit riverartisans.com, call 802-869-2099 – or stop by and say “Hello!”
There will be a raffle, door prizes and refreshments… A lot of Holiday Fun going on in Saxtons River that day too. The Ringers Annual Concert at the Christ Church at 4pm and the Tree Lighting at 5:30pm!
Founded by Hugh Smead in 1954, Smead Woodcraft is nationally known for their fine items made from all Vermont hardwoods.
Hugh Smead was stricken late in life with polio and became paralyzed from the waist down. He was unable to keep his job at Putney’s Basketville, but he hadn’t lost his talents at woodworking. A local church fundraiser helped the family build a specially designed workshop behind their home on Putney Road. Working at tables low enough to accommodate his wheelchair, he began producing a small line of cutting boards and other kitchen implements. His wife Laura functioned as traveling saleswoman and after a few years their unique family business began to take off.
Today, Hugh’s son, Don Smead, runs the business and other family members pitch in. Although the shop is fully mechanized, all the work is done by hand and an individual family member oversees each process.
The River Artisans Cooperative is located in the center of Saxtons River on Main Street, across from the Saxtons River Inn. The shop displays the work of about 50 local artisans and new craftspeople are always welcome. For more information call 802-869-2099 – or stop by and say “Hello!”
On Saturday, October 24th there will be a 40th Anniversary Open House Celebration from 10am-3:00pm as the River Artisans Cooperative in Saxtons River celebrates 40 years in operation. There will be crafting demonstrations and refreshments, baked goods and snacks will be served to all visitors.
The longest running artist cooperative in the state, RAC opened in 1975 in what was then the Odd Fellows building on Main Street and moved to their present location on Main Street, across the street from the Saxtons River Inn, in 2013. The gallery throughout has been entirely staffed with member/volunteers and operates with about 15 working members and 40 – 50 non-working members.
Stop in and help us CELEBRATE!
The work of Mary Hepburn will be featured for the month of October at the River Artisans Cooperative in Saxtons River. Hepburn works in stoneware pottery, creating mostly functional pieces, and the shop is well stocked with bowls of all sizes, mugs, honey pots, and small pitchers.
A founding member of the crafts cooperative, Hepburn has been involved with the group in several capacities since 1975, serving as treasurer, jury member, publicist and shop volunteer. She has been on the faculty at Vermont Academy for over 40 years and is proud of the fact that several of her students have gone on to become professional potters. Each year since its inception, her students have created bowls for the local Empty Bowl Dinner and her current class is just finishing up their soup bowl projects for this year’s event.
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. To learn more about Mary’s work, or the River Artisans, please call 802-869-2099, visit www.riverartisans.com or, even better, stop in at the gallery!