Fall Open Studio Weekend Oct. 2-3

BRATTLEBORO, Vt.: The statewide Vermont Craft Council’s Fall Open Studio Weekend Oct. 2 and 3 will include four craftspeople with studios located in West Brattleboro and Marlboro, and a gallery in Brattleboro.

Participating sites will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings. Visitors will have the chance to see demonstrations, purchase handcrafted items, talk to the professional artisans who made them and see the environment where their creative work happens.

To ensure safety during the pandemic, visitors are asked to wear face masks in all indoor spaces.

All four of the Brattleboro area studios participating in the tour belong to members of Brattleboro-West Arts. You can view an interactive map of the local stops on your device. For a complete list and maps of tour stops statewide, visit www.vermontcrafts.com.

Tourgoers can pick up guidebooks with maps at any participating site statewide. Here are the local tour stops, according their respective numbers in the guidebook:

46. Vermont Artisan Designs, gallery and tour information center (indoors)
106 Main St., Brattleboro.  (buyvermontart.com)

American craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation's economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring. Most is made by craftspeople working in small studios, oftentimes at or near their homes. Vermont Artisan Designs is pleased to be an information center for the annual Fall Open Studio Weekend sponsored by the Vermont Crafts Council. In addition to having a great sampling of Vermont-made craft and fine art, we’ll be happy to direct you to participants in the tour. 

The tour coincides with the 12th annual American Craft Week, a nationwide celebration of handmade artisan work. Vermont has been a participant through its open studio weekend since the beginning of ACW. 

45. Orchard Street Pottery (outdoors)
658 Orchard St., Brattleboro. (walterslowinskipottery.weebly.com)

Potter Walter Slowinski will be displaying his work in the newly constructed pavilion, offering a safe, lovely, rain-protected outdoor setting.  His forms are functional and wheel-thrown, altered in various ways, often highlighting the malleable, fluid nature of the moist clay, or referencing natural forms.  The ware is fired in a kiln fueled with wood.  Many of the pieces enter the kiln unglazed. They are then decorated only by the ashes from the fire, which are carried by the currents of flame in the kiln, landing on the pots and melting at the extreme high temperatures, forming attractive, natural, organic patinas on the surfaces of the pots.  Salt is introduced into the kiln as well, facilitating flashing and smooth surfaces.

44. Naomi Lindenfeld Clayworks, colored clay pottery (outdoors and indoors)
330 Meadowbrook Road, Brattleboro. (naomilindenfeld.com)

Naomi Lindenfeld’s unique colored clay pottery and new earthenware double-walled vessels will be on view and for sale, along with reduced price seconds and clearance pieces. Naomi is inspired by a love of dance and by patterns in nature, her work expresses the rhythms and textures of movement.  When carving into layered colored clay she experiences visual wonder and discovery.  Rings of color reminiscent of ripples of water, wood grain and rock striations are revealed. The result is a richness of color, harmony of flow and multi-dimensional quality. She will be doing periodic demonstrations of her clay techniques. In addition, since last winter Naomi has been exploring a new medium for her of painting on tea bags, using the tea stains to guide the designs. Some hang as prayer flags and others are framed as individual works of art.  25% of her proceeds from sales will be donated to the Community Asylum Seekers Project.

43. Chris Lann Designs, jewelry (indoors)
1420 Sunset Lake Road, Brattleboro. (chrislanndesigns.com)

Taking cues from nature, Chris Lann employs techniques used since the dawn of metalsmithing to create pieces of wearable art that are at once organic and contemporary. From twigs and branches that seem to have grown to fit your body, to delicate hand-knit silver and gold chains, each item is made individually, completely by hand. Since 2003, he has explored and adapted a variety of techniques to create his line of one-of-a-kind and limited-production jewelry, forgoing methods of mass production such as lost wax casting, in favor of authentic primitive techniques, such as sand casting, which yield jewelry as naturally varied as the people who will wear it.

42. Matthew Tell Pottery (outdoors and indoors)
163 Potters Hill Road, Marlboro. (matthewtellpottery.com)

Matthew Tell first began working in clay in 1976, his senior year in high school. He was immediately drawn to the wonderful quality of clay – it’s plasticity, making it only limited by the imagination. The functional vessel serves as the vehicle through which Matthew best interprets his ideas. “I work with clay because it is the most direct expressionistic medium I have ever encountered.”  Matthew studied ceramics with Malcom Wright and Michael Boyden at Marlboro College. In 1983, with seven other potters, he started the Brattleboro Clayworks, a pottery collective. Matthew moved his study to its present location in Marlboro in 1988, where the mountains and nature around him inspires his work. This is reflected in the earth tone glazes and overlays which he uses to decorate his pots. In 1993, Matt realized his goal of designing and building a wood kiln. “It is the awesome power of fire that alters and enhances the pieces in the kiln. I like improvising, letting the process determine the outcome. The fire goes through the pieces in the chamber and tells a surprising story each time. A visit to Matt’s studio will reveal all stages in the clay making process, from the soft clay that Matt spins on the wheel into a pot to the finished piece. Walk around Matt’s studio and enjoy his garden with outdoor pieces for sitting and contemplation.

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