Handmade in Virginia: 20th Annual Artisans Studio Tour

Handmade in Virginia: 20th Annual Artisans Studio Tour

If you want to see what “handmade in Virginia” looks like, hit the road this weekend for the Artisans Studio Tour – and allow yourself some time. “Two years ago we documented a 400 attendance figure with just shy of 3,000 studio’s visits,” says potter and tour organizer Nancy Ross. That means people who started the tour went on to visit an average of about 7.5 studios apiece. It’s no wonder. From pottery to quilting, from jewelry to furniture, and from the useful to the beautiful and the both at once, Virginia artisans offer much to see, admire, purchase and be inspired by.

Forty artisans in twenty-two studios in Charlottesville and surrounding counties will show their work and demonstrate their craft November 8-9, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. as part of From Our Hands to Yours, the 20th annual free Artisans Studio Tour.

In a general store in Barboursville which they renovated themselves, the folks at Yaeger & Ernst have been designing and building fine furniture and residential cabinetry for over 30 years. “We are classic, custom cabinet makers,” Walter Jaeger says. “We produce interior fitments like kitchen or linen cabinets, paneling for libraries, bookcases, and furniture. It’s all custom made, and all on commission.”

In his studio in Amherst in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kevin Crowe has been crafting Asian-English inspired, wood-fired stoneware pottery since 1980, using a 400-cubic foot Japanese-style hybrid kiln. “The chamber holds a couple thousand pots,” Crowe says. “We fire over eight days, using seven to eight cords of wood.”

In her home in Charlottesville, Mary Beth Bellah has been fashioning three-dimensional quilts since 1996, incorporating everything from shipping materials to barbed wire. “The materials are like words,” Bellah says. “They’re part of the conversation, and it doesn’t matter to me what those things are, it’s just that I love the stitch. Fabric is my favorite media. It has an immediacy and a familiarity to it that I love working with.”

Here is a complete list of studios and artisans on this year’s Tour:

At Phineas Rose Wood Joinery in Madison, Richard Gordon shows furniture and demonstrates hand woodworking; Ninika Gordon shows jewelry creations made from silver and select gemstones; Jo Perez displays ageless stained glass designs in panels, lamps and sculpture.

At Noon Whistle Pottery in Standardsville, Holly Horan offers slip-decorated functional pottery; John Pluta shows whimsical sculptures made of clay, wood, and found objects.

At Anne R. Hanson Jewelry in Ruckersville, Hanson shows silver, BiMetal, and 14k gold jewelry; Elizabeth Krome shows functional and decorative stoneware and porcelain.

At Mud Dauber Pottery in Earlysville, Suzanne Crane shows botanically themed stoneware vessels and tiles; Laurie Duxbury shows textiles; Becky Garrity shows stoneware.

At Blaise Gaston in Earlysville, Gaston shows art furniture; Nancy Ross shows functional pottery art.

At Jaeger & Ernst Cabinetmakers in Barboursville, Walter Jaeger & Craig Ernst exhibit cabinetry; Anita Whitney displays 18K gold and sterling silver jewelry with gemstone beads and natural stones.

At Hean Cabinetry in Charlottesville, Fred Hean shows custom furniture, cabinetry, and woodwork.

At Heller and Heller Custom Furniture in Charlottesville, Dave Heller shows furniture and woodenware; Greg Sandage exhibits gold, silver and natural gemstone jewelry.

At City Clay in Charlottesville, Randy Bill displays pottery and sculptures and demonstrates on the wheel.

At Inleaf Studio in Charlottesville, Lotta Helleberg displays nature-inspired art quilts, other textiles, and artist books.

At Tom Clarkson Pottery in Charlottesville, Tom Clarkson shows ash glazed, stone and porcelain vessels.

At taviametal/ Silver Muse Studio/Formia Design in Charlottesville, Tavia Brown exhibits jewelry in sterling, gold and titanium; Nancy Hopkins shows sterling silver jewelry and accessories; Mia van Beek shows jewelry created from children’s art.

At Budala Pottery in Charlottesville, Alp Isin displays crystalline glazed porcelain mirrors, tables and pottery.

At her home studio in Charlottesville, quilt artist Mary Beth Bellah shows three-dimensional work combining traditional and non-traditional elements; Brian Rayner displays furniture, art furniture and sculptural creations; Tanya Tyree shows abstract raku fired clay sculptures and jewelry of sophisticated whimsy.

At the Barn Swallow in Charlottesville, Janice Arone displays a wide range of clay creations, from teapots to contemporary lighting; Mary Ann Burk shows sculptural, yet functional porcelain and stoneware inspired by nature.

At Two Owls Pottery in Crozet, Roslyn Nuesch shows functional stoneware.

At Pinnell Custom Leather in Crozet, Charles Pinnell shows leather creations; Jan Elmore displays mirror frames and sculptures crafted from hardwoods, painted wood, metals, stucco, and canvas; Enid O’Rourke shows jackets and coats.

At Frederick Williamson Bowls in Crozet, Williamson displays greenwood turned bowls, both functional and artistic, from local hardwoods.

At Judd Jarvis Studio in Afton, Jarvis presents functional salt-fired stoneware pottery.

At K Robins Designs in Afton, Robins shows symbolic pendants carved in wax and cast in silver; Dan Hunt displays furniture built with traditional tools and techniques.

At Nan Rothwell Pottery in Faber, Rothwell shows functional pottery fired in both salt glaze and stoneware; Penny J. Sipple displays soft, top grain cowhide shoulder bags.

At Tye River Pottery in Amherst, Kevin Crowe displays and fires wood-fired pottery.

By Ken Wilson

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