Category : Studio

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier/Worcester/Berlin Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Spring may have come late to Vermont this year, but Spring Open Studio Weekend hasn’t – it really snuck up on me this time!

Open Studio Weekend is pretty nifty – it’s a statewide celebration of the visual arts and creative process, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to meet a wide variety of artists and craftspeople in their studios, some of which are only open to the public during this event. The spring event takes place during Memorial Day Weekend, May 26 & 27. 

The event is a part of Vermont Arts 2018, a year-long celebration highlighting the wide variety of arts events taking place throughout the state. You can join the party by following #VTarts2018 on social media (Instagram, Twitter).

Obviously, you’re planning on visiting my studio, right? Good call. 🙂

When you’re done letting me chat you up, you can visit eight other artist studios and arts-related spots in the Montpelier/Worcester/Berlin area, all within a 1/2 hour drive of my studio.

The list below includes everyone in our little cluster of arts happiness. I’ve referred to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the gold 2018 Spring Event & Resource Guide. FYI – There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

Note: If you’re wondering why the studio numbers are different colors, that’s because they correspond with the marker colors on a Google map I created to help you plan your travels. All hail the Google Map!

If you plan on coming to the Montpelier area, let me know and I can recommend restaurants that are great for experiencing local deliciousness.

I hope to see you at the studio!

Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade leather journal by Elissa CampbellWelcome to the Spring 2017 Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

It’s time for my biannual rundown of the book artists participating in Vermont Open Studio Weekend (May 27 & 28). Some of these talented folks are also members of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont (B.A.G.), an organization of which I am a member.

I created the Google map at the bottom of this post which includes all of the studios to help you plan your travels. I wish I could say that the book arts studios are close to each other, but they’re not. Boo.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green Vermont Studio Tour Guide. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map. By the way, I’m studio #57.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

I tried to find the most direct route between the studios so you could avoid backtracking. This route starts at the northernmost studio and travels counterclockwise. Here we go!

The first studio is #30, Meta Strick – she is a Jackie of all trades. She does wonderful mixed media work, including dolls that have a book component. She has a great philosophy that you can make anything into a book – in fact, she recently presented at a B.A.G. meeting focusing on junk box books. It was sooo much fun.

Next stop is studio #2, Shelburne Pond Studios, where you’ll find Jill Abilock of Six Loons Studio. She creates one-of-a-kind work that is really inspirational. Her compelling storytelling and creative voice are enhanced by her innovative combinations of materials and structure. And the woman is a fantastic folder. In addition, she’s my partner in crime – we’re currently acting as the co-chairs of the Book Arts Guild Vermont.

#153 is Carolyn Shattuck, a seasoned printmaker and bookmaker. She often cuts up scrap monotypes and uses the pieces in her handmade books. For her, the book arts have been the focus of a body of work combining drawing and print assemblage techniques in three dimensional form. Many of her books include pop-up elements to set the scene for her deeply personal storytelling.

When you visit studio #58Kelly McMahon of May Day Studio, you get double the awesome – she’s both a letterpress printer and a bookbinder. I’ve seen her space and let me tell you – I have serious studio envy. She carves many of her designs in linoleum for her beautiful gift wraps (which are totally frame-able). She was lucky enough to intern at the San Francisco Center for the Book and packs a one-two punch, also being a bookbinder. Kelly’s studio is about 1.6 miles from mine.

Last stop on the tour is #48 – Ken Leslie. Ken often creates books in a circular format – a practice that developed out of his dissatisfaction with rectangular painting shapes. His themes frequently focus on natural cycles, such as day/night and the seasons. The size of his work ranges from miniature to really ginormous – you can walk through some of his books when they’re open.

If you go to any of the studios, please share your experiences in the comments below. And if you have pictures, I’d love to see them…you can even do a guest post on my blog!

Cottage Street Studios open house

The day after I visited the Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair, I headed out to the Montague Book Mill, a fantastic book store that I frequented when I was in graduate school.

My route took me through Easthampton, MA and I came across the Cottage Street Studios. It took me a while to realize the fact that I had been there before. The building houses the Garage Annex School, founded by Daniel Kelm. I attended two workshops there, one with Hedi Kyle (Stationery Departures) in 2005 and another with Julie Chen (Artists’ Books: Ideas, Actions, & Transformations) in 2008.

Cottage Street Studios in Easthampton, MA

A sign out front announced that there was an open studio event that day. I wasn’t planning on stopping until I saw Peter Geraty’s (Praxis Bindery) name on the building. I finally decided to pull over and check it out.

The building has an interesting history. It was built in 1859 and operated as a water-powered mill until the mid-seventies. In 1976, the building was sold to Riverside Industries for $1.00. Riverside offers a range of services to adults with developmental disabilities. More than 80 artists now have studios in the building, with Riverside as their landlord.

It turns out that there are quite a few bookbinders with studios in the building, including Sarah Creighton, Stephanie Gibbs, and Mark Tomlinson. None of them were open for the tour.

And sadly, Peter Geraty’s studio was not open either. I decided to explore the building anyway. The tour had awesome letterpress signage to help guide you through the building (which was massive).

Letterpress sign by Big Wheel Press

You walk through long hallways to get to the various studios. It was an adventure!

Hallway in Cottage Street Studios in Easthampton, MA

I came across Daniel’s studio, which was also closed. No bookbinders for me today. 🙁

Sign on Daniel Kelm studio door

I made my way up to the fifth floor and discovered the letterpress studio of Bill Muller – Big Wheel Press.

It.was.huge. And clean! His studio could eat my studio many times over. I have no idea how he got all of the heavy equipment up there. I’m not sure what all of those machines do, but I want them.

Big Wheel Press - letterpress shop

Big Wheel Press - letterpress shop

I bought this awesome broadside – it was in a pile of seconds. It was trimmed funky (the others didn’t look like this one). It had to be mine.

Letterpress broadside by Big Wheel Press

I’m looking forward to getting it framed and hanging in my studio!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central Vermont Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Vermont’s 5th Fall Open Studio Weekend is just a week away (October 3 & 4)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and why wouldn’t you?), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

Hopefully the foliage will cooperate and be tour-worthy!

There are 7 studios/galleries participating in the Central Vermont area. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, ironwork, painting, etching, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the red 2015 Vermont Studio Tour Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!

My work is in the Vermont Open Studio Weekend guide!

Next month is the 5th annual Fall Vermont Open Studio Weekend.

Open Studio Weekend takes place on the first weekend in October – Saturday October 3rd and Sunday October 4th, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. I’ll be talking more about the event and my preparations in the coming weeks.

This year’s Open Studio Tour Guide is available for request on the Vermont Crafts Council‘s website or you can download a PDF version. I’m site #89 on the map.

If you look at the back cover of the guide (bottom right-hand corner), you’ll see an image of my leather journals, all pretty in a pile. I love piles.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend Fall 2015 guide

I am so thrilled and honored to have my work pictured in the guide! I hope that this will bring more visitors to my studio during Open Studio Weekend.

If you’d like to be added to my snail mailing list, please contact me and let me know. I send out coupons in my OSW mailing, so this is a good time to join. Please indicate if you’d like to be added to my Email list as well – they include special offers and discounts.

Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoWelcome the third in my series of blog posts about ways to plan your Open Studio Weekend tour.

In this post I listed the book arts studios I’d visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media.

The batch of studios listed below belong to my fellow board members of the Vermont Crafts Council. These are some hardworking folks, volunteering their time for a great organization and creating fantastic work.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2015. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Starting from the south, my first stop would be #64, Jessica Putnam-Phillips of Battenkill River Pottery. She creates hand carved functional and decorative ceramics. Her history as a military intelligence specialist in the US Air Force has had a great influence on her work – she explores the experience of women in the military in the form and content of her work. It’s really fascinating.

The next stop on the tour would be studio #76, David Stone of The Potter Stone. He works in porcelain and stoneware and (in his words) “combines both traditional forms with a contemporary spirit”. His work is wheel-thrown and hand-built, functional and decorative.

#93, Judith Reilly would be next. Her work is seriously wonderful and Judy is a serious sweetheart (and a good hugger). To consider her a quilter just doesn’t do her justice – she really paints with fabric. In her own words, her pieces “express both realistic and fantastic interpretations in a catawampus and quirky style”.

Next comes studio #10, Becca Van Fleet Webb of Two Potters. Becca’s hubby Nathan is the other member of this potter pair. These two worked in ceramics independently before joining forces in both business and in life. While Becca’s work is soft and organic, Nathan’s work is more traditional in style. In addition to the studio tour, Becca and Nathan will be hosting a live band. Very cool.

#121, Jim Fecteau of Huntington River Smithy is a self-taught blacksmith. He creates functional and decorative hand-forged metalwork – from gates and screens to clocks and candlesticks. Not only is Jim the current Vice President of the Vermont Crafts Council, but he’s also President of the Green Mountain Blacksmith Association – what a busy guy!

Next I’d visit #151, Greg Drew of Personalwoodsmythe. Greg both a woodturner and a wood sculptor. He has deep respect and love for trees. In his words – “I enjoy helping them express their silent stories and the history they’ve witnessed, forever etched in the patterns, textures, and hues of their timber.” In addition to being a fantastic artist, Greg is the President of the Vermont Crafts Council.

Judy Dales, #160, is another master quilter – she has been quilting for over 40 years. Her pieces fully embrace the curved shape, which adds (in her words) a “lyrical, feminine quality to her work”. Judy currently has work on display at the Shelburne Museum – clearly she’s good at what she does.

Lastly, I’d visit #174, Sandy Ducharme of Vermont Floorcloths and Fiber Arts. When you visit her, you get two art forms for the price of one – not only does she create hand-painted floor cloths, but she also hand-hooks wool rugs. She has won numerous awards for her work and you can see the care and love that goes into every piece.

Overall, these studios aren’t very close to each other. If you split your tour up between two days, it might be doable (some hustle may be involved).

Worktable Wednesday

  Clean studio worktable

There was no bookbinding going on in the studio today, so my worktable was quite clean. I spent much of today working on preparing my studio for this weekend’s Open Studio Weekend.

I decided to be honest with the state of my studio and show you what it looks like before I clean. It actually isn’t as bad as it has been in the past.

Blue Roof Designs studio

I’m a well-organized slob. I put things into boxes in an effort to contain my piling habit. The result is that I end up with piles of neatly stacked boxes instead. This is what lies hidden behind my studio door:

Piles of crates and boxes

While my worktable may be clean, the space next to it is far from it. I’m really good at dumping stuff on top of my flat files. Notice how inflatable Jerry French looks on in disapproval.

Piles of stuff on top of flat files

I’m also good at dumping things on the floor.

Boxes on the floor

I have no idea what’s deep in here, but I think it’s stuff I need for this weekend. This is going to be fun.

Full plastic tub on the floor

The truth is that I won’t be going through most of the boxes before this weekend. They will be hidden away in the office across the hall from my studio. The door will be closed and the mess will not exist for two days. After Open Studio Weekend, the piles will return to my studio in some configuration.

And now that you’ve seen my “before” pictures and know my dirty little secret, you’ll have to come back to see the “after” pictures later this week!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Eastern Washington County Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend 2010Vermont’s 22nd Open Studio Weekend is just around the corner (October 4 & 5)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (you know you are…), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

There are 11 studios and galleries participating in eastern Washington County. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, woodworking, painting, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the purple 2014 Vermont Studio Tour Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!


Make that map bigger!

Elissa’s Picks for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoWelcome the third in my series of blog posts about ways to plan your Open Studio Weekend tour.

In this post I listed the book arts studios I’d visit if I were touring this weekend. Of course, I would also visit studios by artists working in other media. Some of my suggestions are listed below.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2014. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map below.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

First stop would be #110, Judith Reilly. Her work is seriously wonderful and Judy is a serious sweetheart (and a good hugger). To consider her a quilter just doesn’t do her justice – she really paints with fabric. In her own words, her pieces “express both realistic and fantastic interpretations in a catawampus and quirky style”.

#167, Mary Hill of Mary Hill Studios would be my next stop. Mary is a vibrant person and her work reflects it. She creates inspirational banners that beckon you to listen to the messages within. I commissioned her to make me a banner that says “cheese” and it hangs prominently in my studio. You’re in for a treat if you visit Mary this spring, as she has a participatory truck painting project in store for you.

Next I’d visit Kristin Richland of Sweet Enemy Art, #170. I really can’t describe Kristin’s work better than she does – “I do enjoy the spookier side of the art world as much as I do the cuter side, so consider yourself warned.” Her paintings of creatures and critters are the work of an active imagination, the one you wish you never lost when you grew up. I love love love her monsters. I want to hug them. And run screaming from them. It’s the best of both worlds.

Lastly, I’d visit #197 Trenny Robb and Bob Michaud of High Beams. Trenny and Rob create light fixtures from copper and brass and use real leaves and petals, mica, fabric, and parchment in the shades. The mica shades are particularly awesome – when the lamps are lit, the glowing color is just mesmerizing. You can check out their most recent work on this Pinterest board.

Overall, these studios aren’t very close to each other (although Mary and Kristen are nearly neighbors). If you split your tour up between two days, it should be doable.


Make that map bigger!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier/Calais Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend 2010Vermont’s 22nd Open Studio Weekend is just around the corner (May 24 & 25)! If you’re planning on visiting my studio (you know you are…), you can visit other great artists within a 20-ish minute drive of here.

There are 7 studios participating in the Montpelier/Calais area. Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of sculpture, handmade tiles, painting, photography, hand hooked rugs, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green 2014 Vermont Studio Tour Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!


Make that map bigger!

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