Vermont Craft Council Open Studio Weekend
Memorial Day weekend is usually a time when most New Englanders open their swimming pools, break out the barbecues and attend parades and memorials honoring those that have served our country. Many organizations use this time to open their doors to travelers during the three-day weekend. If you will be traveling May 25th or 26th, one event that is a must-see is the Vermont Craft Councils Open Studio Weekend Tour. This is a bi-annual event, held once in the spring and once in the fall, and is a great time for anyone who enjoys arts and crafting.
Artists throughout southern Vermont will be displaying their work at various showrooms and galleries during the open studio weekend. You’ll be able to find everything from paintings to sculptures to pottery and even wood furniture. A few of our favorite furniture makers in the Dorset area like Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge will be opening their doors to fine furniture and art enthusiasts.
If you are an avid art lover, this open studio weekend is a great opportunity to not only take in various art but you’ll also be able to see the places where artists work and be able to buy or order work directly from the studio and speak to the artist directly. The Vermont Craft Council strives to make this an educational and enriching event for all who participate.
Here you can find a map of all participating artists and what they’ll have on display. Also check out their 10 Ways to Plan your Open Studio Tour, which is full of great tips for scheduling your weekend.
The weather is supposed to be beautiful for being out and about during the holiday weekend, so why not venture to a few southern Vermont galleries for some art enrichment and education. Let us know what you plan to do this weekend here in the comments or on our facebook.
Today was a big milestone for us at Stonehurst, our (soon to be) fine furniture and art gallery in Vernon, Vermont. We received our Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from Brian Johnson, a Vermont Regional Fire Prevention Officer. The CO is a pre-requisite for moving into the new location as it formally documents compliance with all zoning and construction permits, like those related to the environment, life safety, health, fire prevention, ADA accessibility and water/waste water.
Ken and Dennis have been working non-stop for many months with Jeremy Coleman (of J Coleman Architects), Bob Furlone and Scott Strong (of American Construction) and many Vermont state representatives to ensure that everything at Stonehurst was done properly and according to code. This was the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and tears today and we are sending out a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved.
And how cool are Douglas, Sean, Liz, Loryn and Michelle for marking this occasion with a festive bottle of wine, a couple crystal goblets and a card with their picture and good wishes on it? Thanks, Guys!
Have you noticed that fine furniture is moving outside to luxury spaces around the patio, deck, fire pit, pool and even the beach? Why not? With advances in all weather outdoor furniture and Sunbrella deep seating fabrics, you’ll find high end club furniture like the Polywood Club Deep Seating set shown above in all kinds of luxury spaces–outdoors and in.
If you’re needing some deep relaxation in your life, check out Angelo Surmelis’s designs on HGTV’s Outdoor Spaces Design Guide. You’ll find inspiration and advice on how to transform your outdoor space into a luxury retreat. Whether your space is a small patio, expansive beachfront or something in between, Angelo’s got creative ideas to help you achieve your dream decor. He’ll show you how to use simple designs, colors, textures, accessories and patterns to produce the perfect outdoor space for your needs.
Of course, outdoor furniture selection is critical to achieving your design goals so be sure to have a look at our large selection of all weather Polywood recycled plastic furniture. You’ll find cushy, deep seating club furniture for serious relaxing– and each piece can be customized in your choice of 6 polywood colors and 14 different Sunbrella cushion fabrics. You can feel confident using Polywood on the beach, at the poolside or in your new outdoor kitchen. And when the season’s over, it’s luxurious enough to bring indoors for an upscale addition to the porch, sunroom or den as well.
Find dozens more all weather Polywood outdoor furniture styles that you can customize in many different colors and fabrics on our website.
One of the reasons we feel so lucky to be moving in to Stonehurst later this week is that it’s located a block away from the house of a local celebrity (yes, famous people do live here in Vernon– well, famous to us, anyway). Thespian, Michelle Rooks is our new Vermont Woods Studios Customer Service Representative by day. But on weekends, nights and holidays you can often find Michelle “acting out” at Ja’Duke Performing Arts Theater in neighboring Turners Falls, MA.
After her first full week at Vermont Woods Studios, when she was heading home after work on Friday afternoon, Michelle casually mentioned that she was going to perform that night as a French maid in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller called The Rope. She invited us to see the play, but I think she was a bit surprised when Douglas, Liz, Sean, Loryn, Kendall and I all showed up in the front row to cheer her on. We had a great time and can’t wait to attend Michelle’s next couple plays: Les Miserables and Shrek, the Musical.
Michelle has a BS in Journalism and Advertising with a minor in Animal Science. Her professional background includes expertise in the publishing world encompassing such areas as editing, photo manipulation, desktop publishing and proofreading. Customers will appreciate her eye for detail… as do our furniture makers!
Michelle lives down the street with her husband Chris, two beautiful children and Faith, their lovable rescue dog. She is an active volunteer at her church and at the kids’ school. We are fortunate that she’s worked us into her very busy schedule! We love her Midwestern sensibilities and wry sense of humor that keep us grounded, even on our craziest days. Welcome aboard, Michelle!
Guest blogger: Sean Henry
Editors note: Sean Henry and Liz Francese are our front line, crackerjack, Vermont-made furniture sales people. If you’ve purchased from us before you’ve probably talked to them on the phone (and you’ve definitely received emails from them) so you’ll totally “get” Sean’s tongue-in-cheek essay on how people and cherry wood change over time. If not, I guess you’ll just have to visit us at Stonehurst and see for yourself.
Let me explain something. When Liz and I were youngsters, we were adorable. No seriously, we were absolutely adorable. We were cute, blond, loveable, patriotic (me) and verbally expressive (Liz). As I am sure you can see from the pictures we were the kind of kids that parents would love to pull pictures out of their wallets to show off to all their friends. But as you can also see, things change. Well, maybe not all things change (this is where I tell you to look at both of the pictures of my favorite co-worker and see if you can find the similarities between the two pics).
Okay, so now that I have that part out of the way… The one thing I wanted to point out — and yes I am finally getting to the point — is that we both used to be blond or perhaps I should say dirty blond. We both had a nice, light head of hair and over time it has become a darker shade of brown. You may say to yourself, “what does any of this have to do with Cherry wood furniture?” Well let me tell you.
Natural Cherry wood is a lot like Liz and I. When it first arrives, it will be a light, almost dirty blond color. The light color of new Natural Cherry wood may not be what you expect to see after looking at all the beautiful images of cherry wood furniture on our website. Don’t worry, this will change. Over time, Cherry wood darkens or “ripens” as it ages and as it is exposed to light. As the Natural Cherry ripens, you will see the beauty of the wood and all its amazing characteristics come through. You will start to see a noticeable change after just a few months. After six months to a year it will have that rich, ripe auburn color. After that the color of the Cherry wood will change more gradually. You can see the difference in the pictures above.
One last thing I want to point out before I stop writing this long-winded blog (I am new at this). You have probably noticed my baby picture with the American flag and my very American red white and blue sailor suit. I thought it would be a good reminder to everyone that our Memorial Day Sale is coming up soon. So it might be the perfect time for some change and the perfect time to think about how our Vermont-Made, Handcrafted, ever-changing, beautiful, Natural Cherry wood furniture will look in your home!
We’re always looking for an excuse to celebrate at Vermont Woods Studios and– lucky us– this week we had several good reasons. So last night we gathered at the Whetstone Brewery in Brattleboro to welcome Martin Corbin and Kelsey Eaton into the Woods and also… to observe American Craft Beer Week (yes, there is such such a thing).
I’ll post a couple short bios about Martin and Kelsey in the coming weeks but today I thought I should talk up Vermont’s fabulous craft beers so you’ll be able to get out and try them during Craft Beer Weekend.
According to the Vermont Brewers Association there are over 30 brewers in the Green Mountain State, from small specialty brewers like Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren,Vermont to nationally recognized brands like Long Trail in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. “Maybe there’s something in the water. Maybe there’s something in the air. Maybe….. there’s something up here in the mountains. Vermont’s brewers are making magic with it.”
Let us know what your favorite Vermont beer is in the comments section below or on our Facebook!
We are excited to introduce our newest furniture item, the Vermont Tavern Table. This is a little different from our signature Shaker Style tables. It’s an Early American design, crafted with a thick, solid cherry top and a maple wood base that’s painted black. The base is traditionally crafted with large, William & Mary style turned legs. Our craftsmen were careful to remain true to the original designs and proportions of the tavern tables that first became popular in Vermont and throughout New England over 200 years ago.
You can customize the Vermont Tavern Table online in 6 sizes to fit perfectly into your dining room or kitchen. And we’ve added a new cherry ladder back chair that goes perfectly with the table to round out the Early American design.
Let us know what you think of this new handmade dining room furniture in the comments section below or on our Facebook. Give Liz and Sean a call if you have any questions. We’ll have this table in our new showroom at Stonehurst if you’d like to see it in person.
Wishing all of the mothers in our lives a very Happy Mother’s Day! Take time to relax and enjoy the special people in your life today. No work. All play. Enjoy!
Sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings but we were informed by Copeland Furniture yesterday that the following collections of their Frank Lloyd Wright furniture line are being discontinued as of June 30, 2013:
We are sorry to see these pieces go as they were a big hit with our customers. If you currently have Frank Lloyd Wright furniture and think you may want to round out your collection, now is the time to do it. Give Sean or Liz and call with any questions or to place an order.
On the upside, because of the limited nature of the pieces they are sure to gain value over time as they become collectors items. The Dana Thomas Grand Dining Collection, FLW Barrel chairs, the Boynton chairs, the Usonian Collection, the Heurtley House chairs and all of the Copeland Frank Lloyd Wright furniture pieces would certainly be a good investment at this time.
Every day, multiple times a day, we sit down to eat a meal. Most people do not eat lunch at home, but lunch aside, you probably eat breakfast and dinner at home. Where in your house do you eat these meals? Do you sit at the table? Eat over the counter? Sit in front of a TV? An increasing amount of articles, which you can read here, here and here, state that those who eat in front of the TV are more likely to be obese.
You may be wondering, “why is a furniture retailer writing about the correlation between TV watching and obesity?” Let me make the connection for you: we sell dining furniture. It’s time to break that habit of sitting on the couch to eat dinner. Perhaps a new solid wood table and hardwood dining chairs would be an incentive to start having meals in your kitchen or dining room again.
Our dining room furniture is available in a variety of designs, shapes, and wood types, so there is something in our online gallery to fit any home’s style. All of our pieces of dining furniture are crafted in Vermont using sustainably harvested hardwoods. Each piece is built to order, so you can customize the piece to fit your needs. Whether you’re just looking for a small table to fit in the corner of your kitchen, or you’re looking for an extension table so you can host the next family holiday, our craftsmen can craft what you need.
Right now all of our dining room furniture is on sale! This is a buy more, save more sales event. Take 10% off one piece, 15% off two pieces, and 20% off three or more! It’s easy to earn the 20% off discount with this sale; a solid wood table and two dining chairs would do the trick! Plus, all of our dining furniture is backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Browse our online gallery (not while you’re eating, we hear that’s linked to obesity too) for your new hardwood dining furniture. If you have any questions for our fine furniture specialists, feel free to contact them.