This weekend marks the official 2014 Spring Open Studio Weekend in Vermont! This is a very special weekend where artists around the state open their studios to the public. Southern Vermont is home to some incredibly talented artists, so if you’re planning your Memorial Day trip to Vermont– this is a destination that cannot be missed. I’d suggest watching the video above to see just how unique this open studio weekend is, as further explained by the Vermont Crafts Council in this heartfelt statement:
“Most Vermont craftspeople work in studios located in or close to their residences. These are places of production and inspiration located in downtowns as well as at the ends of dirt roads. Wherever their locations, they are exciting places to visit because they reflect the dynamic yet organized process that is used to produce the finished work of art.
The studio itself is enormously informative because you can see at a glance how the artist works. You see the swatches that have not been chosen for the quilt or the work that is experimental or not serious enough for the gallery. Buying or ordering work during an Open Studio sale is a unique experience because you have the opportunity to speak to the artist directly.”
While you’re on your studio tour of Southern Vermont, we’d love to invite you to visit us as well. Our showroom is home to a handful of one of a kind artisan furniture designs from world class craftsmen from around Vermont. Their furniture designs are true works of art, and are never replicated. Our friendly staff will be here all weekend to welcome guests & answer any questions about these unique artisan pieces.
No tour of Vermont’s luxury home decor brands would be complete without a visit to Anichini, Inc. The Green Mountain State is home to this mecca for high end interior designers who feather the nests of the rich and famous. The company, founded 26 years ago by Susan Dollenmaier, has become the “most prestigious brand of luxury textiles and home furnishings”. It is a full spectrum textile company specializing in rare and handcrafted fabrics and products. I visited Anichini’s new design center in Quechee, VT last week while on my tour of Vermont’s top luxury home decor brands. May I just say right here and now that I have never seen a collection of such beautiful and luxurious fabrics in all my life? What an indulgence for the senses. All of them… not just sight… so many different textures and subtle fragrances of linens, cottons, wool, cashmere and other fibers. Wow.
Anichini Inc. imports fabrics (Muga silks from Assam, Tibetan cashmere woven in Nepal, Ottoman inspired velvets and tapestries from Turkey, Renaissance replications from Umbria, Linen from Lithuania, Woven silks from Morocco) because they are simply unavailable in the USA. However, as shown in this video (The Craftsmanship of Rural Women) those fabrics are sewn here in Vermont by a group of talented seamstresses in Turnbridge.
Found in the linen closets of royal palaces and celebrities around the world, Anichini fabrics round out Vermont’s luxury home decor brand portfolio. They are future heirlooms that celebrate the “extraordinary designs, rare materials, and traditional techniques that are soon to be lost. ” Come see them for yourself! We hope to be featuring a nice selection of Anichini linens at Stonehurst, which will soon be your launch pad into the world of Vermont’s authentic, handcrafted home furnishings.
Last week on my tour of luxury Vermont home decor companies I stopped to visit Charles Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas at their studios in Bridgewater, Vermont. Charlie is perhaps one of Vermonts most beloved furniture makers. He’s famous for his steadfast belief in the integrity and enduring value of true handcrafted furniture. You won’t find cnc routers in Charlie’s shop! Everything is traditionally carved and crafted by hand, making each piece a unique work of art. Dennis pointed out that Charlie is making the Chippendales of tomorrow. It’s the stuff Christie’s and Sotheby’s will be competing for in years to come.
What’s a Naked Table?
“We invite businesses, friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit (inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the world)… The table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.” … Charles Shackleton
The Work of Human Hands
Charlie notes that humans have a natural tendency to want to make things, using their hands in particular. “It’s a satisfying “buzz” of creativity, comparable to baking a loaf of bread from the grains of a wheat plant. When a finished piece expresses our creativity, either through the natural beauty of the wood, the design or the marks of shaping left by the human hand, it sends a message. In these times when so much is mass produced in factories by automated machines on the other side of the world, many are treasuring that message and the natural resources that surround it..”
Visit the Shackleton Thomas store in Bridgewater, VT or their website to learn more and shop. Next week: a quiz about Miranda’s pottery. Hint: yes it is displayed in the White House and the Vatican in addition to dozens of other prestigious locations around the world.
Luxury home decor aficionados: do you long for days past when real, honest, human craftsmanship was the means of producing quality, long lasting goods for your home? Are you tired of disposable everything and looking to add authenticity and character to your home– a few things with substance that are designed to be enjoyed forever? Well Vermont has a treat for you. Four of America’s top luxury home decor brands are headquartered in the middle of the Green Mountain state– all within a comfortable driving distance of each other. I made the tour myself last week, while preparing our Stonehurst gallery to begin carrying a selection of items from each company. Here is what I found at my first stop, Simon Pearce.
Simon Pearce Glassware
With the rich history of Irish glass blower Simon Pearce behind it, this company leads the way in high end, hand blown glass and table ware. Headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.
Simon Pearce Pottery
Learn more about Simon Pearce, his story and products on his website. Or better yet, come up to Vermont for a visit! You can use Stonehurst, our fine furniture, home decor and art gallery as a launchpad to Simon Pearce and the rest of Vermont’s luxury home decor companies.
The other three luxury home decor brands I’m thinking of? Stay tuned, there’s more to come but you’ll find hints on Kelsey’s new Vermont luxury Pinterest board. Let us know on our Facebook, about any other brands you’d like to learn more about.
Last week I managed to escape from the office and take a road trip. The excuse (er… purpose) was to visit Vermont’s top luxury home decor businesses. Maybe this won’t surprise you — it turns out that in addition to being the fine furniture capital of America, Vermont is second to none in many other types of authentic, handmade home decor. The Green Mountain State hosts hand blown glass blower Simon Pearce, hand forged lighting manufacturer, Hubbardton Forge, hand loomed artisanal fabrics maker, Anichini and handcrafted furniture and pottery maker, Shackleton Thomas.
We felt these companies should be featured at Stonehurst, making it a complete showroom for Vermont’s best, high quality, handcrafted home goods. So I was chosen as the lucky one to make the rounds and pitch the idea. I was met with nothing but kindness and enthusiasm. Wendy Fannin at Hubbardton Forge, Heather Carey at Anichini, Maria Parrado at Simon Pearce, Charlie Shackleton and Miranda Thomas were all very supportive of our plans (thanks guys!).
Over the next few months we’ll be hard at work, adding these new products to our showroom. A nice selection of items will also be added to our online store. Stay tuned for more details as they unfold!