The Vermont Crafts Council 19th Annual Open Studio Weekend is only a week away on May 28th & 29th 2011.
If you've never been, I can promise that touring around to Vermont's artisan studios will be a unique and fun way to spend a weekend.
In addition to Vermont's amazing furniture makers, you'll be able to visit glass blowers, jewelers, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, weavers, ironworkers, painters, sculptors, quilt makers and wood carvers.
I posted Bob Gasperetti's picture here because Bob is on of the best of the best Vermont Furniture Makers and he has the coolest studio. It looks like a quintessential Vermont barn and is set in the heart of the Green Mountains in Mt Tabor, VT just off Route 7, a bit north of Manchester Center. On the first floor of Bob's place he has a treasure trove of beautiful wooden planks, burls and slabs– from all types of different tree species that he's been collecting over the years. Pick the ones you like and head upstairs.
Bob's workshop is on the second floor, where he'll show you all the hand tools and machinery he uses to work his magic. Fascinating! Then up on the third floor is his showroom which houses his latest handcrafted furniture creations… perhaps:
- a Shaker style four poster bed and matching dressers, mirrors and chests
- a Vermont style, solid cherry dining table, chairs, buffet and hutch
- a home office set up with an executive desk, file credenza and bookcases
The craftsmanship you'll see in Bob's studio is like nothing you've ever seen before (unless you're already familiar with the tradition of Vermont furniture making, of course). Check out the precision of his dovetail joints and run your hand back and forth over his smooth finishes. You might have a hard time leaving empty handed… but the good thing is that he always has a great selection of pieces on sale and available to take home during Open Studio Weekend. Or you can work with Bob on a unique custom piece made especially for you.
Reaching for your calendar and map? The Council publishes a free tour guide featuring a map of all the participating studios, including Bob's. You can pick it up at any Vermont Welcome Center or print one online. Vermont is actually bigger than you think and there are so many artisans now that maps are available for each county. Enjoy the weekend and let's hope the sun participates too!