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Vendors don't put all their crafts in one basket

Cumberland Valley Craftsmen Guild show offers wide range of nifty stuff

Cumberland Valley Craftsmen Guild show offers wide range of nifty stuff

November 07, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Locally made pottery, hand-woven clothing, glass, baskets, furniture, ornaments, textiles and many other art objects both functional and decorative were admired and purchased by local residents Saturday evening.

Talking to the creator of the shawl, hat or basket one purchased made the transaction more personal and satisfying.

Several members of the Cumberland Valley Craftsmen Guild mingled with customers at the Holiday Collection grand opening at the Thomas June Artisan Gallery in Chambersburg. Fifty-two local and regional artists are represented by the gallery, which opened in May.

Proprietors Jennifer and Thomas Davis both work in glass. While both are trained as respiratory therapists, they opened the gallery to show and sell their own art and that of other local artists.

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"These artists are phenomenal," Jennifer Davis said. "Running the gallery is such a joy. It's not anything you're going to get rich at, but it makes life rich. We represent so many wonderful local artists. So many people want to get their work out there. It's inspiring."

Visitor Dolores Behe of McConnellsburg, Pa., said she was "amazed" by the quality of the art displayed.

"I think it's wonderful," said Behe, who sculpts and paints.

Behe admired a basket by Susan Matson of Greencastle, Pa.

"It's unique, and it's substantial," she said. "It's like the Nantucket baskets."

Founded in 1972, the Cumberland Valley Craftsmen Guild is dedicated to improving the quality of crafts taught, produced and sold in the Cumberland Valley and throughout Pennsylvania.

Guild member and pottery teacher Kristin Fay-Taylor of Greencastle has her pottery, jewelry, glass beadwork and handmade cards in the gallery. Some of her pottery is decorated with leaf designs, which she creates by pressing leaves into the wet clay after the piece is formed. The leaves burn off in the kiln, and she stains the resulting design with red iron oxide and applies glaze to the rest of the piece. Other pottery items are carved with a pencil when wet, then fired and stained.

Fay-Taylor makes whimsical items such as an orange teapot with purple polka dots, as well as earth-toned items.

Pat Beard, of Pat Beard Handwovens in Greencastle, shows and sells her work locally as well as at major art festivals in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Hats, hugs (shoulder shawls), chenille shawls, cotton jackets, vests and purses are on display at the gallery.

Beard also directs hands-on art workshops for children in Chambersburg and Greencastle, and says she never has to look outside the local area to find teachers for these events.

"There is so much local talent," she said.

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