Studios open doors this weekend

November 15, 2007

The Valley Craft Network Tour announces its 26th annual holiday studio tour on Saturday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. each day.

The public is invited to visit each studio. There are nine participating studios in the tour in western Frederick County and eastern Washington County in Maryland. All of the studios will be exhibiting new works made by hand and many will have guest craftspeople to broaden the variety of wares for sale. They include:

· Coles Pottery, at Historic Searchwell, in Boonsboro, Md. Potter Allison C. Severance will feature pottery glazed in warm country colors and pottery decorated naturally by fire, wood ash and salt in the artists wood kiln. Pots perfect for the sharing of food or for gift giving this holiday season. Pottery will be displayed in the main house and in the original bake house, which are listed on the National Historical Register.


· Catoctin Pottery, Jefferson, Md. Susan Hanson, the 'hands' behind Catoctin Pottery, has been participating in the Valley Craft Network since its beginning. Her studio is located in the historic Lewis Mill (1810). Two floors of the mill are dedicated to the pottery: the ground floor is a gallery that displays larger pieces and one-of-a-kind works along side historic beams and mill paraphernalia. The first floor is dedicated to her studio and showroom. Named for the Catoctin Creek that meanders behind the mill, the pottery has been open for 28 years. Her style is colorful and her shapes are simple and functional. Many of the pieces she creates are inspired by the fascinating antics of the local wildlife and awesome natural setting. Catoctin Pottery offers local and handmade holiday gifts. Guests at Catoctin Pottery include Chris Niles and Carol Allen of the "Orange Cat" who create one-of-a-kind glass and metal jewelry.

· Eric Madsen Pottery, returning member from Rohersville, features a studio and showroom in a century old bank barn filled with stoneware pottery. Guest Mary Gayle Young transforms an exotic blend of gemstones and elements from the earth to wearable riches.

· Van Gilder Pottery, at the west entrance to Gathland State Park in a restored barn, potter Bill van Gilder will offer pots for the table and pots for the kitchen in teal blues and greens. VanGilder Pottery will feature live music on Sunday from 1 to 5 in celebration of their 20th year on the mountain. Guest artist is Leah Howard of Williamsburg, Virginia, who specializes in 18th and 19th century mother-of-pearl Chinese Gaming Counter jewelry and other antique and more contemporary pearl jewelry items.

· JRW Creations, Boonsboro, Judith Williamson. Using quality silk, wool and cotton fabrics and fibers with expert sewing and needle skills, Judy creates a variety of accessories for you and your home.

· Keedysville Raku, Keedysville, will feature raku fired lamps, vases, bowls, and clocks. New colorful earrings and necklaces. Guest Linda Minnick will feature handknitted shawls, scarves, crochet jewelry and handspun yarns.

· Kirke Martin and M4 Studios, located in Keedysville, will feature a wide range of functional and sculptural wood-fired ceramics including pitchers, bowls, vases, mugs, trays and much more.

· The Studios at Stony Acres, on Elk Ridge Mountain, features the artwork of glassblower Keith Phillips and his mixed-media artist wife, Claudia McElvaney. They offer a variety of functional glasswork, including Keith's hand blown tumblers, goblets, vases, and Claudia's paintings, ceramics and her popular line of whimsical mirrors. Keith will be doing glass-blowing demos during the open studio.

· Marcella Morgese, Knoxville, Marcella's studio features steel wall abstract sculpture that is intricately welded and incorporates forged and welded steel, wire, cable, and found objects.

The tour is free and open to the public. For more information, e-mail Susan Hanson at or phone her at 301-371-4274.

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