Artisans provide unique gift items for those who have it all

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Marilynn Clarke of Reno, spins wool into yarn on a spinning wheel at Brewery Arts Center during The Artisans' Store annual holiday open house on Sunday.

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Marilynn Clarke of Reno, spins wool into yarn on a spinning wheel at Brewery Arts Center during The Artisans' Store annual holiday open house on Sunday.

In the season of deep discounts and mass production, Marilynn Clarke spends her time creating something natural. She takes great pride in her work because she makes items from start to finish and every step in between.

Clarke spins wool into yarn that she then dyes by hand from natural sources and knits scarves, mittens and hats for wearing, as well as miniature sweaters to hang on the Christmas tree.

She said it takes about 32 hours to complete a piece of clothing for her collection, which has become a mainstay at The Artisans' Store in the Brewery Arts Center.

The shop showcases area artisans and provides them a venue to sell everything from Clarke's creations in wool to pottery, woodcarving, silk-screened items, handmade ties, felted clocks, glasswork and soap.

Store manager Jean Summerfield said more than 50 artisans from Reno, Sparks, Gardnerville, Carson City, Silver Springs and Mound House exhibit their works at the Brewery Arts Center.

"The Brewery Arts Center provides a space for us, and we have a variety of things that are handcrafted by area artisans," said Summerfield. "For people looking for gift items or ideas, this is a great place to look."

Summerfield, herself an artisan specializing in beading, said she enjoys interacting with their patrons.

"You get to meet your customers, and they get to meet the artisans and see the techniques they used to make the things being bought," said Summerfield.

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Sugar Pine Cove owner Teri Basa also knows the appeal of locally crafted items for the holidays.

"I opened this store as a local artisan shop to provide a venue to showcase and sell their works," said Basa.

From the more than 50 area artisans she has works from, Basa said scarves and caps are the big seller this year.

"Those are really popular. People are looking for things that make them feel at home or remind them of home," said Basa.

Ranging in age from their late 20s to 94, the artisans showcased at Sugar Pine Cove are chosen to appeal to a variety of tastes.

"It's pretty individual about what people want. You really have to have a connection to the piece," said Basa.

Among the works for sale are pieces from painter Janice Powell of Genoa, silk-screen creations from Jane Lundberg and wood turning from Pard Hosking.

"He has a big following and has been doing it for a long time. A lot of people look for his stuff," said Basa.

Yet one of the top sellers continues to be glovelettes, knitted mittens with the fingertips and thumb left uncovered.

While tastes differ, the one thing patrons get with a handcrafted piece by a local artisan is individuality, said Basa

"You are getting something unique with stuff like this," said Basa. "My husband says it doesn't come in here if it doesn't have attitude."

n Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.

If you go

The Artisans' Store

449 W. King St., inside the Brewery Arts Center

Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through New Years, except for Christmas Day.

Features creations from 50 area artisans, including glasswork, hand knitting, pottery, wood carving and jewelry.

For more information, call 883-1976.

Sugar Pine Cove

1087 S. Carson St.

Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

Features watercolors, wood turning, silk screening, handmade dolls, scarves and hats.

For more information, call 884-4603.


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