Artisans pull out all the stops for Christmas
Not far from the bustle of department-store crowds lies a small, quiet shop with something the big boxes can’t offer – all-local, handmade art.
It’s the Artisans Store inside the Brewery Arts Center, located at the intersection of King and Division streets. The shop is celebrating two years of local pottery, metal smithing, weaving and a plethora of other media.
It is home to anything that can be created with the proper tools and a little imagination.
The work of metalsmith John Waite can be seen throughout the gallery. He pounds out copper, his preferred medium, making raw materials like pipes and coins into jewelry and other intricate pieces of art.
A mirror designed by Waite adorns the eastern wall of the main room. Detailed copper leaves and vines run up and down the shiny piping that makes the mirror’s frame.
Waite, like many artists that show at the center, has been working at his craft nearly his entire life.
“I made a fire poker when I was 8,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 35 years.”
Waite keeps it simple. His “studio,” an 8-inch piece of rail attached to a 40-pound stump that he uses to pound the metal, can be transported in the basket of his bicycle. He was set up outside the center Friday.
Ceramic pots, mugs and plates are among the most common pieces seen inside the center. Local artists use a variety of firing techniques and materials to bring out a rainbow of colors through the baking process.
Beaded jewelry enthusiasts will enjoy the work of Carol Mark, while Dottie Prentice’s dolls will prompt giggles from children and adults alike.
The Artisans Store runs throughout the season and will be open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while The Brewery Arts Center, located at 449 West King Street, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information call 883-1976.