PUTNEY >> The Putney Craft Tour invites visitors to this craft rich area of Vermont to meet the 23 makers on this year's tour including blacksmiths, glass blowers, potters, jewelers, weavers, woodworkers – even artisan cheesemakers. This year the tour features a "Craft, Culinary & Stage" Weekend with a performance at Sandglass Theater and food specials in participating restaurants highlighted by the 37th Putney Craft Tour. The tour traditionally takes place on the long Thanksgiving weekend, this year it will be Nov. 27, 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and gives shoppers, visitors and collectors another reason to be thankful. The tour is also raising money for the Putney Food Shelf.
Ken Pick, one of the founders of the Putney Craft Tour says: "The 'Craft, Culinary and Stage' weekend will be a great treat for visitors and locals alike. While the craft tour will be taking place during the day, Sandglass Theatre will present a special performance to tie in with the tour on Saturday night and area restaurants will wine and dine the patrons."
The impetus for the original collaboration grew out of economic pressure and the changes in the economy. "The opportunity to create a bigger and better weekend to draw more people had a positive impact on our respective organizations last year," says Pick. "We're looking for the same for this year and more. Bringing in the restaurants really adds to the draw to Putney on Thanksgiving Weekend.
For the first time in its 37th year history, the Putney Craft Tour will launch a photo contest during the this year's tour Friday through Sunday, Nov. 27, 28, 29, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The travel app View Boost — Discover Vermont, will sponsor the photography contest entitled "Me on the Putney Craft Tour." ViewBoost is offering a prize of $200 to the winner towards artwork from the tour.
Participants are invited to take images with friends or family or just themselves as they find these prominent craftspeople and view the works where they are conceived and created. A local jury will award the best photograph that captures the craft tour experience. The winner will be notified the week of Dec. 14.
Anyone can enter by downloading the ViewBoost — Discover Vermont free app to his or her iPhone. Participants will need to register to enter and to create a profile. Each studio will have contest registration forms and the contest rules. For information visit www.putneycrafts.com.
"The Putney Craft Tour is more than a once a year event. Many of the studios are open year round, some by appointment, and the tour wants to be a resource for the community in ways that it can. Using our art to support our neighbors and young people in need is a way for us to give something back," says Nancy Calicchio, artist on the tour who spearheaded the collaboration with the Putney Food Shelf. Each studio on the Putney Craft Tour will showcase an object for sale with the proceeds going to the Foodshelf.
For the second year in a row, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce has named the Annual Putney Craft Tour as a Top Ten Winter Event (2015/16). The tour has also been approved as a Vermont Arts Council 2015 event.
Examples of the Putney Craft Tour "specials" include:
The Putney Diner will feature a Thanksgiving after sandwich with turkey, cheddar cheese, stuffing and cranberry sauce on rye bread with fries and coleslaw. Putney.net
Katy's Great Food will offer a special menu featuring Putney Craft Tour Stir Fry: thinly sliced carrots, scallions, tri-colored peppers, squash, zucchini and rice noodles with a sesame coconut ginger sauce served with steak, chicken, shrimp or tofu. They'll also be offering Chilliquelles: roasted peppers and tomato chili sauce with a wine braised and house spiced rubbed chicken, corn chips, fresh salsa, sour cream, cilantro and fresh cheddar cheese curds with tow over easy eggs. Katysgreatfood.com
The Putney General Store will prepare a different sandwich each day of the tour. Proceeds of the sale of the PCT sandwich will be donated to the Putney Food Shelf. Putneygeneralstore.com
Saxtons River Inn that is not normally open for lunch will open specially for the tour. The restaurant is famous for its French Onion Soup and that will be the Putney Craft Tour special during the tour. Saxtonsriverinn.com
Popolo in Bellows Falls will feature Harlow Farm Chicken Tagine with Vermont Quince Past, Goat Milk, Black Olives and served with Old Athens Farm Root Vegetables and Greens. Popolomeanspeople.com
The Gleanery is open Wednesday through Sunday, serving lunch and dinner and Sunday brunch.
For the Craft Tour they will be featuring Braised Rabbit Pot Pie with rosemary roasted root vegetables, served with garlicky brussel sprouts. www.thegleanery.com
On Saturday night, Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m., Sandglass Theater will showcase Finn Campman's Company of Strangers in "Of Bread and Paper."
Part of the fun is meandering through the beautiful Vermont countryside, following the map to find these prominent craftspeople and view the works where they are conceived and created. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and follow the artisans' process. There will be demonstrations at some studios and many of the studios will have locally produced snacks for the road. Visitors may start at The Gleanery Restaurant, 133 Main Street, Putney and/or at the Putney General Store for information, maps, and a preview exhibition of the artisans' works. Download brochure and more details at www.putneycrafts.com