Brattleboro West Open Studio Tour: Artisans open their studios this weekend

BRATTLEBORO — Local artists and craftspeople, including nine members of Brattleboro-West Arts will join the Vermont Crafts Council annual fall Open Studio Tour this weekend.

Participating are 12 local artists, 10 studios and one gallery in and around Brattleboro and West Brattleboro. Studios will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The open studio tour, held each fall and spring, celebrates the visual arts and the creative process, offering a unique opportunity for visitors to meet a wide variety of local artists and craftspeople in their studios, and purchase high quality, hand-made artwork. It also coincides with American Craft Week, a national celebration of craftwork that takes place from Oct. 6 through Oct. 15.

BWA, founded in 2009, is a group of 36 artists and craftspeople who create their art and make their homes within the watershed of the Whetstone Brook. Members represent disciplines as diverse as violin making, glassblowing, textile art, metalworking, sculpture, painting, pottery, basket making, woodworking and jewelry. Many members share their knowledge with the public and fellow artists by teaching classes, leading workshops or taking on apprentices.

Walter Slowinski serves as coordinator for BWA.

"We are delighted to work with VCC on the fall and spring open studio tours each year," said Slowinski. "People come up to southern Vermont for the foliage, so it's a perfect time to do this tour."

Visitors will see a few new faces on the tour this fall. They include Greg Moschetti, Carlene Raper, T.Breeze Verdant and Jen Wiechers.

Painter Greg Moschetti, one of BWA's newest members, will offer a look into his Dummerston studio. "My paintings in oil on canvas depict landscapes from imagination with a sense of familiarity to them," Moschetti said. "My goal as a landscape painter is to create familiar scenes which bring the viewer to a place of peaceful reflection." His work is designed to create a mood, and a sense of positive solitude and quiet contemplation. He paints common themes of interesting skies, times of day, open empty space, and water.

Carlene Raper is a fabric dyer, quilt maker and designer of wooden jigsaw puzzles. Her own hand-dyed cotton fabrics will be for sale, as well as many things made from them, such as quilts and pillows. She also offers note cards, hand-dyed large silk scarves, and heirloom-quality wooden jigsaw puzzles, with images of her colorful fabric work and whimsical cut pattern on them.

In addition to her layered colored clay pottery, Naomi Lindenfeld will host woodworker T. Breeze Verdant in her studio.

"Lately, I've been drawn to making pinch bowls, which are calming for me to make," she said. "They have flowing organic shapes and I think of them as an antidote for the crazy times we are currently in."

Verdant will offer up his inlaid wood jewelry made from "recycled materials that each have a story: i.e. ebony from an 1854 shipwreck; pine from the Bartonsville covered bridge that collapsed during Tropical Storm Irene; antique piano keys; copper string windings; violin bow scraps; guitar makers scraps; shell and other materials."

"I love the fall in Vermont which is a perfect time for people to drive on the local roads, see the beautiful surroundings and visit our studios," said Verdant. "The artist's work reflects their love of nature and the beauty of what is outside."

Jen Wiechers of Laughing Lizard Studio delights in expression through many media. One of her newest loves is encaustic painting. "I fell in love several years ago when I found encaustic painting and I continue to strengthen that love affair. It still amazes me how happy I can feel putting my brush through the hot wax or scraping through the layers of lusciousness and revealing something totally new that wasn't there a moment ago."

Using a combination of beeswax and dammar resin, oil pigment sticks and various found objects, Wiechers' encaustic paintings are a collage-like ensemble of texture, color and form, embedded and revealed through many layers of additions and subtractions.

Along with his wood-fired pottery, Walter Slowinski has continued to make a series of encaustic paintings of musical instruments, adding a tuba, trumpet, alto sax, violin, and French Horn to the ensemble. The process involves a combination of painting with and layering of hot colored wax, and then carving into the cooled surfaces.

Participating studios will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, with many sites offering demonstrations as well as the opportunity to purchase arts and crafts and talk with the professional artisans. Visitors can follow the bright yellow signs at Interstate 91, Exit 2 in Brattleboro, pick up a map at Vermont Artisan Designs or at any of the participating studios.

Open studio tour stops include (all in Brattleboro or West Brattleboro, unless otherwise noted): Vermont Artisan Designs, Tour Information Center, 106 Main St., (; Colorquilts, dyed fabric, quilts and wooden jigsaw puzzles, Carlene Raper, 62 Spruce St., (; Zak Grace Glass, blown glass, Zak Grace, 446 Williams St., (; Lesley Heathcote, pastels of animals and nature, 32 Larkin St., (; Orchard Street Pottery, Walter Slowinski, 658 Orchard St., (; Naomi Lindenfeld Colored Clay pottery, 330 Meadowbrook Rd., (, with guest artist T. Breeze Verdant, marquetry jewelry and boxes (; Center for Digital Art, Michel Moyse, 81 Pleasant Valley Rd., (; Greg Moschetti, landscape paintings, 623 Kelly Rd., Dummerston (; Chris Lann Designs, silver jewelry, 1420 Sunset Lake Rd., West Brattleboro (; JMB Glass, blown and flameworked glass by Josh and Marta Bernbaum, 119 Hescock Rd., (; Laughing Lizard Studio, encaustic and acrylic paintings and silver jewelry by Jen Wiechers, showing at JMB Glass, 119 Hescock Rd., (; Partridge Road Pottery, Ahren Ahrenholz, 228 Partridge Rd., Dummerston (; Rob Cartelli Ceramics, 299 Dover Rd., South Newfane (; Darlene Eisenhuth, found-object art, 911 Dover Rd., South Newfane; Caryn King, animal paintings, 116 Miller Lane, South Newfane (; and Diane Echlin pottery, 428 South Wardsboro Rd., Newfane.

For directions and maps to these and all open studio tour stops statewide, visit or


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