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Attractions ~ Hawk's Guide to Vermont Shopping ~ Arts and Crafts

With more artisans per capita than anywhere else in the United States, Vermont is a true haven for crafts lovers. In the warm-weather months, the Green Mountain State comes alive with old-fashioned country fairs, crafts festivals, outdoor auctions, and travelers from around the world seeking those soon-to-be family heirlooms. During wintertime, the hunt moves indoors as vacationers rummage the region's endless amount of quaint village shops, artisans' studios, crafts galleries and collectors' marketplaces. Just a few minutes down the road from Hawk, the renowned Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts remains a particularly potent symbol of the seriousness with which Vermonters take their craftsmanship - as well as their eagerness to share their skills with others.

Antique wooden figurines

The extraordinary quality displayed in the creations of the Vermont artisan community directly reflects a love for their work and a sense of pride in both themselves and their unique location on Earth. After all, it's not difficult to see from where they draw their inspiration. All one has to do is look around at the splendor that is Vermont, and you'll realize exactly where the wellsprings of their creativity lie. The nearby towns of Ludlow, Weston and Woodstock provide ideal venues whether you're searching for that perfect antique quilt, colorful pottery piece, lovingly-crafted dried-flower arrangement, or any variety of handmade decorative furnishings. So come explore the quaint back roads of Vermont, and pursue the trail of precious objects that could soon represent distinctive Vermont quality in your home.

Noteworthy Area Crafts Venues

Dolls, quilts and other crafts at Quechee Village

The Old Mill Marketplace, Bridgewater
The largest craft center in Vermont, this historic three-story mill on the banks of the Ottauquechee River contains over 70 specialty shops, many featuring artisans and craftsmen-at-work. Among the items to be found here: handmade crafts, quilts, shadow boxes, miniatures, dried flowers arrangements, furniture, clothing and jewelry. (802) 672-3332

Vermont State Craft Center at Windsor House, Windsor
One of four Vermont State Craft Centers that exhibit and sell quality-crafted items created by over 250 Vermont artisans. Set in a restored 19th-century Green Revival hotel lobby, this venue specializes in quilts, pottery, jewelry, weavings and sculpture. The Craft Center also features a small specialty bookstore. (802) 674-6729

Fletcher Farm School for the Arts and Crafts, Ludlow
Every summer since 1947, Vermont's oldest adult residential craft school campus bustles with activity in over 100 different course offerings. Under the guidance and encouragement of accomplished instructors, students immerse themselves in the learning of a new craft, or in the refinement of skills they brought with them. Featured on CBS This Morning. (802) 228-8770

Craftmasters, Ludlow
A unique shopping experience featuring a collection of handmade crafts with a distinctly Vermont flavor, including customized dried flower arrangements. In addition to items made in the Green Mountains, this shop also carries Camille Beckman products. (802) 228-5489

The Quilt Patch and Cook's Cupboard, Ludlow
Custom-made quilts of the finest quality and workmanship, plus gifts for the creative kitchen, including coffees, stonewares and items for the country home. (802) 228-2005

Quechee Gorge Village, Quechee
Over 220 antique and crafts dealers are located under one roof in this sprawling complex adjacent to Quechee Gorge. The marketplace also features a country store, sugarhouse, Christmas loft and blacksmith shop. (800) 438-5585

Weston House, Weston
This crafts shop, which is located across the street from Robert Todd Studio, offers a unique collection of traditional and contemporary quilts. Weston House features hand-tied designs created on-sight, as well as hand-quilted pieces from selected artisans. They also feature appliqué pillows and quilted teddy bears to compliment your home. (802) 824-3636

Vitriesse Glass Gallery, Weston
Unique gallery featuring blown glass vessels, goblets, perfume bottles, ornaments and beaded glass jewelry. The glass and silver jewelry created by Vitriesse Glass Studio is the culmination of an intricate bead-making process, which Lucy Bergamini has been perfecting for the past seventeen years. Bergamini beads and select findings are also available. (802) 824-4000

Miranda Thomas at work

Miranda Thomas Pottery, Bridgewater
Ms. Thomas' unique decorative style of birds, fish or animals is freely drawn or carved on each piece of pottery made in a wide selection of colors. Shapes include plates, bowls, mugs, vases, lamps, serving dishes and casseroles. Thomas' store is shared with Charles Shackleton Furniture and is located in the Old Mill at Bridgewater, where she also maintains her workshop. (802) 672-5175

North Wind Artisans Gallery, Woodstock
An eccentric collection of contemporary and traditional work, ranging from finely wrought jewelry and hand-woven scarves to ceramic bowls and lamps made of found objects. A celebration of creativity, the gallery also specializes in whimsical pieces, some of which will unavoidably tickle your fancy. (802) 457-4587

Woodstock Potters, Woodstock
Not to be missed, this collective of potters is housed in a small artisans' workshop that is hidden down a back alley in the center of town. The quality of the craftsmanship makes finding this little spot a real treat for those interested in the pottery medium. (802) 457-1298

Annual Vermont Crafts Events

Open Studio Weekend, Various locations statewide
May 24 & 25, 2003
This annual event, organized by the Vermont Crafts Council, is a collaborative effort in which many in the Vermont artisan community open their studio doors to the public for a weekend sure to provide travelers and area residents valuable insight into the creative process. (802) 223-3380

Vermont Quilt Festival, Northfield
June 27 - 29, 2003
This annual event brings people from around the country to the town of Northfield where hundreds of quilts are offered on display in June. The Festival also offers a variety of special exhibitions, lectures and instructional classes. Organizers invite collectors to bring their most prized quilts with them for both antique (pre-1960) and new (post-1960) appraisals. (802) 485-7092

Weston Craft Show, Weston
October 10 - 12, 2003 (Columbus Weekend)
This annual juried show brings crafts lovers from far and wide to the small village of Weston (home of the Vermont Country Store) each October. It is coupled with the Weston Antiques Show, assuring you that there will definitely be something on display that you'll find irresistable. (802) 824-3576

For more information on crafts events and individual artisans operating throughout the State, visit the Vermont Crafts Council Web site.

See Also

Antiques And Furniture

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