For 57 years the Rochester Folk Art Guild has held major craft exhibits in Rochester, without once missing an occasion. This Thanksgiving weekend Holiday Festival of Crafts draws that impressive era to a close. Planning for the next few years to concentrate their efforts and energy into hosting events at home, this season’s show will be the final comprehensive Guild event in Rochester. The hours of this last big show are Friday, November 23rd, 10AM – 5PM, Saturday, November 24th, 10AM – 5PM, and Sunday, November 25th, 11AM – 4 PM. The Harley School, 1984 Clover Street, is once again the site of this celebration of creativity, which promises to be a huge send-off.
After this holiday weekend sale, the skilled artisans of the Middlesex-based craft community have future plans for ongoing events at their special center, East Hill Farm in the heart of the Finger Lakes. This year two December weekends kick off the continued offerings, in the workshops where the crafts are created. The December 8th, 9th, and December 15th, 16th Holiday Studio and Seconds Sales gives friends and neighbors a chance to peek at and to purchase the distinctive craft work in time for Christmas gift giving, often at a significant discount. Hosting this “at home” allows for touring the studios where the creation happens, and the opportunity to speak with the makers in their own space. The Guild’s East Hill Gallery provides beautifully displayed work from all of the studios in one convenient spot. The hours for the Holiday Studio and Seconds Sales are 12PM – 4PM both Saturdays and Sundays.
At the Harley School for the final Thanksgiving Festival the main workshops represented are: pottery, woodshop, the weaving, and clothing design. They are joined by graphic arts, producing pressed flower and silkscreened note cards, the East Hill Boat Shop specializing in skilled wooden boat repair, the art glass jewelry of William Glasner, a comprehensive selection of books for all ages, and much more.
The potters are prolific, making a variety of functional pots for everyday use. Right before the show opens the potters will be firing their woodfire kiln. The result will be a variety of surfaces, textures , and colors resulting from the round-the-clock stoking with wood, which leaves flashes of brilliance traced by the path of flame in the kiln. Look for these and ask a potter to share their excitement with this arduous and rewarding firing!
Conventionally fired porcelain, either shino-glazed or celadon, will be featured too. Shino is a glaze with iridescent highlights, and a varied surface. Celadon is traditionally a jade green, and has an even surface. There is much carved pottery to choose from, with teapots, platters, bowls, and mugs in abundance.
The woodworkers also focus on serving food with flair: Salad bowls, plates in native woods, including some huge walnut presentation platters. These platters would certainly impress as a centerpiece, brimming with fruit. Osage orange, bright yellow when it is fresh, has been turned into large and small bowls, cups, and dishes. Eye-catching end-grain cube patterns made up into ash and Douglas fir cutting boards provide a unique gift, IF you can part with it.
The clothing design studio will have silk scarves, gauzy wool shawls, eye pillows for relaxation, and lavender filled sachets for closet or drawer all eco printed – each one completely unique – . Eco printing is a natural dye process in which the print of an actual leaf is left on a natural fiber fabric. The tannin in the leaf in combination with iron, vinegar, compression and heat create fabulous and surprising outcomes.
The Guild’s handmade clothing will be on view in the entryway gallery at Harley, a special airy space for display, as will the distinctive glass bead jewelry of Bill Glasner, of Victor. Bill has fashioned the beads, carved and sandblasted them, and then composed them into necklaces and earrings. Next to Bill is the Guild Weaving Studio, with a warm and attractive display of ponchos, wool blankets, colorfully dyed shawls and scarves, even knitted headbands. Most of the weaving is wool, there is some silk, and chenille scarves.
In the other room, the theater, alongside the woodworking, wooden toys, and oriental rug collection, the new boatbuilder at the Guild, Fred DeWolf, will have a finished boat on display. And don’t forget to browse through one of the most loved presents of all time–books! The Guild features a unique selection of books chosen with discrimination and attention to quality.
The Folk Art Guild’s Last Comprehensive Holiday Festival of Crafts in Rochester
Admission $2 or download an invitation at folkartguild.org
Friday, November 23rd, 10AM – 5PM
Saturday, November 24th, 10AM – 5PM
Sunday, November 25th, 11AM – 4PM
The Harley School, 1981 Clover Street, Rochester, between Elmwood and Monroe Aves.
For more information about the Guild and a calendar of events, workshops, and classes, please visit www.folkartguild.org or call 585-554-3539.
About the Rochester Folk Art Guild
A not-for-profit arts community and educational institution, the Guild began its work in crafts more than 60 years ago. Located on a 350-acre farm in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, the Guild has grown to receive worldwide recognition for its handcrafts, which have found their place in museums, private collections, shops, and galleries through the United States and abroad. The Guild also offers workshops for adults and conducts educational outreach programs for children. Its Apprenticeship Program is designed for young people who are searching for a practical, hands-on approach to learning and living. Working alongside experienced master craftspeople, apprentices learn proficiency in a craft and how to live alongside others in a community setting. Over the past dozen years, the Guild has offered an annual Craft Weekend in July for all ages.