Transforming something or re-purposing an object into a piece of art fills me with a sense of accomplishment and expresses my creativity. By recycling an item and creating a piece of art, I feel I am saving a forgotten treasure to be rediscovered in years to come
Brenda Armstrong resides in Highland County just outside of Leesburg, Ohio, on a farm where she enjoys life in the country with her husband Mark, and working in her studio. In her studio, Brenda works with a variety of media to fashion new art from materials that have acquired character through the passage of time. Brenda has designed and created hand-hooked rugs for over 35 years. This is an art that she was taught by her mother, which today she enjoys as a hobby. She feels this was the start of her creative talents. Her interest in making hand-sewn bandboxes came as a result of her love for vintage clothing. She and a friend began the business “Faded Memories” over 25 years ago, with Brenda being on her own for the past 15 years. Bandboxes, popular in the early 1800’s were used as suitcases, hatboxes, collar and trinket boxes, and were made of pasteboard, leather, and wood. “Faded Memories” boxes are made of cardboard, hand-cut and hand-sewn in the traditional way. They are covered with vintage wallpapers and lined with old, damaged periodicals. A bandbox by “Faded Memories” is a piece of the past, preserved for the future. Brenda designs unique jewelry by taking scraps of her wallpapers, encasing them under beveled glass, and making beautiful brooches and necklaces. She also repurposes vintage buttons, jewelry, and other items creating new and exciting wearable art. Teddy bears made by “Faded Memories” are fully jointed, and many are made by recycling old coats, wool, and fur. Some are dressed in vintage clothing, and each bear has a unique personality. Brenda is a self-taught artist. She is a member of the Appalachian Artisan Guild and The Ohio Designer Craftsmen. She has been featured in magazines and other articles. She has received awards for her displays and demonstrations, and promotes traditional arts through doing programs for clubs, groups, and libraries. She has been active in promoting the arts through workshops and teaching classes for adults and children.
Brenda’s work may be seen and purchased at Artisan shows or at her studio. Open by appointment.
119 N. 2nd Street
Ripley, OH 45167
Sonja Cropper, Owner
107 E. Main Street
Bainbridge, OH 45612
Sunday-Thursday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday-Saturday, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Elaine is self-taught and enjoys creating art in just about any medium, any genre'. She's painted just about everything - including portraits, flowers, still life, classic aircraft, contemporary and landscapes. In 2008, Elaine donated one of her aircraft paintings to a show sponsored by the Pentagon, and is now a member of the U.S. Air Force Art Program (AFAPO). In 2010, she donated 2 more pieces of art to the AFAPO, and in 2013, donated 3 more. The program now has a collection of over 10,000 pieces of artwork since 1947 which have been donated by artists all over the country to record the history of the USAF. Elaine is very honored to be in the company of such great artists. Several of her paintings are on loan to the USAF and are presently hanging in the HQ AF Materiel Command Building at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Fairborn, OH. Many of her paintings have been created with mixed media, on an acrylic base, using various Golden brand molding pastes and pumice gels to give texture. Others have an underlying thick layer primed with Gesso. Elaine enjoys painting flowers so they appear larger than life, and the viewer can see the dynamic beauty in nature.In addition to acrylics, she enjoy pastels, watercolor, colored pencil and graphite, and has done several commission pieces. A detailed 4-page demonstration on how to paint a Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy using acrylic paints is included in North Light Publishing’s book, Painter’s Quick Reference: Cats & Dogs. Elaine was represented by Studio 14 Fine Arts Gallery, (Tipp City, OH) and is a member of the Appalachian Artisans Guild.
119 N. 2nd Street
Ripley, OH 45167
Sonja Cropper, Owner
Hello! My name is Christy Baer, but everyone calls me "Red". Along with my husband, Keith, we call ourselves Red K Ranch. I'm the creative side and he's the business side. After we both retired from the Marine Corps we were still in Southern California, but that didn't really feel like home. We found our piece of heaven in Hillsboro and we love living here.
I learned to crochet when I was 13 years old. It was not my skill that kept me going, as all of my creations were crooked with outlandish color selections, but her desire and passion to create something tangible that kept her crocheting! That was quite a few years ago and even now when I walk into my craft area to pick up yarn and my trusted hook, I get that same sort of excitement. I've always been a hat person in the winter; never without a toboggan. When I began to hone in on her skills, I focused on things that I enjoy wearing and love making. Textures have always been part of my life and color seems to follow close behind. By crocheting and creating pieces that people love to wear has brought me extreme satisfaction and happiness. I also enjoy making blankets, throws, trivets, dishcloths, and baskets for all seasons.
My hope that I can inspire others to pick up the craft! I enjoy teaching beginners all things crochet and love it when young people show an interest! I consider what O do an art form. Each of my pieces is made with pride and love.
I would consider it an honor to share my art with others.
Cindy Baker brings her jewelry-making skills to our craft organization. She got into the jewelry craft when she repaired some inherited pieces. From there she steadily developed her skills working primarily in sterling silver. Cindy is involved with the entire process. She designs, cuts, forms and textures the silver metal as it transforms into beautiful jewelry. A number of skills had to be developed simultaneously to produce the fine sterling silver pieces.
Sawing sheet silver is the most difficult task according to Cindy. She sells her pieces at a local hair salon and at selective craft fairs like our “Cabin Fever".
100 Water Works Road
Peebles, OH 45660
119 N. 2nd Street
Ripley, OH 45167
Sonja Cropper, Owner
I am Tracy Burske and for over 30 years I have been an Interior Designer. I started my craft 6 years ago as a result noticing in my workroom that several bolt ends of fabric from completed projects would be thrown away. I thought that would be a terrible waste, so I developed several bag styles made out of those fabric ends. I also have an endless supply of discontinued fabric samples that turn over by the manufacturers seasonally. I design and hand sew all my bags. I match the fabrics, linings, and trims to create a one-of-a-kind work of art. I make several styles of bags from tote bags, book bags, gift bags, lunch bags, wine bags, Bible bags, larger weekender bags and my most popular styles wheelchair and walker bags. I now have a design that is perfect for I Pads, Tablets, Nooks and Kindles. The bags are made from high quality designer fabrics, many with accent trims and tassels. I look at it as an earth friendly craft as I am saving these fabrics from going to the landfill and my bags are useful and reusable. Include in the email colors, patterns and the bag style you desire. We will then locate in our workroom suitable samples of fabrics that we will scan and send back in an email for you to make a final selection. We accept checks on local banks along with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, & PayPal.
Hello! My name is Robin Dement and my passion is knitting! Years ago when I was in grade school we took a trip to a local museum. The only thing I remember about the museum is a gorgeous bedspread knitted with five bicycle spokes because the lady who made it couldn't afford to buy knitting needles. I decided some day I would learn to knit. For quite a few years after that I grew up, got married, had a family and forgot about knitting. About seventeen years ago I remembered that dream. So I went to the library and got some books on knitting. My sister and I sat down and slowly figured out how to knit. I've been going strong ever since!
I love to collect knitting patterns and try new things. I've had the privilege of knitting for Warm-up-America and my grandkids. I've also gotten to teach knitting to others.
1781 Foster Road
West Union, OH 45693
A career in the hardwood lumber and millwork industries and a lifelong love of working with wood were the impetus behind the birth of the Spiritwood Studio and his woodwork efforts. Through the years, he's been fascinated with the old-hand woodworking techniques and the many antique tools for working wood no longer seen today. He has resisted using labor-saving power tools whenever possible in favor of hand working the wood. "There is a real connection to the piece you are working on when you continually handle it through the process of creating it." Bill works primarily in painted pieces from pine and poplar.
A resident of Adams County, he sometimes uses wood from his property for some of his rustic pieces. Reproduction 18th and 19th century dowry chests have been Bill’s major woodwork endeavor. "I hand-cut and fit the dovetailed corners just as they did over 100 years ago. The task today could be vastly accelerated with dovetail jigs and routers, but the dovetails would be uniformly monotonous and not produce as strong a joint. Hand-cutting the dovetail corners offers strength, character and pride in a piece. The enjoyment of working with wood for the sheer pleasure far offsets the economic rewards. I enjoy a challenge and can make custom pieces for customers. I will make custom pieces from a photograph or if you just have an idea, I will sketch it for you."
Products from Spiritwood Studio are available by contacting Bill at home (above address).
4651 Bennington Road
Hillsboro, OH 45133
For many years, Diana Harvey & her late husband, Hal, have designed and made practical (or just fun) wood and fabric items for themselves and their family, and upon semi-retirement from teaching, Rack-It was born. From large laundry racks, herb racks, tables and chairs to simple toys and wooden kitchen utensils, Rack-It makes over four dozen sturdy, practical, long-lasting and elegant creations using a combination of hand and power tools.
Our demonstration is a very hands-on approach to imparting an appreciation of the ingenuity and expertise of Appalachian craftsmen of the past who used simple tools and readily available raw materials to make the necessities.
We challenge people to open our reproduction of a wood lock on a miniature smokehouse, handing them the large wooden key, and showing the ingenious inner workings through the window at the back of the door.
We invite children and adults to play with simple Appalachian wood and fabric toys: The dancer and whooies (which Hal carves at the booth), tops with launchers, climbing bears, various puzzles, and dolls.
As professional educators, we cannot resist the opportunity to teach why these things were made, how they were made, why they were made of certain materials, and how they worked.
I grew up on a farm in western Ohio. My love of the outdoors began at an early age. Two of my earliest memories are going fishing with my dad and whittling wood with my grandfather. Over the years, fishing and wood carving developed into life-long passions. In retirement, my wife Sue and I began a small businesses named J&S Custom Crafted Lures, LLC. We hand-make old-fashioned style wooden fishing lures. In addition, we now hand-carve larger decorative fish. We find it a true joy to bring to life the beauty of Ohio fish through our creations in wood.
My mother was a wonderful seamstress and encouraged me to sew. Both grandmothers enjoyed crocheting and sat with me many hours, practicing stitches. My aunt enjoyed tatting. I never developed the passion for any of these talents but love to work with my hands. Hooking rugs, pillows, and other items seems to be a natural fit.
My husband and I enjoy primitive antiques and several years ago I bought my first folk art hooked rug. I hung this rug on the wall and then read as much as I could about early and primitive rug hooking. I learned that pioneer women did not waste anything and often used old, moth eaten wool coats and blankets to create the items they needed. I have always loved working with wool—wool yarn, wool roving, wool fabric.
My husband and I are blessed to live in the country surrounded by nature and Amish neighbors who share some of the values of our early pioneers. I am easily inspired here and enjoy this form of textile art.
750 Murphin Ridge Road
West Union, OH 45693
Jack is a self-taught artist-blacksmith dedicated to promoting the ancient art of blacksmithing. Jack’s specialty is hand-hammer, forged, and manipulated hot steel. He gravitates toward Colonial-style wrought iron. He designs his own work that includes candle holders, fireplace accessories, tools and axes. In addition to the Appalachian Artisans Guild, Jack is a member of the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil and The Artist Blacksmith Association of Northern America.