Finally the weekend arrives …
The Tour days we Over the Mountain Studio Tour members have worked and planned for all year. And always there are adventures, old friends and a whirlwind of activity. So I checked in to get some stories from the different stops.
From Blacksmith Eric Johnson: "We did well at my Forge. Lots of old friends. Some of Nancy Streeter’s stopped by to sit in chairs by the woodstove close to her picture and carving tools and of course her buddy, Sophie the calico cat (stayed both days). We made homemade roasted turkey soup with rice, which we served to anyone who wanted it. There wasn’t much left on Sunday night. My son forged with me on Sunday afternoon. I forged a one-piece cooking spoon, finished it in cooking oil, and then gave it to him for his birthday. Pleasant weather and ease of conversations made for a good event and lots of orders to carry me into the winter."
From Textile Artist Denise Ray: " I met a lovely woman from Finland who lives in the county. I was delighted she was also a weaver and used a similar Scandinavian loom. We hope to get together and hobnob about Finland and weaving sometime in the future. I was happy to meet so many people who said they had a mother or an aunt or grandmother who used to weave and they were interested in learning how to weave. I’m always interested in helping people learn."
From Painter and Sculptor Anne Rule Thompson: " My idea of success is about the amazing connections that are made. For instance, this year I met a beekeeper and she invited me to a conference and will help me final local sources for the encaustic work I do which uses beeswax and tree resin. These connections and the people who’ve been coming on the Tour since I was in high school are the best."
From Cartoonist and Graphic Novelist Danielle Corsetto: "Like Anne RT, I joined the Studio Tour mainly for the connections - both to my fellow tour members, and to the people who enter my home on the tour weekend. My favorite visitors were a pair of twin 11-year-old boys from Delaware whose family was visiting Harper's Ferry for the weekend and just happened to hear about the tour at Black Dog Coffee - the boys came in and immediately started showing me their own (very good!!) comic books that they'd made!
On Sunday four excellent art students from Shepherd visited. Neighbors and old friends came, and a few people who have followed my work for years online came out from hours away to go on our tour, thanks to the newsletters I sent out. I asked a few first-time visitors where they'd heard about the tour, and was pleasantly surprised to hear several of them say they saw our ads on Instagram and Facebook - they worked! There were also a lot of visitors who had been on the tour years ago and were coming back for the first time since covid."
From Master Basketmaker Anne Bowers: "First, I was amazed at the number of people who came in the studio that said they were following my posts on Facebook about my recent trip to Poland. Most of them I did not know previously! I had a running slide show on my laptop going, which was at eye level, and people really seemed to enjoy looking at all of the pictures.
Loved catching up with past tour participants who came to the studio - Gretchen Meadows, Carrie Singer, Sheila Brannon, Tara Bell and her husband Richard, Mikkey Tarantino, and others.
One lady came in the door, marched right up to me and said...'You don't know me, but my name is Joanne and I want to be just like you! I stalk you on FB!' Then she proceeded to show me some cool baskets that she wove out of used potato chip and coffee bags! That was fun!"
From Woodturner Neil Super: "Our stop was well attended with many visitors remarking on the unique atmosphere of the planing mill, which just a few weeks ago was granted status as a Jefferson County Historic Landmark because of its history as a former apple packing and processing facility. I always enjoy seeing former students, and this year I had one couple who took my class not long ago show me pics of work they’ve done since. The enthusiasm and pride always makes me happy. "
From Paper Wizard Liz Goins: "It was wonderful seeing old friends and making new acquaintances on such a colorful fall day. As always comments from our visitors give inspiration for the 2025 Over the Mountain Studio Tour. LizPaperArts and Birds & Bevan at studio stop #6 had a lovely time entertaining these guests and are so grateful for their inspiring comments. Next years surprises are in the works. Thank you to all who took the time to support WV artists on the tour."
From Fiber Artist Diane Myers: "I loved seeing one of my neckwarmers return this year on the neck of an enthusiastic woman who bought it last year. I am always thrilled to learn that my creations are being enjoyed."
From Ceramic Artist Esther Murphy: "Hauling pottery and setting it all up is a huge chore. But then the customers begin arriving and at the end of the weekend it all feels worth it. I love talking to customers, whether or not they make a purchase, especially those who are interested in the processes. I sell some wood-fired work and I’ve been displaying information about that process that seems to draw people in and make the purchase of any of those pieces more meaningful. One of my surprise visitors was an old friend who had begun taking pottery lessons at Bill Van Gilder’s Pottery School about the same time I did, about 18 years ago. He’s still throwing pots, as well."
From Botanical Collage Artist Rod Glover: " I received an interesting commission for two silhouette portraits of Samuel and Mildred Washington for a home in Charles Town. The silhouette outlines will be filled with my botanical collage instead of the traditional black paper. I'm not sure how this will turn out but it's a really interesting challenge!"
From Mixed Media Artist Linda Case: "Since I’m moving this year, I put those small items that I had experimented with on a FREE table beloved by the kids who came (remember how Joy Bridy would often have a bucket of free items for kids?) Adults loved them too and I was so happy to move my outlier output. One grandmotherly visitor just kept asking “are these really free?” When I finally convinced her they were she adopted some pieces. As she walked over to Diane's weavings I could still hear her excitedly explaining "These were free!'"
Thank you for coming and for supporting your local artists while giving yourself and others unique handmade gifts! We are so grateful for your patronage.