Combine this blog and the last blog to get a flavor of all 9 stops of 2023
Stop #1 Southwood Farm. Eric Johnson, blacksmithing for decades, and his wife Catherine, will greet you on their abundant farm. Expect the sound of peacocks, chickens, ducks, and goats along with the peal of the hammer on the anvil. Order your thanksgiving turkey and take home some eggs. See demonstrations of Eric’s work and ask about his classes for adults and youngsters. Eric will be solo this year, dear friend and long-time tour member, Nancy Streeter, passed away in August. Her beautiful wood carvings will be cherished.
STOP #2 was featured in the last blog and needed the addition of Denise Ray of Wovenpath Textiles. She is returning to her original stop in Shepherdstown at Danielle’s historic home. She offers a variety of woven goods from her latest educational and experimental efforts. Trips she took to England, Ireland and Scotland gave her some great ideas for weaving some plaids and tartans. A lucky yarn find resulted in some Caribbean inspired dish towels. Her love of the American Southwest landscape weaves its way into her pullover tops. She will be demonstrating rigid heddle weaving, how cool!
Stop #3 New to the tour this year, Westvirjeni, is located outside of Shepherdstown and is owned by Jeni and Kevin Walker. This boutique style floral and event business welcomes you.
In preparation for the studio tour, a team of designers have been creating one of a kind permanent botanical art. Find dried arrangements, holiday decor, wreaths, and ornaments. They’ll also have fresh holiday greens and foliage, dried floral bundles, fresh wreaths, fresh floral arrangements, and seasonal floral décor. They have a variety of items and price points for their visitors. Throughout the day they will serve seasonal beverages and snacks provided by local vendors, and designers will be actively creating in an area of the studio. Enjoy participating in a DIY project, in the making of an orange pomander (don’t know what that is? Find out when you get there!). When you visit Linden Spring Flower Farm you are welcome to roam the property and take in the beautiful views and history and, of course, the gardens.
Stop # 4 Roll through the woods in a part of Jefferson County you may not have been. Nestled in a tree filled neighborhood between Bakerton and Harpers Ferry is the lovely studio of Anne Rule Thompson. She will be set up alongside metal jeweler Rose Mendez of Evenrose. This pair of artists make an incredible display together. Roselyn has been doing plant studies in the form of brooches and crowns, in addition to a wide range of botanical and celestial earrings, necklaces and bracelets. She will have a selection of embellished furniture on offer as well.
Her work celebrates the lush color and organic forms of nature with a dash of whimsy.
Anne creates her delicious work with encaustic to create textural and luminous paintings of our natural world. “Sky Drama” Is her theme this year. Come see her larger pieces and her full of life sculptures. There is a new assistant in the studio, puppy Lewis. Refreshments served.
Stop #7 The Shenandoah Planing Mill is just outside Charles Town. Make your way down the long drive towards the working buildings of the wood mill. Enter this huge space and take in the scent of warmed spiced cider, wood chips, and exceptional fragrance. Here are where three artisans will be set up with their wares. Neil Super of Two Rivers Turning, will offer items poignantly created from the wood of several lamented, and historically significant local trees, he will share his knowledge of wood turning and the story of the working planing mill. Returning to join Neil is Luke Baur, who transforms materials collected from the living landscapes of mountain forests to functional bark baskets featuring natures raw beauty.
New to the OTMST, Melissa Lettick will be offering her full line (30) of true to nature crafted potpourri blends and oils from her long-time business The Herb Lady Potpourri Company. Discover Melissa’s soul work, Mystical Imagination Arts, where she will offer to you the opportunity to “follow the brush” and use your intuition with a group painting project set up for visitors to try out. She will tell you about her Zoom classes and workshops using this sometimes wacky and spirit touching method. She will have prints of her elaborate work, greeting cards and magnets.
Stop #8 What is a trip to Jefferson County without visiting Cool Spring Preserve stewarded by the Potomac Valley Audubon Society? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered- that is Stop #8 on the tour. Here you’ll find makers Diane Myers and Linda Case shepherding their handmade wares as well as hot tea and homemade pumpkin and applesauce breads. Diane weaves with all-natural fibers like wool, cotton, linen and silk and will be featuring shawls, hand knit hats, scarves, luscious and the always popular rag table runners for your home.
Check out Linda Case’s intense mixed media paintings that incorporate flowers, imaginary celestial bodies and down-to-earth landscapes. Her use of alcohol ink makes these pieces sing. Linda is also known for her unique necklaces, earrings and boxes using colorful polymer clay.
SPECIAL NOTE: Consider making this a two day venture this year, more than ever, so you can linger at the stops and feel the flow of this tour. All 9 stops are so unique from each other. Make the circuit of Jefferson County and discover hidden places and also realize what this county is like in the way of nature and historical significance. Stop by Charles Town, Shepherdstown, Harpers Ferry, Middleway, Ranson, and/or Bolivar for a meal or a coffee. Here is a county that we want to preserve in its wonder. We want to keep it beautiful. The more of us who see it’s hidden places and get off the beaten path, the more we will realize how much we love it and, the better off we all will be if we support it. Enjoy your time with fellow travelers of the OTMST circuit, and with the makers of this who truly care about where we live and what we create.
PRINT the map from the website. GPS the locations . FOLLOW the RED AND WHITE SIGNS scattered about the county. Mind the detours, the Harpers Ferry Bridge across the Shenandoah river is closed. Plan your route and go on an adventure!