Monday, March 31, 2008

A Country Class

On the last Saturday in March, I gave a small private class here at Early New England Homes built by Country Carpenters, the company that also built my barn a few years ago. This model home is open to the public for viewing and when it first opened I spoke to the invited guests about what a wonderful contribution to New England's harmony it was. Eric Sloane, a well known writer and artist of New England would have been so happy to have seen this as well I'm sure.
I did a painting of this complex used on the cover of their brochure. New England Homes is located in the Connecticut countryside of Bolton, a short distance from my Art Studio & Gallery in Glastonbury.
I did a similar class recently in January at the Wayside Inn in Massachusetts. Fred from Country Carpenters asked me about the possibilities of holding a class in Connecticut and then the day finally came. We started at 9:30 on a crisp beautiful morning and it wasn't too long before everyone was pounding away, finishing by 4:30. How fast the day went, but now on this Saturday March, 29th, time was forever frozen with the creation of the "little pine footstool"

Everyone is busy sanding after the roughed up and distressing steps were done previously. It gets noisy with all the pounding and filing! The idea though is to keep in mind not to over do it but give the piece a character of 200 years of use. In the barn there is a display of old tools helping to bring the feeling into the piece as well.

Everyone is concentrating with the final details before the last step of varnishing.

The class all with their finished projects and seven hadn't ever painted before. When the stools were lined up drying I picked one up thinking it was my own, but was surprised that it was Mike's (on the left ). Everyone went home with a smile and all had good reason to be happy!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Collecting Houses from the Barn

I look forward to your visit here in Connecticut to my Studio & Gallery where the flowers soon will be blooming and the birds singing. Please call first to be sure I'm in at 860-633-7707. I will be happy to show you the many houses and barns I have made from large timbers to very small pieces of pine.

When Country Carpenters built the Studio & Gallery post and beam barn, there were some leftover timbers. This is a 4x8 that I used to make this "row" house with scenes and buntings and flags on both sides. I even used old copper from the chimney flashing to make cut out designs and nailed them on the houses. A story is told in the design of the celebration of America by the little band marching by on what I envisioned was a voting day.

This is a set of of three cut from one piece of 3/4" pine wood. There are a wide variety of different houses and barns here in the gallery, that can capture an Old New England accent in any season wherever you want to display them. Each and every one has a finishing patina of history.

I made this collection of small houses for my wife Janice and although very tiny, as the dime shows, they bring a nice accent when arranged on the kitchen counter.