Earlier this month Frog Hollow was contacted by the family of artisan Elfriede Abbe to notify us of her passing on Monday, December 31, 2012. Miss Abbe was our only exhibiting artist to have continually shown with Frog Hollow since its founding in 1971. In 2010 Frog Hollow printed a book titled “Frog Hollow, the first 40 Years of the Nation's First State Craft Center” and asked Miss Abbe if she would contribute her recollections of those early years. She wrote...
February 2012 Frog Hollow Featured Artist Kerin Rose talks about tough choices and coming to terms with her craft...
It’s been a bit of a journey to the work I am doing now. A bunch of things converged to bring me to this place. Once upon a time, I was a classically trained metalsmith. I had been taught how to make jewelry by a nationally known enamellist-jeweler and as a teenager, worked as her apprentice after school every day. Let’s just say, I was ‘on a path’! I made jewelry as I was taught to, never thinking twice about my materials and where they came from.
Artist Amy Felske talks about finding her craft...
I grew up in a village on the Long Island Sound. Behind our house was a small woods where I built troll houses. I spent hours exploring tide pools and building fanciful castles from driftwood, using found objects to create tiny imaginary worlds on the seashore. I have always enjoyed drawing, especially pen and ink drawings. I also learned ceramics, silversmithing and stained glass. My sewing and needlework began with my mother but I didn’t really explore dollmaking until much later.
Felted hat Frog Hollow Artisan Donna Wilson tells of her life and craft...
When my husband and I decided to settle on an old Vermont hill farm 37 years ago, I picked sheep to raise because they were a versatile farm animal, and of a size that I felt I could manage. I had always liked animals and as a young girl fantasized about running a rescue house for stray dogs. As I got older, I trained to be a teacher, but I realized that what I wanted to do more was raise plants and animals. While I was running a small preschool, a friend gave us a Montadale sheep and an Angora goat. The goat was old, and we did not have her bred. Although I now use mohair (the "wool" from angora goats) iin the wool blend yarn for my hats, I buy the mohair, locally, if I can find it. At the beginning, we kept the ewe lambs from each year's lambing and built up our flock, eventually to about sixty ewes, although now we have cut back to about twenty.
Long Trail along the Monroe Skyline by Marilyn Ruseckas
Frog Hollow’s February exhibit “Interpreting the Trail” features Frog Hollow artisan creations inspired by the legendary Vermont Long Trail. The following is Marilyn Ruseckas’ adventurous narrative on how she gathered the materials needed to create her pastel drawing contribution to the show. It should be noted that in addition to being a talented Pastel artist Marilyn is also a world champion, record holding female mountain biker ranked first in the world for her age group…
Every year, Frog Hollow receives dozens of applications from Vermonters wishing to become artisan members. The jurying of new members is essential to the growth of the gallery. As a result of this system, our numbers have grown from a handful of area artisans to a statewide representation of hundreds. The constant goal being to represent the best and most original work created in Vermont.
I have been working with shibori techniques for about three years. I really enjoy the physical aspect of manipulating the fabric. I also love the resulting designs that speak to me of the endless variety of pattern and color found in the natural world. I see butterfly wings, autumn grasses, bird feathers and also images of the earth from high in the sky.
Like many of the other exhibitors at Frog Hollow, I’ve employed assistants in an atelier system over the years. I’ve had a succession of colleagues who have faithfully replicated my work from the blocks and proofs I created. On the larger more demanding titles we have worked together as a more efficient way of dividing labor. Assistants have done their best to adhere to the proofs and maintain a high standard of accuracy. Of course there were variations in impressions and I expect you have learned, as I did, that there is a huge difference between a slight deviation and a second. I decided long ago not to sell seconds. My goal was that my original thought and my craftsmanship in block cutting and registration be transmitted to the viewer without any distraction. Hand pulled editions vary from impression to impression; it is hard not to rank them by quality.
On March 14th, 2011 the Flynn Center for the Arts, Burlington City Arts (BCA), and the South End Arts and Business Association (SEABA), cooperatively presented a one day workshop "The Business of Art" at Contois (City Hall) Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont. As a representative of Frog Hollow I was asked to participate in a panel discussion in one of the sections focused on "To Market." The following is the speech I gave as an opening to discussion.
Frog Hollow is a 40 year old organization and is distinguished with the honor of being the first state craft center in the nation. We were founded in 1971 with the goal of increasing the exposure of Vermont professional crafts people as well as to provide an educational resource for all ages in all aspects of craft and craft appreciation.
In the spring of 1956 I received orders to ship out to Europe for a 2 and a half-year tour of duty as a US Army Signals Corps photographer stationed in downtown Paris. What luck!
I was a hick from Vermont with a university education. Paris became my graduate school. There I learned about a foreign culture, urban life, art, architecture, music, beauty, fashion, sex, fine food and of course wine. My interest in wine is what led me to take a train to Bordeaux and spend my leave in nearby Margaux, photographing the vendange, or wine harvest, in one of the most famous wine growing regions in the world.
I am continually amazed by both the generosity and talent displayed by Vermont artists and the works showcased at Frog Hollow.
— Senator Patrick Leahy
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Frog Hollow Vermont State Craft Center, 85 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401
phone (802) 863-6458 fax (802) 863-6506
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