The Art & Artisans of Shenandoah County, Part 2

By Linda Barrett:

In our first post in this series, we explored some of the galleries, public art, photographers, painters and crafting studios where you can create your own art. Now, let’s take a look at some of the other wonderful artists and artisans who make Shenandoah County their home and inspiration.

 

Admire our Sculptors and Woodworkers

Woodstock metalworker Ellen Fairchild-Flugel’s art ranges from jewelry to sculpture, and some of her smaller sculptures even pair jewelry with sculpture, adding new dimension and a personal touch to each piece. She loves to incorporate unusual texture and different materials and metals, handmade paper, metal-colored glass, bronze and marble into her works, many of which are commissioned.

Glenn Richardson, also of Woodstock, makes his mark in the world using, of all things, a chainsaw! A self-proclaimed “chain saw addict,” he not only creates brilliant sculptures, he’s also a chainsaw performance artist, creating things like wood-carved portraits of subjects before their very eyes. For his wood carvings, Glenn gets the idea for his sculpture, then chooses the materials that will best bring that idea to life. “Each kind of wood has unique character,” he says. Watch this YouTube video of Glenn in action.

 Family Tree Woodcrafters of New Market repurposes and upcycles fallen trees through the creation of beautifully-handcrafted tables, bowls, charcuterie boards and more. Their idea began with a passion for preserving wood while at the same time creating meaningful gifts for their families. It began with crafting wooden bowls from a chinkapin oak held dear on their family farm. It was registered as the 8th largest oak in Virginia, and unfortunately fell. Each member of the family received a hand-turned bowl from that tree. Soon after, they began crafting wood tables, which leads them to where they are today. You can visit the art showroom by appointment.

 

In addition to offering fine wood products, Family Tree Woodcrafters’ slab milling service can accept your felled tree and can cut large slabs that can be upcycled into countertops, kitchen islands and other large pieces.

 When he retired, Mt. Jackson resident Tom Rodriguez took up a new hobby…building birdhouses. Using local Shenandoah Valley cedar, he creates tiny residences for area songbirds, bird baths and bird feeders. You’ll generally find his products, that also include custom-made cutting boards and chairs, at area craft shows.

 Shop for Artwork

A number of talented painters make Shenandoah County their home. Living here, they take inspiration from expansive valley views, mountains and area flora and fauna.

 Laurel Vaughan is a Woodstock-based pastel painter who displays her outstanding works of art in area galleries including 7 East Gallery.

 Rachel “Ren” Crawford is known for her contemporary abstract paintings that creates from her studio in Strasburg. Ren became a professional painter in 1968, and her works now reach to collections throughout the U.S. and the world. Her painting “Wild Horse” is part of the permanent collection in The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.

 From her farmhouse in Oranda, VA in Shenandoah County, Diane Artz Furlong uses pastels to craft impressionistic landscapes mainly from photographs she’s taken in the Shenandoah Valley. She began working in pastels from the age of 6 when she received a pastel set as a gift.

 Discover Artisan Ceramics

Potter Kary Haun uses her artistic talents to sculpt ceramics into beautiful and functional works of art for sipping, serving or dining. Her forms come from a pottery wheel-thrown mixture of the mechanical and whimsical, with flowing lines and hard edges. You can find her pottery locally in several galleries and shops including 7 East (Woodstock) and Handworks Gallery (Winchester), or check her website for what’s available in the studio. Kary was previously named one of the “Top Ten Artists in the Shenandoah Valley” by Shenandoah Living magazine.

Edinburg-based Far Ridge Ceramics produces distinctive handmade ceramic tiles, art tiles, and mosaic and art tile panels. All feature original designs and are made entirely by hand. Choose from graceful borders, architectural or decorative tiles, or tile panels. Mini workshops should begin again this year, open to those ages 6 through adult. Create your own art tile with materials and direction provided. Far Ridge will then finish your tile with clear glaze, fire it and ship it to you. The Open Ceramics Studio is open to visitors several times a year or by appointment.

Marvel at Custom Jewelry

Find one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry items by Kent Harper at Penelope’s Café in Edinburg. You never know what bits and bobs he’ll find to turn into signature jewelry pieces.

 Strasburg-based Rossi Grace Jewelry features another local jewelry designer making unique and custom jewelry for every style and budget.

 Visit the Artists and Artisans of Shenandoah County

Shenandoah County, Virginia is filled with artists and artisans. Come see the creativity, meet the artists, and perhaps make some art of your own.