Welcome to the League of NH Craftsmen’s Blog

The Jury Process & Newly Juried Craftspeople

You may have enjoyed watching craft demonstrations at our Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, shopping in our eight Fine Craft Galleries, or viewing an exhibition at the Gallery at League Headquarters – but have you ever wondered how a person joins the League as a craftsman?

Since 1932, the League of NH Craftsmen has led the way in setting the standard and promoting fine craft throughout the United States and the world. Fine craft that is made by hand — HERE!

League members include more than 750 Juried Craftspeople working in a wide range of media from baskets and clay to printmaking and wood. Juried Craftspeople have met the League’s rigorous standards for creativity, innovation, and technical expertise. They must also be a resident of New Hampshire or reside in a town in Maine, Massachusetts, or Vermont that has part of its town limits within ten miles of the New Hampshire border.

The jury process includes a presentation of an artist’s work to a panel of experts in their field who will review their items based on League standards. A person can begin this process with a critique session to establish where they are in their process. Many people will have more than one jury session before they are accepted, using the feedback from the jurors to further their mastery of their craft.


We have welcomed 26 new juried members in calendar year 2017, with twelve of them joining our ranks since May. We are so happy to welcome these talented people into our ever growing and developing organization.


Clay

Sheilagh Flynn creates mosaic wall work and pottery. The wall work is based on aerial photographs of land, textures from nature, both land and sea, and industrial patterning like wallpaper. The pottery is functionally based focusing on food and flowers. It is created from earthenware clay using the wheel, handbuilding, and mold forms.

Joan Hannah throws stoneware pottery that is classical and functional in nature. She has been influenced by Oriental basic shapes and many of the potters she has worked with at pottery workshops in Denver and Anderson Ranch.

David Mishke and Kat O’Brien are a partnership throwing stoneware pottery that is decorated using a wax technique which involves etching and oxides. Each partner throws and decorates either together or on separate pots. They collaborate so that each piece reflects a very compatible style.

 

Metal

Meggin Dossett creates jewelry that tends to be industrial in style using geometric shapes. She takes inspiration from architecture and structures such as I-beams, train tracks, and bridges and girders. Meggin uses a variety of fabrication techniques including scoring, folding, forming, and plier forming. She uses a torch to fuse and solder, working in an additive way.

Stacy Hopkins is influenced by archeological themes, nature, and proportion. After having lived in Italy for 10 years, she has been influenced by the architecture and overall feeling of nostalgia, ancient artifacts, and past civilizations. A former biologist, Stacy incorporates the forms and textures in natures into her work.

Orin Pacht creates jewelry that often has a fluid, aquatically organic feel to it, especially when using lost wax casting. He is influenced by certain aspects of our natural world and producing it in a wearable, concise manner. Orin incorporates unusual stones and gemstones, both in cut and source.

Lisa Scala works primarily in sterling silver, incorporating gemstones, beach stones, and other materials into pieces whose lines are inspired by her love of art and her observation of nature. She employs a full range of metal fabrication techniques including cutting, forming, texturing, and soldering. She also sets gemstones and uses wax carving/casting methods.

James Tovey uses 2D and 3D surface grinding techniques to create concave/fantasy gemstones and free-forming carvings. He only uses natural mineral material for his gemstones and carvings, utilizing the materials natural characteristics to inspire his designs. The objective for his metalwork is to enhance the display and safely mount his gemstones and carvings without distracting from their beauty.

 

Wood

David Fall makes a variety of household and kitchen items from wood including boxes, picture frames, bookends, cutting boards, etc. He uses a wide range of power and hand tools to make the products. His three guiding principles that guide his design and production are that the item must be useful, beautiful, and durable.

Patrick Russo is poly active, working whimsically at many and widely varied items in wood. Emphasis is on pragmatism or rather utilitarian objects.

Lee Schuette returns to the League and is juried in wood again. He creates rolling pins, assembled bowls, hand carved bowls, joined jewelry boxes, and lathe turned bowls. His techniques range from hand carved and hand joined, machine joined, and laminated structures.

Thomas Weston uses native New Hampshire green wood, primarily maple, birch, apple, black walnut, cherry, lilac, and sumac, to create spoons, ladles, and serving sets. He uses a variety of tools and finishes the work with mineral oil and bees wax.

So many great things are happening this Fall with the League of NH Craftsmen!

Learn Something New!

Try a class at League Headquarters in Concord or at one of our terrific craft locations throughout the state! Wherever you are, no matter your interests or experience level, there are options for you to learn a new skill or improve in a craft area that you love. Learn more about our great education options.


Newest Gallery Exhibition

Be sure to visit the latest exhibition at the Gallery at League Headquarters in Concord featuring North Country Studio Workshops as they celebrate their 25th Anniversary! The exhibition opens with a public reception on Friday, October 6th from 5-7 PM and continues through December 22nd.


NH Open Doors

Visit an artist’s studio, craft gallery, smokehouse or winery as you travel around the state for NH Open Doors weekend – November 4th and 5th! See who has signed up so far and begin to plan your trip today by visiting nhopendoors.com.

If you want to become a participating business – there is still time! Register by October 24th to be included in this year’s directory!


2017 Annual Ornament

Do not wait to purchase your 2017 Annual Ornament, “Winter’s Waltz” by craftsman Walker Boyle. These beautiful pewter skates are selling quickly, so visit or call your local Fine Craft Gallery to purchase yours before they sell out!

Gallery Talk, October 26th – Eric Grant

Crafting a Future: A journey from behind bars back to the community

In 1990, Eric Grant was incarcerated. Beginning with his work in the Hobby Craft Woodworking Program at the prison in Concord, continuing through college classes paid for by furniture sales at the DOC Retail Store, and participation in the Furniture Masters Prison Outreach Program (created in 2000), Eric became a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen in 2003.  He is now an award winning furniture maker, a full member of NH Furniture Masters, and an advocate for the life-changing skills he obtained as he learned and perfected his craft over more than two decades.

Join us as Eric shares his story and how craft has helped him, by teaching “life lessons of patience, practice, hard work, finances, and how to look at life from more than one dimension.”

Eric Grant’s talk is presented at the Gallery at League Headquarters in Concord on October 26th from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. We hope you will join us. The event is free and open to the public.


Please note the Gallery Talk “It Takes a Village” has been rescheduled to November 16th.

2017 Annual Craftsmen’s Fair – A Great Success!

2017 Craftsmen's FairThe 84th Annual Craftsmen’s Fair, held for nine days at the beginning of August, was a tremendous event.  We kicked things off with our Preview Party night which was well attended and featured a sneak peek at our exhibition spaces – The Sculpture Garden, CraftWear and Living with Craft!  The weather truly cooperated – what a beautiful week for an outdoor Fair! We were excited to see so many guests coming through the gates, keeping the craftsmen busy. The live music line up was top-notch with original music every day. Fuller’s Sugarhouse, King Arthur Flour, Cabot Cheese and Popzup Popcorn joined us in the Tasting Tent, right next to the Cog Railway’s Peppersass engine. There were daily raffles for Cog Railway tickets, demonstrations and workshops for all ages and interests, a fast-selling new t-shirt design, and lots of great publicity from media outlets throughout the region.

The League of NH Craftsmen staff and board extend our thanks to everyone who made this event a great success:

  • our dedicated volunteers who supported our craftsmen in the tents and at the workshops
  • our demonstrators and workshop leaders who share the process with our visitors
  • our support staff who provide the tents, electricity, medical services and security
  • the staff of the Mount Sunapee Resort who take such good care of us in so many ways for the month we set up our office with them
  • our generous sponsors who allow us to continue to offer this opportunity to our craftsmen year after year – to include our Fair program and marketing of the event, and other in-kind donations as well as funding
  • our supporting members and Annual Fund donors who have faith in the League’s mission year-round
  • our loyal guests who keep coming back and inviting their friends
  • our talented, hardworking craftsmen who share their talent and passion with our audience – they are the reason the League exists and continues to hold the Fair after 84 years.

We are already excited for the momentous 85th Annual Fair which will run from August 4th-12th, 2018.  Make a plan now to be a part of it!

Spotlight on a Gallery – Hooksett

League of NH Craftsmen Hooksett Gallery
Clay work by Jennie Blair, Glass Pumpkins by Lada Bohac and Chris Sherwin

Do you pass through the Hooksett rest area on I-93 North? Have you visited the Hooksett Fine Craft Gallery that is tucked inside? If you have not, or have not recently, make a point to stop in and see all that is new for the Fall season!  The Hooksett Gallery provides a sampling of work from many of our League craftsmen, and a knowledgeable staff to help you select the perfect gift at your price point.

Featured items for Fall include new work from potters Jennie Blair, Irina Okula and Tom White such as mugs and bowls for warm drinks, soups and stews.  Love pumpkins?  Beautiful glass pumpkins from Lada Bohac, Jordana Korsen and Chris Sherwin will keep you smiling all year long!  Add a beautiful vase or bird in warm tones from Bruce Cobb and your windows and tables will be ready for the cool weather.

So much more awaits you inside the door.  Whether a treat for you or a special gift for a friend, we have exactly what you have been looking for!