Wednesday, November 8, 2017

PRESS RELEASE: Heart-felt, Hand-made: Holiday Festival of Crafts Celebrates New Englan

WORCESTER, MA - The Worcester Center for Crafts announces that their annual Holiday Festival of Crafts will be held at their 25 Sagamore Road facility on Friday, November 24, Saturday, November 26, and Sunday, November 27, 2017. This year, celebrating the craft of New England, the Festival features over sixty fine craft artists and their work, is held indoors and includes free parking and an on-site cafe provided by Bushel N Peck. The Festival is open on Friday and Saturday from 10 AM - 5 PM, and on Sunday 11 AM - 4 PM. Admission is a $5 donation to the Crafts Center with children 12 and under free.

Taking a cue from the current wisdom of “shop local” and “locally sourced food,” the Holiday Festival pays tribute to the best craft of New England. This year’s line-up includes all New England artists including 43 from Massachusetts, 5 each from Maine and New Hampshire, 4 from Rhode Island, and 3 from Connecticut. Included in the artists from Massaachusetts are four area artists with connections to Worcester and the Worcester Center for Crafts, Kim Cutler and Erika Jorjorian of Worcester, Lauren Beaudoin of Springfield, and Elizabeth Ryan of Spencer. Jorjorian, Beaudoin and Ryan all teach jewelry and metalworking at the Craft Center as well as create and sell their own jewelry lines. Cutler got her ceramics start at the Craft Center and is currently part of the volunteer leadership of the Center.

L to R: Kim Cutler, Liz Ryan Looka Jewelry, Erika Jorjorian, Lauren Beaudoin Creative Dexterity
The Holiday Festival of Crafts, now in its 35th year, is the logical partner to the Buy Local and Eat Local movements of the last decade as it features hand-made work exclusively in an environment where you can meet the maker, you can take your time, and the artist can personally assist you.

The Festival is part of the Craft Center’s mission to sustain craft as an important part of the community by showcasing craft and artisan gifts for purchase - ceramics, wearable art (including scarves, shawls, and hats), photography, hand-printed stationery, glass work, jewelry and metalwork, work by woodworkers, and much more. Almost 30% of the artists are new to the Festival this year.

A list of all of the artists, with the new artists starred, is at the end of this press release.

“The Craft Center Holiday Festival is the perfect outing for Thanksgiving weekend,” says artists Melissa Rocklen who creates whimsical mobiles with crystals, polymer clay and other creative materials. “Each artist is carefully chosen by the juror who has a fantastic eye—I’m always impressed with the quality of art throughout the show. It’s inviting and casual, so you can talk with the artists about their process and inspiration. I can’t wait!”
L to R:  E. Drumm Designs, Heather Bell, Lora Wahl Kudisch

Sponsored by UniBank, the Festival continues the tradition of the Worcester Center for Crafts as an economic engine for artists.  Every year the Festival promises new, imaginative handmade gifts for all ages. Featured this year are mobiles, wooden puzzles for adults and for children, glass and ceramic ornaments as well as windchimes, wooden kitchen utensils, soap and candles, wearables, jewelry, children’s toys and more—all handmade American work.

“The Festival has become a tradition,” says Candace Casey who organizes the event each year. “It is our pleasure to promote the best of American handmade craft.”
The year-round Worcester Center for Crafts Gallery Store will be open as well during the Festival, making work available by over 300 other artisans from all over the country including fine glass work by Simon Pearce.

The Festival is also an opportunity to give the Gift of Craft: Festival goers can buy gift cards for use in the Gallery Store and to sign up for a variety of classes and workshops. The Craft Center offers instruction for adults and for youth in both six-week classes and shorter workshops where you can learn the skills of making with glass, metal, enamels, clay and more.


About the Worcester Center for Crafts

The Worcester Center for Crafts (WCC) is one of the oldest non-profit institutions for craft study in the United States. Founded in 1856 as the Worcester Employment Society to help immigrant women produce and sell hand-crafted wares to support their families, the Center evolved over the past 155 years into New England’s leading center for craft education, exhibition and entrepreneurship. In 2004, the organization expanded and opened the New Street Glass Studio – an off-campus, 8,000 square foot, state-of-the-art, multi-studio glass facility. The WCC offers the only comprehensive glass studio program in New England available to the public. In 2009, WCC became partners with Worcester State University and now hosts WSU visual arts program in its studios. The Craft Center’s mission is “to sustain craft as a vital part of our community” by providing high-quality craft education and training, by supporting craft artists in their professions, and through advocacy and public education initiatives including adult education classes and workshops, youth education and outreach programs, exhibitions showcasing the work of established and emerging artists, artist residencies, lectures, family events, studio rentals, Gallery Store, and major events. The WCC is a member of the Worcester Cultural Coalition and its WOO Pass program, and receives funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Honee A. Hess, Executive Director of the Crafts Center at or 508.753.8183, x. 302

HOLIDAY FESTIVAL OF CRAFTS – Artist List (numbers refer to booth numbers)
*Denotes an artist new to the Festival this year.
1. Marian Ives - Ives Weathervanes & Ornaments* Norwell
2. Susan Garry - Felt Experience, Lowell
3. Virginia Stevens - Virginia Stevens Designs, RI
4. Aaron Slater - Aaron Slater Glass, Lowell
5. Mary Risley - Mary Risley Jewelry, Northampton
6. Andrew Osborne - Beaded Dragon Artisans*, Norwood
7. Erika Jorjorian - Erika Jorjorian Jewelry & Metalsmithing, Worcester
8. Laura Pierce - Iris Designs, Whiting ME
9. Samir Dhamija - My Mez*, Providence, RI
10. Stephen Rosenberg - Stephen Rosenberg Jewelry Design, Somerville
11. Jan Franco - JMF Dezigns Exquisite Jewelry, N. Attleboro
12. Erin Moran - Erin Moran Designs, Portsmouth, NH
13. Cindy Walsh - Red Rover Clothing Co., Framingham
14. Nancy Marland Wolinski - Nancy Marland Jewelry*, Swampscott
15. Lora Wahl Kudisch - Many Colored Glass, Roslindale
16. Trish Kozub - Idazz Custom Designs, Hopkinton
17. Frank & Judy Dobai - The Shade Tree, LLC, CT
18. Michelle & Bill Champitto - Fresh Cut Glass, Winthrop
19. Reid Gilmore - Central New England Woodturners, Upton
20. Marcy Schepker - Pear Tree Studio*, NH
21. Peter Jones - Mountain Street Pottery, Camden, ME
22. Nancy Reid Carr - Nancy Reid Carr Art & Photography, RI
22A. Tarja Cockell - Tarja Cockell Studios*, N. Andover
23. Sarah Caruso - Sarah Caruso Ceramics, E. Falmouth
24. Betsy Keeney - Centre Village Studio, Pepperell
25. Lauren Beaudoin - Creative Dexterity, Springfield
26. Syd Milliken - Malabar Glass*, Easton
27. Regina & Dan St. John - Chena River Marblers, Amherst
28. Carole Michelfelder - Taproot Threads, Greenfield
29. Arlette Laan - Arlette Laan Fiber Creations, Lowell
30. Melissa Rocklen - Rocklen Designs, Jamaica Plain
31. Dianna Beaulieu - D.J. Jewelry Designs, N. Andover
32. Aron Leaman - Aron Leaman Glass*, Lowell
33. Michael Gadsby - Custom Woodworks*, RI
34. Linda Williams - Country Weaver Designs, Asby
35. Vartus Varadian - Vartus Design, Newton
36. Ashley Vick - Filomena's House, Boston
37. Liz Rodriguez - Liz Rodriguez Ceramics*, Hull
38. Barbara Bitgood - Holyoke Puzzles, Holyoke
39. David Pollock - Maggie's Farm, ME
40. Elizabeth Ryan Belton - Looka Jewelry, Spencer
41. Renee Mallett - Amaranth & Rue Handmade Silks, NH
42. Libby Boss - Teesies*, Belmont
43. Nancy E. Burke - Quicksilver Glass, Westboro
44. Steve Stamas - Steve Stamas Designs, Lexington
45. Kim Cutler - Kim Cutler Ceramics*, Worcester
46. Heather Bevilacqua - Grinns, Amesbury
47. Aisling Colleary - Horizon Line Ceramics, Newton
48. Lauren Blaise, Somerville
49. Chong & Judy Lim - Island Designs, ME
50. Peter & Patricia Guilday - Guilday Glass, Walpole
51. Suzanne & Steven Rosendahl - Teagan and Ash, CT
52. Marcia Press - Meshugenah Hats Company, LLC.*, NH
53. Marianne Janik - Calli B., Portsmouth, NH
54. Mark Hutton - Hutton Studios, ME
55. Patrick Zephyr - Patrick Zephyr Nature Photography*, Pelham
56. Jennifer Moran - Gracie's Gunnies*, Denham
57. Nancy Engel - Goodness Remedies, Southboro
58. Susan & Christopher Swift - Swift Farms, CT
59. Caroline Golden Kirkland - C.E.Golden*, Harvard
60. Beth Rigero - B.A.R Soaps, Hubbardston
61. Heather Kidson - Heather Bell Designs, Westwood

L to R: Tarja Cockell, Marian Ives, Malabar Glass