The Parsonage

Artist Statement

At The Parsonage Handmade Soaps, our goals are:

1. To strive for excellence in the soap making process
2. To make objects that enhance the life of the user
3. To know the origins of our materials and to use sustainable resources whenever possible
4. To make a long-lasting product using materials and processes which do not harm the makers, our customers or the environment
5. To deal with our customers, suppliers and each other in an ethical and fair manner
6. To foster, utilize and pass on skills that enhance our craft
7. To enjoy and relish the process

Susan Wolf

My love for gourd art stems from my horticultural interests coupled with my desire to produce a functional as well as decorative product. To briefly describe my work, I pencil a design onto a gourd surface which is used as a template to carve or wood burn the design. To carve, I use woodworking tools, called gouges. By varying the size of the gouge and the position and length of the cut I achieve different designs. On occasion I relief carve with a power carver. After carving I embellish with dyes, acrylics, metallic rubs or patinas. I also use pine needles, sliced walnuts, brass knobs.

I am originally from Lancaster, PA. After receiving my Ph.D. in Biology from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, I moved to VA in 1988 to conduct research at the UVA, Charlottesville, VA and subsequently at a VA Tech Research Station in Winchester, VA. In 2004 I left research to start Gourds by Suzanna LLC . I am currently self-employed and work out of my home in Toms Brook, Virginia.

Bunny Switzenberg

Bunny and John Switzenberg of Lancaster, Pa. are beekeepers and crafters. They make cinnamon-scented beeswax ornaments using antique German chocolate molds, some of which John’s great-grandfather brought with him when he emigrated from Germany in 1884. During the 50 years the Switzenbergs have been married, they have expanded that original mold collection into one of the largest antique candy mold collections in the country.

Kid Friendly! Get an information sheet about bees and your own piece of beeswax to practice with.

Mary Stanley

Everlasting flowers and foliages become enchanting wreaths and arrangements- a gathering of Summer’s Bounty. Like walking in the garden on a golden August day.

Flowers grown and gathered from my own garden ensure vibrant colors. Each wreath tells its own story. A profusion of color promises the joy of flowers all year long.

Just like us, no two are exactly alike. Each wreath and arrangement is made entirely by hand one at a time.

Because you can never have too many flowers.

Tom & Carol Bognar

Having an interest in history and art, we have combined both to create decorative & utilitarian items from gourds-Folk Art Gourd Pottery. Throughout history there are many references to gourds. As the world’s oldest pottery, they have been used for their functionality as containers of all sorts worldwide. During the fair we will explain the background & historical use of gourds and the preparation of them thru cutting and cleaning. A gourd that is planted one year,dries for months and is ready for use the following year is very unique & is of interest to the public.

The techniques we use on our work include: carving,watercolor,paint,pen&ink,dye work and wood burning. Our line consists of bowls,baskets,jugs,vases,canisters,pockets,clocks and pitchers. Designs are inspired by historical motifs,botanical/nature,graphics & seasonal.
We will display in a beautiful period style canvas tent.

Our gourd work has been featured in magazines, television and part of other quality art events.

Callaway Colonials

Michael Johnson

Working with a wide variety of Southern hardwoods, I create a wide assortment of both hip high and tall walking sticks. Each is unique, as the wood reveals its qualities to me. The characteristics of the wood, such as thigmatropism, determine the final form. Often various shapes are carved into the handle or the top of a hiking stick, as suggested by the wood’s form. At times, items or personal mementos are incorporated into custom made walking sticks. Also, wood or horn may be bent and shaped to complete the walking stick. The finished product is a unique heirloom suitable for daily use and meant to last for generations. In my demonstration, I convey both the history and lore of the woods such as the American Chestnut, so that it too may be carried on to future generations.

Alison Shriver

After earning a BFA in Graphic Design/Photography at MICA, I worked in TV Graphics & Ad agencies in Balto.MD, Los Angeles, CA & London, England.

Inspired by a collection of early family silhouettes, I began creating silhouette collages incorporating antique papers with my original ideas.
When creating an original, I hand cut a silhouette as a main subject and juxtapose it with relevant maps, stamps, antique ledgers & letters, beach collections, fossils, leaves, branches, wax seals etc.
I have created silhouette collages of many different subjects, including sailing ships, antique chairs, tables, dog breeds, cats, tea pots, pitchers, tureens, sea life, birds, butterflies, farm animals, horses, presidents & famous peoples silhouettes.

I have been creating, exhibiting & selling my original art around the world for nearly 30 years.

My work continues to evolve each year which is extremely rewarding.

Kid Friendly! Kids participate in the Colonial custom of sealing wax. There are a large selection of seals to choose from and kids choose a design that appeals to them. They impress the seal into a puddle of hot wax, with their signature and date, and make a memento of the Fair. Antique seals, letters and large ledger are available to view.

Marianne Weitzel

Renaissance Lavender is a local lavender farm growing over 50 kinds of lavender. I sell plants, dried lavender bunches, wreaths, aromatherapy products; butters, balms and lotions; oils for skin and hair; natural deodorant, hand made soap, lavender essential oil, bath salts and scrubs, lip balms; wool and lavender products from farm sheep; lavender tea, honey and condiments; garden statuary and objects of art. Lavender is not only an exquisite scent, but also brings a time-honored healing property to the many natural products that I make.

Michele Hollick

I have been making floorcloths for over thirty years. For many years I was one of the judges and later the chairperson for SALI (Stencil Artisan League, now IDAL) and their certification process. We would jury each applicant’s work at our annual convention. Many applied but few passed the rigorous test.

Stenciling is my passion. Each time you lift off that stencil I am amazed at what happens. I particularly love the work of the early stencilers and have been fortunate to tour homes here in New England that have original Moses Eaton and Rufus Porter work. In the past I have been recognized in Early American Life and the top 200 Craftsmen. My work appears in many magazines and books about decorating homes from the late 1700-early 1800’s. I participate in many shows like the League of NH Craftsmen and sell to places like Colonial Williamsburg.

I have done work for the Franklin Pierce homestead here in NH, and Harriet Beecher Stowe house at Bowdin College.