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New Art Springs to Life at Artisans Hand


by Jill Pralle; photos courtesy of Artisans Hand 

Elga Gemst: Stained Glass Artist, Moretown, Vermont

The featured artist for the upcoming Art Walk (Friday, May 4), Gemst creates whimsical stained glass scenes of Vermont barns, landscapes, feathers, angels, and other hanging gems in brilliantly hued and textured glass from around the world. In Gemst’s words, “To many, the term ‘stained glass’ implies very traditional design, but most of what I do with glass is experimental and could not be replicated if I wanted to, which I don’t. The glass I most love to work with is handmade with no two sheets being identical. My response to each sheet is different. I play around with a wide range of techniques, tools, and materials, all in a quest to surprise and delight myself.”


Jennifer Johnson: Plant-dyed Scarves, Brookfield, Vermont

Johnson’s “wearable art” silk scarves are dyed with plants she grows organically and processes on her Vermont farm. Her love of plants guides and inspires each piece. Each scarf is unique and captures a season in time.


Jess Polanshek: Pen, Ink, and Watercolor Prints, Fairfax, Vermont

Jess Polanshek spent most of her childhood moving throughout the cities, towns, and forests of Florida and Vermont. Along with traditional art education, she spent time traveling overseas, which has been a great influence on her artistic progression. Within these different environments, Polanshek’s art, which she creates in her woodland studio, has always revolved around elements of northern forests and the creatures that inhabit them. Focusing on high detail and loose realism, her art has evolved into an illustrative and whimsical style with a strong focus on the beauty and intricacies of the natural world.


Jon Black: Metalwork, Burlington, Vermont

Black’s organic and architectural jewelry concentrates on creating a minimal yet contemporary aesthetic. Drawing on an early love of blacksmithing, Black is enamored by the inherent properties of metals and seeks to push their boundaries to produce truly unique works.


Katie Cavacco: Upcycled Wool Booties and Kids’ Accessories, Deerfield, Massachusetts

Cavacco’s mission statement is “comfortable, handmade, eco-friendly footwear for young children.” She started her business in 2010 and also makes adorable accessories, such as felted crowns, watches, and rattles with sweet and whimsical detailing.

Jill Pralle is the gallery manager of Artisans Hand