SANDWICH — The Sandwich Home Industries, (SHI) opened its Gallery doors this past Mother's Day, with a completely
restocked shop of art and craft merchandise from over 167 juried league of New Hampshire craftsmen.
This is the 87th consecutive year for the Center Sandwich shop on the town green and, following a decades old tradition, the organization will present various demonstrations throughout the summer.
The work of Elaine Fuller of Red Door Pottery, who gave the season's first demonstration, is featured in the gallery. "Having
Elaine start our education program for 2013 is so appropriate," said Sandy Joncas, Director of Education for SHI, "she is one of the most popular artisans that demonstrate throughout the season at the Gallery and sets a high standard of excellence.''
This year the Gallery has more new artisans work than ever before. "We are excited to introduce several new artists for the Gallery, including Mark White of Wilton and his astonishing contemporary jewelry" said Julie Deak, Gallery Director. Another new artist this year is Grant Taylor of South Acworth, who crafts traditional leather belts in various styles and sizes. He learned his craft from an old friend of the Sandwich community and gallery, Gordon Keeler (wooden bowls and belts) who died last summer after over 50 years of wood turning and leather work. "
For more than 25 years, the League has conducted an "annual Christmas Ornament contest" among all statewide juried craftspeople and a year in advance the shop managers select the one they like the best. This year's ornament, which will be on sale at the Sandwich Gallery, is a miniature, woven black ash basket with a white oak handle made by Alice Ogden, of Salisbury.
Ogden has been with the League since 1980, making baskets of all sizes. Some of her creations will be on display at the Smithsonian Museum this fall though January 12, 2014.
SHI's President Peter Van Winkle says that the Industries recently held its annual meeting and released the 2012 performance report. "Probably the most stunning statistic this past year is the 3 year, 350% increase in Art and Craft classes. The continued
and growing interest in our education program for both children and adults has caused us to reassess our long term education strategies and may involve a major capital program to expand our class room and studio facilities".
Three new board members were welcomed by SHI at the meeting; Jennifer Allen, of Sandwich, Linda Spear of Madison and Diane Garfield of Center Harbor.
One of the largest single day educational programs operated by the Industries is the "Artisans on the Green" event, this year scheduled for Thursday August 15 which also marks the 250th anniversary celebration of the town.
"The Artisans festival this year will be the largest and most diverse program in its short five-year history", said Blair Newcomb, Vice President of SHI. Over 60 individual artisans are expected at this one day, free to the public art and craft event,
Sandwich Home Industries now has a website: nhcrafts.org/center-sandwich. The gallery is located at 32 Main Street on the green and across from the post office in Center Sandwich, and will be open Monday – Saturday 10 am-5 pm and Sunday from noon to 5 pm. The shop will remain open seven days a week through October 21.