The Covered Bridge Artisans Spring Studio Tour is a self-guided driving tour in the Delaware River Valley of lower Hunterdon and Bucks (Pennsylvania) counties. This spring, the tour will take place April 30 and May 1 from 10 am to 5 pm in seven professional artists’ studios in the Lambertville, Stockton, Solebury, New Hope and Sergeantsville areas with 14 additional artists at the Sergeantsville Firehouse Events Center. All studios are located within five miles of Delaware River town Stockton.
The Covered Bridge Artisans has hosted an annual Thanksgiving weekend tour for the past 27 years and this new show — introduced in collaboration with the Hunterdon Art Tour — is intended to offer visitors the opportunity to see rural studios in “full spring bloom with an array of new work and fresh energy.” Visitors will have the opportunity to go to the workshops, shop for gifts and learn from each artist about how and where they create their work.
The idea for the tour started with a group of six area artists 28 years ago. Each was a professional in their craft and worked in unique, rural, historic studio settings. They to create a tour that introduced people to their remote locations and allowed for a direct relationship with the artist. Visitors get the chance to tour the studio, see work in progress, discuss new commissions and buy finished work. The group has a “depth of variety” with 22 artisans working in glass, jewelry, ceramics, photography, cast bronze, painting, weaving, bookbinding, woodworking, quilting and more.
The artists opening their studios this spring include”
Bill Jersey of Lambertville, who will reopen his studio along the Delaware Canal. Jersey’s landscape portraits in oil of the Delaware Valley are “masterful and joyous examinations of light and color.”
John Petach in Stockton will be returning to the tour this year with his fine art paintings which use maps from places he has traveled as his canvases. These canvases are the “launching point for exciting renderings of impressions and adventures, often using a thick impasto style of painting to depict architectural scenes represented on the map.”
Also returning is the New Hope Glass Studio in Solebury Twp., Pennsylvania. Jill and Dan Burstein have a glass blowing studio in Bucks County, creating blown glass pieces using the Murini techniques, along with stained glass windows. Dan Burstein also will be demonstrating glass blowing throughout the day.
At the north end of Lambertville is Annelies van Dommelen’s studio. As a printer, printmaker and box maker, van Dommelen’s “distinctive voice and sure hand transforms each of these mediums into something unique and delightful.”
Moorland Studio in Stockton is the collaboration of Constance Bassett and David Cann. Bassett and Cann are “experts in their field of metal conservation and patination in the field of decorative arts.” Individually, Bassett explores work in large-scale botanical paintings as well as “evocative” stoneware sculptures. Cann creates” elegant furniture, abstract sculpture” and lighting from handwrought iron.
Karen and Geoff Caldwell of Sunflower Glass Studio outside of Stockton are continuing to pursue their passion of mixing many glass techniques into their pieces; fused, painted, beveled, and stained glass. Their “varied glass expertise has evolved into a dynamic, refined series” of small window and tabletop collections. The studio’s sunlit showroom and workshop opens a “revealing window on their process and artistry.”
Jeanine Pennell of Bonetown Studio outside of Sergeantsville is the creator of “joyful sculptures full of personality.” Ella Pennell’s “gestural figures recall her love of children’s books and has inspired her to sculpt kiln-fired paper clay figures into unique individuals. Each figure depicts a delightful character launching on an adventure.”
Fourteen artists will be collectively showing their work this year at the Sergeantsville Firehouse’s Event Center. Several new artists exhibiting their work at the firehouse this season, including Susan Weschler of Hamburg. Weschler is a ceramic artist focusing on “beautiful, functional, colorful mid-range stoneware. Her decades-long experience and enthusiasm for clay shows through de ella in her unique style de ella. ”
lynnette shelley of Ambler, Pennsylvania, will also be showing for the first time her “dynamic, mixed media wall hangings developed using an array of techniques including crosshatching, dry brushing, ink splashes and freehand drawing. These representations of animals and natural life are an exciting new artistic voice.”
The “large, dramatic” sculptures by Justin Long of Bucks County will be filling the Firehouse Event Space as well. Long’s “elegant steel sculptures explore the lines and spirit of the human form as well as the rich farming history of the Bucks County countryside.”
Returning artists are Sheila Fernekes of Flemington, who is a jeweler creating works that evoke a “rich history” of art, using multi-layered bead weaving with polymer clay, wire, semi-precious stones, and nontraditional materials sourced from around the world.
penelope fleming of Perkasie, Pennsylvania, brings her experience in ceramics to the creation of sculpture for the wall. Each piece is a “unique combination of materials and firing techniques that flirt with function and delicate abstraction.”
Helena van Emmerik-Finn is a painter in both pastel and oil, who brings our local rural environment to life in her “observant, thoughtful” portraits of farms, animals, and architecture.
Bernard Hohfeld of Roundwood Studio, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, is a maker of a variety of turned and hollow formed bowls. His recent “innovative technique” of combining burls and colorful resins together stretch the language of turned vessels. He is “always ready to share his knowledge and love” of the material.
Amy Turner of Doylestown makes hand woven, “one-of-a kind” dyed scarves and shawls with beading and tapestry. Her de ella “delicate textile work is imbued with a detailed focus on craft and color techniques.”
Diana Contine of Dakota Moon, Solebury, Pennsylvania, designs jewelry using silver and gemstones with natural themes and mediations on the spirit of beauty. Her work by her “creates connections between the body and soul.”
Jerry Bennett of Philadelphia creates vessels and bowls using paper clay, which allows him to give each piece textural details and dynamic form. Bennett’s work is a “unique combination” of thrown and altered pieces, brought together by his “enthusiastic use of color and strong sense of design.”
Lynn Ebelling of Hopewell creates hand-woven baskets inspired by nature, and incorporates many natural materials like antlers and bones that “surprise, delight and embellish the work.”
Carol Heisler Lawson of East Norriton, Pennsylvania, is “an imaginative quilter” who fuses abstract designs together with “distinctive quilting geometry to create vibrant, colorful works that give her pieces their unique style and elegance.”
don schoenleber of Buckingham, Pennsylvania, has learned to use his photography as a method to “”understand and refine the way he sees the world around him. He creates photographs using a combination of techniques to share his vision of neighboring Bucks and Hunterdon counties.
mindy trost of Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, is a “one-of-a-kind book maker, she has a deep enthusiasm for all things book related and takes great care in choosing the assemblage of papers, colors and traditional binding techniques.”
For more information and a map, visit www.coveredbridgeartisans.org A detailed map, connected to Google maps, can be downloaded at www.coveredbridgeartisans.com.