"People enjoy seeing artists at work. We [artists] are normal people like everyone else," says Peg Silloway, stained-glass artist of P.S. Designs in Manchester.
This weekend, you'll find Mrs. Silloway in residence at Patchwork Heart, the printmaking studio of Shawn Scanlan, at 918 Wampler Lane at The Greens in Westminster. Watch for posted signs and banners on both Uniontown and Royer roads.
Patchwork Heart is one of six studio locations open for the annual Carroll County Crafts Guild Studio Tour on Saturday and Sunday. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can visit 11 artists who will exhibit, sell and show how they work. Maps of the studio tour are available at area libraries, the tourist information office and the arts council.
In addition to the studio open house, the Crafts Guild opens an exhibition of their newest work, "The Next Decade -- An Exhibition of Fine Crafts," at the Carroll County Arts Council Gallery on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibit runs until Sept. 29.
The Gallery, at 15 E. Main St., Westminster, is open Tuesday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"Shawn has a number of clients who like to see her at work [at Patchwork Heart]," explained Mrs. Silloway. "And since my environment isn't conducive to the public, I decided to join her."
P.S. Designs currently has several commission pieces in assembly throughout its studio, and the dangers of cut glass prevents public visits.
"I recently started to combine a stained-glass panel with a mirror image panel of painted silk. It's something new, an experiment for me, and I'm enjoying it. I'm doing both decorative pieces and larger panels."
Mrs. Silloway's stained glass is crafted by the technique developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). Stained glass, in use for centuries before in church windows, was made by inserting cut pieces of glass into a heavy strip of lead that held a channel on opposite sides. The channel held the glass in place, but was bulky to bend and shape. Often, black paint was used to create delicate features.
"Tiffany used a copper foil technique, and the advantage is you get a very fine design line," said Mrs. Silloway. "I get a greater level of detail and the finish has a narrow seam."
Each piece of glass gets edged with adhesive copper foil bent over the upper and lower surface. The pieces are fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle. Then all pieces are soldered. The solder won't stick to glass but it hardens to the copper.
"Tiffany was famous for [sandwiching] several layers of glass to get the exact color, up to nine layers, I believe," said Mrs. Silloway. "I do not. He was also known to put his cane through a piece he didn't appreciate, and I don't do that, either."
At Patchwork Heart, Mrs. Scanlan uses imagery from Celtic folklore and mythology to compose prints that she executes in an old-world tradition of incised wood and linoleum blocks, from which a print is hand-rubbed. Mrs. Scanlan will be demonstrating her methods during the tour.
Also at Patchwork Heart will be Patricia McCord, of Matrix Fiber Creations, a fiber artist who spins, weaves, knits and crochets natural and synthetic fiber into clothing or useful accessories.
Information: Patchwork Heart, 848-6205.
Thomas Bloomberg, postmaster at the Hampstead Post Office, will be guest speaker at the monthly meeting of the Hampstead Business Association. The meeting will be at noon today at Dean's Restaurant, 832 S. Main St., Hampstead.
Mr. Bloomberg will show a video about postal regulations and discuss postal services.
Town Councilman Dwight Womer has suggested that all businesses on Main Street decorate for Christmas. To provide a common theme, the Town of Hampstead will provide the decorations. The Hampstead Business Association has decided to assist the effort, and is forming a Christmas committee. They've even discovered Mrs. Claus among their number, namely, Sandy Yospa, of Family Pharmacy of Hampstead, who has volunteered to don the merry red suit come December.
Information: Dr. Todd Winebrenner, 239-4000.
You'll find "a little bit of everything," at Willow Cottage, says owner Sandra Ortel. "I try to find things that are unique, that you can't buy just anyplace."
Willow Cottage, one block north of the Hampstead Fire Company, is the place to find refinished trunks, Shaker-style tables, teddy bears, baskets, wreaths and more. These are handmade crafts, and many by consignors from Westminster, Taneytown and Manchester.
Mrs. Ortel has collected crafts for about five years, particularly after moving to North Carroll two years ago.
"I like to buy crafts, and since there is no craft store in Hampstead, I decided to sell them," she explained. "I have so many crafts at home that my husband said, 'Why not just open the house?' "
The Ortels, instead, looked over the corner store at Main Street and Upper Beckleysville Road, and decided to open shop. After a month of redecoration, Willow Cottage opened its doors during Labor Day weekend, and plenty of customers walked through for a look.
Willow Cottage is open Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m., Friday from 12 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 to 5. It is closed Monday and Tuesday. Information: 374-3864.