An artistic streak is discovered, and a career takes root at Savage Mill


A NEW group of diverse and talented folks is working at Savage Mill.

Bakers, interior decorators, artists, a gilt repair specialist, a guitar-maker, antiques dealers, weavers, knitters and practitioners of just about every artistic endeavor you can imagine are at the mill.

Some of these artists hail from far away -- a knitter from New Zealand, for example -- but some are more or less home-grown.

Regular patrons of Ma's Kettle, the Savage restaurant and longtime fixture, may have noticed that waitress Pam Greathouse hasn't been serving meals there recently. She decided to try a new field.

Two years ago, while entertaining her mother during a visit, the two spent some time at the mill.

Lee Anderson, owner of Vibrant Hand Knits, was looking for an assistant who could sew to help with her line of handmade clothing.

Greathouse had been sewing since childhood, and her mother urged her to try out for the job. She did, and went to work for Anderson.

During that year, Greathouse discovered an artistic streak in herself that she had sensed was there.

Often, when Anderson designed apparel, Greathouse says, she could envision the piece or the next color that would successfully complete the piece.

A year ago, having learned a great deal, Greathouse rented studio space of her own and began making hand-dyed, quilted and pieced jackets.

Her husband, Joe Broadnax, helped by paying the bills while the enterprise got off the ground.

Owner of a small roofing business, Broadnax is comfortable managing the financial aspects of his wife's business.

Greathouse made sample garments and, with advice and introductions from Anderson, got an agent in Chicago -- Phyllis Gello.

Gello takes photographs and sample garments to industry shows to solicit orders, freeing Greathouse for the artistic side of the business.

It has been an exhilarating year.

Greathouse started out in a basement studio and is working her way up through the mill. Now she is on the first floor. Large orders tend to come with very short deadlines, so she has learned a lot about managing her time in the past year.

Greathouse inherited Secret, the mill artists' cat.

The large orange tabby has been at the mill forever, passed from owner to owner as some artists leave and others arrive.

Greathouse has worked with other mill artists to find good sources for the vintage fabrics, trims and buttons that she uses in her work.

She has learned tricks to make sewing more efficient, and she has realized a modest profit. Not bad for a fledgling business.

Greathouse is in her studio/shop Wednesdays through Sundays, and she is glad to take a break to chat with visitors.

Time for 'Reflections'

The National PTA sponsors a contest for students, called "Reflections," that requires entrants to illustrate a theme through writing, art or photography.

Forest Ridge Elementary had 37 students enter the competition this year.

Eight works were selected to be exhibited yesterday at River Hill High School, along with work from other Howard County schools.

Work that advances to compete at the state level was selected yesterday, too.

Kudos to the young artists from Forest Ridge -- first-grader Celeste Chong and third-grader Samantha Rocco -- for their literary interpretations of this year's theme, "Suddenly you turn around and "

In the visual arts category, first-grader Chelsea Miller, second-grader Christopher Curry and third-grader Kori Sauber had their work selected to go to River Hill.

Congratulations also to first-grader Nicholas Thomas and third-graders Ashley Atchinson and Caitie Pavelik for their photographs.

Thank you to the adults who made the event possible, including feature writer Karen Thomas, who selected the literary entries for Forest Ridge; artist Robin Murray, who selected the artwork; and photographer Steve Alexander, who selected the most suitable photos.

T ip Line

If you have information for the Elkridge/Savage/North Laurel report, call Jamal E. Watson at 410-715-2832 during the day or leave a message on the tip line after hours.

Pub Date: 1/29/99

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