Durable hand-made rope baskets are made by guild member Gallit Cavendish. The baskets are made using 100% cotton rope. Lynn Sternfels.

The Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans Holiday Show will return this year after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The six-day event will promote the local artisans’ work, including pottery, jewelry, woodworking, stained glass, paintings, fine art photos and fiber arts.

There will be 18 artisans and some local guest artists showing and selling their work this year.

“There are a couple of people that are not participating because of other obligations, so we have invited some guest artists to join us,” said Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans President Lynn Sternfels. “They are not necessarily a member of the guild, but they are local artisans.”

Sternfels said they were unsure if they could conduct the show even this year because of the COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is still with us. In the pandemic, people must be careful, but there was so much energy from every artist, so we wanted to give it a try,” said Sternfels.

For Jeffery Lipton, a pottery artist and a guild member, the show is an opportunity to get out of his studio and meet his friends and neighbors in the community.

“This is a fun show because it is such a tight community, and everyone shows up, and it is fun. It’s good to receive feedback and see what work resonates with people,” said Lipton. “The way that works out it some things sell better than other things, and that is good information for me as a maker.”

Lipton added that all artists have continued to grow from events like the guild show.

“In the 10 years that I have been a guild member, I think everyone’s work has evolved,” said Lipton. “For most of us, our studio work is a solitary pursuit. I have a small studio, and I am the only one working here, and so I just, I can get caught in my little world. But by being the guild member, I can get out and talk to other artists. It’s supporting and fostering the pursuit of fine craft and art.”

Mittens sewn by local artists will be on sale at the Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans Show. Lynn Sternfels.

Joanie Mitchell, a guild member and an artist said it feels great that the show is back this year. She sews felted wool mittens from recycled wool sweaters.

“I attend this one show a year, and usually, I do quite well,” said Mitchell. “I sew quite a few mittens, and I also get orders. Sometimes people bring their favorite sweater that may belong to their mother, and I will make mittens from it. It is a great way to see people and to get your product out there.”

In addition, the famous Bowdoinham Public Library will have ‘book arts’ available such as tree ornaments and blank notebooks and journals. There will be gift items that are priced affordably.

As a COVID-19 precaution, all visitors must wear a mask.

For the first time, the show will be held on two weekends. Usually, it is held only on the first weekend of December.

“I think we have learned from last year’s pop-up store that was open for almost three weeks, including weekdays,” said Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans secretary Wendy Rose. “A lot of people appreciated the opportunity to have more time to come and look at the artwork and often than they would return to buy something they have seen.”

“We wanted to give people an opportunity to come more often,” added Wendy.

Bowdoinham Guild of Artisans was started in 2004 by five local artists looking for a way to promote their art. Over the years, other artists joined them, and although there are only one of the original members still in the Guild, there are currently 20 members.

The event will be held on from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 3, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 5. For the first time, the show will be open on a weekday, Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 2-6 p.m., on Dec. 10 from 6-8 p.m. and Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Bowdoinham Town Hall.


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