A Sampling of Adirondack Cabin Country Art
Simple, Rustic Beauty
Published: April 16, 2010
|Cabin owners are the patrons of regional art. If it weren’t for vacation homes there’d be a lot of starving artists out there, and if it weren’t for the artists, cabin walls, tabletops and shelves wouldn’t be nearly as interesting.|
And in the Adirondacks, no discussion of art is complete without looking at the furniture. The Adirondack’s unique, heirloom-quality handcrafted furniture is rooted in a strong tradition that dates back to the halcyon days of the region’s great camps. And it’s still crafted today by passionate, talented artisans, some of whom are listed here.
Furniture and beyond, here’s just a sampling of the treasures one can find browsing the galleries, studios and websites of Adirondack artisans.
Jerry & Jessica Farrell
Photo by Jerry & Jessica Farrell
Rustic Furniture | Sidney Center, N.Y.
Jerry and Jessica Farrell are noted pioneers in the new rustic revival. Gathering materials from the glades and glens of the pristine Catskill Mountains forest, they create a wide spectrum of unique pieces of fantasy furniture. Their works are embellished with burls, roots, bark, Black Forest carvings and original paintings. They have been creating one-of-a-kind, heirloom quality pieces from their studio for over 20 years.
Photo by Bob Jones
Woodcarving | Waddington, N.Y.
This artisan started out creating functional (rather than creative) pieces. And he originally carved them for sport, not décor. Bob Jones learned how to make his own hunting decoys from the renowned Lloyd Johnson. For many years, Jones specialized in making working decoys made out of hollowed cedar or pine. Eventually, he began to carve decorative birds, duck decoys, swans, blue herons and fish – in both contemporary and folk art styles.
Art Baird Pottery
Photo by Art Baird Pottery
Pottery & Stoneware | Holland Patent, N.Y.
Art Baird has been designing and producing wheel-thrown and hand-built stoneware for over 30 years. His work includes functional ware for the home, camp and cabin, plus birdfeeders, hummingbird feeders and planters for the garden. He enjoys working in porcelain for a change of pace, and also creates sculptural pieces in both porcelain and stoneware.
Phil & Susan Kellogg
Photo by Phil Kellogg
Rustic Furniture | South Glens Falls, N.Y.
The early history of the Adirondack mountain region inspired a unique design of home furnishings using natural materials. Susan and Phil Kellogg, both fine arts majors, began building furniture in 1981, mostly shaker and contemporary style. Today, their work even extends to built-ins. The Kelloggs incorporate fine art and furniture together to give their clients a unique look. They have a small shop in South Glens Falls where they display some of their work, but most of their clients place custom orders.
Photo by Jeanne Dupre
Watercolor Landscape Art | Constantia, N.Y.
This artist has been drawn to the Adirondacks since she first honeymooned on Blue Mountain Lake many years ago. Primarily an Adirondack watercolor landscape artist, Jeanne Dupre has been inspired by kayaking and hiking in the region. In the summers, she enjoys demonstrating her art at various lodges throughout the Adirondacks. Dupre is now frequently commissioned by rustic furniture builders for oil painting on furniture.
Rustic Furniture | Jeffersonville, N.Y.
Michael Barber opened a rustic design store about five years ago and soon after starting building his own style of rustic furniture. He often takes old items such as boat oars or wooden skis and incorporates them into a piece of furniture he’s making. At his shop, he offers a variety of one-of-a-kind furniture pieces made by himself and other artisans from all over the U.S. And when it comes to custom furniture, whatever you can dream of, they can make.
Photo by Mark Kurtz
Photography | Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Whether hiking, canoeing, skiing or just walking around town, a camera is always with Mark Kurtz. And he’s always searching for that special something – the light on the water, the sky over the mountain summit, the rich tones on the ferns, the gradient change as the light diminishes across Lower Saranac Lake or those intense storm clouds hanging over the High Peaks. For more than 20 years, Kurtz has been providing Saranac Lake, Lake Placid and the Adirondack region with outstanding photography. Kurtz’s gallery of fine art black and white photography, located in downtown Saranac Lake, boasts hundreds of handmade prints.
Photo by Robert Scofield
Adirondack Burl Wood Sculpture | Lake Placid, N.Y.
For the uninitiated, burls are natural growths on trees made up of dormant buds. In a sense, they are branches that evolved into swirling lumps. They can occur anywhere on a tree, are found on a wide variety of trees and in the hands of an artist can become beautiful art. Robert Scofield has worked on burls that vary widely in size, with the end result ranging from a small piece of jewelry to a sculpture made out of a four-ton burl. Scofield’s work is in collections throughout the U.S. His pieces include bowls, sculpture, jewelry, wall sconces and chandeliers. He divides his time between his studios in Lake Placid, N.Y.; Maneskootuk Island, Rangeley, Maine; and Vero Beach, Fla.
Photo by Jeannie Ridgeway
Rustic Furniture | Cleveland, N.Y.
Jeannie Ridgeway has developed an individual style that combines a lifelong love of art and the Adirondack Mountains with traditional rustic techniques of applied bark and stick work. Her studio, Unique Woodworks, is located on the north shore of Oneida Lake, and she offers a wide assortment of quality handcrafted rustic furniture, cabinetry, hand-carved sculptures, lamps, artwork, frames, signs, clocks, jewelry and gifts.
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