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Six artists, posed and smiling behind a table displaying selected pieces of their work, possess more than 142 years of experience among them.
Several manipulate clay into pottery. Two artists bend metal to their will.
All six are excited to meet and greet Anderson County visitors to their third annual “Travel the Art Trail” open studio next Saturday.
“This is the one day we open up our lives,” Karine Maynard, who owns and operates the professional blacksmith shop Maynard Studios with her husband Matt Maynard, said.
Often sitting behind wheels or standing in front of blazing forges, all the artists — gathered for dinner at Maynards’ Fox Creek home to discuss Art Trail preparations — agreed the nature of creating art can be lonely work.
The Art Trail, which will trace a short route from Lawrenceburg to Salvisa to Harrodsburg, connects not only the five peer-recognized art studios (four of them have juried in the past with the selective Kentucky Arts Council), but also the artists with one another and those who come to appreciate what they do.
During last year’s art trail, Karine Maynard said, about 200 people visited their Fox Creek blacksmith shop in one day.
“Well, I’m isolated on a hilltop, so it’s very important that I have human contact,” Art Trail artist Cynthia Carr of Crosswinds Pottery, who lives 10 miles from Lawrenceburg, joked.
Art Trail newcomer Mitzi Lutes, a Salvisa resident and owner of Lucto Pottery, said although she may have friends and family gathered near the kiln, the nearly 2,400 degree F. kiln is what demands her concentration.
“When you’re doing a wood firing, it commands 100 percent of your attention,” Lutes said.
Participants in this year’s open studio may find they need to divide their attentions between a free shuttle service known as “Tha Bus Shizzle” that will transport them from studio to studio, several artist demonstrations, hors d’ oeuvres and refreshments, and of course, the art itself.
Karine Maynard said her studio will feature blacksmith demonstrations, a guest glassblower with blow-your-own-glass (call ahead reservation required) and a fake anvil for children to lift above their heads for cute photo ops.
Other studios will also host guest artists: the Maynards’ Fox Creek neighbor Marianne Brown of Marianne Brown Pottery said guest artist Erica Kirchner will have folded metal creatures or “creature comforts” on display and for sale at Brown’s shop.
Susan Burge, who owns Elements Clay Studio next to Four Roses Distillery, will also have pottery demonstrations.
Lutes said in addition to her pottery, her husbands’ photography would be on display for purchase.
Carr, also a potter, works in mixed media and will have custom limited edition lamps.
The beginning of November is the perfect time of the year to offer an open studio like the Art Trail, the artists said, because art shows are essentially over, deadlines for any Christmas rush orders are still at bay and customers are starting to think about holiday shopping.
An added plus: an excuse to explore and get to know new members and reconnect with previous studio participants through the Art Trail event.
“It’s unusual that we’re all in this area,” Karine Maynard said of her fellow artists on the Trail. “Let alone ganging up together.”
Want to go?
When: Saturday, Nov. 2
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Marianne Brown Pottery
Pottery, horse and fleur de lis stamps, guest artist Erica Kirchner with metal ‘creature comforts’
2038 Fox Creek Road, Lawrenceburg
Maynard Studios, Blacksmiths
Guest Artist Glassblower Chad Balster with blow-your-own glass (call 604-3000 to reserve a spot)
1986 Fox Creek Road, Lawrenceburg
Elements Clay Studio (next to Four Roses)
Pottery Studio with an artsy gift shop with vintage finds
1210 Bonds Mill Road, Lawrenceburg
Pottery, mixed media sculpture, limited edition lamps and a salvage shop called ‘The Crow’s Nest’
340 Henry Robinson Road, Harrodsburg
Pottery, photography including scenes of tobacco farms
1241 Bondville Road, Salvisa
A free “hop on, hop off” bus shuttle service called ‘”Tha Bus Shizzle” will be available to transport visitors from studio to studio. Maps will be available at each studio for those choosing not to ride the shuttle bus. The Maynard Studios location and bathrooms are handicap accessible, but parking will be available at every location. For more information, check out https://www.facebook.com/TraveltheArtTrail.