The Norfolk Artisan's Guild:
An Artistic Outlet

Small Town Life
Some of the best towns you could ever find are the ones that lie hidden away, far from the major cities, isolated from some of the hecticness of daily life. They seem to have mastered friendliness and understand the importance of a slower pace. Norfolk, CT is one of these best-kept secrets, a small town that Karen fell in love with when her parents bought a home there over 30 years ago. It's a place where the arts and creativity are high on the list of priorities.

Creative Outlet
Within this quaint town, Karen became connected with the Norfolk Artisan's Guild, a group of artists who formed about 15 years ago with the distinct purpose of creating an outlet for local artisans. At the time they began in an old bank. Within a few years, they expanded to their current location on Route 44. Their numbers range from 45 - 55 artisans, with guest artists who are featured each month in the windows. They pride themselves on the uniqueness of each artist and on the fact that all the pieces they sell are kept as handmade as possible.

Founding Members
Eve and John Thew have been part of the Norfolk Artisan's Guild since the very beginning. Their distinctive artistic talents have contributed wonderfully to the uniqueness of the guild. John, one of the foremost weathervane makers in the country, crafts his pieces from copper. Each is completely handmade in Connecticut, which is very rare in a day when most weathervanes are imported from overseas. Eve makes dolls called "Wee Folk." These soft creations are all one-of-a kind and made by hand. She is planning to return to her practice of making storybook dolls, and she has even started to write her own stories to go along with each character.

Eve first connected with Karen at one of the New York gift shows many years ago. She "almost collapsed" when she walked into the show and spotted Karen's work. "It was the best stuff at the show," she remembers. All of the whimsy and bright colors made it "like walking into a rainforest." Once she began talking with Karen they discovered that they shared the common bond of being connected to Norfolk. Both women have found the inspiration of this quaint town. Eve is quick to say that Norfolk is "heaven on earth," a place where the clean air and beautiful green woods make for an unspoiled corner of Connecticut. No doubt this inspirational haven is what has drawn so many artists over the years.

An Artist of Many Talents
Vee Kausel is another talented artist who was introduced to the Artisan's Guild just six months after it began. A friend of hers was visiting Norfolk for a parade when the smell of coffee caused her to wander into the guild. She immediately thought that this was the perfect location for Vee to display her one-of-a-kind hand-painted cards. Over the years, Vee's creations have expanded so much, that she currently rents four different sections to display her various pieces. She makes everything from knit sweaters and hats to whimsical figures with vintage fabrics and sculpted heads. Her characters include angels, Santas, bees, ladybugs, and animals. In addition she uses antique buttons for jewelry and the vintage fabrics for summer bags, and her newest project has been bottle door stops.

Keep Coming Back
Vee summed up Norfolk and its appeal perfectly in her observation of the town's many visitors. "We have people come from all over the state," she said, "and once they find us they usually make it a point to come back at least once year." It seems that when a place encompasses so much inspiration and beauty, people can't help but want to be surrounded by that.

Jan - March: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 10-5
Apr - Dec: Wednesday - Sunday, 10-5
Dec: 7 days a week, 10-5

For those who cannot visit the guild, they ship items anywhere in the United States. If interested please call, 860-542-5487.

On August 26 from 10-2, the Church of Christ Congregational of Norfolk will be holding a church sale on the green. Less than 10 outside crafters will be taking part. Karen will be included in this, and most likely Vee and Eve will be taking part as well.



Darling Dolls
Vee Kausel uses vintage fabrics and antique buttons to create her one-of-a-kind dolls.

Knit with Love
Vee knits brightly colored sweaters for children and adults.

Vee's creations are unique and span a wide variety of crafts. They include dolls, jewelry, knit pieces, and more!

All Dolled Up
Eve Thew creates beautiful handmade dolls which are sold at the Norfolk Artisan's Guild.




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