Norfolk Artisan's Guild:
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.
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
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.
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.
Artist of Many Talents
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.
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
ARTISAN'S GUILD HOURS:
- March: Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 10-5
Apr - Dec: Wednesday - Sunday,
Dec: 7 days a week, 10-5
those who cannot visit the guild, they ship items anywhere in the United States.
If interested please call, 860-542-5487.
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
Vee Kausel uses vintage fabrics and antique buttons
to create her one-of-a-kind dolls.
Vee knits brightly colored sweaters for children
creations are unique and span a wide variety of crafts. They include dolls, jewelry,
knit pieces, and more!
Thew creates beautiful handmade dolls which are sold at the Norfolk Artisan's