Studio Open House 2017
For over 20 years, Brad Smith and Royce Yoder have brought together a variety of artists and craftspeople for a fun filled weekend of art and craft. Held each year over Thanksgiving weekend, the Studio Open House has become a tradition among families and friends alike. This year Brad and Royce have invited Claudia Mills and Gene Shaw to join them at the open house.
Furniture makers frequently ride the coattails of easily recognized styles such as Shaker, Country or Arts and Crafts. In my work, I intentionally try not to be pigeonholed into an existing furniture design category. What I try to do is make furniture that has not been seen before, but still retains some familiarity. That familiarity is gained through the use of good proportions, honest construction and old-fashioned usefulness. My basic concept is to use “off the shelf” parts in ways that were never intended—as elements in the furniture. Because the shop is located on a farm, I decided to develop that as a “theme,” which is why the parts are farm related. The idea is to make something special out of something ordinary. Ax handles seemed to be the perfect chair leg with their gentle S-curve and knobby foot. Pitchforks make ideal supports for chair backs and they even have some spring when you lean back. Disc blades, used on farm equipment, are equally good as bases for my coatrees, lamps, and music stands. These “parts” have become significant elements in my design vocabulary and give the furniture its distinctive Bradford “look.”
I enjoy making pots! I have a BA/Art from Goshen College, Goshen, IN, 1976. Started making pots for a living in 1978 and have been in my current studio since 1982. I love the rhythm, flow, and pace of working by myself. Each day has new problems to solve and work is never dull.
There is a certain satisfaction of seeing completed pieces at the end of a day, week, month, and year. The challenge is staying fresh and not allowing the work to become routine. I am always looking to “smarten up” my work by tweaking the details of form, color and purpose. It has been a rich and rewarding career.
Working in a small production studio in Philadelphia, Claudia designs and weaves one-of-a-kind rugs. As a designer, she tries to strike a balance between color, texture and pattern in each floor covering she creates. While rag rugs are usually woven with recycled textiles, she creates rugs in a fresh palette of colors and new fabrics while retaining the texture and warmth of traditional rag rugs. Claudia’s rugs are handwoven with 100% cotton yarn and fabric strips and leather strips on traditional Swedish style floor looms.
Gene Shaw received a Fine Arts Certificate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Philadelphia College of Art. For 33 years, his company, The Wooden Plane, specialized in custom cabinetry and millwork and the restoration of old houses in and around the Lancaster County area. In 2008, he resumed creating woodcut prints.
He travels to Maine annually to attend the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin. While in Maine, he makes numerous drawings which are the basis for the woodcuts he creates upon his return to his home in Lancaster, PA.
In June 2016, he won first prize in the works-on-paper division at the annual Art of the State exhibit in Harrisburg, PA. In July 2016, he participated in a month-long artist-in-residence program at the Heliker-LaHotan Foundation on Great Cranberry Isle in Maine. In December 2016, he was the featured artist at the Lancaster Hamilton Club. In September 2017, his prints will be exhibited in a one-man show at Lancaster Galleries.
He is currently represented by Turtle Gallery in Deer Isle, Maine and Lancaster Galleries in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.