Our Artisans

Karen & Gary Austin, SallyeAnder Soap

In 1982, Gary Austin hand-made an olive oil Castile soap for his two-year-old son, Aaron, who was allergic to grocery-aisle-soap. After realizing that there was a community of people with sensitive skin who would benefit from Gary’s soap, SallyeAnder and the commitment to creating the best soap in America was born.

Since then, every product decision has been made with one intention: delivering the highest quality, all-natural skincare solutions to our customers. How do we do that? By foregoing the use of artificial chemicals and synthetic ingredients, and instead, using edible ingredients and essential oils.

We were on the vanguard of formulating products in an environmentally-conscious manner, and even as our company continues to grow, we remain a small team of artisans that craft, package, and ship all of our products by hand. Since that first olive oil Castile soap in 1982, we’ve been dedicated to helping people, and we see no reason to change.

Brooke Varner, Adirondack Peach

"Brooke Varner began Adirondack Peach in 2014 out of a stay-at-home mom’s creativity itch. Since then, Adirondack Peach has become a decal company that combines timeless Adirondack style with refreshingly fun florals, bold patterns, and bright colors. Brooke designs her decals to reflect the type of adventure found solely within the Park, mixing classic Adirondack icons with vibrant new graphics aimed to both delight and inspire." What Brooke loves most about her venture is the opportunity to give back. Since 2015, Adirondack Peach has supported a child who lives in Togo through Compassion International on a monthly basis. Portions of her profits have also gone to MOPS International, Young Life, the Saranac Lake After Prom party and other non-profit organizations.

Kevin Boyle, Acorn Wood Turning

With an extensive background in residential construction, Kevin started a woodworking business in 2005 focusing on various aspects of historic preservation. Wood turning has been a small part of the journey since, mostly recreating broken or weather-damaged stair parts. During 2021, in pursuit of a more creative life, Kevin developed several turned items for production and began selling them in local stores. With the exception of a few scraps of tropical wood laying around the shop everything is made from locally
sourced wood. Kevin resides in Westport with his wife and dog.

Peter Shrope, Adirondack Rockware

Adirondack Rockware is created in the mountains and made from the mountains.  Peter's handcrafted pottery is glazed with original recipes that are made with 100% pure crushed Adirondack rock.  Peter researched the geology of the Northern Adirondacks, tested rock samples and these unique glazes are the result of that experimentation.  The idea grew out of Peter's longtime interest in site-specific work, thinking locally and responding to his immediate environment.

Anne Rast, Adirondack Ski Chairs

Growing up, all Anne Rast wanted to do was ski or draw. In 2001, she moved to Lake Placid as a graphic artist, eager to hit the slopes and ski as much as possible. Since the only gear she owned was a pair of Rossignol Strato 102s, she was blown away to find ‘new’ skis being thrown away. It was like Christmas! She started taking them home, and soon she had over a dozen pair. One day at Whiteface, she saw a clunky chair made out of skis on the deck. “That’s cool… I bet I could make a chair like that… but nicer,” she thought. Ever since, Anne has been making and selling beautiful ‘functional art’  from repurposed snow sports equipment.

Anne’s company name reflects her original inspiration – the Adirondack ski chair. But Adirondack Ski Chairs of Lake Placid offers an ever-expanding line of goods. You name it, Anne will make it. Whether it’s a custom item, or something Anne dreamed up, her goal is to offer a more diverse product line than any other ski upcycler out there. Anne is the ultimate perfectionist. She uses only the highest quality materials, and pays close attention to the tiniest of details other ski upcyclers overlook. 
Give her a shout and check out all her latest work at adkskichairs.com

Maria DeAngelo is ArtyLadyMsD

I have loved to make things from found objects since I was a little girl. A scrap of fabric, piece of driftwood or beautiful rock became a treasure to me and the start of a work of art. As an artist and educator I have taught and created for the greater part of my life. I share a studio with one of my favorite artists, my husband. After college we settled in Saranac Lake, where we were married and raised our children.

Educated in the fine arts, my curiosity has lead me to explore materials and work in many different mediums. As ArtyLadyMsD, I have created whimsical murals with positive messages in schools, educated hundreds of young artists, and created joyful jewelry and artworks to share.

My process for creating jewelry involves combining old and new elements. Taking inspiration from an old postage stamp and gathering bits of color and shape to create a wearable work of art brings me joy. Noticing the joy in small moments can help us focus on the positive. Welcome to the journey! Find more work at https://www.artyladymsd.com/

Bryan Briscoe

Bryan's art spans from realism to abstraction. In his work you can find subjects relating to his strong spiritual bond to people, nature, flora and fauna.

Years ago, Bryan's high school art teacher urged him to enter the National Scholastic Art Contest. He took her advice and placed finalist for his watercolor painting, Snow Scene. Before graduating and leaving for the Armed Forces his three-part modern sculpture design drawing, Reflections, a 3-part wood and metal sculpture, was selected and funded by the town of Middletown, PA. It was completed and installed at the outside front entrance of his high school before leaving for the Armed Forces with the help of his teacher and classmates.

Since high school and College, Bryan has been the recipient of numerous art awards, scholarships and commissions in watercolors, acrylics, drawing, sculpture, etching, printmaking and pastels. He has been recognized in the North Country area for his original paintings and fine art limited prints.

To note, Artist Inspiration No. 8 was selected and sold in the Mountain Lake PBS televised online art auction within a few years of Bryan’s arrival to Northern NY. Since then, he has taught many community art classes in watercolors, acrylics, drawing and entry technical drawing.
He is presently producing mixed media and large-scale work.

Dawn Klotzko, Cabin Creek Stitchery

Adirondack artist Dawn (Delmont) Klotzko of Cabin Creek Stitchery was first introduced to quilting in 2001 as a bonding experience between mother and daughter. The "Delmont Duo" attended classes and workshops to learn techniques and skill building. Relaxing and recreation developed into passion and creative art as Dawn explored the use of designing one-of-a-kind quilts.

In 2015, Dawn's mother passed away and her daughter found comfort in quilting with sentimental fabrics. Today, Dawn provides unique experiences for individuals seeking memory quilts to commemorate a life lived in love. 

Tina Siebel, Serendipity Creations

“I am the owner designer of Serendipity Creations, a handcrafted artisan jewelry company founded in 2006.  I began intensive training in silversmithing four years ago and have been working with sterling silver ever since.  I grew up in the Thousand Islands, but now summer in the foothills of the Adirondacks-South Colton, NY and winter in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.”

Tara Tarbell, Niawen Skincare

Hi! I’m Tara, creator of Niawen. To offer a little background, I’m from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy. I created Niawen when I was recovering from cancer at age 37. So I was in a “giving thanks” frame of mind. I was also looking to fill a need. One I felt deeply.  And — if you’re Native American like me, or spiritually tied to a culture that isn’t represented on the shelves of Sephora — I bet you’ve felt this need, too: As a Native American, I couldn’t find any skincare products that were for me. No night cream, daily moisture, cleansers, serums or anything for glowing, beautiful skin had anything to do with my Mohawk roots or traditions. And those things are radically important to me. I started researching. I went to spa conventions and manufacturing conventions. I toured labs. I googled. And there was nothing. Not even in Native American casino spas! If you’re new to Native American tradition, smudging releases negative thoughts and energy. It cleanses the mind and spirit, and brings positive energy, or “vibes,” if you will. Smudging is our people’s healing secret. And skincare is all about healing and repair. So I had to ask, why on earth hadn’t someone incorporated smudging into skincare before? I smudge every single Niawen product before it ships out. It’s like the Native American version of making something Kosher. So when you open and use a Niawen product, you’re not just getting proven beauty formulas. You’re getting a connection to ancient Native American traditions — along with their vast benefits. By the way, my Mohawk name, “Tekahentakhwa” means “picking up,” or “holding the earth.” I’m honored to have you gather here, and join me in holding the earth — conquer whatever is thrown at us — by taking part in the new tradition that is Niawen. So I knew I had to create Niawen….A line that fuses the best of nature and science (for incredible results) with the sacred power of our traditions (and their proven healing effects).

Caperton Tissot, Author

Caperton Tissot has, perhaps, enjoyed more careers than many people have ever attempted: She ran her own pottery business, served as a fundraiser for environmental preservation, and worked in nursing, to name a few. After retiring in 2005, Caperton, who now lives in the Adirondacks, turned to writing and volunteering; her work is infused by an interest in cultural and natural history.

MJill McKenty, ALLUREMENTS

“Inspiration came to me one night laying awake in bed…as a young girl growing up in Bloomingdale, NY, I remember watching my dad work his magic tying flies at his messy work table above our garage. His table was  a wonderment of tiny fish hooks, tools, colorful feathers, smells, and animal furs.

Regretfully, fishing was not something that I took up with my dad, but we shared other memorable Adirondack experiences.

It wasn’t until after Dad passed that I came across a “Learn to Tie Flies” book. The book had his little-boy signature in it (made my heart melt). I also found various black & white photographs that my grandmother probably took at the Old Buster Crab Camp in Onchiota, NY, where he and my aunt grew up. Years later my designing concept was cast into my being…Fish on…”

Laurie Berube, Soaps and Herbal Goods

Laurie Berube, an artist from the North Country hamlet of Vermontville, started making all-natural health and beauty products from necessity: Sensitive to chemical scents and artificial ingredients, she decided to make her own. She shared them with friends and family, who encouraged her to make more. “I began Berube Botanicals when I decided to simplify my life,” she writes. “I made a conscious decision to focus all of my energy on pursuing what matters to me the most—living a life connected to nature, taking care of my health, growing organic food, and making time daily to create art.”

Elizabeth "BJ" Noreault

Betty Jean Dufort, aka Elizabeth "BJ" Noreault, originally from Sararanc Lake, is a multi-faceted artist, creating charming earrings and distinctive cards. Her handmade earrings are available both online and in the Village Mercantile retail store in BJ's hometown of Saranac Lake. The cards are only available in the store.

Rachel King, Jewelry

Tupper Lake native Rachel King earned degrees in psychology and art education in college, but making art—especially art inspired by the Adirondacks—is what she wanted to do most. That’s how she founded Earth Girl Designs, where she says her designs “combine the spirit and flow of Mother Nature.”

Debbie Burnett, Jewelry

"Hi, my name is Debbie Burnett. I live in Jay...and started making my jewelry about 7 years ago as a creative outlet. One thing led to another and the creation of "it's a Deb" creative, original jewelry was formed. I have sold over 600 pieces now and I am still having as much fun as ever. Not only do I enjoy the design aspect of it, but I love the thrill of the search. I look for unique elements to repurpose into new items at thrift stores, boutiques, yard sales, flea markets and the like. I use materials such as glass, stone, wood and shell, as well as old pins and earrings that I redesign into an interesting necklace..."

Barry Lobdell, Photography                                                                         

"Photography has been a central part of my life since I picked up my first camera in a pawn shop in Ocean View, Virginia. I was 18 at the time and began learning the craft, on my own at first and in a more comprehensive fashion while a student at the State University of New York. Later, I participated in a Master Class led by Eva Rubinstein at the Maine Photographic Workshops in Rockport, Maine. The vast majority of my training, however, has been in the field with a variety of cameras and in several darkrooms beginning with a temporary affair set up in my apartment's bathroom, to my current location sitting in front of a computer loaded with Photoshop, where I work in a digital darkroom. Among the many notable photographers who have influenced my work are Ralph Gibson, Galen Rowell, David Fokos, Eva Rubinstein, Ansel Adams and Jerry Uelsmann."

Barry Lobdell lives in Saranac Lake, NY, where he is a member of the Adirondack Artists Guild and Gallery.  His photographs are regularly on display in the Guild’s gallery on Main Street.   He is also regularly featured at Gallery 46, a division of the Lake Placid Center for the Arts, in Lake Placid, NY.

 

Sherry Bashaw, It's Just Me Photo Cards

"My talent was discovered inadvertently after moving to Vermont to live with a man that I had fallen in love with. I had discovered peace and contentment, to relieve the stress of being an OR nurse in an ever-changing world during COVID."

Peter Katz, Lampmaker

Vermonter Peter Katz, who says that he has been creating as long as he can walk, builds ingenious tower lamps that transfer his hand-drawn designs onto thin birch ply—a combination of the traditional and high-tech. When assembled, the lamps need neither glue nor fasteners.

Ezra Schwartzberg, Mapmaker

Ezra Schwartzberg moved back to Saranac Lake in 2012 to launch an environmental research firm specializing in invasive species and climate change issues. Along the way, he discovered how much people appreciated the easy-to-read, well-designed maps he created as part of his projects—so he launched Green Goat Maps, in order to give the region’s outdoor enthusiasts maps with the same level of detail and design.

Matt Burnett, Painter

Adirondack native Matt Burnett says that his artistic viewpoint is inextricably linked to his rural upbringing and access to the region’s natural resources. “Throughout my life I have been drawn towards the exploration of primordial environments,” he writes. “Through continual inquiry and engagement with wilderness –as site, as concept, and above all as experience—I have adopted painting as a means through which to engage in the non-sentient, as a device for seeking the objective access of structure and growth beyond human influence.”

Gretchen Vincent, Handmade Bags

“Not commercially produced”: That’s how Gretchen Vincent describes Adirondack Mountain Bags, her company in Jay that produces hand-crafted bags with North Country motifs.

Matt Griffin, Soapmaker

Matt Griffin was a trained chef and baker before he started Saranac Mountain Hearth, using the soapmaking techniques passed on from his own great-aunt, Pearlie-May Murphy. Instead of long lists of chemicals, Saranac Mountain Hearth prides itself on using simple ingredients in small batches: Fats, oils and sodium or potassium hydroxide, and no petroleum derivatives—or, as they call them, real soaps.

Garrett Kopp, Mushroom Purveyor

When Garrett Kopp was a teenager in Tupper Lake, he learned primitive skills, taught wilderness survival courses and foraged for wild edibles. He learned about chaga, a mushroom tea, by accident: In looking for a thirst-quencher after mowing his grandmother’s lawn on a hot day, he grabbed a pitcher of the dark liquid from her refrigerator. She taught him about chaga’s benefits, they began hunting for the mushroom together, and before long, he was selling out of everything he collected at local craft fairs. His company, Birch Boys, is the result.

Charlotte Besaw, Clothing Designer

Charlotte Besaw got her first sewing machine at 9, on which she’d make clothes for Barbie dolls. In high school, she got a job at a bridal shop, altering gowns. HandCandy Mittens started when she became a hockey mom: After spending time in a bone-chilling home rink, she started making wool mittens for her and her kids. Twenty thousand pairs of mittens later, Besaw has added hats, scarves, skirts, dresses, coats and more to her lineup—all made from recycled fabrics. “It's important to take care of our environment,” she says. “There is a glut of clothing out there. I seem to have little problem finding great pieces to dissect and re-create at my local thrift stores. Be choosy when you buy. Think twice, and don't settle for cookie-cutter clothing. Express your individuality!”

Maple Mountain New York, Specialty Maple Products

Maple Mountain New York, LLC produces high-quality artisan specialty maple products in the heart of maple county on the Adirondack Coast. At the core of their operation is their passion for all things maple and a love for the land where their maple trees grow and produce sap every spring. They offer unique maple-inspired, crave-worthy specialty items such as their flagship product, Maple Vinaigrette as well as traditional maple offerings.  

Susan Murphy Flagmaker

Susan has been creating flags for forty years. She describes herself as a people person and loves sharing new ideas for flag designs with family and the people she meets along the way.

Silky Sudz Organic Soaps

"My name is  Dawn Rowell.  I am an Adirondack native and live here in Saranac Lake. I have always enjoyed the artsy side of life. Painting, photography, crafting, gardening. I began making soaps about 20 years ago, mainly as gifts for family and friends. I had purchased some handmade soap on vacation that was all sparkles and pretty colors, but the ingredients were a lot of chemicals. I decided to try my hand at making soap with a more pure formula. The soap came out quite good and many people suggested I sell them. I took the advice and use to sell them in the Hallmark store on Main before they closed.
I moved away for a bit and in the last year have moved back home. 
One of the first things a lot of people asked was if I was going to make soap again.So, here I am giving it another go, with an organic formula."

 

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