Thursday, February 12, 2009

Blogging along on Lincoln’s 200th Birthday!

If Honest Abe could see the spectacular furniture and accessories being presented at our upcoming show I think he would be impressed and well pleased! It’s great fun to think that Lincoln would have seen most all of these pieces in their original form during his lifetime. And we’re certainly fortunate that a number of today’s contemporary craftsmen and artisans are making outstanding reproductions of the extremely scarce originals, just as they were made 150 to 200 years ago!

Did you know that ASL Pewter ( will be participating in our spring Country Folk Art Festival provided all the pewter for last year’s John Adams Special on HBO? Tom & Pat Hooper are wonderfully talented artisans who make all forms of traditional pewter as well as contemporary pieces.

We’re thrilled to have Randall & Susy O’Donnell ( returning to the show, presenting exquisite reproductions of formal period furniture. Randall, who also does custom pieces, will be demonstrating some of his furniture-making techniques in his booth at the show. We have witnessed an example of Randall’s custom work when we got to see a reproduction fireplace mantle and surround that he created for a customer in Illinois. Exceptional!

And talk about fun. You’ll want to see Windsor chair maker, Jim Van Hoven ( demonstrate in his booth...”How to build a Windsor chair on a Weekend!” For those of you who don’t know about Windsor chairs, they were originally made in England. The form first appeared in this country about 1720 in Philadelphia, eventually taking on a unique American style. Windsor chairs are considered to be one of the most comfortable chairs ever produced, and the outstanding reproductions available from Jim at our show are not only comfortable, but sturdy! Unlike English Windsors, the versions made in this country were originally painted and much more graceful in design than their English counterparts. Various different woods were used in the construction of American Windsor chairs, and in order to disguise this fact, most all of them were painted, providing a much more pleasing appearance. Incidentally, antique American Windsor chairs retaining their original painted surface make any died-in-the-wool collector’s heart skip a beat! And of course, the high prices will do exactly the same! But fear not, Jim’s Windsors are definitely affordable!

Nancy Rosier, of Rosier Period Art, ( an outstanding theorem painter, who was a guest speaker at a Colonial Williamsburg Symposium last year, will be joining us once again in March. The Williamsburg Symposium was entitled “Remember me when this you see” Embroidered and Painted Arts of the New Republic. Nancy will be presenting her authentic reproductions and classic interpretations of this incredibly beautiful art form, which are a perfect highlight for traditional or contemporary décor. A theorem is a type of still life, with stencil forms painted on paper or velvet.

We’ll end our “Blog” for now, but watch for upcoming ones! And be sure to mark your calendar for the spring Country Folk Art Festival on March 20, 21, & 22 at the new Kane County Fairgrounds Convention Center on Randall Road in St. Charles, Illinois.
Lee & Judy Marks

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