Micah Ranquist’s Hand-Turned Wooden Pens

Last updated on May 4th, 2018 at 03:16 pm

Vermont Woodworker, Micah Ranquist
Ken welcomes Micah Ranquist to Stonehurst.  Micah is a local artisan who crafts beautiful handmade wooden pens using a lathe.  He began losing his sight at age 3 but that hasn’t stopped Micah from creating elegant pens, bowls and other collectibles made from wood. 

Last week we welcomed Vermont woodworker, Micah Ranquist into our clan of local artisans at Stonehurst.  Micah is a wood turner who crafts unique wooden pens, bowls and wine stoppers using a lathe.  He works out of a small shop in Brattleboro, Vermont using local and exotic woods to create one-of-a-kind works of art.

Micah has been visually impaired since early in his life.  He began slowly losing his vision at age 3 and has little vision left, but he hasn’t let that stop him from doing things he loves.  He has taught himself to play several instruments including guitar, keyboard and bag pipes.  When not turning wood, Micah can often be found making music or taking care of his 2 young children.

Micah Ranquist | Handmade Wooden Pens | Vermont Woods Studios
Micah works with cherry burl, cypress and many other species to create these unique handmade wooden pens.  “I grew up in Florida and in Maine, thereby I like using materials that reflect both places”. 

Often called a Renaissance man, Micah explains his gift for woodworking as:  “I simply enjoy doing things with my hands, and things that have a great amount of history in our world”.  Stop by and see Micah’s pens at Stonehurt, Vermont’s newest artisan gallery located in Vernon, VT.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: Come Celebrate Stonehurst!

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Stonehurst Ribbon Cutting Ceremony | Vermont Made Furniture | Destination Shopping ExperienceConsider this your official invitation to the Stonehurst Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 

On Saturday November 9, 2013  we’ll be celebrating the opening of Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom and art gallery.  We’d love to see you there!  At Vermont Woods Studios, we’ve been working for the last 2 years on acquiring Stonehurst (a 220 year old farmhouse perched on “Pine Top”, a former ski area) and renovating it into a destination shopping experience worthy of showcasing Vermont made furniture.  Now our work is done and we want to share it with you.

Linking Vermont’s Wood Furniture to Sustainable Forestry

Our mission at Stonehurst is to use the beauty of Vermont’s handmade wood furniture to raise awareness about the importance of sustainable forestry.  The Green Mountain State is a leader in educating the public on how sustainable furniture makes the journey from healthy forests to your living room.  Vermont’s furniture makers partner with local land owners, loggers, sawyers, professional foresters, lumber mills and distributors to create eco friendly, wood furniture that homeowners can feel good about.

Like our state’s annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival in Woodstock, the Stonehurst fine furniture gallery is designed to help customers experience each link in the “Forest to Furniture” chain.   It’s a place to combine your shopping with a hike through our 110 acres of sustainably managed forest.  Or enjoy a relaxing glass of wine while taking in panoramic views of the Green Mountains.  Your experience here just might make you a lifelong advocate for sustainable forestry.  We hope so.

Vermont’s Working Lands Initiative

Today we send our heartfelt thanks out to Vermont taxpayers and everyone behind the Vermont Working Lands Initiative, as their contribution of a $100,000 competitively awarded grant made it possible for us to complete Stonehurst 2 years ahead of schedule.  Learn more about the VT Working Lands Partnership here.

 

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Details

 

Date and Time

Saturday, November 9 2013.  Open house from 1pm-5pm.  Ceremony at 2pm.

Location

Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios, 538 Huckle Hill Road, Vernon, Vermont  05354.  Here’s a map.

Invited VIPs

Completion of Stonehurst is a significant milestone for both furniture and sustainable forestry industries in Vermont.  This is a chance for us to thank the VIPs who put their trust in us through the VT Working Lands grant program.  We have invited a number of them, including:

  • Governor Peter Shumlin
  • US Senator Patrick Leahy
  • US Senator Bernie Sanders
  • US Representative Peter Welch
  • VT Working Lands Enterprise Boards and Administration
  • VT Commissioner of Forests, Parks & Recreation Mike Snyder
  • VT Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets Chuck Ross
  • Secretary of Commerce Lawrence Miller
  • VT Representative Michael Hebert
  • The Vernon Select Board

Please RSVP

It’s not absolutely necessary but it would help us out if you could RSVP on Facebook.

Parking is Limited

We have limited parking at Stonehurst but the Vernon Recreation Center is just a mile down the street at the intersection of Pond Road and Huckle Hill Road.  If Stonehurst parking is full, we ask attendees to gather at the Rec Center and carpool to Stonehurst.

Also Happening in Southern Vermont…

Need something else to make us worth the trip?  Immediately after our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, the Brattleboro Retreat will be presenting the 2013 Anna Marsh Award to Governor Peter Shumlin at 5:30 pm, a short distance away at The Hermitage in West Dover, Vermont (details online).  Windham County Fans of Gov Shumlin, here’s the photo op you’ve been waiting for!

Top 10 Reasons to Attend our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Celebrate National Forest Products Week

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:52 pm

Celebrate National Forest Product Week | Vermont Wood Furniture

By Presidential proclamation, this week– October 20-26, 2013 is National Forest Products Week.  It’s a time for us to recognize the beauty of our forests, the many products that come from our forests and the people who work in and manage our forests.

At Vermont Woods Studios, our company was founded on a mission of forest conservation. Through Vermont’s beautiful, eco-friendly wood furniture, we’re trying to help raise awareness about the importance of sustainable forestry.  What’s so interesting or important about sustainable forestry?  Check out some of these fun forest facts:

  • Each year the average American uses an amount of forest products equivalent to one HUGE tree (10 stories tall and 18 inches in diameter).  That’s over 43 cubic feet of wood and 681 pounds of paper
  • More than 5,000 things are made from trees such as houses, furniture, utensils, fences, books, medicines, chewing gum, cosmetics, clothing, toothpaste, soap, varnish, Almond Joy candy bars and of course, maple syrup
  • The single oldest living thing on earth is a tree, its is 4,700 years old and is located in the US. It was growing when the Egyptians built the pyramids!
  • Forests occupy one third of the Earth’s land area– they are our greatest defense against global warming
  • As the Earth’s great air conditioners, trees rid the air of excess carbon dioxide and other pollutants to improve air quality
  • Trees filter water, trap particles to make soil and help regulate climate patterns around the world
  • Most forests are threatened by unsustainable forestry practices, development and climate change
  • Organized crime controls much of the world’s timber trade– illegal timber is the new heroin
  • An area of rainforest the size of a football field is being destroyed every second of every minute of every day
  • In less than 100 years over half of the forest has been cut and burned, leaving whole areas of the earth bare and unprotected
  • 54 of the world’s 193 countries have already lost >90% of their forests

With our mission of sustainable forestry we hope to persuade people to buy eco-friendly, Vermont made wood furniture and avoid the purchase of imported furniture that’s made from wood that’s illegally clear cut from the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests.

Learn more about responsible forestry on the Vermont Forest Products Association website and visit us at our Stonehurst fine furniture and art gallery to experience the sustainable difference!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Newest JK Adams Kitchen Store: Stonehurst

JK Adams Kitchen Store | Now at Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Home Decor Gallery
JK Adams has been “bringing generations of New England Yankee craftsmanship to the gourmet housewares industry for over 65 years.”  A great selection of their kitchenwares, tablewares and wine and stem storage racks is now available at our Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Home Decor Gallery.

Fellow woodworkers at JK Adams Kitchen Store are now represented at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery.  We’re excited to be able to offer customers (in both our showroom and online store) a great selection of handmade wooden tableware, kitchenware and wine and stemware storage.

If you’re not already acquainted with the JK Adams brand, allow me to highlight a few things about their history and quality.  JK Adams has been “bringing generations of New England Yankee craftsmanship to the gourmet housewares industry for over 65 years.”  They handcraft innovative and functional hardwood cutting boards, bowls, utensils, wine racks and knife racks in Dorset, Vermont– just a short ways from Stonehurst.

In addition to wooden housewares, JK Adams also offers Vermont slate products including Lazy Susans and drink coasters (with padded bases to prevent tabletop scratches).

One of the reasons we wanted to represent JK Adams is their commitment to the environment and the Vermont community. Sustainability is part of the foundation the company. Every J.K. Adams product is made in America from sustainably-grown and harvested North American wood.  The J. K. Adams facility is fueled with wood scraps.  Sawdust is shipped to area farmers for use on their fields and as beds for their animals.  The company employs many generations of local families and they are one of the largest employers in the area.

Please join us in warmly welcoming J. K. Adams to Vermont Woods Studios and Stonehurst.  We know you will love their products.

ps– they make wonderful gifts for the holidays, weddings, anniversaries and birthdays!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Copeland’s Audrey Modern Dining Set: Now Available in Cherry Wood

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:49 pm

Copeland Audrey Modern Dining Set | Real Solid Cherry Wood | American Made
Copeland’s Audrey dining furniture has a mid century modern (MCM) design.  It’s handcrafted in Vermont from solid cherry wood that’s  harvested sustainably.  Shown above with Copeland’s MCM Estelle chairs.

A Mid Century Modern Dining Set

Interior designers, home decorators and everyone who loves a simple, minimalist esthetic in the dining room: take notice of Copeland’s Audrey mid century modern dining set.  We rolled out this popular collection in early summer, but at the time it was only available in walnut, a dark wood.  Now it’s available in real solid cherry wood, a favorite among our customers.

Audrey has a simple, modern, utilitarian look but it’s elegant and  sophisticated at the same time.  The dining table has an “X” shaped trestle base that allows for lots of leg space.  Customize the size online to accommodate small, medium or large dinner parties.  Make your dining area more adaptable by choosing the Audrey Extension table.   You’ll love the way the butterfly-style extra leaf self stores so easily under the table top.

The Audrey table looks great with any of Copeland’s dining chairs.  It’s shown here with the Estelle chairs — very MCM and ergonomically designed for comfort.

Serious about selecting Copeland furniture for your green home?  Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Copeland Furniture at Vermont Woods Studios.  Then Go Natural and Go Green!  Copeland dining furniture is built to order in Bradford, Vermont from eco-friendly sustainably harvested wood.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Table Setting 101: Casual to Fine Dining

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:55 pm

table setting
Our Modern American Dining Table and Benches set for dinner.

Table Setting Still Sends a Message To Guests

table setting

I’m about to out myself as an old-timer. When I was in Junior High most girls took a class called Home Economics. We learned cooking and sewing skills and actually got tested on the proper way to set a table. I have never forgotten the basics of casual dining place setting: Fork on the napkin to the left of the plate, knife and spoon to the right of the plate, with the knife closest and its blade facing the plate. A drinking glass would be above and to the right of the dinner plate. I admit I don’t often practice these skills. In our house we pretty much grab a handful of knives and forks and divvy them up at the table. I picture the Vermont Tavern Table as the perfect place for the family to gather and talk about their day.

If you want to invite a couple of friends to join you for dinner, you may want to kick it up a notch. That brings us to the informal place setting. In addition to the items found in casual dining place setting you may find a bread plate, an additional glass, a salad fork, and possibly a soup spoon. I think the Cherry Moon dining table would be the just the thing for a gathering of close friends.

For a more formal gathering, place setting can be much more involved. There are water and wine glasses and, for truly elegant dinner parties, enough silverware to ready a small army. These can include fish, dinner, salad, cake and cocktail forks, dinner and butter knives, teaspoon, soup and dessert spoons. Add to all of that a charger (a decorative plate slightly larger than a dinner plate), dinner, salad and bread plates and you’re going to need a lot of real estate to hold it all. My choice would be the Vermont-Made Shaker with a boat top. It just gives a vibe of elegance to me.

Place setting has become a bit of an art form. While there are “standard” placements for items, these days you can be much more creative. Add a favor for each guest, create your own napkin rings and place cards or learn napkin folding techniques. Add different levels of candles and some flowers, gourds, or other seasonal items to make an aesthetically pleasing centerpiece. Your table should be a reflection of your own style.

table setting

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

A VWS Table Finds a Home in Middlebury College’s Solar House

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:55 pm

We would like to congratulate the Middlebury College Solar Decathlon team for their hard work and progress on their solar home! The team are currently in Irvine, California constructing InSite for the competition! We applaud the team for their efforts and dedication to creating an unforgettable eco-friendly home, and their passion for helping showcase Vermont business throughout its design!

This is our 3rd year supporting the Middlebury Team in their Energy Solar Decathalon efforts!

Eleanor Krause from the Middlebury Team expressed her excitement about bringing the home and its Vermont made contents, to a global stage. She hopes that “the heart and quality of our local Vermont products really shines through, and will hopefully inspire all who visit to think more about supporting local and sustainable business.”

Below you will find several beautiful photos of the table in the solar home. Good luck team!

For more information on the competition or the Middlebury Team, check out their Facebook, or the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Website.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Jazz Art II: How to Acquire an Original Silk Painting

Last updated on January 20th, 2019 at 09:34 pm

In yesterday’s blog post we introduced the Jazz Art collection of original silk paintings by Vermont artist Linda Marcille.  Today– a little more about how silk paintings are created, a short bio of the artist and information on how to acquire this remarkable collection at a “Vermont price”.

About Silk Painting

Who is this female jazz singer performing with a quintet?  Ella?  Sarah?  Nina?
Who is this female jazz singer performing with a quintet? Ella Fitzgerald? Sarah Vaughan? Nina Simone? Original silk painting by Linda Marcille, available exclusively at Vermont Woods Studios – Stonehurst.

Linda Marcille:

“Silk painting is an ancient Asian art form and it is very unique and mysterious. The silk itself is seemingly so fragile yet it is one of the strongest fibers in nature. There is also a serendipitous quality to painting on silk with dyes. The process never allows the artist to be fully in control or to know exactly the effect that will be created.

Painting on silk is an incredibly time-consuming and unforgiving medium. Just one drop of misplaced dye, or a broken resist line, and days of painstaking work are ruined. As challenging as painting on silk is, however, it is also one of the most rewarding art forms because the two-hour steaming process joins the fiber-reactive dyes molecularly with the silk, so the dyes take on the silk’s iridescent sheen. It is because of this union that silk paintings are able to produce an awe-inspiring range of reflective color that no other medium is capable of creating,”

Linda’s paintings feature the highest quality steam set French dyes from Europe, the finest crepe de chine silks from China and a one of a kind resist made only in New Zealand. Linda’s work appears in many publications. Her Jazz series has been showcased by the Guild of Silk Painters and featured in the Spring 2010 issue of their Journal.

About Artist Linda Marcille

Jazz trumpeter:  Miles Davis?  Dizzie Gillespie?  Original silk painting by Linda Marcille.
Jazz trumpeter: Miles Davis? Dizzie Gillespie? Original silk painting by Linda Marcille. Original silk painting by Linda Marcille, available exclusively at Vermont Woods Studios – Stonehurst.

In 2012 Linda and her husband, Don, built a beautiful home and studio on 36 wooded acres in Westminster, Vermont where they are slowing down and living a more simplified life.  The creative process has been a powerful healing force in Linda’s life, she strongly believes in the healing properties of art, both for the viewer and the creator. She feels that art must be made available to those with chronic & terminal illness as part of their treatment plan. Linda has been battling an autoimmune disease caused by advanced neurological Lyme disease since 2000.

How to Purchase Linda’s Paintings

Do you have the perfect spot in your home for this remarkable series of Jazz paintings on silk?  We are proud to be able to offer them for purchase here at Stonehurst over the next couple months.  These are the only jazz paintings Linda has done out of an extensive body of work over many years and she will not be creating more like them.  They are an investment sure to increase in value.

The original paintings are priced very reasonably for the person or family who will cherish and care for them.  We would prefer to sell them as a set or perhaps split them into two sets, if necessary.  Dimensions are 29″W x 25″H, matted and framed (actual image approximately 20″W x 15″H).  For additional information or to purchase please call Peggy, Liz or any of our sales team at Vermont Woods Studios.  Looking to buy just one?  We’ll talk.

This is an investment opportunity of a lifetime for jazz lovers and art collectors!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Lets Talk Apples!

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:56 pm

Apples in Wooden Bowl at Vermont Woods Studios Showroom
Ok…ok, so we love Pears too!

 

There’s been a lot of buzz from Vermonters about apples lately. Probably because A) they’re delicious B) they’re perfect for fall and C) they have a long history in the state of Vermont! Well, we love these sweet natural treats just as much as any other Vermonter–so, lets talk apples!

Did you know that…

  • The first Macs grew in Canada. The first McIntosh apple tree sprouted from one of several seedlings that were discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm in Ontario!
  • In 1868, Dr. T.A Hoskins brought the McIntosh to Newport, Vermont right from Ontario. A descendant of John McIntosh, William McIntosh, planted these apples in his West Berlin, Vermont orchard in 1870…and the first printed reference to a mac apple appeared in 1876. 
  • In 1920, the “big four” Vermont apple varieties were McIntosh, Fameuse, Northern Spy, and Wealthy.
  • In the 1980s, Vermont had an average of 79 growers on 3,500 bearing acres in total, and produced an average annual crop of 1.25 million bushels of apples. 
  • In England, to destroy an apple orchard was seen as almost sacrilegious, and it was said that if an orchard was destroyed to make way for another crop, the crop would never prosper.
  • An old Samhain charm was for all the district’s unmarried young people to tie an apple onto a piece of string and whirl it around before a fire. The one whose apple fell off first was said to be the first to marry
  • McIntosh, Vermont’s “bread & butter variety,” remains  within the top six apple varieties desired by consumers.
  • The 2007 census reported 264 farms growing apples on 3,241 acres of land in Vermont, and the 2011 survey found those same results! 

    If you loved these apple facts as much as we do, take a minute to check out Vermont Apples, a website with tons of information and history about apples, including more facts, orchard listings, and apple news! And for brilliant, tasty apple recipes… take a look at The Apple Lover’s Cookbook, a 300+ page  book containing 100 magnificent apple recipes!

 And let us know what your favorite apple recipes are & your favorite places around New England to apple pick in the comments section or on Facebook!

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Gov. Shumlin: Top 10 Reasons to Attend Our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Stonehurst | Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom and Art Gallery
Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom and art gallery is open and ready for business. All we need now is for Governor Shumlin to come down to Vernon and cut the ribbon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm.

Dear Governor Shumlin,

We know you’re busy with economic development, health insurance and other important issues. But we’re hoping you can break free and make a quick trip to Vernon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm for our ribbon cutting ceremony at Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios‘ new fine furniture showroom and art gallery.

Now I realize one might ask why such a busy man would carve time out of an already ambitious schedule to visit a small Vermont furniture business? We’ve thought of many reasons, but here are the Top 10. At Stonehurst you can:

  1. Marvel at the world class handwork of dozens of Vermont’s fine furniture makers
  2. Learn how a small Vermont business transitioned from a spare bedroom to a scenic destination shopping experience in the last 3 years
  3. See how Vermonters are marrying the best of old world craftsmanship with cutting edge communications technology to make Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America
  4. Visit Pine Top, a former Vermont ski area that not only showcases fine wooden furniture but also provides 100 acres of forested backdrop where customers experience the value of working lands and sustainable forest management
  5. Enjoy original artwork of talented Vermont artists like Susan Osgood, Linda Marcille and Janet Picard
  6. Check up on how we’re investing the $100,000 grant monies we were awarded by the Vermont Working Lands Initiative
  7. Experience the beautiful landscaping artistry of celebrated author/gardener/landscaper Gordon Hayward and Torben Larsen of Putney, VT
  8. See the positive signs of growth in Vernon and connect with a community that’s struggling to plan a new course for the future
  9. Witness the synergy and collaboration among Vermont’s fine furniture professionals that’s bringing our work out of the woods (so to speak) and into the homes of customers in all 50 states and several countries abroad
  10. Visit a local, green renovation project in action where great care was taken to restore a c 1790 farmhouse using Vermont made materials (local maple flooring, Vermont slate hearths, Green Mountain Windows, Vermont castings stoves and more)

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about just sitting down to relax and enjoy the view? That alone makes Stonehurst worth the trip.

Enjoy the view at Stonehurst, Vermont's newest fine furniture showroom
Sit down, relax and enjoy the view. We’ll provide the wine.

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.