Cazenovia Artisans, Cazenovia, NY

Owners: Co-op of 23 artisans

Address: 39 Albany Street, Cazenovia, NY

Phone: 315-655-2225

Website: http://www.cazenoviaartisans.com

If you’re heading towards Cazenovia, make a quick side stop and spend some time at Cazenovia Artisans, a co-operatively owned and run store. Artists must be juried before acceptance into the co-op, so each artist brings a boatload of talent and a special niche to the store. Parking is easy in their shared lot, but if it’s full, there is plenty of street parking available along Albany Street or a side street.

The entire store is fun to browse, and it contains items that appeal to a variety of tastes. Many of the items in the store are of heirloom quality, and those items are priced appropriately. If you’re looking for something that will truly impress and have staying power, you will find it here. A prime example would be the pottery shown below by Leslie Green Guilbault, a certified Roycroft Artisan, which means she is accepted into an elite group of artisans whose craft reflects the ideals of the Arts and Crafts movement. In person, these pieces of pottery have a shine that makes them exceptionally beautiful.

If you’re not up for heirloom-quality prices, don’t let that turn you off from the store – there are plenty of items that are beautiful and functional, and can be used on a daily basis.

There is a nice selection of hats, scarves, and purses made by Wendy Edward Designs and Maria Wiklund; warm and lovely sweaters and scarves by Barbara Decker; one-of-a-kind jewelry by four artists with individual styles; table runners, fabric vases, and decorative pillow cases designed by Sue Ellen Romanowski (pillow cases shown below).

Pillow cases, and a few with stuffing, by Sue Ellen Romanowski

The pottery shown below is made by Ede Walker, and although it’s lovely to look at, you won’t be afraid to use it.

Without planning to, I decided to purchase a few containers of nourishing and moisturizing hand soaps from the Balsam Rose Soap Company out of Spafford, NY. My hands have been so dry lately, even though I use gentle soap, but the Balsam Rose soaps have the same effect as lotion without the residue. I will definitely be back for more when these run out.

I’d like to move back to some of the heirloom quality items I mentioned earlier. Mary Powers Gosden paints by hand on porcelain, including pet portraits (which can be purchased on commission if you’re looking for a memento of an animal friend). The beauty of these pieces is astonishing in person, and a picture can’t do them justice. The pet portraits look like photos, but she painted them by hand onto the porcelain. She also offers framed animal portraits, which can be found on the wall nearby.

Painting on porcelain by Mary Powers Gosden

Several of the co-op’s artisans use wood as their medium of choice, and their products all have a unique look and character. Dave Eichorn, the TV meteorologist, showcases several pieces of wooden furniture that stand out as one-of-a-kind pieces with a rugged, natural look but a very smooth feel. Shawn Halperin creates bowls and wall art that feature birds, including the wooden bowl shown below. This would make a special gift for any bird lover.

Artisan John Volck won Best in Category for Woodturning at the Manayunk Arts Festival this year, and his wooden pieces are incredibly smooth and have a lovely sheen to them that brings out the natural grain of the wood.

Above the shelf in this picture, there is one example of the collage art for sale by Barbara Rumrill Dahn. Her work has a distinct quality that would add a nice accent to any room. My camera caught a couple of unfortunate reflection spots on the piece, but the detail still shows.

There are many more items not mentioned here, and this store is absolutely worth investigating. By shopping here, you will be directly supporting the artists that have worked so hard to create this Local Treasure.

As a further note, the nice thing about visiting a store in Cazenovia is that there are a bunch of shops along Albany Street that are also worth a stop. 20 East has a good selection of handmade items and is worth checking out. Gabrielle Chocolates will be on my list to feature for the run-up to Valentine’s Day. Lavender Blue has a wonderful variety of tablecloths and other kitchen items, and gift wrapped purchases are dressed up with a sprig of lavender. This store will be featured in the spring.

It’s been fun profiling several local gift shops, and I hope this has been useful in the run-up to the winter holidays. I am taking a two-week vacation, but will start up again in the first week of January with shops that provide Valentine’s-themed gifts (jewelry, chocolates, candy, flowers, etc.). Enjoy the holiday season and have a happy New Year! Thank you for reading, and follow this blog if you would like to receive a notification about my next post.

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