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Workshop Showcase Online Celebration

Welcome to Common Deer's 2020 Vermont Makers Workshop Showcase, a launch pad for emerging makers. We, at Common Deer, recognize that there are many talented yet unsung makers in Vermont, so we launched this annual program in 2019 as a unique wholesale opportunity to help up-and-coming makers, emerging artists, manufacturers, and creators develop their brand for retail sale.
We received hundreds of submissions for the open call earlier this year! We’re so excited to tell you the stories of the artists we’ve partnered with this year! The Workshop Showcase in the past has consisted of a shoppable gallery in our Burlington, VT store--this year, we're doing things a little differently. As our brick and mortar store is currently closed due to COVID-19, we present you with our first-ever Virtual Vermont Makers Workshop Showcase. You can join us in supporting these talented Vermont makers by checking out their works below! The items showcased are available for purchase! Supporting this program helps us continue to help foster the growth of making in our local community! 


shop the full online showcase all together

 ADLER CERAMICS - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase

 After graduating from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Arts in ceramics and fine metals, Adler Chris (she/her/hers) has since established herself as an artist, volunteer and teacher at Burlington City Arts. As a ceramic hand builder she creates without a potter’s wheel, and instead relies on her hands and simple tools. Her work can be described as quirky, colorful, playful and semi-functional. She hopes that her work may challenge viewers to expand their thinking regarding the versatility or clay (a medium most commonly known for practicality and function), and begin to imagine more ways that you can share, wear and celebrate art that brings you joy. She also balances a full-time job at the University of Vermont, a part-time graduate program, and a loving life with her partner, cat and dog. Her work remains small-scale and available only to those who shop locally in Burlington.


BAG BALM -  Lyndonville, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

The Northeast Kingdom's historically harsh winters have always made for the driest of skin conditions. In 1899, rumors flew around the Northeast Kingdom about a miraculous salve for cracked cow udders concocted by a pharmacist. After trying it on one of his cows, a Lyndonville farmer named John L. Norris scraped up every penny he could to buy the miracle formula and all the rights to market it. The legend was born, and it was too big to stay in the barn. Old locals still talk about how Bag Balm saved everybody’s hide in the winter of 1933, when the temperature fell to 50 below zero. During World War II, soldiers used it on their rifles to keep them in shape. After the Twin Towers fell on 9/11, Vermont's Original quietly provided Bag Balm to be massaged into the scratched paws of search dogs, who relentlessly roamed over mountains of rubble looking for survivors. Bag Balm is the tried and true salve that’s been working wonders since 1899.

BARNES MADE - South Burlington, VT //  shop this maker's showcase 

Kaity Barnes started making bar soap in 2017 out of a desire to reduce plastic waste in her personal life. She quickly became hooked on creating eye-catching soaps with evocative scents. A year later in 2018, Barnes Made was born. Countless hours of perfecting her formula have resulted in the best bar of soap possible - all while sticking to her personal conviction of using only sustainable material. Barnes Made is committed to creating soaps with delightful and unique scents, healing natural materials, and a steadfast commitment to the environment.

COYOTE PROVISIONS - Winooski, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Coyote Provisions was born out of a love for adventure and a passion for giving back, inspired by days spent in the mountains, on the road, and setting up camp wherever there’s a trail. This purpose driven Vermont brand focuses on small-batch production, and donates a portion of every sale to organizations dedicated to protecting the environment and helping stem the tide of climate change. Donations go to renewable energy, reforestation, and carbon offsetting projects like wind farms and water filtration in developing nations. 


EL BAUL  - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase 

El baúl begins and ends with bringing the “hand” back into the things we cherish. From fabrics to dyes, el baúl fuses whimsey with tradition, nature with machine and the unexpected with the time honored tradition of quilting. El Baul is dedicated to crafting sustainable solutions for our future, using up-cycled materials and hand-foraged natural dyes.

ELLI PARR - Charlotte, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Sara Nelson is a natural creative. From oil painting to interior decorating, she has always been passionate about bringing more art and design into the lives of others around her. What started as a hobby that took place on her daughter Ava’s craft table in Vermont is now a national brand.

Sara started designing and making jewelry as a way to express and maintain her creativity in between balancing family and her day job. While her daughter slept, Sara would be beading bracelets or setting stones. After her friends and family started asking her to make them pieces, this hobby transformed into the jewelry brand it is today. 


FIRSTBORN JEWELRY  - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase

A New England native, artist and jeweler Shana Bentley who values thoughtful and affordable design. Inspired by her Scandanavian roots, Shana creates minimal jewelry that is effortless and stylish. All of her pieces are made of mixed metals, often complemented by natural materials, and each is designed and handcrafted by Shana in her Burlington, Vermont studio. She constantly looks to broaden her study of simple, repeating forms and designs, which she builds into beautiful and interesting pieces meant for everyday wear. 


FLATLANDER SUPPLY CO - Vershire, VT // shop this maker's showcase 

Flatlander Supply Co. is made up of a single craftsman and his supportive family. After decades spent traveling the world, photographing and instructing for national Geographic Student Expeditions, Joseph Lambert and his family have landed in Vermont. Joseph has been a maker as far back as he can remember; always tinkering, building, experimenting, on the hunt for a new project. His mother taught him how to sew at a young age-- he fondly remembers sitting with her by the hour observing her careful measurements and cuts, delighted over the him of the sewing machine, and fascinated by the various textures and colors of textiles. To this day nothing brings him greater happiness and balance than creating with his hands and taking an idea from design to finished product. Every Flatlander Supply Co. cut, stitch, and burnished edge passes through Joseph’s hands, with “help” from his little one Atli-- Joseph is a stay-at-home dad. 



HANNAH SACHSE - Manchester, VT // shop this maker's showcase

Hannah’s love for painting fell into her life like a meteor from the cosmos. She began creating moons because of the inspiring support and encouragement of other women around her. In the summer of 2019 a bride-to-be requested that Hannah create a large moon painting to display at the wedding, despite her complete lack of experience. With no guidelines or preferences, the bride encouraged her to think outside the box and paint whatever her heart desired-- she felt free to explore, take charge, and make decisions that led to her discovery of this artistic outlet. The artist has the strong, supportive women in her life to thank for the many transformative moments painting has given her.


KITTY BADHANDS - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase 

Kathleen McVeigh is a self taught quilter with a formal background in fine art. She grew up watching her grandmother hand sew quilts, and was later inspired to try to teach herself the craft of heirloom quilted goods. At the time, she was living in an airstream at the time and space was incredibly limited, but she needed a creative outlet-- a quilt could be made with just a small table, a sewing machine, and a bed to spread the work out on. By the time she had finished her first quilt, Kathleen had fallen in love with quilting. “I am simultaneously fascinated by the history and tradition of the craft, and the aesthetics of contemporary design. I love learning a traditional technique or method of quilting, and then figuring out how I can break those rules in order to create something modern and completely new.” 


LUNA DREAMS - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase

Growing up, Francesca Genello always considered herself a creative person, though never an artist. That is until she stumbled across artists practicing silversmithing on Instagram and decided to take a class, quickly becoming hooked on the medium. Creating metal jewelry has brought Francesca friends, mentors, and a community, and more joy than she could have imagined. It has taught her patience, endurance, and self discipline. It allowed her to find even more beauty in her surroundings which has inspired her craft the most. And it has allowed Francesca to embrace the label of artist. 


LYDIA ODE - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase 

Lydia is in it for the color and light. She’s drawn to physical structures, rigid forms and, more recently, people. She finds beauty in everyday moments, and works to capture those moments to create a sense of place in her work. Lydia studied at the Rhode Island School of Design and then Middlebury College, where she created large scale oil paintings of cityscapes, construction equipment, and industrial structures. After college, the artist took a break from art and worked in the kitchen at a ranch, in fashion marketing in Vermont and financial services in San Francisco. Now back in Vermont as a relatively new mother, Lydia is currently painting what she calls ‘people-scapes’ and is having so much fun with it. 


PLUS OR MINUS STUDIO - Burlington, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Ashley Roark is the artist and designer behind Plus or Minus Studio. A graduate of Syracuse University’s program in Industrial Design, Ashley has now lived in Burlington for 12 years. Utilizing honest materials such as silver, leather & wool, Ashley’s goal with Plus or Minus Studio is to create small runs of simple, beautiful goods at the intersection of craft and design. She feels deeply in her element when exploring various materials and the design processes they inspire. 

PIN UP PICKLES  - New Haven, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Pin Up Pickles is a Vermont based, small-batch artisan pickle maker whose mission seeks to use local produce to create and share products with a unique Vermont flavor. Rachel, “the Pickle Lady”, is firm believer in maintaining traditions and recipes, so it was a no-brainer in 2009 to start making pickles from family recipes. She is a trained scientist and loves to talk about pickling chemistry and safety, and to serve as an educational resource for pickling and safe canning practices. Rachel feels that there’s no greater honor than having something so personal as a hand-packed jar of pickles shared at a gathering of friends. Why Pin Up Pickles? Because pickles are sexy!  


SALT AND SPRUCE  - Northeast Kingdom, VT // shop this maker's showcase

A maker since her youth, Mary creates beautiful, hardworking functional tools utilizing materials from our landscape that reflect the history from which they stem, while gathering a deeper understanding of that traditional knowledge and the materials used along the way. Function, form, and tradition play equal parts in her work, which is informed by the seasons. Salt and Spruce starts with land based traditions - what materials to use, when to collect them, how to process them. The use and need behind the design of each basket or broom. The history it comes from, and the reason for its development. Even the techniques are storied and thoughtful: Stitches and methods and ways passed down from maker to maker. Traditional knowledge rooted in the landscape and born of necessity, passion and ingenuity. A single mom, Mary and her kiddo live in a gorgeous old barn-to-home conversion on a Vermont mountain, along with a farm consisting of a cat, a rabbit, and a sheep.



TORA TOVA  - Waterbury, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Tora Tova’s been a long time coming-- Victoria Heath has been making jewelry for as long as she can remember. At home growing up, she would raid the silverware drawer of the most interesting spoons and forks, bring them down into the basement to her father’s workbench, hammer them flat and reshape them into bracelets and rings. From there she jumped on every opportunity to develop her metalsmithing skills--starting with a jewelry class in high school and later, apprenticing with a professional jeweler based out of Truckee, California. Tora Tova was launched in January 2020 in Waterbury, Vermont, with inspiration stemming from geometric shapes and patterns, and of course--as a "native" VTer and big time outdoor lover--the natural world.


VANRENO TEXTILES - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase 

Jackie Reno started working with braided salvaged cotton as a means to have a creative outlet. In her day job working with children and families, results aren’t always so tangible and obvious, so turning to it was satisfying and therapeutic to have tangible results with crafting. Her study of textiles and the history of fibers have taught her much about humanity, about teaching her children, and connecting them to the past. Jackie uses repurposed materials, like leather salvaged from ripped leather couches, and mudcloth from her favorite flea market where the vendor has fabric from decades ago from all over the world. With the amount of materials already existing and ready to use in her home, yard, and neighborhood, the maker is constantly challenging herself to use materials that she knows the story of, as much as possible. Low-impact on the earth and body, functionality and aesthetics are the goals while she experiments with natural dyes, fibers and reused fabrics.

VICTORY POTTERY  - White River Junction, VT //  shop this maker's showcase

Victory Pottery is a one-woman-show. Mary Arnold, the head, heart, and hands behind the operation, enjoys creating with many different mediums, but her true passion is working with clay. Mary’s love for handbuilding and throwing on the wheel often come together in her work, where she draws inspiration from the human form, animals and her love for functional art.


VT IRONWORKS - Burlington, VT // shop this maker's showcase

VT Iron is an artist-owned metalworking and design business, founded by Chris Markowski & Dave Jones in Burlington, VT. These two friends forge timeless, Vermont-quality goods right out of their garage-turned-work space. They use traditional metalsmithing processes, with tools as old as Burlington itself. Swinging a hammer to anvil evokes the quality of a different time, and breathes new life and purpose into the tools, processes, and materials they use. It all started with a passion to make, and these makers make with passion, reverence, and a couple cold brews.

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