Annual American Artisan Show at Wilton Historical Society

Are you familiar with Sailor’s Valentines? Ever seen or heard a fully functional “Canjo” – a 4, 5, or 6 string banjo – made from an antique cookie tin? Looking for a really special folk art Santa for your collection? How about a pair of hand-made shoes? Come and peruse a bounty of fine crafts at the American Artisan Show!

The Wilton Historical Society will host its annual American Artisan Show on Saturday, Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19. With 30 diverse artisans, this popular show highlights arts, crafts and designs that have been part of fine American handwork since the 18th century. Shaker-style furniture, pottery, baskets, candles, quilts, Windsor chairs, rugs, floorcloths, art, tavern signs, fine jewelry — even shoes, stringed instruments, and beautifully turned peppermills – plus much more! The show is fittingly set in the Society’s charming 18th and 19th century buildings at 224 Danbury Rd./Rte. 7 in Wilton. The American Artisan Show will take place Saturday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $8.00.

The American Artisan Show will kick off with a festive Preview and Auction on Friday, Oct. 17 from 6:30-9:30 p.m., giving guests the first opportunity to browse and buy while enjoying fine hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Schoolhouse at Cannondale Restaurant. The silent auction will feature wonderful pieces contributed by the artisans and other generous friends; all proceeds will directly benefit the Historical Society and its efforts to preserve Wilton’s history. Tickets are $75. The preview party committee is chaired by Janet Foster and Katy Williams, both Trustees of the Wilton Historical Society.

Lynda Campbell, co-chair of the Exhibitor committee, commented “This year we have a truly amazing range of artisans and the objects they create. Two of the most head-turning – and new to the show – are the String Tinkers and their extraordinary string instruments, made from vintage boxes and tins, and a cordwainer, Molly Grant. A cordwainer is a shoemaker who works in cordovan leather; Molly makes exceptional hand-made shoes, which are practically works of art.”

Another of the new artisans this year is Maija Neimanis, whose magnificent jewelry, based on traditional designs with a modern twist, is finely crafted using 22 carat gold, gemstones and ancient techniques such as granulation. Her jewelry has been featured in Vogue and Town and Country magazines.

New this year at the American Artisan Show are “pop-up” exhibitors — SKT Ceramics of Brooklyn, Saltbox Press and Jamie’s Organic Candles — who will add another dimension of interest for visitors. A complete list of artisans and complete show information can be found at www.americanartisanshow.com .

Many community organizations are supporting the American Artisan Show; these important sponsors include: BMW of Ridgefield; Breitling; Fairfield County Bank; Granite Group Advisors; Gregory and Adams, P.C., Attorneys at Law; Morris Media Group; Paul’s Prosperous Printing; Reckson, a division of S. L. Green Realty Corp; Servco; Stamford Tent & Event Services; TD Bank; University Archives; Wilson Properties.

Past Wilton Historical Society President Dr. Greg Chann and Trustee Janet Foster are co-Chairs of the American Artisan Show.