Founded in 1955, Vermont Hand Crafters is the oldest craft organization in the state, currently with about 200 members statewide, according to Jury Chair Shannon Greenlese. They run the gamut from professional full-time artisans to part-time home hobbyists. And now the Waterbury-based group is looking for alternatives.
That is, alternative — or “indie” — crafters. Those are folks who create “art that incorporates recycled, repurposed and/or eco-friendly materials and innovative techniques,” Greenlese explains. In Burlington, some of them sell their wares at the Saturday Artists’ Market; many indie creative types also run online businesses at such sites as Etsy.com. But Greenlese suggests that “Etsy doesn’t give you the feedback and support you need as an artist,” whereas VHC is “there to help each other grow and improve.” Besides the tough love, a benefit of membership is participation in the annual fine art and craft show at the Sheraton (November 20-23 this year). Interested? Call 800-373-5429 or visit www.vermonthandcrafters.com for more info.