Just like turkey and sweet potato pie, the Artisans Guild Holiday Tour is a tradition on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This year’s Tour is the largest in its 17-year history. With almost 50 of the Shore’s finest artists located at 17 stops from Cape Charles to Onancock, this self-driving tour promises to be extraordinary. Don’t miss this two-day event to be held on Thanksgiving weekend, Friday and Saturday, November 29 & 30 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Come and do your holiday shopping – no Black Friday Malls on this Tour! It’s a treat for folks who want a fun shopping experience, need something to do with out-of-town relatives, or just think the Shore is a fabulous place to visit. The Guild promises to take you down country roads into home studios, historic venues, an alpaca farm, and a family-owned vineyard and winery. As you travel the Shore, the place these artists call home, you’ll experience the beauty that inspires their work.
The Tour is a slice of the best the Shore has to offer. Organized by the Artisans Guild-Eastern Shore of VA, it showcases member artists and their work. Juried artisans such as Buck Doughty who cuts and welds metal into flowers, ospreys and even depictions of skylines. Buck will be showing his work at Windsor House Gallery south of Cape Charles. Windsor House is the home gallery and studio of Kurt and Sally Lewin, crafters of 18th century Windsor chairs and furniture. Timeless, comfy and beautifully crafted.
Meander along and off the beaten path to Chatham Vineyards in Machipongo. A sampling of the Shore’s beautiful landscape and tastes of their award winning wines are yours to enjoy.
The Tour will take you to wonderful towns like Belle Haven, Wachapreague and Pungoteague where you’ll visit home studios with painters, glass blowers, sculptors, and even an alpaca farm. In Belle Haven at ESO (Eastern Shore’s Own), enjoy a visit with the llamas that Barbara Baker raises, then go inside to see the beautiful wares she’s designed from their fleece. Also featured at ESO are carvers, painters, fiber artists and sea glass jewelry.
Follow the tour to Janis King’s home studio on the outskirts of Onancock, where she sculpts and paints. She’s combined her talents to make one-of-a-kind Santas just for this tour.
The Tour’s final location is Onancock – 19 artists in 4 venues in town. You’ll visit Ker Place, home of the Historical Society of the Eastern Shore, where you can take a tour of the mansion, then visit with artists such as Richard Toft and David Farlow. Richard paints in the traditional style with egg tempura, much like Andrew Wyeth. David carves decoy birds as did the “old timers.” Ask him about where he learned his craft – history, talent and a bit of folk lore come together to make his birds.
Onancock’s additional stops include Vesna Zidovec’s Studio with beautiful painted pottery; Useful Pots, functional and decorative pottery; and the Historic Onancock School. The school will house ten artists – everything from hand spun wool at Ten Good Sheep, to carvings by Master Carver Billy Crockett, and to art quilts by Donna Stufft and Sarah Jillard. Paintings, sea glass jewelry (by Gertraud Fendler of course), hand carved wooden items and crocheted wearables will all be featured at the Onancock School.