Thursday, August 27, 2015

American Dream: A Grand Old House

American Dream: To Live in One of These Favorite Houses of Mine

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

These are some of my favorite all-time houses, all located in Stonington, CT. I took these pictures as dusk fell.

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This is a grand old place on the town square. It has the writing room I need, interesting rooflines, architectural details, and it's BIG -- and has a porch. I'd like to stride this big old place, all mine! Wouldn't you?

This is the same house, photographed from the rear. The paint didn't change, just the light.

Here's another grand old Stonington place, with upstairs and downstairs porches.

As the outdoor light faded, the interior lights came on.

Here's another view of the same house.

Another Stonington masterpiece of Americana, with a writing room and a porch. How about you? If it weren't for the upkeep, wouldn't you love to live in one of these places? Comment below!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Artist's Studio in Stonington, CT

American Dream: An Artist's Studio in a Rampling Old Mill

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

In the Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT, a rabbit warren of studios and markets, I encountered the photography and textiles studio of Nancy Apthorp, and I thought you would enjoy seeing it.

Her work surface is scattered with tools, bits and pieces.

She has a luscious stash of fabric, and a sewing machine set up, ready to go.

Photographer and textile artist Nancy Apthorp. She made a handbag (on the right) with a man's tie for a handle.

Some of her photography exhibit.

I went back to her studio for a second visit, taking my father's ties. I'd like to make them into a quilt.

She "played" with the silk ties, showing me all kinds of ways they could be laid out into patterns.

One of her favorite types of fabric is men's suit fabric, especially wools, which you see behind the ties. How about you? Do you get the creative itch sometimes? Comment below!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

American Dream: A Studio of One's Own

My American Dream: Save Old Commercial Architecture for Creative Spaces

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

Stonington, CT, has put an old textile mill to excellent use. Artists of all sorts rent creative space within this rambling labyrinth, and people stroll by on Saturday market days and hopefully buy things :)  This is an excellent place for start-up businesses and collaboration spaces to thrive.

I would love to see all of America's old mills used in this creative way, to provide a space where innovation and creative work can carry our economy forward.

Here's the Velvet Mill in Stonington, CT, again, and it goes forever in both directions. Lots of room for hideaways and creative spaces!

Here's a potter's creative space within the mill, one of many studios.

She has room for several types of kilns and drying racks.

She's telling me just a bit about her creative process (sorry, I don't remember her name).

Here's a display of some of her lovely work.

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A few more items for sale. How about you? Do you crave to mash clay between your fingers? How about something simple, like fingerpaints? Comment below!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

An Sculpture's Dream: A Studio in an Old Mill

American Dream for an Artist: His or Her Own Studio

By Norma Jaeger Hopcraft

In Stonington, CT, there is a huge old velvet mill, one of many textile mills in New England that closed when the cheap labor of the South put them out of business. 

This historic commercial architecture somehow survived and is now used to host a Saturday market that draws thousands. It also is a rabbit-warren of studios: weaving, pottery, sculpture, photography, painting. This picture is 1/64th of the space available here. There are several indie coffee shops inside!

Here is a sculpture by this artist -- name unknown -- that caught my eye in one of the many labyrinthine hallways of the mill.

The sculpture is made up of hundreds of these little people-forms.

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Here's a bunch of people admiring the little people! Next week: More studios! How about you? Do you crave a space in which to be artistic? Comment below!