Bay School News

Hard Work, Small Dreams: Bentwaters Farm June 16 2017, 2 Comments

 Off the beaten path and nestled on the shores of where Pepper Creek and the Mobjack meet, Larry and Rosalie Brown have built a flourishing farm out of hard work and dreams. Their white farmhouse rises from the marsh to greet you with all of the charm and humility only found in times gone by. The farmhouse was built around 1895 by one of the Armisteads, a group of brothers who built each other’s homes. It then changed hands to the parents of Paul Blanock, former Commonwealth Attorney, and in 1980 was purchased by the Browns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A romance story of the truest kind, Larry was serving in the Air Force, stationed in England, when he met Rosalie, a children’s nanny. The two soon fell in love and he whisked her away to the United States, settling in Gloucester and later relocating to Mathews. Rosalie had always dreamed of living on a farm, “Growing up in England, I’d always wanted to be a children’s nanny or a farmer, and I was a children’s nanny for a number of years. When we came here, I just knew I was going to get sheep. My father and mother were alive at that time, dad went with me to get sheep and that just started it.” Having been exposed to the processes of spinning, knitting and weaving in her childhood, the progression to raising sheep for the production of wool was a natural one. For Larry, growing up in Hampton and a self-proclaimed “gear head”, the farm life offered a chance for him to return to his roots, as farming ran in both sides of his family lineage.

 

 

From a small dream, blossomed Bentwaters Farm and the promise of a simpler life. The Browns soon evolved from raising Dorset and Hampshire sheep, which are mainly used for meat, to raising sheep for the production of fine wool and wool products, which are handmade and dyed onsite. Over the years, their farm has expanded to include Dwarf Nigerian goats, English Angora rabbits, a bevy of chickens, Guinea hens, quail, a llama and bees.

                          

Their love for their craft is evident, not only in the way they speak about what they do, but also in their passion to pass on their trade, both having taught in one capacity or another. Rosalie teaches a number of classes from dying to felting at The Bay School Community Arts Center, in Mathews and Rosalie and Larry have both done educational presentations at a number of historical sites in Williamsburg in addition to the programming conducted by Colonial Williamsburg.

                          

The Browns have a deep and abiding love and respect for their animals that is apparent when wandering the property. When Rosalie walks among the goats and sheep, she calls each one by name and stops to visit with them for a while, often stopping to play with the young kids.

                           

Bentwaters Farm is a member of the Middle Peninsula Artisan Trail and is open to visitors seeking to experience the hands on process of wool production. For more information or to visit Bentwaters Farm for yourself, visit their website: http://bentwatersfarm.webs.com: 


Teacher Profile - Bobbie Skerrett March 08 2017, 0 Comments

Bobbie Skerrett has been involved with the Bay School for the past 3 years.  Her next class, Clay Relief Tiles, is on Thursdays, March 23 & 30 6pm - 9pm.

 

Bobbie attended the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1971.  After that she spent time at the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles, CA.  She also taken classes at the Penland School of Crafts in Pendland, NC.  From 1998 - 2002 Bobbie sold her work at the oldest farmers market in the country in Olde Town Alexandria.  Bobbie is currently a member of the Pottery Studio at the Bay School.

 

A few questions to Bobbie:

What made you start teaching?

 I started teaching wheel throwing because I wanted the students to see how fun it was to move the clay.

What do you get out of teaching?

There's an expression that takes place in the class room when people catch on to what they are being told and run with it.  It is inspiring to watch students discover something new and find a connection.

 Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

Something people would probably be shocked to learn about me is that I do feminist art.


Teacher Profile - Rita Cutler January 30 2017, 1 Comment

Rita Cutler has been teaching classes at the Bay School since 2002.  Her next class, Beginner Rug Hooking , is on Saturday, Feb 11 10am - 3pm.  Register early to secure your spot!

 

Rita has revived the art of primitive and homespun rug hooking. She is the owner of the Primitively Hooked Studio in Mathews County. Rita combines traditional and new motifs with unique and striking color schemes.

 

A few questions to Rita:

 

What made you start teaching?

I love working with my hands and I love color and texture.  Therefore the art of rug hooking has always appealed to me.  I searched for someone who could teach me this old craft/art for many years while living in Va. Beach and continued the search when we moved to Mathews 20 years ago.  Finally my persistence paid off and I have been hooking now for 18 or so years.  When Wendy Wells approached me about teaching hooking at the Bay School I immediately said yes! I felt it was a small step in saving this beautiful old craft.

 

What do you get out of teaching?

I love teaching because again it helps to carry on the craft and I love seeing what my students will create.  Each piece is always unique and I love seeing each persons take on it.  At the end of the day I love walking away knowing that there are a group of new hookers out there!

 


Teacher Profile - Doris Hackworth January 02 2017, 0 Comments

Doris Hackworth has been teaching pottery classes at the Bay School since 2014.  Her next class, Beginner Wheel Throwing, is on Saturday, Jan 28; Feb 4, 11, & 18 from 1pm - 4pm.  Register early to secure your spot!

 

Doris Hackworth discovered the joy of wheel thrown pottery in 1981 through community college ceramics classes in CA. Nearly 30 years later in 2009, she took to the wheel again and has been taking classes ever since at the Bay School, the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Nan Rothwell Pottery in Charlottesville, The Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, and the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in NC. Doris’ emphasis is on form and function. She loves making pots that have a job.

A few questions to Doris:

What made you start teaching?

I have always been a teacher in my heart.

 

 

 What do you get out of teaching?

I take huge satisfaction in promoting the joy of handmade pottery and being a part of adults finding a creative outlet they enjoy.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

You might be surprised to know that I taught community college biology for a while and also worked for a language school teaching English to German speakers.

 


HOLIDAY SPECIALS! December 22 2016, 0 Comments

Shop creatively!  Shop local!  Shop at the Bay School!

We are offering the following holiday specials with online discount codes:

code JEWELRY - 10% off all jewelry

code ART$$$OFF - $200 off paintings by Gayle Merrill

code ART20OFF - 20% off Paul Blais Photography, Neck Tiaras by Brownie Haracivet, Works by Dale Peterson, and Paintings by Bob Carlson

code ART15OFF - 15% off Paintings by Lynn Scalise

code 10OFFART - 10% off Pepper Creek Pottery, Nina Buzby Baskets, Karen Hacker Paintings, Watercolor Boxes by Rebecca Grow, and Ellen Davidson Photographs

Come in and shop our gallery, or buy online and we'll wrap your gifts and have them ready to pick up.

Merry Christmas from all of us at the Bay School!


Holiday Specials! November 18 2016, 0 Comments

We love getting ready for the holidays!  And we love having so many beautiful handmade gifts lining our walls and shelves... which ones do you want to give (or receive!) this year?  Do you know we have a gift registry?  Come in, look around, and make a wish list, then tell your loved ones to shop at the Bay School!

Lots of our artists want to get in on the fun and are offering specials Thanksgiving weekend, during our Holiday Open House and beyond.  Item prices will be updated when sale time comes, for now here is a list of the discounts:

Photographs by Paul Blais - 25% off Friday, Saturday, and Monday online discount code PBP25

Oil paintings by Bob Carlson - 20% off Friday, Saturday, and Monday online discount code BCO20

Neck tiaras by Brownie Haracivet - she will be here for the Open House with special pricing, and all neck tiaras are 35% off on Cyber Monday 

Pine needle baskets and gourds by Nina Buzby - 10% off Friday, Saturday, and Monday online discount code NBB10

The following specials are gallery and school-wide, on top of the artist discounts!

Black Friday, November 25 10am-5pm

20% off art supplies

15% off December classes, online code BLACKFRIDAY

Small Business Saturday, November 26 10am-5pm

15% off kids' classes, online code ART4KIDS

Free gift with purchase over $50

Student Sunday, November 27 - online specials all day

10% off classes in the new January-May 2017 catalog, online code STUDENTSUNDAY

Cyber Monday, November 28, 9am-1pm in-store or all day online

10% off orders over $100, online code CYBER10

20% off orders over $200, online code CYBER20

20% off art supplies, pay online and pick up in-store, online code MAKEART

Giving Tuesday, November 29, 10am-4pm in-store or all day online

Make a donation of $10 or more and your name will be added to our Holiday Tree of Thanks-for-Giving

We look forward to seeing you next weekend!!!

Pam, Grace, Virginia, and Saraya