New artisans featured on spring ‘Countryside Tour’

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mother Nature will be a featured artist at the newest location on the Countryside Artisans upcoming spring tour.

The flowers, plants and hanging baskets of Alden Farms in Beallsville will be a perfect fit for the tour beginning April 21, Artisans founder and organizer Dalis Davidson said. Alden Farms owner David Therriault will also have his handmade birth baths, tables and sculptures on display.

Therriault joins ten other area artisans who will invite the public into their work spaces for three days this weekend. Davidson said the tour, now in its 13th year, attracts people of all ages and interests with its mix of artistic offerings, farm animals and the beauties of the Agricultural Reserve. Paintings, pottery, yarn, furniture and jewelry will be for sale.

Therriault is an established artist who will add a lot to the event, said Davidson, who has known Therriault for about 20 years. ‘‘I think he has great taste and is so creative.”

Therriault’s wife Sandy Wright remembers the couple being asked to join the tour in the past but said they were persuaded after taking their children, Dylan, 9, and Sydney, 7, to the sites on the October 2005 tour.

‘‘We went on it and adored it and were really inspired,” said Wright. ‘‘We came home and we knitted and we drew and [the kids] said, ‘Dad, you’ve got to do this.’”

Customers at Alden Farm, which is open April through June, are similar to the people the family met on the artisans tour, Wright said. Plus joining the tour will provide a push to reopen the store for the October and December tour cycles, she said.

The garden shop and its surrounding land should provide a good stopping point for those in need of a rest before continuing their shopping, Wright said. ‘‘We have lots of places to sit and meander through,” she said.

If you plan to go
The Countryside Artisans Spring Studio Tour is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 21-23 at locations from Poolesville and Dickerson to Laytonsville and Adamstown.
For information on the artisans and a brochure with directions to the 11 studios on the tour, visit www.countrysideartisans. com.
Meanwhile Therriault, who was not available to comment, is stockpiling pieces and caring for his plants so visitors will see a good selection of his artistry.

The furniture is ‘‘very natural – not polished,” Wright said. ‘‘He carves them but he works with the shape of the stone...[and] Dave grows probably the nicest geraniums in Montgomery County for sure.”

Other tour participants include Stone Wall Farm in Boyds, which features painted furniture; Sugarloaf Studios in Barnesville, where drawings and baby goods will be on display; and Kiparoo Farm in Adamstown, a textile studio where Davidson said an exceptional number of lambs were born this year.

‘‘We’re really excited about this tour,” Davidson said.