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TWENTY-EIGHT, IN 19 COUNTIES, ADD EXCEPTIONAL WORK
TO THE INDIANA ARTISAN BRAND

Caramels cooked in copper pots over open flame; handmade chocolates in 49 flavors, with nut, cream and caramel centers; hand-woven pioneer-era blankets; Shaker Chairs; jewelry from handmade lampwork glass beads; hand-crafted artisanal cheeses; Kentucky Long Rifles; hand-woven wood baskets; steampunk and traditional jewelry; “Sweet-n-Mild” and “Sneaky Hot” barbecue sauces – these and more are now part of the foods and art the Indiana Artisan brand includes thanks to the work of food and art jury panels that met in October and November.

(Dec. 15, 2014) Twice a year, experts in all aspects of art and food serve on panels that review applications from Indiana’s highest-quality artists and food producers. The panels review applications individually online, and then meet to discuss them collectively and to review samples of each applicant’s work.  Every panel is comprised of new and different panelists so each review is unique in its approach and perspective.

Art panels are a balance of artists and craftspeople, art educators, gallery owners and directors, collectors, museum staff, and others with considerable insight into art and craft.  Food panels include dieticians, chefs, sommeliers and cicerones, food writers and bloggers, food safety experts, culinary educators, food retailers, packaging/labeling experts, nutritionists, and others with expertise in Indiana’s food-related regulations.  The October and November panels selected the following work for its exceptionally high quality.

Eric Vanstrom

Eric Vanstrom

        • Kristin Mulholland, Susan Morgan and Eric Vanstrom, all of Allen County, are the respective makers of exceptional wheat- and dairy-free granola blends, hand-dyed silk scarves and functional wooden kitchenware.

        • Carol Watson, of Zionsville, creates handmade sterling and fine silver jewelry incorporating her handmade lampwork beads, and Fran Carrico, of Pendleton, makes jewelry exclusively from her lampwork.

        • Two other Madison County artisans join Fran in this new class of Artisans. Anderson’s George Abiad makes fine wood furniture and furnishings, and Lapel’s Jim Prather makes every component of Kentucky Long Rifles – wood stocks, iron barrels and locks, brass patchboxes, guides, trigger guards, and the silver inlays.

    Sharon Tesser

    Sharon Tesser


     
        • Sharon Tesser makes 2D framed wall art completely from fiber in her Lawrenceburg studio, adding breadth to the Indiana Artisan brand through this beautiful and unique medium.

        • Muncie’s Lathay Pegues also added breadth to the brand through two barbecue sauces. For the first time, barbecue sauce juried in to Indiana Artisan, and Lathay makes “Sweet-n-Mild” and “Sneaky Hot” varieties.

        • Marion-based weaver Tony Baker’s hand-woven pioneer-era blankets are as remarkable as they are historically accurate.

    Gabriel Lehman

    Gabriel Lehman


     
        • Three Hamilton County artisans are new to Indiana Artisan. When Gabriel Lehman delivered samples of his acrylic paintings, he said a magazine had written, “Dr. Seuss and Salvador Dali had a child, and it is Gabriel.”  It is the perfect way to describe his work.  Deb Miller is an owner of Sheridan-based Blackhawk Winery, which juried in five of its wines, all recipients of medals in the Indy International Wine Competition.  DeMaris Gaunt, a glass mosaic artist, rounded out the Hamilton County contingent with beautiful work made in her Fishers studio.

        • Indy’s Cathy Claycomb also juried in glasswork, non-traditional stained glass in the form of beautiful 2D wall art.

    Lisa Walsh

    Lisa Walsh

    • Lafayette artist Deb Achgill’s exceptional work in fused glass completes the new glass artists whose work has become part of the Indiana Artisan brand. She is joined in this class by fellow Tippecanoe County artisans Lisa Walsh and Marsha Williamson Mohr, who make beautiful mixed media jewelry and full-color books of photography of Indiana locales.

        • Roland Rein, of Friendship, in Ripley County, is known as “The Basketman.” Not to be confused with Easter Baskets, Roland’s work is unconditionally guaranteed for life. Baskets designed for rugged use have triple woven corners. Wood for “art” baskets, or those for interior designers, is chosen for grain, texture, and the way it will accept stains and finishes.  “I design and hand craft all of my baskets to be used. I make them sturdy for heavy use.  If you can lift it, so can my basket,” he wrote in his application.

    Roland Rein

    Roland Rein

        • Abbott’s Candies began in Hagerstown in the 1890’s, and Jay Noel and his family carry on the Abbott traditions of cooking caramels in copper pots over open flame, then slicing and wrapping by hand. The nearly 125-year-old company also offers 49 varieties of chocolates, hand-stringed, cooled and boxed by hand.

        • Whitley County’s Fred Inman is part of a northeast Indiana woodworking crowd that works together and applied to Indiana Artisan together. The strategy was pretty successful, but only because Fred, and each of the other individuals, is an exceptional woodworker, focusing on the use of Indiana hardwoods.

        • Bloomington-based Peacetree Mountain Truffles, the company owned by Linda Armes and her partners, pairs outstanding local wines with artisan chocolates for a delicious truffle. Each wine is carefully tasted and paired with a chocolate perfectly balanced to enhance its distinctive flavor. The work that is now part of the Indiana Artisan brand is a box of nine truffles featuring the estate wines of five Indiana wineries located in the Uplands American Viticulture Area region. All five vintners already have wines that are part of the Indiana Artisan brand.
     
     
    Indiana Artisans now hail from 63 of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Every jury session tends to add representation from one or two counties, but this review was unusual in that Artisans from five new counties had work jury in, four of them in northeast Indiana. 

    Kori Pugh, Schnabeltier

    Kori Pugh, Schnabeltier cheese aging room

        1. While her Rochester-based company, Schnabeltier, can be difficult to pronounce, Kori Pugh’s cheeses and their names are both smooth on the tongue. All Schnabeltier cheeses are aged on locally harvested oak racks and named for small towns that used to exist, or still do, in Fulton County.

        2. Noble County is another now welcomed to Indiana Artisan through the work of two new Artisans. Bill Steffen is part of that woodworking group Fred Inman belongsto.  A wood turner and box builder, all of Bill’s vases, bowls and boxes are from storm-damaged trees in the Fort Wayne area.  From Fort Wayne-area vines and bushes, specifically 24 acres of grapes and a 45-acre blueberry patch in the little burg of LaOtto, come the exceptional wines of Jennifer Lutter’s Country Heritage Winery and Vineyard.

        3. Northeast of LaOtto, in the corner of Indiana where you can be in either Michigan or Ohio in a 10-minute drive, is the Steuben County town of Fremont, the home of Satek Winery. Preparing to celebrate its 14th anniversary, Satek produces 30 wine varietals and grows six varieties on-estate.  Over its history as an Indiana winery, it has earned more than 250 medals, along with multiple Best in Class awards at the Indy International Wine Competition. With the addition of Steuben County, Indiana’s most northeasterly county, Indiana Artisans can now say they hail from all four corners of the state.

    Jennifer Lutter, Country Heritage Winery

    Jennifer Lutter, Country Heritage Winery

        4. Owen County and Owen Valley Winery also are new to Indiana Artisan. Earning “Fruit Wine of the Year” and “Indiana Fruit Wine of the Year” distinction at the Indy International Wine Competition, it’s safe to say Anthony Leaderbrand makes a dynamite pear wine.  It and all his varietals are produced on-estate in Spencer.

        5. The steampunk and traditional jewelry work of Matthew Breunig is the result of 20 plus years of honing his craft. The Wells County artist’s application explained how his work is intrinsic to Indiana, but it’s not often a jewelry application reads, “I even use local insects for my lost object castings.”

    Two art Artisans added to their body of work that already is part of the Indiana Artisan brand.

        1. Seymour-based Pete Baxter, an Indiana Artisan woodworker, now also will be known as a furniture maker. Pete’s beautiful Shaker boxes juried in to Indiana Artisan in 2011, and now his Shaker furniture expands his body of work represented by this brand.

        2. In 2009, Fort Wayne-based artist Lydia Gerbig-Fast’s metalsmith jewelry became part of Indiana Artisan. A completely different medium, her Regency millinery work juried in this time.  It is an interpretation of fashion prints and museum examples from the very early 19th century. This genre of millinery comprises the majority of Lydia’s work, and it is represented by two galleries; has appeared in two exhibitions; and was used in the Joséphine Impératrice de la modé fashion show at the Theatre Malraux, in Rueil de Malmaison, France.

    Lydia Gerbig-Fast

    Lydia Gerbig-Fast

    In 2010, a Resolution of the Indiana Legislature tasked Indiana Artisan with identifying, recognizing and promoting the state’s highest-quality art and foods. Now as a non-profit corporation, it continues to develop a brand that gives meaning and recognition to the highest-quality Indiana-made work. Including that of these 28 new Artisans, the brand is now defined by the art and food of 296 Artisans in 63 Indiana counties.

    Indiana Artisan jury panels will meet again in May, with the online application available here on the website beginning Jan. 28.

    All jury panelists review the applications online before meeting in person to discuss and review samples of each applicant’s work. Applications are reviewed on four criteria, with one of particular importance being the work’s relationship to the Hoosier State. The work of successful applicants is “juried in” to Indiana Artisan, meaning it becomes part of the Indiana Artisan brand after a jury determines it is indeed among the highest-quality work made in the state.

    Juried artisans may take advantage of the organization’s business development opportunities, including the annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace tradeshow. That fifth annual event is open to the public Sat. and Sun., March 28 and 29, 2015, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Exposition Hall.