I am lucky in this business to get to know a whole lot of exceptionally talented craftspeople. Lately I have run into a bunch of them and would like to introduce you to two of them. Artisans of the Valley
and Peter Michelinie
Artisans of the Valley is a shop in New Jersey that does an amazing number of different things. Eric Saperstein and his fiancee Terri are the operation with some help from Eric’s Dad and an army of local craftspeople. The number of skills and talents they have, or are able to offer, is tremendous. They include, but are by no means limited to, fine reproductions, antique restorations and repairs, and wood carvings. I won’t even discuss the paintwork on a WWII tank. In addition to all this, their website may be the most innovative woodworking website I have ever seen. Check it out and be prepared to spend some time there. Eric’s essay, for a lack of a better word (manifesto maybe) on being “green” was brilliant. It was one of the few I have ever seen that is not hype, just an honest assessment and statement of fact documented with clear cut rationales. Their quarterly newsletters are a pleasure, along with their travelogues, and their mini portfolio.
Peter Michelinie is a Boston based cabinetmaker and graduate of the North Bennet Street School’s very fine Cabinet and Furniture Making program. His styles seem diverse, his kneehole desk is about as fine of an example as you will find, while his Mission cases stand out among many. There are not too many furnituremakers who can create in as many styles as Pete. If you are in the area-check him out.
I decided to introduce you to two craftspeople today for a reason: To show that quality work is still being done in America. Many people doubt that things are being done here, and I am here to say that it just isn’t so. There is a new generation of artists coming up in this great country of ours-I urge you, my reader (note-not readers) to seek them out. You are in for a surprise.