Date(s) - 05/16/2019
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
East Bloomfield Historical Society
Laurel Wemett will present a slideshow of the history of Roadside Craftsmen and introduce many of the individual artisans. There will be an opportunity to see objects in the Historical Society’s collection. People are welcome to bring one or two items made at the Roadside Craftsmen (although there can be no appraisals).
The Roadside Craftsmen had its origins in a business called the Bloomfield Art Pottery located just west of East Bloomfield. It catered to tourists traveling along Routes 5 & 20. For nearly 25 years, the operation produced pottery, woodworking, and weaving. It was an outlet for metal work made at the Avon Coppersmith in Avon, NY. Decorative and utilitarian wrought iron objects and wooden wares were also produced in Hemlock, NY.
The business started in the midst of the Depression of the 1930’s operating out of two small buildings that still exist. Later it moved into a large church building brought from Branchport which is occupied today by the New Hope Fellowship Church. The enterprise closed in 1952.
Over the years, many local people from East Bloomfield and Holcomb worked there, sometimes seasonally. There were also talented artisans who learned their skills in their native Southern states who were joined by several graduates of Alfred University’s ceramic program.
Laurel Wemett is a granddaughter of the Roadside Craftsmen founder, and both of her parents worked there. Laurel grew up in East Bloomfield and went on to graduate from both SUNY Albany and Emory University. She has lived in Canandaigua for over 30 years where she currently operates a gift and collectibles shop, Cat’s in the Kitchen (http://catsinthekitchen.biz/), and is a freelance writer.