When spring finally arrives in the Finger Lakes, it is time to pay a visit to the singular attraction in Middlesex, the Rochester Folk Art Guild. Artisans at the Guild’s East Hill Farm welcome the public to their craft studios and the East Hill Gallery on Mothers’ Day weekend. Saturday, May 11, the hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, May 12, 1 to 5 p.m. The Guild’s address is 1445 Upper Hill Rd, Middlesex, off Route 364 between the hamlets of Middlesex and Potter. Look for the signs for East Hill Gallery.

This is an opportunity to see the latest Guild creations in the workshops, visit with the craftspeople, and peek into the Gallery for a broad selection of all the crafts. The Book Room has a new selection of books for all ages. This on-site event gives friends and neighbors a chance to purchase the latest work in time for graduation and wedding season gift giving. 

Looking into the East Hill Gallery, besides the tasty refreshments, shoppers find eco-printed and hand dyed accessories and home goods using avocados, eucalyptus, onion skins, and leaves of all types on display. The Natural Fiber Clothing Designs Studio craftswomen have immersed themselves in creating silk scarves, womens’ clothing, lavender filled sachets, relaxation-inducing eye pillows, note cards, pillows, table runners, and napkins. Sometimes you need a special treat for yourself.

In the Pottery Studio, the potters have been working with a low fire earthenware that is wheel thrown, carved, burnished, and fired using a small brick kiln with sawdust as the fuel. The results are varied from rich black to tan or white depending on the smoldering sawdust. There is a variety of crackle ware, that peculiar glaze that beads up on the outside of the pot, white with a dark blue underneath. There will be lots of functional work, bowls in all shapes and sizes, mugs, carved, crackle, decorated, small and large. Teapots, casseroles, plates, platters, and a large variety of planters abound.  Ikebana containers, vases, and an endless variation of pitchers line the shelves.

Large pots for the garden, birdbaths, and garden lamps make a unique landscaping statement.

The weavers show small and large shawls, and light ponchos to ward off the chill of a spring evening. The woodworkers have been turning wonderful purple beech from Sonnenberg Gardens, into handled bowls for soup or cereal. In Graphics, besides the favorite flower cards, a neighbor has been playing with photographs and splashing nature scenes with bold colors.

For more information about the Guild and a calendar of events, workshops, and classes, visit www.folkartguild.org or call 585-554-3539.

The Rochester Folk Art Guild is not-for-profit arts community and educational institution which began its work in crafts more than 60 years ago.