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Luminaries light up the holidays - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Luminaries light up the holidays

Waterbury, Vermont - November 28, 2011

This holiday season one Vermont artist is trying to light up people's holidays.

Next to the historic grist mill in Waterbury the Thatcher Brook River shimmers. But inside this building is where the real illumination is.

"My goal is to bring the natural world into your home," said Tabbatha Henry, who creates porcelain luminaries, a type of candle holder.

Her beautiful, yet simple, luminaries are hand crafted and really shine when the lights are turned off.
Some use light bulbs, others are made for candles or flowers.  Her firefly and starry night designs are the best sellers.

"It's glowing and it's warm and it's a piece of me that goes out into the world," Henry said.

Henry has worked with clay for over two decades -- a hobby she turned into this business four years ago.  

It all starts with a mold -- pouring clay into a cylinder. Henry then gets her hands dirty -- making the final shape. Then she paints and carves the final designs, poking holes to let her luminaries sparkle. It's a top secret process she developed and didn't want filmed.

Henry says the clay challenges and inspires her like her surroundings. "I draw so much from Vermont and Vermonters around me. I think my work has a strong sense of place around it and I think people can see that and recognize that in the work," she said.

Her bright designs are sold in galleries in Vermont and across the U.S.  Most of her customers are from out of state.

Reporter Gina Bullard: "How many luminaries do you think you've made?"

Tabbatha Henry: "I think about that every now and then -- I think it's easily 5-thousand at least ."

And at the holidays, sales pick up -- Henry makes 20 luminaries a day.  A glowing Vermont product -- sparked by nature. "Just watching the seasons out there -- it's beautiful and inspiring," she said.

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