Putney Craft Tour returns for 43rd year

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 8:47 AM EST
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PUTNEY, Vt. (WCAX) - This weekend, you can get all of your holiday shopping done in Southern Vermont at the Putney Craft Tour.

Nineteen artisans -- including glass blowers, jewelers, potters, weavers, and wine and cheesemakers -- will be spread out throughout a 15-mile radius, showing off and selling their products.

“That’s the beauty of the tour. When you go around, your eyes keep opening up like ‘Wow, look at this place’ and then you go to the next place like ‘Wow, look at what they’re doing,’” said Peter Dixon of Parish Hill Creamery.

Robert Burch, a local glass blower, started the Putney Craft Tour 43 years ago to attract people to the small town for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience and to give local artisans visibility.

Burch is one of the 19 artisans whose work is on display and for sale this weekend.

“Most of my work is one of a kind. Not necessarily on purpose,” Burch said. “I do drinking glasses. It’s one of the popular items we have. And I do paperweights with landscapes, either sunrise scenes or crescent moons over mountains, and that’s probably our most popular piece by far.”

Like many of the vendors on the tour, Burch will perform demonstrations to show people how he makes his products.

“I just love to talk to people about blowing glass because it’s basically magical and I want to share that,” he said.

Parish Hill Creamery is also participating in the Putney Craft Tour. Peter Dixon and Rachel Fritz Schaal say due to the pandemic, their set up will be a bit different. They’re planning to have a service window at their store.

“We will still make our giant display of cheese wheels for folks to see but in the past, we would have samples all around so that people could some up and try it,” Fritz Schaal said. “But this year, in order to keep things a little bit safer, we’ll be doing the tastings on plates.”

After the pandemic forced the event to go online last year, artisans are thrilled to be back in person.

“Delighted to have people traveling around the region,” Fritz Schaal said. “And not only are the individual artists and shops exciting and eye-opening, but also, it’s just so beautiful driving around.”

Maps of the tour will be available at the Putney General Store and at the participating locations.

The Putney Craft Tour will be held Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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