Getting Your A&C Mojo On

I returned to Craftsman Farms in New Jersey this past weekend, this time electing to see Gustav Stickley’s 1909-1917 home and farm in the light of day rather than sharing the grounds in the moonlight with a doe and two twin fawns.

While this daytime visit may not have been quite as emotional as my walk in the moonlight, it proved a perfect compliment, demonstrating once again that Gustav Stickley’s dream has not faded away, but, indeed, is being carried forward with more enthusiasm and dedication than he could ever have imagined.

The event was the annual Craftsman Farms Weekend Gala, held in conjunction this year with their third annual Emerging Scholars Symposium. The weekend included seminars, tours, a luncheon, the dedication of the Ruth Cruess Glesmann Memorial Walkway (she was a granddaughter of Gustav Stickley), and a black tie dinner and auction (top photo) on Saturday night at the Mountain Lakes Clubhouse.

It could have been sub-titled “Jay Gatsby & Daisy Buchanan meet Gustav Stickley.”

And through it all was the opportunity to mix and mingle with both old friends and new, all sharing a concern not only for the preservation and restoration of Craftsman Farms, but for the continued growth of the Arts and Crafts movement.

And the weekend reinforced for me just how important each of these special occasions are, including the Pasadena (CA) Heritage Weekend and the Roycrofters (East Aurora, NY) “Well Crafted Weekend,” both being held October 18-20. And in recent times we have had shows and special events in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Oak Park, Craftsman Farms, and the Grove Park Inn, and they all share an important function: to remind us that we are not alone in our attraction to the ideals and the objects of the Arts and Crafts movement.

And so when you are feeling a tad bit isolated and perhaps in risk of losing your Arts and Crafts mojo in the glare of a television or computer screen, take a break and pick an Arts and Crafts event to attend. Just knowing that in the coming days or weeks you’ll be sharing laughs, clinking glasses, inspecting pots, checking shopmarks, and taking notes — or perhaps even tapping out a piece of copper or embroidering your own table runner — will keep you from drowning in your work.

And each time you do, you’ll come home refreshed and revitalized, good for another six months — or until your next Arts and Crafts event.

Until next Monday,

Thanks for stopping by!


Top Photo: Bob Nickerson showing the form he used to snag the winning bid for the Grove Park Inn Arts & Crafts Conference Package at the Craftsman Farms Gala auction (Photo by Ray Stubblebine.).

Middle Photo: One of the metalsmithing classes held at the Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conference last year.