North Country Crafts

North Country Crafts

Adirondack heritage is intertwined with distinctive styles of crafts and folk art. Inspired by the forest, 19th- and 20th-century craftsmen created furniture with twig details, bark veneer, burls, and branches to bring nature into their homes. Traveling between lakes and rivers in the wild woods inspired the creation of small “carryable” wooden guideboats and packbaskets.

As old craft traditions are passed down, new ones evolve. Some crafts are practical; others are simply decorative. Enjoy the beauty of the Adirondacks as you discover fine works they have inspired.Day OneAdirondack MuseumHead to Blue Mountain Lake, where this unique nature and heritage museum showcases Adirondack boats, baskets, furniture, and other regional crafts.

In the Decorative Art collection, you can see works by rustic builders such as Seth Pierce and Ernest Stowe, as well as rustic picture frames, lamps, racks, and clocks. The traditional and folk art collection features Benny Arnold miniatures, folk paintings, fungus art, hand-painted signs, models, woodcarvings, baskets, and fiber arts.Adirondack Lakes Center for the ArtsThe gallery in Blue Mountain Lake highlights regional artists and artisans. You can sign up for workshops in various craft disciplines, like woodworking and fabric art, taught by instructors from around the Adirondack region.

A wide array of performing arts includes theater, dance, and concerts that range from traditional folk music to classical piano.Day TwoGreat Camp SagamoreThe summer home of the Vanderbilts from 1901 to 1954, Sagamore itself is a magnificent example of an Adirondack craft tradition: the Great Camp. The Main Lodge, built in 1897 by Great Camp architect William West Durant, is considered his greatest masterpiece.Art and nature programs at Sagamore include a two-hour Folk Artisans Tour. You’ll learn about traditional Adirondack crafts and meet talented artisans. Craft demonstrations range from packbaskets to guide boats.

If you make reservations to stay on site, you can enjoy balsam scented air, starry nights, and quiet canoeing on pristine Raquette Lake.Day ThreeAdirondack Artists Guild Art GalleryThis Saranac Lake art gallery features original works of fine art and crafts by 14 regional artists and artisans. Walk down Main Street in the village to find many more galleries featuring local crafts.Swallowtail StudioWayne Ignatuk creates custom furniture influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement that thrived here in the early 1900s. Integrating the trees’ subtle curves into the design, each piece is distinguished by the mix of native hardwoods, refined rustic detailing, and hand-rubbed oil finishes.

The gallery is located in Jay, above his workshop. Swallowtail is one of many studios and craft galleries in Jay and nearby Keene Valley.Keene Farmers MarketThis market at the Marcy Airfield in Keene is actually best known for a large selection of fine regional crafts. Of course, it’s also a great place to pick up fresh produce to take home.