Portsmouth New Hampshire is even better than I remembered! The Button Factory Studios is an enviable location. With some 75 artists inside their walls, it is thick with creativity, knowledge, and experience. The first floor alone houses one of the largest and most well equipped collective wood shops I have ever stepped foot in.
I did not take pictures within the studios as I feel that these are private working sanctuaries and it is an honor to be invited in to see them. If I really wanted to photograph something I would ask permission first. I was in a photographer’s studio expressing this thought to my wife when the photographer herself, who was sitting nearby, turned around and said “Thank you!” She went on to explain her own thoughts on how she would try and judge, within the space of a few seconds, who was abusing the privilege and who wasn’t. It’s a tough call and I sympathize.
I was not, however, so hesitant in the hallways.
My friends Heather Brooks and Tom Driscoll had invited me up to display some work in Tom’s new studio space on the first floor. Tom restores old sash and stained-glass windows. Sash and Solder is his company (it’s new enough that the website is under construction) and he fielded questions from the public all weekend about restoration work. Some were just curious but many had very specific cases they were just waiting for an opportunity to attend to. It was a fantastic way to promote his new company and advertise his expertise.
As the space had hardly been moved into, Tom asked me to fill the walls out with whatever artwork I could fit into our car.
Rachel Dlugos joined us as well to display and sell her jewelry, and she did some brisk business.
As for myself, I sold one small painting, a print, and several blank greeting cards.
The Open Studios are always on the weekend after Thanksgiving weekend and, though crowded, I highly recommend a visit to anyone looking for a creative, artistic experience.