The corner of Virginia that I live in, the one with rolling mountains and gorgeous sunsets and dozens of shades of green, well, it boasts some incredible artisans as well. I’m talking time-honored blacksmiths and renowned potters, award-winning brewers, cutting-edge vintners. Yes, and remarkable painters and jewelers and bakers and farmers. So much creativity and talent lives and works here.
But here — most of Virginia, really — is not New York City or Los Angeles or Chicago, where there are fashion districts and Chelsea Markets and hives of buzz that harbor cell upon cell of creators who feed off each other’s energy and connect with an audience in a very public way.
No, here, artisans are often tucked away and around the bend and smack dab in the woods. And that is part of the beauty.
But it’s also why a person might need a little help to encounter it.
Which is the impulse behind a celebrated concept sweeping through Virginia right now, a destination venture called the Virginia Artisan Trail Network.
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"Brenda uses natural materials mostly found locally in the Shenandoah Valley to create her one-of-a-kind baskets"
"I create one of a kind, designer silk scarves that are hand painted and hand dyed. "