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The Rochester Folk Art Guild presents its 50th “Holiday Festival of Crafts" | Arts & Culture

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The Rochester Folk Art Guild presents its 50th “Holiday Festival of Crafts"
The Rochester Folk Art Guild presents its 50th “Holiday Festival of Crafts"

The Rochester Folk Art Guild will present its 50th Holiday Festival of Crafts from 10 am to 5 pm on Friday, Nov. 25th and Saturday, Nov. 26th and from 11 am to 5 pm, Sunday, Nov. 27th.  The show will be held at The Harley School, 1981 Clover Street in Rochester, between Elmwood Ave. and Allens Creek Road. 

Hand-crafted pottery, wooden furniture and turnings, woven items, hand-made clothing from all natural fibers, folk toys, handmade art glass jewelry, imported vintage and contemporary Middle Eastern rugs and books for all ages will be for sale.  Admission is $2 per person or free with an invitation which can be downloaded and printed out at www.folkartguild.org.

During this half century, countless people have enjoyed the Rochester Folk Art Guild’s functional and decorative work.  Many of those people have also learned to make useful crafts in their experiences of working in the Guild’s Middlesex-based studios.  Today, seasoned craftspeople continue to share their knowledge of process, working alongside younger apprentices. To mark this milestone, Guild members have collected examples of early craft and will present them alongside their recent work.  A photographic and descriptive display of the origins of the craft shops will be mounted next to views and text about the Guild today.

Here are some highlights of the upcoming show:

  • The Guild’s Natural Fiber Clothing Design studio has designed an array of items, from wraps made from wools and silks to kimono jackets, swing-style coats and more, each one made unique by the addition of textiles from around the world and vintage beads and buttons. The studio also offers scarves, pins and wrist warmers made of “upcycled” wool that had a previous life as sweaters, skirts, jackets and remnants of past projects. 
  • In anticipation of winter, the Guild’s weavers have produced wool ponchos, colorful shawls, scarves, and hats.  Much of the wool has been dyed naturally drawing on colors of season. 
  • The Guild’s Pottery Shop has been drawing on motifs from nature in form and decoration.  Its functional vases, plates and tiles show various birds, including the red-breasted nuthatch, warblers, and rare Hawaii amakihi.  From the plant kingdom come sunflower cut bowls, small tree trays done in brushwork, and much leaf work: pitchers, mugs and bowls now with blue slip as well as celadon.
  • Guild woodworkers have produced cherry natural-edged benches and coffee tables with beautiful slabs from the Allegheny Forest. Seasoned and upcoming turners alike have been producing bowls, platters and plates. Cutting boards are also available, which make great gifts.  There are thin hardwood ones for serving, and thicker ones for chopping.  Hardwood rolling pins, offered by the Woodshop apprentices, make pie baking a joy.  
  • The Guild’s sought-after traditional wooden folk toys will also be available.  The Daruma Otoshi originates in Japan, while the “knucklebuster”and the Mr and Mrs Flip hail from Latin roots. 
  • In addition to crafts, the Guild will once again present an array of books, including a variety of children’s books, as well as myriad books on spirituality, art, and of course, cooking.
  • Those seeking a gift to adorn a loved one can select a necklace made with cut glass beads, in the display of art glass jewelry.  The Guild always has some special surprises and even CDs of the music of Guild musicians.


For more information about the Guild and a calendar of events, workshops, and classes, please visit www.folkartguild.org or call 585-554-3539.

A not-for-profit arts community and educational institution, the Guild began its work in crafts more than 50 years ago.  Located on a 350-acre farm in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, the Guild has grown to receive worldwide recognition for its handcrafts which have found their place in museums, private collections, shops, and galleries through the United States and abroad. 

The Guild also offers workshops for adults and conducts educational outreach programs for children.  Its Apprenticeship Program is designed for young people who are searching for a practical, hands-on approach to learning and living.  Working alongside experienced master craftspeople, apprentices learn proficiency in a craft and how to live alongside others in a community setting.

For the past three years, the Guild has offered a June Craft Weekend for all ages and this season has launched its own Community Supported Agricultural program or CSA.  For more information, visit www.folkartguild.org or call 585-554-3539.

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