Artisan’s House on Mill
by Cate Murway
The word “handmade” evokes genuine feelings of warmth, of comfort, of craftsmanship.
Right off Route 13 in historic Bristol Borough tucked on pedestrian friendly Mill Street, stands the Artisan’s House that keeps the creative and artisan spirit very much alive in an incredibly inviting atmosphere. Artisan’s House on Mill is a cool niche shoppe with ONLY handmade fine art, crafts and unique gifts by local, emerging artists, offering their handcrafted items. “Once a month an artist will give classes of his/ her work to the customers,” owner Karla Aguirre-Sloan shared. Handcrafted art with expert attention to detail from handpicked artists at their very creative best!
The premier selections are constantly replenished with new and exciting creations. The merchandise is always changing!
The gifted artists turn their exciting ideas into unique products, some very much outside the mainstream.
There is metered storefront parking and plenty of free parking in the Mill Street Parking lot.
The Artisan House logo “is the national bird from my country”. The wall art logo mural was hand drawn and painted by Lorraine Cocci, Owner/Creative Director at The Unique Mini Boutique.
Artist-owners who pour their hearts into their work are onsite daily, showcasing an abundant range of media... from the extraordinary to the sublime, crafted from diverse mediums including fabric, glass, ceramics, paper, pottery, jewelry and more.
“It brings me back home [El Salvador] where everybody that I know has a talent for handmade items,” acknowledged Karla. “You will find a lot of love around them... All of them with a unique story that makes each one different from the rest.”
Sunny Seaside Seaglass
Linda Sue [Rymarowicz] Bucci was a “stay at home mom” who treasures the opportunities she had to care for her late handicapped daughter, Adria. On her treks to the beach, she enjoyed collecting sea glass, weathered glass found along the salt water. Sea glass begins as bottles and glass that get tossed on the shore, broken, and then tumbled smooth by the waves and currents.
Linda lost her precious Adria last year and one of the first Seaglass pieces she created was a dove to hang in her daughter’s bedroom.
Her mosaic craft is her creative outlet. A favorite piece is the blue wave featured on her business card.
So, how do you like the Artisan’s House? “I love it. It feels like a piece of home.”
Sisters, Susan C. Marshall and Victoria A. “Vicki” Craw have been creating china birdfeeders for two years come this May. Susan’s artistic talent had been previously dedicated to her work in the bakery at Redner’s Market. Their Chirpin’ China bird feeders are made in Vicki’s home based workshop where Vicki had created the very first one. Family and friends were impressed, so they designed bird houses as well and their entrepreneurial venture began.
Sue was searching for pieces of Chinaware in Sloan’s Thrift and proprietor, Andrew Sloan gave her business card to his wife. Karla appreciated Sue’s and Vicki’s craft and welcomed them aboard!
Gwen & Bill Creations
Gwendelyn Marie “Gwen” Grunert, BHS ‘00 is a Crunch Fitness personal trainer and she “loves decorating and designing home interiors”. Her dad, William E. “Bill” Grunert is “a jack of all trades”.
Gwen feels that she is the “brains behind” their father/ daughter team and it is her father who does the expert building of the ideas. “I wanted to make things for my own house; a coffee table and end tables from wooden pallets. I design and he builds!”
She received a “cricut”, a home die-cutting machine as a gift and now their crafted selections include
decals for water bottles and iron-ons for oven mitts and shirts and other apparel.
They originally started in Karla’s Bristol Antique Market next door.
LA PRINCESA DE PAPEL
Justine Frances Wallace credits her mom, Christine Marie Wallace with being “my right hand lady; my hero”. Justine’s family is all “hands on, tactile people. My grandfather Joe was a wood carver and my mom is a writer.”
This very talented young lady is an NYU student pursuing a career in Spanish foreign language education.
She began her love of paper folding in the 4th grade when she learned to make paper flowers and paper cranes. She progressed to 3D origami, an art form where thousands of sheets of paper can be folded to create one sculpture. Justine’s Aunt Sharon read an article in a local newspaper about Artisan’s House in Bristol and it was there that she found the perfect home for her folded creations.
Justine does not just fold paper, she writes on it; very well. At the age of 16, she published her poetry book, “My Heart Speaks” by Justine Wallace.
Her book signing was held at Barnes & Noble Oxford Valley in March 2014.
“Mama you’ve been my rock, but you’ve been my pillow too.
And no matter how tall I get, I still look up to you.”
Respect is mutual. Her mother assured, “Justine is empathetic and kind, creative, and an all around amazing young girl.”
Old things are better than new things, because they’ve got stories in them.
Katherine Ann “Kathy” Pavonarius and her brother, Gregory Kush masterfully repurpose furniture and create innovative gift items and cards.
Kathy taught Special Education classes in Bensalem Twp. for 30 years so her crafting began as a “relaxing thing, more of a hobby”. She began with furniture pieces that she had accrued from auctions, fleas markets and yard sales. Her brother Greg started making signs using pieces of old license plates.
So together, they “give new life to old finds”.
Her wall hangings include vintage dictionary and vintage music art and she also designs greeting cards with envelopes using vintage die cuts and postcards.
Kathy has transformed tables by using decoupage and has ingeniously painted old suitcases and positions them on painted table bases to provide added room storage.
What a clever, perfect addition for a guest room!
“My husband, Mark David is my transport person and my son, Andrew, PSU ’18 helps out when he is available.”
Kathy does accept color requests for her works.
Refurbished furniture at its finest!
Terri-Ann Gonzalez is a proud, 3 time cancer survivor who has been avidly expressing her creativity for the last 4 years. She took an old nightstand, painted it green and white, and promptly sold it.
“I have always had an eye for art. As a young girl, I painted a Flintstone mural on a bedroom wall.”
She custom colors any furniture, any size furniture, herself. Her husband is “just the muscle and delivery”. Terri-Ann restores old quality furniture into new treasures; from shabby to chic.
She will be giving a demonstration how to transform a simple dresser into a one of a kind piece.
10% veterans discount on any purchase.
Mother's Day "Have a date with Mom" event is planned.
A rose will be given to all moms who come in, no purchase necessary.
Karla’s sister, Vilma Aguirre volunteers her ‘face painting’ skills for the kids’ special events.
Karla’s mission is to give both her customers and vendors the best opportunity to connect and build successful relationships, providing an opportunity for the crafters, entrepreneurs who dig deep into a niche and do something no one else is doing, to become shop owners.
Whether you are just starting or you have been making art for decades, Artisan’s House may have just what you need……..space available to help best display your handmade and unique products while attracting new customers.
Secure a space for 3 months [after that, month to month] for your crafts while they are still available!
Low commission of only 8% of sales is kept.
Interested artists may contact Karla for an appointment or to submit digital images of their work for consideration in exhibiting and selling work in the Artisan’s House gallery.
327 Mill Street
Bristol Borough, PA
Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm
Monday - Closed
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