Scaling down
A pendant made from recycled materials by T. Breeze Verdant.

Scaling down

Cotton Mill readies for Open Doors ’19, a smaller version of its longtime open studio, holiday sale

BRATTLEBORO — Organizers of the annual Cotton Mill Open Studio and Holiday Sale - a perennial favorite - assure that the longtime holiday event is just in a regrouping mode this year.

But in the meantime, several artists and enterprises headquartered in the repurposed historic factory can't resist the holiday spirit.

And so...voilà! Cotton Mill Open Doors '19.

On Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8, one can find either on the Mill's loading dock or in individuals' work spaces a similarly eclectic range of items that the public's come to appreciate over 20 years.

Participants include:

• Buddy's - A Pet's Store. With products designed to enhance pets' lives, Buddy's offers a wide assortment - natural grooming supplies, toys, pet treats and foods, home furnishings, apparel for special occasions and comfort, and safety gear for outdoor adventures.

• Iron Arts. Iron Arts will be exhibiting custom metalwork and garden art at its studio in the Quonset hut building.

• Liza Cassidy and Rebecca Gembarowski Painting Studio. Gembarowski's work is abstract oil and mixed-media encaustic paintings, and Cassidy's is mixed media collage and plein air oil paintings.

• OWL Energy Bar. Delicious and nutritious handcrafted small batch energy bars. OWL Bars - the name is an acronym for “Original. Wholesome. Local.” - are designed to help support natural energy levels and are made with gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, whole-food ingredients in four flavors.

• Pro Lingua. Pro Lingua aims to foster “interplay,” an approach to learning and teaching that promotes the interaction of language learners and teachers with their materials, with language and culture, and with one another in active, creative, productive play.

• Q Filmworks. Angus Reid is a freelance videographer, editor, filmmaker, visual-effects artist, and drone operator.

• Rosie's Wonders. Rosie's Connection Cards begin with a moment of free-form inspiration. The greeting cards strive to deliver a message of hope, comfort, and delight - and always an opportunity for connection. Artist Rosie Schulick uses only eco-friendly materials in the creation of more than 100 designs.

• T. Breeze Verdant Marquetry and Inlay. The artist describes his elegant jewelry as “earthy, but chic, up and re-coming,” made with materials from shipwrecks, pianos, covered bridges, outhouse seats, bark-y twigs, driftwood, barns, cellos, and instrument-string windings and ends. Verdant creates stunning handmade inlay jewelry from repurposed, upcycled, cast-off materials.

• Vermont Jazz Center. In addition to its Annual Big Band Gala on Saturday, Dec. 7, this year, the VJC hosts its annual Fall Semester Student Showcase and Open House on Sunday, Dec. 8, from noon to 4 p.m. Hear the Latin Jazz Ensemble, Youth Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, Blue Note Jazz Ensemble, Soubrette Choir, Samba Percussion Ensemble, and Ukelele Jazz Ensemble. Suggested donation: $5.

Witri Knives. In a culture where so many things are made cheaply and designed to be thrown away, it gives Micah Witri great joy to make heirloom-quality kitchen knives. Witri's love of nature inspires his choices of materials, which he harvests locally to create one-of-a-kind knives.

A creative hotbed

The 107-year-old Cotton Mill complex - once home to Dummer Mills, then Berkshire Fine Spinners, and then Berkshire Hathaway - was repurposed by the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation (BDCC) starting in 1983 to encourage and support small business and creative entrepreneurship.

Over the past two decades, on the first weekend of December, a wide range of Mill tenants have opened their doors to curiosity-seekers and shoppers alike who enjoyed the chance not only to tend to holiday shopping but also to see what goes on behind some of the area's most successful products.

Albeit on a smaller scale, Cotton Mill Open Doors offers such opportunities again this year.

The event is admission-free Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates