Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Makers ~ Mark Baker & Leigh Medeiros ~ Exeter

Artist’s name: Mark Baker + Leigh Medeiros
Shop name: Rhode Island Rustic
Blog: same

1. Tell us about your work: 
We make sustainable home goods and decor that are unique to Rhode Island's geography and culture. Mark is a carpenter, and uses reclaimed pallets and found branches for our trays, phone docks, benches, altar tables, and hooks. I use indigo dye, which is plant-based and therefore more eco-friendly, to create eye-catching "ocean blue" designs on tea towels, napkins, pillows, table runners, scarves, and more.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business? 
We wanted "Rhode Island" in the name because when we first launched we were just making the wood products and all of the wood was found locally. Also, we want to sort of elevate the word "rustic" to be more aesthetically considered than the usual fare.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer/maker? 
Mark and I met in art school in the 1990's. I continued to work in the arts over the years as an exhibiting artist and gallery owner, among other things. I also support artists and writers through my freelance business, All Creativelike. After art school Mark went on to study woodworking at the North Bennet Street School, and later work as a builder then a furniture maker.

4. Where do you draw your inspiration? 
Two places. Rhode Island's amazing natural beauty, and those who take discards and repurpose them into something beautiful.

5. How long have you been in Rhode Island? 
I grew up here. Mark's been here for 10 years.

6. What do you {heart} about Rhode Island? 
For one, the size of Rhode Island promotes a sort of intimacy, allowing everyone to feel more connected. If you meet a fellow Rhode Islander and talk long enough, chances are very high you'll have at least one person in common. On top of that, we have amazing natural beauty, eye-catching historic architecture, killer restaurants, a great art community, and excellent proximity to Boston and New York.

7. Favorite place to take out-of-towners? 
So many places! But first and foremost I'd say Block Island. There I'd recommend Clayhead Trail, Winfield's restaurant, the labyrinth on Corn Neck Road, the Historic Society, the Farmer's Market, drinking/dining on the lawn of the Atlantic Inn, walking down to the Bluffs, swimming at Mansion Beach, strolling through the shops, mudslides at The Oar, followed by dancing at Capt. Nicks.

10. Any advice for new/wannabe makers? 
Don't get too far ahead of yourself. Keep the big picture in mind, but focus on the small steps. Just put one foot in front of the other and stay steady as you go. Also, don't get so lost in the creative work that you ignore the business parts. Keep records; know your costs; pay your bills on time; and get support if you need it. The business end is the foundation that supports the creative work.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Events ~ Craftopia ~ Providence

CRAFTOPIA, enjoy the holidays, shop early!

Who: Rhody Craft is a fun, colorful shop that sells a carefully curated, eclectic collection of locally handmade art and craft, many with a Rhode Island tilt, and much more. Rhody Craft also produces CRAFTOPIA, an exciting, juried craft show every November.

What: CRAFTOPIA! kicks off the holiday season for the seventh consecutive year at Hope Artiste Village in ­Pawtucket RI. CRAFTOPIA!, is the area’s premier single-day, art and craft event, showcasing unique, ­locally handmade goods. CRAFTOPIA! is known for its festive atmosphere and the quality of it’s 60+ juried ­vendors from around New England. The event makes available a varied collection of fun, high-quality, hand-made goods including jewelry, clothing, handbags, bath and body, baby accessories, fine arts and always something unexpected.

There will be food trucks outside and hot coffee inside, so enjoy the holidays and shop early at CRAFTOPIA! Admission is just a buck and kids are admitted free, with every 50th entrant winning CRAFTOPIA bucks in varying denominations which can be spent at any vendor booth.

CRAFTOPIA! is hosted by Rhody Craft who’s retail shop sells a carefully curated, eclectic collection of ­locally handmade art and craft with a Rhode Islant tilt, and much more. Rhody Craft is locally owned and operated on Hope Street in Providence.

Where: Hope Artiste Village
1005 Main Street
Pawtucket, RI 02860

When: Sunday, November 13, 2016
10 AM - 4 PM

Contact: Kim Clark
Phone: 401.626.1833

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Events ~ And One for the Pot ~ South Kingstown and Newport


And One for the Pot: Tea & Treason, A Living History Talk 
Presented in partnership with the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, 
The Newport Historical Society and South County History Center 

Newport, RI – August 2016 – The Newport Historical Society and South County History Center have partnered with the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum to present a living history program, And One for the Pot: Tea & Treason, that will be offered twice in different locations this fall.

Costumed interpreters will offer a peak into the past as they portray upper-class residents in 1770s Rhode Island to explore tea brewing, tea etiquette and the place of tea in colonial America, along with the influence of politics on this popular practice.

And One for the Pot: Tea & Treason takes place on Saturday, September 24, 2016, in South Kingstown, RI, and again on Thursday, October 13, 2016, in Newport, RI. Details are as follows:

South Kingstown, RI hosted by the South County History Center 
• Saturday, September 24, 2016, at 2pm at the South Kingstown Land Trust Barn, 17 Matunuck Beach Road, South Kingstown
• Tickets cost $10 per person; a $2 discount is offered for South County History Center, Newport Historical Society and Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum members. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available online at:
• Admission includes a tea reception following the program.

Newport, RI hosted by the Newport Historical Society 
• Thursday, October 13, 2016, at 5:30pm at the Newport Historical Society’s Resource Center, 82 Touro Street, Newport, RI.
• Admission costs $5 per person, $1 for Newport Historical Society, South County History Center and Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum members. Please RSVP to: 401-841-8770.

This program ties into the Newport Historical Society’s Newport Eats history of food initiative along with the South County History Center’s 2016-2017 series Taverns, Teapots and Temperance: South County in a Cup.

About the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 
The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, owned and operated by Historic Tours of America, is dedicated to accurately reliving that famous event. With a new state-of-the art museum and authentic replica ships; the Beaver and the Eleanor; the attraction brings visitors back in time to learn and experience the courageous acts of those who forever shaped the course of history.

About the Newport Historical Society 
Since 1854, the Newport Historical Society has collected and preserved the artifacts, photographs, documents, publications, and genealogical records that relate to the history of Newport County, to make these materials readily available for both research and enjoyment, and to act as a resource center for the education of the public about the history of Newport County, so that knowledge of the past may contribute to a fuller understanding of the present. For more information please visit

About the South County History Center 
The South County History Center’s mission is to lead the discovery and stewardship of South County’s unique historic resources through meaningful and enriching learning opportunities. To achieve this goal, the Center preserves and interprets the material culture of South County through exhibits and study of archival, library and artifact collections. For more information, please visit


Media inquiries contact:

Elizabeth Sulock
Newport Historical Society
Manager of Public Outreach
401-846-0813 x104

Evan O'Brien
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
Creative Manager

Erica Luke
South County History Center
Executive Director