James Rada, Jr.

The 13th Annual Foothills Artist Studio Tour in Adams County, Pennsylvania, was so successful that printmaker Anne Finucane nearly ran out of the prints she was selling.

“It was an amazing day,” Finucane said. “I had to go home and print and frame until midnight to have pieces to sell today.”

It is hard work that she loves. Her father was an artist, and she has been an artist all of her life.

“I sold my first piece when I was eight, and I cried afterwards because I realized I didn’t want to sell it,” she said.

Finucane is one of 10 artists in Adams County who opened their studios for the weekend to show off their art and offer them for sale.

Jack Handshaw is a potter who uses many types of clay and firings in his work, but he is known for his hobbits. He was inspired to create them after reading J. R. R. Tolkien’s books, and he even named his Hobbit House Pottery.

Handshaw said of his designs, “I like to try to do the things no one else is doing.”

Judy Pyle makes jewelry torch firing glass to metal, as well as other types of arts involving metal.

“The first time I fired enamel on metal, the paint was black,” Pyle said. “I thought it was ruined. Then it cooled and turned into these gorgeous colors.”

Now, making jewelry this way is one of Pyle’s favorite things to do.

Finucane sees the artistic process where the journey to finished pieces create a sense of tension in the artist in the hopes of creating something wonderful.

“Each step in the process is a possibility of something going wrong,” she said.

When a mistake is made, sometimes it can be covered up. Sometimes, it ruins the piece and the artist has to start over, and sometimes it leads to something wonderfully unexpected and beautiful

Finucane likes printmaking because it’s not an art form that many artists in this area practice. So, not only does it give her work a unique look, she enjoys doing it.

“I get an adrenaline rush waiting to see how it turns out,” she said.

The many visitors who took the tour on November 23 and 24 were also appreciative. Sisters Julia and Alison Hendon were on the tour for the first time. They live in Adams County, amid all the artists. Handshaw said he noticed a lot of the visitors this year seemed to be coming from the Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, area.

“This is a good option to see local artists,” Alison Hendon said.

While some artists only displayed their arts, others, like Handshaw, took the time to show visitors how their pieces were created. He put a ball of porcelain clay on the potter’s wheel and shaped it into a hobbit.

“And another one is born,” he said, when finished the first part of the process. After the addition and cutting of some of the features, painting, and firing of the clay, the lump of clay would become a snowball-sized hobbit head.

Like many of the visitors, impressed by what they saw on the tour, the Hendons made some purchases.

“We really like to support local artists,” Julia said.

Jack Handshaw creates a hobbit on his potter’s wheel at the 13th Annual Foothills Artist Studio Tour in November.

Share →