PA Route 6 Artisan Trail celebrates artists using natural materials

Across US Route 6 in Pennsylvania, many talented artisans are using their surroundings as both inspiration and materials for their creative works. The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail is the best way to experience the scenic beauty and to learn about the natural resources of the Northern Tier.

“Creative Genius and Amazing Prospects are two of the themes for Pennsylvania Route 6 Heritage Corridor,” Terri Dennison, Executive Director of the PA Route 6 Alliance, said. “While each of our artisans are using their hands and minds to make works of wonder; they are also using the land and its natural resources to produce works of wonder. Whether it’s with paints, sculpture, photography, music, jewelry and even wine and cheese; each piece is product from the heart and tells the story of both the creator and a place in time.”

The PA Route 6 Alliance has designated the month of April as Artisan Month and is celebrating its members who use natural products and resources as inspiration for their work. As part of the celebration, a special poster has been released named “Souring on 6,” featuring the stained glass work of Edie Seeman from Stained Glass Reflections in Wellsboro (Mile Marker 221). A special display of PA Route 6 Artisans has also been installed at the Route 15 South PennDOT Welcome Center in Tioga, PA.

According to Merry Ryding, PA Route 6 Artisan Trail Coordinator, many of the PA Route 6 Artisans work with subjects that relate to the beautiful and bountiful resources of the area like Connie Sickler of the Settlement House in Troy (between Mile Marker 246 and 247). Sickler uses the landscape as the focus of her paintings and illustrations. While other artist and artisans work in wood, clay, metals and other natural materials to make household objects and useful items like Jack Northrop, whose wooden bowls often are made from the burls of the local black cherry in Kane. Northrop’s work can be seen and purchased at the ArtWorks at the Depot at Kane (between Mile Marker 124 and 125). Joal Wolf of Conneaut Cellars and Distillery in Conneaut Lake (Mile Marker 14) creates award winning wines and spirits from local fruits. Helene Nawrocki of Bear Mountain Herbs, Genesee, makes a variety of teas and other products from the herbs grown in her own meadow. Her products are sold at the Potter County Artisan Shop in Coudersport (Mile Marker 175). Ellen Silberlicht of Blue Deer Studios in Honesdale (Mile Marker 360) uses clay and fiber to create unique pieces of pottery.

“These are just a few examples,” Dennison said. “We encourage travelers to visit each of our artisans and local shops. There is no doubt that they will learn more about the artisans, the natural resources and the beauty of our special highway.”

The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail was started in 2005 as a year-long trail, designed to establish Route 6 as a driving destination for exploring the heritage and folk- life of northern Pennsylvania through products produced in that area, specifically the arts and crafts. The PA Route 6 Artisan Trail covers the 427 miles from the New York border to the Ohio border.

The trail also serves as a network for artisans to share ideas and experiences. It is managed by the PA Route 6 Alliance and funded through the Heritage Area Program of the PA Department of Conservation and Natural resource. For a list of Artisan Trail Members and more information on the trail itself, go to www.paroute6.com/artisan-trail.


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