The Hippo


Jul 19, 2019








Pamela Sullivan of Pamela Sullivan Contemporary Jewelry in Dunbarton will be welcoming outsiders during the NH Open Doors event. Courtesy photo.

New Hampshire Open Doors

When: Saturday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 9
Where: Studios, shops, lodgings and farms across the state.
Cost: Free, with plenty of locally made products for sale
Contact: Visit for a list of participating artisans and farmers and for printable maps and itineraries.

What’s behind door No. 1?
Meet the state’s makers during NH Open Doors


Pamela Sullivan had been involved on the marketing side of NH Open Doors since its inception in 2005. This year, however, she’s decided to open a door of her own.

“I really felt I wasn’t ready to do it as a craftsperson until I had a body of work to sell,” said Sullivan, president and director of Sullivan Creative, and a silversmith in her spare time. “I also didn’t have what I would call a great set-up at home. But I renovated a 200-year-old farmhouse into a studio with a beautiful room that makes for a great working studio. … I decided to pull together some of my friends who were craftspeople and invite them to come in my space.”
During Open Doors, which is happening Saturday, Nov. 8, and Sunday, Nov. 9, Pamela Sullivan Contemporary Jewelry Designer in Dunbarton will host a variety of artists’ work, including mosaics, leather art, ceramic art, scarves and more. The artists at Sullivan’s studio will be demonstrating and showcasing their art. Sullivan, for example, will demonstrate how to work with gemstones and silver to create unique pieces of jewelry.
“I won’t be allowed to have the torch going,” she laughed. “It’ll mostly be hand work.”
The Open Doors event, Sullivan said, is a big step for a lot of craftspeople because this is one weekend where artists really put themselves out there to showcase their talents. It’s also beneficial, she said, because it’s the start of the holiday shopping season and attendees can shop for gifts and support local businesses simultaneously.
For almost 10 years, local craftspeople, artists, artisans, business owners and farmers from all over the state have opened their doors to the public for the special weekend event. 
For some, like Pam Bartlett, owner of Red Horse Rugs in Loudon, the weekend serves as a proper time for a grand opening. Bartlett will be demonstrating her rug hooking as people browse around the new store. Bartlett has been involved with NH Open Doors for the past few years and said she continues to do it because of the number of people who come out to support local businesses.
“You’re seeing a lot of people in one day that you wouldn’t see in a whole year,” said Bartlett.
Attendees can go onto the NH Open Doors website and create an itinerary with driving routes that will take them to Open Doors businesses around the state.
“Generally, we post a map online of each region, where participants can get together, come up with directions to visit each studio on their list and make a plan to have lunch at a nearby restaurant,” said Terri Wiltse, the operations manager of the League of NH Craftsmen.
NH Open Doors, according to Wiltse, started with the League of NH Craftsmen members who wanted to host an open studio tour that would allow attendees to not only see the inside of the artists’ space but to also watch as they demonstrate the craft. The tour eventually expanded to include non-members, and since then the event has drawn in 475 participants at 169 locations.
The tour features crafts and fine art, as well as other specialties. Some businesses that are being featured on the tour include restaurants, wineries, pet food stores, performing art galleries, museums and more.
“Wineries will have tastings, some of the apple orchards will have wagon rides,” said Wiltse. “The fun part is seeing what these places have to offer.”
Wiltse points out that there will be a variety of new stops to be on the lookout for this year are. A studio in Peterborough, for example, will be showcasing the art of wood marquetry; Happy Mess Art Studio in Dover will host No Fret Cooking cookbook author Marilynn Carter and jazz music by guitarist Steve Carter. Wiltse said the NH Open Doors website is also including posts that point out interesting things to look out for at each location.
“I think there’s a demand of people who want to buy things locally,” she said. “It’s nice to see the artists in their own space and watch them demonstrate. A lot of people don’t understand pricing until they see what goes into making a pot, and once you see all the steps, it makes more sense.” 
As seen in the November 6, 2014 issue of the Hippo.

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