Ohio's largest living history destination offering guests experiences
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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sauder Village Craftsmen - Innovation & Inspiration

To help celebrate our “Explore the Crafts” event today and tomorrow, we’re featuring two of the talented craftsmen who share their talents and play such an important role in our guest experience. We hope you enjoy “meeting” our tinsmith and blacksmith and will be inspired to join us on Fri. July 23 and Sat. July 24 to explore your own creativity during our “Explore the Crafts” event at Sauder Village!

Mike Runyon
Starting his 15th season at Sauder Village, tinsmith Mike Runyon continues to stay busy making reproductions of 18th and 19th century tinware. To help with Pioneer Settlement, Mike did much research and made tinware for inside many of the historic homes. “I love finding old pieces and figuring out how they are made,” Mike shared. “I also love doing the research – not just on tin or a particular object, but rather research on the lives of everyday people.”

Mike enjoys the opportunity to interact with guests visiting the Historic Village. “I really enjoy the kids who come to visit – I just love their curiosity,” Mike shared. Through the years, Mike has found the most popular items in his shop to be the tin icicles for Christmas trees and the many unique cookie cutters he shapes from tin.

Early this summer Mike worked with other noted tinsmiths to plan a Tinner Convergence at Sauder Village. Tinsmiths and coppersmiths from across the country gathered in Archbold to learn historically accurate methods of tinsmithing, discover new techniques and share ideas.

During our Explore the Crafts event, guests can visit Mike in the Tin Shop to make a small tin heart cookie cutter on Friday, July 23rd!

Simon Tomell
While still a fairly new member of the Sauder Village family, blacksmith Simon Tomell has certainly gained the respect of the staff and guests. Now in his 4th season at the Village, Simon shared that he truly loves the Sauder Village environment. “I really enjoy the staff and the opportunity to work in such an authentic setting,” Simon shared.

While Simon’s day-to-day projects often include smaller items like candle snuffers, hooks and flint strikers, he has also been commissioned to make larger pieces for individuals. One of his most recent projects includes a 3 foot high cross to be placed on the altar of an outdoor church near Adrian, Michigan. He is currently making decorative and functional brackets – to help reinforce the balcony on a timber-frame home in Northwest Ohio. Simon also made many items for our Pioneer Settlement project including hinges for the doors, cooking utensils and tools for the outdoor bake oven. And in this age of “green” products, it is interesting to learn that Simon can be found recycling in his shop. “Scrap metal often lends itself to a specific project,” Simon shared. “Coil springs can often be recycled and used to make flint strikers.”

Interested in learning more about blacksmithing? Guests age 16 and older will have an opportunity to try blacksmithing this Friday and Saturday, July 23 & 24.

The artists we’ve featured, as well as our potter, glassblower, spinners, weavers, basket makers, quilters, broom makers, woodworkers, coopers and native weavers, all carry on skills that were vital to everyday life at the time the Black Swamp was settled. We hope you will join us to meet our craftsmen and explore your own creativity during our “Explore the Crafts” event this Friday and Saturday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sauder Village participates in “Arts Gone Wild”

At Sauder Village, we understand the importance of partnering with other art and cultural organizations and are excited to again be part of Arts Gone Wild, the annual summer event sponsored by Toledo area arts and cultural organizations.

The Arts Gone Wild event will be at the Toledo Museum of Art this summer with a new twist. Instead of a two-day festival, the Museum is hosting a month-long exhibition of objects and materials from participating organizations.

The Arts Gone Wild exhibition opens in the Community Gallery with a special It’s Friday celebration on Friday, July 16 and continues through August 15. The exhibition is not a typical fine art exhibition but instead features multi-media “vignettes” representing the work of each organization. Displays include video clips of performances, theatre costumes, musical scores, books, photographs or original artwork. Using photos and unique works of art designed by our talented craftsmen, our display is a striking exhibit that highlights Sauder Village as a cultural destination in Northwest Ohio.

From 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Friday, July 16 in Libbey Court, Nancy Lewis, one of our Native American interpreters, will invite visitors to learn about Northwest Ohio in 1803. She will be weaving a traditional native bag and visitors will be able to make cordage bracelets. In addition, Chereen Thompson will demonstrate spinning. Visitors will be able to touch different types of fibers as well as try their hands at carding wool, drop spindles and spinning on a wheel.

Urban Jazz Collective will perform from 7–8 p.m. that day in the Great Gallery. The talented students from the Toledo School for the Arts have performed in various venues in the Toledo area including Murphys and Manhattan’s. Later, from 8–9 p.m. in the Great Gallery, the Toledo Ballet will present Aquarius, from the musical Hair, and Flow, a contemporary piece. The music for Flow is a song titled “Ketto” by Bonobo.

Arts Gone Wild is an evolving series of events sponsored by a coalition of arts and cultural organizations including the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Imagination Station, Sauder Village, Toledo Ballet, Toledo Botanical Gardens, Toledo–Lucas County Library (Main), Metroparks of the Toledo Area, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Opera, Toledo Symphony, Toledo Repertoire Theater, Toledo School for the Arts, Toledo Zoo, Valentine Theater and WGTE. The organizations meet regularly to discuss issues of common interest and ways to work collaboratively.

Admission is free to the Toledo Museum of Art and to all of the Arts Gone Wild activities. We hope you'll take time this summer to check out our Sauder Village display and all of the other great exhibits and activities planned for Arts Gone Wild!