Artisans continue the folk arts tradition at Great Camp Sagamore. Many of our artisans are supported by the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA.) We have had a long and proud partnership with NYSCA and are pleased to have the funding to bring these talented traditional artists to Sagamore. During our daily tours, they will be demonstrating these arts which have been handed down for generations. These live demonstrations are scheduled during the months of July and August only.
Visitors who come for either the 10 am or 1:30 pm presentations love the live artisan demonstrations which make the Sagamore experience even more memorable.
We are proud to include the following artisans during tours at Great Camp Sagamore:
Helen learned the art of rug braiding from her Nova Scotia born grandmother as a child. She was an artist in residence in 1995 at Sagamore, and has returned for years to teach and demonstrate this craft. In 1987 she started Adirondack Rug Braiding with the help from a grant by ANCA. In addition to teaching at Great Camp Sagamore, she also teaches rug braiding all over New York in Clayton at the Handweaving Museum, Scoharie River Center in Esperance, TAUNY in Canton, and at the St. Lawrence County Arts Council in Potsdam. She has one day or weekend classes in her studio in Parishville, NY, where she restored an 1863 boarding house/grange hall, which is now her home and studio.
Pat Smith Adirondack Boat Building
Pat owns and operates the West Hollow Boat Company in Naples, New York. He selects every piece of lumber, designs and builds each frame, stretches the canvas, and builds the thwarts, yokes, paddles, and the caned seats.
After Pat set up his boat building shop, he started teaching boat building, restoration and paddle making courses. Over the years he has made 45 new and restored almost 300 boats. In 1998 he was integral in setting up the Adirondack Boat building School at Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake, NY, and continues to teach and demonstrate here each year.
Jane Desotelle Herb & Native Plant Gardening
Growing up in the North Country, Jane helped her parents raise and sell gladioli and berries from their home garden, which helped to foster a early love of plants and flowers. As a young woman, she sold vegetables and set out to learn everything she could about the traditional uses of herbs for health and nutrition. When her friends began asking for more and more of her herbal tea mixes, Jane started a small business, Underwood Herbs, to reach a wider audience. Long before the current interest in “eating local,” Jane advocated for farmers markets and built her business through direct contact with her customers. All of Jane’s products are made from sustainably-harvested wild plants. At the end of summer, Jane begins cutting balsam boughs for the hundreds of traditional holiday wreaths she makes and sells each December.
Bill Smith Pack-basket Weaving & Rustic Furniture Making
Bill is something of an institution at Sagamore, having taught courses on Adirondack flora and fauna, guiding, storytelling and stick-carving, as well as the pack basket-weaving and rustic furniture he demonstrates.
Chris Hubbard Chair Caning
Chris has taught her caning skills
to various groups at Sagamore, including some of our Grands Camps offered through Road Scholar. She’s also repaired many of the chairs used by guests throughout camp, as well as the seat in the restored Adirondack Guide Boat in the Carriage Shed.
Chris Woodward Adirondack Guide Boat Building
Among his many services to Sagamore over the years, Chris helped us to restore the original 'Caleb Chase Adirondack Guide Boat' that is on display in the Carriage Shed and can be seen on the Sagamore tour. He also makes his guide boats available to Sagamore guests who want to try their hand at rowing this unique craft.
David Woodward Blacksmithing
Dave continues to practice the ancient craft of working iron, not as a farrier shoeing horses, but as a toolmaker. He makes and creates David Woodward Blacksmithbuilding hardware, lighting fixtures, and custom iron work like that made for the Adirondack Great Camps by staff blacksmiths of old. A seventh-generation native of the Adirondack High Peaks region, he is proud to own the anvil brought long ago from the old family farm in Vermont. David has made or repaired countless tools and accessories at Sagamore over the years, from locks and hinges to fixtures and utensils. He also donates a handmade piece for Sagamore’s annual fundraising benefit, each August. David also works with Sagamore's Grandparent / Grandchild program, and has been involved with the NYS Art Teachers Association Summer Institute at Sagamore.
Linda started weaving baskets in the fall 1987 shortly after moving to Northern NY. Her interest in weaving quickly expanded to designing, teaching, exhibitions and juried shows. She has won numerous awards for her baskets. Linda enjoys working with a variety of materials, including reed, bark that she harvests, waxed linen, beads and other various materials. While much was self-taught, she has attended several conferences to learn other techniques and working with other materials. She feels there is always more for one to learn. She is known for her intricate patterns, eye for color and incorporating different materials in her designs. Linda teaches throughout the United States for various guilds, conferences, art centers and organizations. She enjoys sharing her basketry knowledge and experience with her students. It’s rewarding to see their progress and excitement with what they have learned and made.
We are lucky to have so many talented photographers come through Sagamore, capturing everything from the natural beauty of camp's surrounding environment to the joy of our guests. Their work is seen throughout this site.
Jessica Riehl Photography (www.jessicariehl.com)
Jessica is a professional photographer and designer who uses collaborative-based design processes to gain insight and empower change. As an entrepreneur, environmental advocate, and former Naval Officer, Jessica brings a unique perspective that informs her design and photography. Her current work focuses on motherhood and family policy. Jessica spent the summer of 2012 photographing life at Sagamore. Many thanks to Jessica for many of the images on this site.
DebzaShutterbug Photography (www.facebook.com/DebzaShutterbug.Photography)
Debra Parry Trichilo is a Central New York photographer who is very close to all of us at Great Camp Sagamore. Debbie and her husband, Bear are Red Chair Members of Sagamore and valued volunteers for over 15 years. During volunteer weekends, Debbie spends as much time taking pictures of the people, flora and fauna as she does repairing windows. Many thanks to Debbie for the use of many of her images on this site.