Artists Open Studio Dates:

Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1 & Dec. 7, 8
Artist will be demonstrating

Commissions are welcome. Call Lauren at 860-377-3333.

Gretchen Geromin and Lauren Merlo work as a team, collaborating on unique, handmade boards and signs with woodburned decoration.
Lauren has been working with wood for over forty years, creating beauty and comfort for area homes with the closet organizers, cabinets, doors and other items that he builds. He brings his expert eye, fine craftsmanship, and a keen attention to detail to his work. He wants everything that he makes to "look like it belongs there." Using his finely-honed carpentry skills, he makes cutting boards and signs that show the rich character of the wood.
Gretchen has been creating art and riding horses since a very young age and woodburning since she was ten years old. She still has her first woodburning tool. While pursuing a serious equestrian career, she has also incorporated her artwork into many endeavors. She has done numerous woodburned portraits of horses, dogs, cats or whatever else her clients desired. Gretchen's original woodburned art completes the boards that Lauren makes.

Artist Statement:
Working together, we create cutting boards and signs that are unique functional pieces of art.

Lauren Merlo: Our cutting boards are made from cherry. This wood is from local trees that have come down. I have them milled into boards and air dried. I then rip the boards into strips, stand them on edge, and creatively glue them back together. Then, I sand and edge them, making satiny smooth boards of various sizes.

Gretchen Geromin: When I get each "blank" cutting board (my canvas), I look it over carefully letting the character and grain of the wood speak to me and help me decide what and where to put my artwork. After I have done a simple pencil sketch on the board, I work on it with my woodburning, bringing in all the details. I only use my woodburner - no added tips or attachments. It's all in how I handle the tool - be it angle, pressure, or strokes - that creates different effects.

Once the art work is complete, the board is given four coats of food-grade mineral oil. Then a coat of butcher block conditioner, which contains bee's wax. The oiling of the board helps maintain the wood and brings out the grain.

We hope that our work gives as much joy to those who bring it into their lives as it gives us as we make it.

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