By Lee Noles
MONROE – One of Beth Tourtellot’s ideas when she opened Peddler’s Paradise almost a year and a half ago was making it a place where people not only sold their work but also taught the public how they create their pieces.
Tourtellot has done just that as the arts and crafts store offers a wide range of classes that include soap and candle-making as well as more traditional art creations like wire wrappings and barn quilts.
“It’s something people can do, and you don’t have to be an expert at it,” Tourtellot said. “It is something we offer for anyone from 2 to 92 years old.”
Christine Harris appreciates the opportunity Tourtellot has supplied for the artist. Harris started teaching barn quilting several years ago after noticing a rise in popularity in the art form, which involves painted geometric patterns over a piece of pine or plywood. The decorative designs find their way on to anything from houses and stores to stone chimney tops and above mantles. Harris lives in Troy but travels North Carolina teaching a style that is so well received places have miles of buildings or roadside stops exhibiting people’s work.
Harris said barn quilts feature an array of colors, but she prefers one in particular.
“Turquoise,” Harris said. “I don’t know why? My colors at home are calm, and turquoise is a calm color. It’s very relaxing.”
Monroe resident Kelly Northcutt took a class on barn quilts in October at Peddler’s Paradise and returned in November to make a Christmas gift for her mother. Northcutt was focused on placing tape over one of the four designs she could choose from before filling it in with earth tone colors. The process then involves putting the work beside a fan and using a hairdryer to help solidify the paint before starting all over again. Harris said it takes between three to five hours depending on how detailed the design is, but Northcutt doesn’t mind.
“You meet new people you didn’t know,” Northcutt said. “And you come away with a piece of work that you created.”
Tourtellot said she offers two to three classes a week with prices ranging between $5 to $25 for lessons for children and $25 to $80 for adults to help cover the costs of supplies.
“There is no board and paintbrushes or anything a person needs to bring,” she said. “We supply everything … People can make a girls night or morning or whatever they like for it to be.”
Tourtellot also mentioned classes accommodate around 30 people.
Are you interested?
Visit www.peddlersparadisemonroe.com or Tourtellot’s Facebook page for more on about classes. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org