The adventure and discovery of traveling to a remote and distant village in search of a skilled master craftsman practicing an ancient skill might make for a pretty cool weekend, don’t you think?
Walker Metalsmiths invites you to do just that. Walker Metalsmiths, one of North America’s premier online sources of Celtic jewelry, is all of those things. Stephen Walker is a master goldsmith. His workshop is in a small village surrounded by hills and forests. According to Stephen Walker, “The internet connects us to the world, but our connection to our heritage, community and traditions are rooted in this very real place.”
October 14, 15 and 16 Walker Metalsmiths will be hosting their 29th annual Studio Tour at One Main Street in the Village of Andover, NY.
“Not only are we the designers and makers, but our customer service and shipping all comes from the same building and from the same team.” explains founder Stephen Walker, “When so many online merchants are just a website connected to a contract call center and fulfillment house people are delighted to learn that it’s all really us.”
Begun by Stephen and Susan Walker, the company now employs four craftsmen designing and making gold and silver jewelry.
During the tour guests are invited to go beyond the storefront showroom into the workshop where the creative magic happens. Special exhibits and demonstrations are planned as well as the opportunity to meet Steve and his apprentices.
Stephen Walker has maintained a workshop in Andover since the 1980s. His love for Celtic design was initially inspired by his Irish grandmother. When the Walker family moved to the Village of Andover in 1968 Stephen’s art teacher at school was an enthusiast and practitioner of Celtic art. Walker began his craft making regalia for his bagpipe band in the 1970s. Following a year of wandering in Ireland and Scotland he went on to earn his masters degree in jewelry design and metal arts and returned to the Village of Andover to establish his business.
Walker’s open house is part of a county wide event known as the Allegany Artisans Studio Tour. More than forty other local artists and craftsmen will also be hosting studio sales that weekend. Timed to coincide with the peak fall foliage, this event is an unusual arts festival in that the public is invited into the actual workshops and studios around the hills of rural Allegany County.
The Allegany Artisans Studio Tour hours are Saturday and Sunday, October 15 & 16 from 10 to 5. Walker and a limited number of other exhibitors will offer a Friday preview from 5 to 8 PM on October 14. For further information call 800-488-6347.