Handmade holidays grow in the Berkshires

Holidays in and around the Berkshires often have a handmade feel. Local artists and artisans gather with their season’s harvest — shrubs and bitters, soft cheese, black ash baskets and letterpress cards. Some also teach their art:  Inventing wrapping paper at Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation (Dec. 4), shaping a platter at IS183’s Ats Night Out (Dec. 9), needle felting birds at the Makers Mill in North Adams.

Celebrations and shows are growing across the region, from The Alchemy Initiative’s 2016 Handmade Holiday Festival (in the Stationery Factory in Dalton this weekend with artist demonstrations) and the Williamstown Craft Fair (on Sunday) to the Holiday Shindy (at Shire City Sanctuary on Dec. 10 and 11). I gathered holiday markets for Berkshire Magazine, and the photos below give a taste of them. Berkshire Botanical Garden, the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts and the Columbia County Historical Society have locally made wreaths on offer this weekend too.

Or walk through the woods at One World Conservation Center or the Merck Forest and Farmland Center to make one.

By the Way Berkshires is a digital magazine exploring creative life and community — art and performance, food and the outdoors — and I’m writing it for you, with local voices, because I’ve gotten to know this rich part of the world as a writer and journalist, and I want to share it with you.

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