Showcasing local talent

Henry County Arts & Craft Guild
enters its seventh year

Buehler learned tools
of the woodworking trade from husband

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (September 2006) – Betty Buehler decided to hang out in her husband’s basement workshop to spend more time with him. What she didn’t count on was becoming hooked on his woodworking tools.

Betty Buehler wooden Santas

Photo provided

Henry County Arts & Craft Guild member
Betty Buehler makes freestanding
wooden Santa figurines.

“I wanted to do scroll saw work,” said Buehler. She took a class at Louisville’s Woodcraft and “lost my fear of the saw.”
In the beginning, her husband would cut patterns for her, while Buehler painted them. In time, she learned to do the cutting herself. Among her most popular pieces of art are her freestanding figurines, many of them Santas, and Christmas ornaments.
“I always admired wood,” said Buehler of her fascination with this hobby. From this interest grew Buehler’s own business, Wood and Stitches, 12 years ago.
Buehler is one of 25 artisans who will be showing and selling their artwork at the seventh annual Henry County Art & Craft Guild show. Artists will display their crafts from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Smith-Berry Winery, located on Hwy. 202 in New Castle.
Guild members will have a variety of artwork on display, including paintings, wooden bowls, wool items, walking sticks, iron works, baskets, music boxes, jewelry, candles and more. Admission is free for the art and craft show, but from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. a fee is charged that covers a dinner and concert series held at the winery.
The Louisville-based band Hog Operation will perform its brand of music, a combination of many styles including bluegrass, blues, Celtic, country and rock. Reservations are strongly suggested, and tickets are $17.95 plus tax or $22.95 at the door. Visitors are invited to bring lawn chairs or a blanket for the concert.
“We’re happy to be there,” said guild president Sharon Silvers of the winery location. Guild members have also been invited to Louisville’s Galt House to display their crafts for the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition on Sept. 28-30, said Silvers. This conference is a gathering of academic team coaches and officials who network and train through a series of speakers and exhibits.
Originally from Jefferson County, Buehler has lived in Oldham County for 19 years while her children attended school. She now lives in Prospect and works out of her home.
Buehler participates in about five local craft shows a year, usually in Oldham, Henry and Jefferson counties. She also cross-stitches and sews craft items, such as sweatshirts and stockings.
In addition to taking a class at Woodcraft, Buehler also took a class under master carver Joe Offerman of Owensboro, Ky. Offerman, 69, is a retired speech and language pathologist who began woodworking as a hobby.
A self-taught artist, Offerman is a juried participant of the Kentucky Crafted Marketing Program. He teaches classes to students such as Buehler to promote an interest in his art form.
Buehler said she is fortunate enough to “do the things that I like,” in her craft. She never mass-produces an item; all are one-of-a-kind originals. She derives many of her ideas from magazines and Christmas cards.
Asked to join the guild two or three times, Buehler always declined, hesitating because she considered “myself to be a craft person rather than a true artist.”
Buehler finally decided that joining the guild would be appropriate. “I look forward to this being a learning experience,” she said. Buehler will be in good company as she participates in the art show.

• For more information, contact Sharon Silvers at (502) 845-4560. For reservations for the dinner and concert series at Smith Berry Winery, call 1-888-845-7091.

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