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Close will serve as artist in residenc at Maple Run during summer festival


POTSDAM - For the third consecutive year, Maple Run Emporium at 49 Market Street, will host Jan Close, a local woodturner/artist, as its Potsdam Summer Festival Artist-in-Residence.

Close will be exhibiting a wide selection of his woodturnings July 11, 12, and 13. He will be at Maple Run Emporium to talk with visitors on Saturday, July 13.

Close is best known for his wooden salad bowls and salad sets made from local sustainable woods including Maple, Ash, Butternut and Black Walnut. He also uses highly figured Tiger Striped Maple, Spalted Maple, Tap-Hole Maple, and Birdseye Maple. In addition to his bowls, Close will also display a variety of his handcrafted wooden rolling pins, pepper mills, vases, and other art objects. Each piece is labeled, numbered and signed by the artist.

Close has been working with wood most of his life. His father, a cabinetmaker in Wisconsin, gave him his first exposure at the age of five. To perfect his craft, Close has studied with world-class woodturners including David Ellsworth, Glenn Lucas, and Mike Mahoney.

“Each piece of wood is unique with its own character, texture, grain pattern and figure,” Close said. “Trying to create the perfect blend of form and function from what the wood will give you is the challenge. I haven’t yet made the perfect bowl, but it’s so much fun trying.”

All of Close’s bowls and kitchenware are designed and finished to be functional. Only food safe finishes are used. “I want these objects to be beautiful but functional. They are meant to be used,” said Close.

Mary Hilton, Maple Run Emporium owner, noted, “Jan being at the shop during the Summer Festival is great fun. He is the perfect guest artist. He can describe the unique character of each piece that he has created and explain how it was made. People who purchase a one-of-a-kind item like to have the connection to the artist who made the object.”

Close lives with his wife Patricia in Winthrop.

Maple Run Emporium, 49 Market St., is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, (315) 274-0102.

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