Sharon Gibbons of Deansboro was named Artist of the Month by Cooper Country Crafts, a Cooperstown based craft cooperative.
Gibbons has been a member of the group since 1999. At this time of year, she said she focuses on making children’s sun dresses, but during colder weather she creates fabric bags, country dolls, angels, bears, snow people and one-of-a-kind Santas.
“I love making whimsical country creations with much attention paid to detail, embellishing with dried fruit, herbs hand made cinnamon buttons, twigs and such. I enjoy traveling all over New York displaying my work at craft shows, meeting fellow crafters, and watching people discover my creations,” said Gibbons.
It is not unusual for Gibbons to work seven days a week, sometimes for as long as 12 to 15 hours a day. She mentions that she sometimes wakes up at 2 a.m. with an idea, and gets up to sketch it.
Her latest work includes an original Irish Santa, with a wool lamb, and a basket full of Irish goodies. She’s created an Irish Angel made from Irish linen, a terrycloth patriotic snowman with twig hair and a pumpkin head doll called “Mrs. Bittersweet.”
Gibbons said she often gets her inspiration for her creations from her grandchildren, her dog and the wildlife in her backyard.
She also said she has no intention of slowing down.
“As long as there is a market for my hand made creations, I will continue to create them, hoping that they will continue to bring joy to those who own them,” said Gibbons.
Even though the shop is tiny, it is packed with art work from the ceiling to the floor. Everything is locally produced. The store is open from April to December and browsers and buyers are welcome to see Gibbons work, as well as other artists and crafters in the area. It’s an appealing alternative for some people who have already been to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“A lot of wives seem particularly happy to come visit our shop over the summer,” said Judy Curry, one of the original members.
Started in 1974, Cooper Country Crafts is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Curry, a quilter, was there from the start. The membership usually hovers around 21 members. Crafters are juried in and the shop represents only one person per specialty. If they are displaying works of a potter, for example, they will limit themselves to that individual.
Every member takes turns working in the shop to keep overhead down. Summer is their busiest time. The little shop offers up items displaying creativity and talent. It’s definitely a place to go for something unique and produced by local crafters.
Cooper Country Crafts is located at 2 Doubleday Court in Cooperstown.