Insight into the creative process

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Name: Lou Cherichetti

Medium: Weaving

Member of Granby Artists since: 2018

It probably all started while raising sheep on the pasture hill behind our 1763 house. In the spring of each year the wool from the sheep was shorn and bundled into sacks and shipped to a yarn mill in Maine where the fleece was washed and spun into yarn. It also came to pass that a school was discontinuing its fiber arts program and a loom and cones of yarn became available. It just happened that the yarn was from the same mill we sent our shorn wool to be spun into yarn. So, it was inevitable that, because of the sheep, weaving would become part of my life.

I weave rugs, some of which are suitable for wall hangings. My weaving has been nurtured by classes at the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center and through workshops held by the Handweavers Guild of Connecticut. I am currently weaving at home and as an artisan at the Hartford Artisans Weaving center where the visually impaired and older people are supported to become productive weavers. Weavings created at the Weaving Center are sold, which helps sustain its existence.

There is a joy that comes with the ability to create with my hands something that is special out of fiber. Making each piece significantly different is an important element in my approach. My ability to visualize what I am about to weave is a major gift that I have been able to develop. I get my inspiration from nature, and from that relationship I perceive various colors have with each other. While working on my pieces I am always planning my next project.

Blown glass vase, unique piece, fused color-block technique. Submitted photo

Name: Mark A. Gottlieb

Medium: Glass

Member of Granby Artists since: 2012

I have been blowing glass since 2004. I started with classes at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, Mass., followed by classes at Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass in New York.

A group of us from Snow Farm became close friends and rented many hours of studio time at various locations to improve our skills and grow as glassblowers. I met my wife, Annukka Ritalahti, also a glass artist in 2014. Together, we built our current studios at our home on Silver Street in North Granby in 2015. The studio is centered around a 100-pound crucible furnace, glory hole and two annealing kilns. Much of this equipment, built in the mid-1970s, I have reconditioned. I also built much of the studio equipment.

My studio runs on a seasonal basis, basically fall and spring seasons, as it’s too hot for glass making in the summer. I make functional and decorative items using a variety of techniques from several different glass traditions. Functional items are predominately glasses, vases, bowls and containers of various types. Decorative items include paperweights, glass flowers, pumpkins and wall hangings. We have a gallery on-site where Annukka and I offer our pieces for sale.

I prefer to work with other glassblowers, as most pieces, especially stemware or large items, require a team approach, but the pandemic necessitated that I learn to work solo. Most of my training as a glassblower was based on using a two- or three-person team. Working solo presented its own set of challenges, but it has made me a better glassblower.

Mark Gottlieb, photo by Wendy Van Weile

Visitors are always welcome to come by the studio and watch glassblowing in person—calling ahead to see when we are working is recommended. I offer classes in the studio and currently offer ornaments, paperweights, pumpkins and flowers as well as hourly instruction. Visit for details or contact me at: