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Allegany Artisans host studio tour this weekend

In an attempt to draw potential patrons, 25 years ago a group of artists and crafters known as the Allegany Artisans opened their studios for a weekend of public tours. This Saturday and Sunday, 48 artisans and 39 studios will be ready to welcome Buffalo-area inspiration seekers and shoppers.

HM Bateman and her husband Jim Horn, who crafts pins and other creations, have been involved in theAllegany Artisans tour almost from the beginning.

"Many of our artisans draw from their natural surroundings," Bateman told WBFO News.

"Most of the people who are artisans in Allegany County made the deliberate decision to be there, to be in this beautiful, rural environment and to create their work. It is their muse."

The  39 studios are open to all visitors from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday.

According to HM Bateman, the studio closest to Buffalo is in Rushford, just about an hour away. Others in Alfred and Whitesville may be closer to a two-hour drive.

"Each studio has some kind of beautiful natural surrounding to it," Bateman said.

"We have several studios that are actually commercial studios. Stephen Walker Metalsmiths have been there for 30 years. He is an internationally known artisan. And it's set in this beautiful, little rural village of Andover."

"Glenn Zweygardt was an instructor at Alfred University and he's internationally known. When you go to (see) his work, he has these enormous sculptures all peppered around him against a hillside that will be plastered with beautiful, multi-colored leaves."

"They are just world travelers but they want to come back home to Allegany County."

In those homes, artisans create quilts, carvings, jewelry, art tiles, pottery, chainsaw art, a variety almost too large to list.

More information can be found at www.alleganyartisans.com. Or by calling the Allegany County Tourism Board at 800-836-1869.

Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 10 a.m.