By Maureen Werther
Crafters Gallery re-opened on Feb. 25 after being closed for renovations. The new owner, Christina Lowes, and her crew gave the nearly 25-year-old business a fresh new look.
The refurbishing of the 427 Broadway location included “barn wood” flooring, additional lighting, a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and innovative displays of recently added inventory.
Lowes purchased the gallery from Roger Goldsmith in January. She plans to continue offering unique art and gifts created by local artists. She will also be introducing new items, including women’s clothing, home accessories, hand-crafted pottery and Saratoga-and Adirondacks-inspired gifts and crafts.
She said Crafters Gallery will also continue to be a “go to” place for framing, with the shop’s lower floor dedicated entirely to custom-framing services. Store employees, some of whom have been there for nearly a decade, will continue to provide the high-quality service to which customers have become accustomed.
The gallery offers local artists, jewelry designers, and other craftspeople and artisans the opportunity to rent space and display their work for sale. Many also rent space in the retail cooperative, Artique, with locations in Clifton Park and the Colonie Center Mall.
“The whole concept is to allow local artists to display their work where they wouldn’t otherwise be able to. They would have to have their own place, and many of them could not afford to rent a store or gallery,” she said.
Longtime customers of Crafters Gallery will still be able to purchase work by well-known artists such as Gerry Bradley, Richard Gabriel, and Karen Volkommer. Lowes plans to bring in new artists, with whom the current clientele may not be as familiar.
Angela Ledtke, owner of Artique, will be putting some of her home décor items and furniture pieces in the shop.
Other new displays include Earth and Fire pottery, comprised of handmade mugs, rice bowls, glass jewelry and wind chimes; Twiggin Joe’s picture frames and Adirondack-themed items; Nature’s Papers, with plaques and tiles embellished with copper printing and designs; birdseed ornaments and wreaths for nature lovers; and M Bellish women’s clothing, scarves, shawls, purses and other accessories.
“These items are a new touch for the store,” said Lowes, adding that nothing is ordered from a catalog and everything is one-of-a-kind.
Other new items include handmade soaps, hand-crafted wooden jewelry boxes, cutting boards and wine stoppers.
There will be an additional selection of jewelry, including Lowes’ own line, SilverMine925.
Lowes specializes in restoring and re-selling sterling silver estate jewelry. She said all sterling is marked with the number “925” and most older pieces are of a higher quality.
Lowes plans to have a formal ribbon-cutting and grand opening ceremony in the spring, once all her new vendors have fully moved in.
The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lowes said she expects to expand those hours during the summer season.