Cottage Industry Artist - Heidi Howard

In the small town of Eastford, Connecticut - population 1,800 not including the cows, Heidi Howard has set up shop in the detached garage of her 1780 colonial home. There she creates 18th century Trade and Tavern Signs, using salvaged wood hundreds of years old. Working with milk paint, as they did in days past, she hand paints each and every piece, often hand-planing the wood herself to ensure an authentic canvas. Beginning her artistic career at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Heidi set up studio in an old mill outside of Providence where she worked as a waitress and pursued her love of oil painting. Then tragically the mill was destroyed in a fire, along with her paintings, supplies, and seemingly passion. Twelves years past before she would pick up where she left off. Now a wife and mother of two boys, she came across a photograph of an old tavern sign in a magazine. The spark was ignited, the timing right.... and the beautiful results below speak for themselves.





Handpainted Antique Camera Sign created for the studio of photographer Jody Dole of Chester, Connecticut


I love the "Mermaid" theme!

Heidi works on a sign

Heidi's Studio, Eastford

(Eastford, Connecticut by Artist Tom Menard)
P.S. I am partial to Eastford in that I was married there last year. Click Here for details!

15 comments:

Firefly Hill said...

Beautiful! I love the signs and her studio also! Such a gorgeous corner of the world you live in...
thanks for sharing the people and places in your life.

annie

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

These are stunning! I recently had a sign made for my brother's home by a local crafter (in NJ) but not nearly as complex and authentic as these. I would love to visit her studio! And the restaurant you were married in looks lovely -- totally my kind of place (organic food? barn? sign me up!).

a little bird said...

fantastic! I love the mermaid themes as well.... secret? sometimes when I am swimming in the Ocean I still pretend I am one...

: ) we all have to indulge ourselves once in awhile.

Sandra Ree said...

Outstanding talent, her signs are gorgeous! Nice post, Marie Louise!

heidi said...

what a great, great thing she's doing, keeping this gorgeous medium alive!

Sabina said...

Wonderful post - gorgeous work!!

A Bookaholic said...

i don't know what to say...they're all so...beautiful....

Hooked on Houses said...

What a great post, Marie Louise! I'm fascinated by this. Her work is beautiful. And how cool would it be to work in a studio like that?? -Julia

High Desert Diva said...

Marvelous!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

What a fascinating talent! I so enjoyed this.

robyn said...

Love your blog, & thanks for the nice comment on mine at gardenrooms :)

Gill - That British Woman said...

I just love that last picture...........I would love to buy that..........must check into her site, thanks for posting this.

Gill

Arctida said...

Wow! She is simply amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

Lydee said...

these are beautiful!

please sir said...

Oh wow - lovely work - thanks for sharing!

"It's never too late to be who you might have been." --George Eliot