Charles Burleigh’s Ornamentum artisans among locals on hand in curated pop-up sale
By Alison Rooney
In a return visit, Beacon’s Wickham Solid Wood Studio will reinvent itself for just one weekend, Dec. 6 and 7, as the host of WORK: SHOP, an admission-free holiday pop-up salon sale of curated, handcrafted, contemporary objects for the home. Most of the work is made by artisans from the Hudson Valley — including quite a few from Cold Spring, Garrison and Beacon along with others based in New York City. A café, run by Beacon’s Five Hens Baked Goods, will allow shoppers to fortify themselves with Tas Café coffee as well as hot chocolate, sweet and savory pies, scones, cinnamon rolls and other goodies.
Furniture maker Jessica Wickham, subject of a Jan. 19 Philipstown.info/The Paper story, thought up the concept after she exhibited her work in a furniture fair. Looking around at the large space — a former hat factory, one of many for which Beacon was once well known — that houses her studio, she saw the possibilities within for just what is happening now; a successful first year encouraged this second go-round.
Wickham wrote: “In addition to being able to assemble an amazing group of artisans, what a treat for people to be able to experience our working studio surrounded by industrial machinery and raw materials — an atmosphere of authenticity, ingenuity and fine craft. We are looking forward to a festive, inspiring event!”
There will 12 vendors at the sale in addition to Wickham, who will be selling her black walnut charcuterie boards, made with self-sourced and milled local hardwoods. Among them is Garrison’s Charles (aka Chuck) Burleigh, who, under the banner of his company name, Ornamentum, will be curating what is essentially a sub-grouping of artisans from the Hudson Valley, all of whom make accessories for the home.
“What I love about these artisans,” Burleigh said, “is that their work is very ‘of the hand’, idiosyncratic and reflective of their personalities — not necessarily groundbreaking, but rather really interesting ways of thinking about things.”
Burleigh, an interior designer of over 30 years’ standing, said he is now wary of using the word “craft” because of the connotations it has developed, but nevertheless, “I really love craft work. These artists are a very diverse group, and all of them reflect a particular bent of my design aesthetic.”
Ornamentum will be showing decorative pillows by Tourmaline Home, designed by Karin Reiter in Beacon and produced by her husband’s family in India; desk accessories by Tracy Strong; stationery and other printed materials from Nic Taylor and Jennifer Brandt-Taylor at Thunderwing Studio; paper houses and teapots with teacups that hold votive lights from Cecile Lindstedt; functional and decorative ceramics by Polly Myhrum; and, in a mix of architecture and decoration, castles fashioned entirely from cut-up wine and champagne bottle corks (some of the finials on the towers are acorns) by Marian McEvoy, a former editor of Elle Décor.
“I’ve been an interior designer my whole life,” Burleigh said. “At eight I was rearranging the bedroom furniture all the time.” He studied at Parsons School of Design in the ’70s and has worked in architecture and design firms since, largely on high-end residential projects; he has served as senior interior designer and senior project manager for several and as director of interior design for Allan Greenberg, architect, where he established and ran the interiors division of a multi-office, classical practice.
His projects there included a 60,000-square-foot residence in Connecticut, as well as several Park Avenue apartments, designing many components for these projects, including rugs, furniture and lighting. For eight years Burleigh served as principal of his own design firm.
On Burleigh’s “in the future, maybe” list is opening up a store in Cold Spring. Presenting Ornamentum at WORK: SHOP is a bit of a dipping-toes-in-the-water tester toward that end. “With the opening of several high-end shops in Cold Spring doing quite well, a home goods store is potentially viable,” Burleigh noted.
Burleigh and his husband, Lithgow Osborne (who recently ran for office as Putnam County clerk) have been living in the area for about 12 years, having moved from Manhattan after outgrowing their space there. Finding Garrison through friends, Burleigh has been “continually surprised by how many creative people there are in Philipstown: artists, writers, documentary filmmakers. Like-minded individuals make for a wonderful atmosphere,” he said.
On the artisans he is showing in the sale, he said, “I just met them — I didn’t have to go out and find them. They’ve all become friends, and it’s nice to support my friends and further what they do.”
WORK: SHOP, which is sponsored by Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center, Hudson Woods, The Valley Table, The Hop and The Roundhouse, will be open on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Wickham Woodworking, 578 Main St., Beacon. Admission is free and visitors will automatically be entered into a raffle for one of 12 items made by vendors for the sale. For more information, and images of work by all the vendors, visit workshop.virb.com.
The other vendors, all of whom will be on hand to meet customers, are:
- Beacon Knits – one-of-a-kind wool hats
- Beth Bolga – functional pots, made in Brooklyn
- Kit Burke-Smith (Beacon) – jewelry
- Jenny Lee Fowler – fine paper cuttings
- Ten Willow (Beacon) – malfatti glassware
- Suguru (Garrison) – printed silk scarves
- Lauren Sandler – contemporary ceramics
- Platform – turned wood bowls and felted beach stones
- 21 Bridge Design – custom design and fabrication
- Herbaceutikals – small-batch, wild-crafted home and health products
- Fruition chocolate – bean to bar chocolatiers
- Fox & Castle (Cold Spring) – handcrafted jewelry and textiles
Images courtesy of Ornamentum