Friday Night Chester Stroll Sept. 21, 2012

In Chester CT Events on September 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Finding the magic in Chester on Sept. 21


Taxes, rising gas prices, politics, global warming – where’s the fun, where’s the magic we so easily believed in as children? The Merchants of Chester are hoping to bring back that magic through their fairy houses and gardens at Come Home to Chester night on Friday, Sept. 21.

“People need magic to be healthy,” says Kathryne (Katie) Wright, owner of Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery at 4 Water Street in Chester. “It’s so important to remember to find the magic – sometimes you need to make it yourself. It becomes an opportunity to play and to make other people smile.”

Katie’s window boxes at Hammered Edge have become homes for “twin resident faeries,” who are leaving hidden messages, in the form of tiny scrolls, for visitors to find during the Sept. 21 festivities. Inside the shop is an ever-growing selection of fairy wings and headdresses and fairy dust to encourage people, young and old, to play. Katie, who’s likely to be wearing her own wings that evening, says, “I was never told I was too old to play dress-up.”

Katie is also creating a fairy dwelling for the Wee Faerie Village in the Land of Picture Making at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme this October. Her 4 Water Street neighbor, Bill Vollers, of Chester Americana Antiques and Gallery, was an architect of a home for Footsie, Will Howe Foote’s “muse,” in the 2009 Wee Faerie Village at the museum.  Footsie’s house is on display in Bill’s shop window.

“Seeing Katie and Bill’s fairy houses at the Florence Griswold’s first Faerie Village as well as knowing David Rau, a fellow Chester resident,” says Leslie Strauss of the Merchants of Chester group, “inspired the Merchants to bring a little of that same magic to Chester this fall.  My Chester grandchildren and I created a little Faerie Homestead in the strawberry patch in front of our Century 21 Heritage office at 16 Main Street. The girls really enjoy the idea that the faeries live underground and have to come out at night to use the outhouse (inspired by our book, ‘Outhouses of Connecticut’). Since we have ‘sold’ the faeries’ home, we hope to have a new faerie family move in soon.”

“Part of the magic with the Wee Faerie Village is how it gets everybody excited and enchants them to want to make faerie dwellings at home,” says David D.J. Rau, Director of Education & Outreach at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme ( “When we presented the first Wee Faerie Village at the museum in 2009, we had over 10,000 visitors in three weeks and people sent us pictures of houses they made at home. It’s thrilling to see the creative impact a museum can have on a community. I can’t wait to see what the Chester Merchants come up with.”

The list of happenings in Chester Center – fairy-happenings as well as gallery openings, food samplings and anniversary celebrations – on Friday, Sept. 21, between 5 and 8 p.m., includes:

Al Malpa Photography Gallery: See the exhibit of Al’s new photos from New Orleans and New England while enjoying light refreshments on the deck overlooking the waterfall. Check out the fairy garden planted by Al’s granddaughters.

Button will be open for the evening. Stop in and enjoy the shop!

Century 21 Heritage: See the Faerie Homestead planted in the strawberry patch in front of the office and enjoy the fairy dwellings created by Chester artist David Rau, the Director of Education & Outreach at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

Ceramica: The annual Come Home to Chester Seconds Sale is all day long, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. All degrees of second-quality items, from ‘chips and dents’ to discontinued pieces. Cash and checks accepted.

C&G: Book signing for L&E bartender Michael Bellesiles’ new (tenth) book, “A People’s History of the U.S. Military.” Also at C&G, Jan and Peter Good are celebrating the publication of BIRD 2013, their just-released calendar, with an exhibit in their second-floor gallery and a calendar signing by famed Old Lyme photographer William Burt. Two of Burt’s photos are featured in the calendar.

Chester Americana Antiques & Gallery will be featuring new art assemblages and recently acquired antiques and collectibles. Look for the fairy dwelling for Footsie, the “muse” for Old Lyme Impressionist Will Howe Foote.

 Chester Gallery: The gallery will open an exhibit, “iSee,” photographs by Leni Herschman, and etchings and engravings by Richard Claude Ziemann, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Chester Museum at The Mill: Experience the roots of Chester between 5 and 8 p.m.  Enjoy the refreshments while browsing through the award-winning exhibits on two floors.

Connecticut River Artisans: Visit the Artisans in their new gallery at 4 Water Street. Look for the fairy door!Fairy kisses will be given out to all who want one as well as a sprinkle of fairy dust.  The CT River Artisan fairies will be accepting gifts in their window box.

Cupcakery: The town’s newest shop, located in the garden level of the Local Beet Co-op, will celebrate its grand opening with caramel apple and pumpkin marshmallow cupcakes and free cider.

Dina Varano:  Come see Dina’s new jewelry collection for Fall. Warm colors and textures of hammered brushed gold and silver will be on display until September 30. Stop in on Friday between 5 and 9 p.m. to be the first to see it!

Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery:  Come to the shop’s 17th Anniversary Celebration, complete with a birthday cake.  See if you can find the tiny scrolls hidden by the resident window box faeries. Some of them offer discounts!  A fresh batch of faerie wings and headdresses will be available  for the magical being in you! If you “LIKE” the Hammered Edge on its Facebook page, you’ll be given 20% off any single jewelry item of $100 or more all weekend long.

JustFood: The organic juice and raw chocolate bar, located inside the Local Beet Co-op, will be juicing and offering samples of its premier raw chocolate, “The Best Chocolate Bar in CT!”

The Local Beet Co-Op will be open until 8 p.m., offering samples oflocal cheeses and fizzy herbal libations and front porch tunes. Look for the three fairy doors outside the new Cupcakery  –  a cupcake door, a raw juice door and a beet door.

Lori Warner Studio/Gallery will feature a solo exhibition of new work and studio selections by Erin Walrath.Erin’s collage and assemblage work are little treasures of color, texture and form. Looking into these intimate portals makes you feel as if you’ve been told a secret, but instead of holding it in your mind, the secret is contained in one of her boxed creations.

Maple and Main Gallery: The Second Anniversary Show will feature all new paintings and sculpture by 31 artists and four guest artists. On the front porch, artist member Barbara Timberman, a longtime children’s art teacher, will construct a fairy house of materials from nature with the help of all interested children. There will be lots of supplies and punch and cookies to sustain the helpers’ energy. More grown-up libations and food will be served in the gallery.

Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery:  Stop in between 5 and 8 p.m. for the gallery open house and to visit the secret garden (try to find the fairy doors!).

Pattaconk Bar and Grille: Enjoy the live music on the patio from 6:00 to 9:00. Look for the fairy door!

Red Pepper is excited about its new Fall clothing, jewelry and handbag collections along with objects for the home and gift items.   A gift certificate drawing will be held that evening.  Champagne and cookies will be served.

Six Main: Look at the old trough in front of the restaurant, which has been turned into a fairy garden by Claudia Van Nes, artist member of Maple and Main Gallery.

Be on the lookout for more magical happenings throughout Chester Center during Come Home to Chester.

Free parking is available in walking distance of the shops and galleries. Info: or email: or call: 860-526-9822.


Nigel: I’m trying to give you a cross section of photos, but I know there may be too many for you. Please use whatever suits you. And thanks!

Caption for photo: Bridget and Olivia at Hammered Edge, Chester

Bridget Monaghan (left) and Olivia Fetter, wearing wings and headdresses from the Hammered Edge Studio & Gallery in Chester, check to see if the resident fairies in the shop’s window boxes are at home.

Caption for photo: Karen Alderman fairy house, chester

Abstract/mixed media artist Karen Alderman of Clinton created this fairy house for the Connecticut River Artisans shop at 4 Water Street, Chester, for a “very artistic fairy who loves to paint and garden.” Karen was inspired to create the house by her daughter’s fascination with fairies when she was a little girl. “We are still both firm believers that there is more going on around us than meets the eye!”

Caption for photo: faery girls

Sisters Madeline (left) and Isabel Rice helped their grandmother, Leslie Strauss, create a Faerie Homestead in the strawberry patch in front of Century 21 Heritage office.

Caption for cupcakes

Chester’s newest shop, Cupcakery, is celebrating its grand opening on Sept. 21. It is located on the garden level of the Local Beet Co-op.

Caption for bird

Two photographs by famed bird photographer William Burt of Old Lyme are featured in Cummings & Good’s BIRD 2013 calendar, which has just been released. See the exhibit of Burt’s photos in C&G’s gallery on Sept. 21 and ask him to autograph your copy of the calendar.

Caption for Leif Nilsson studio garden gate

Enjoy Leif Nilsson’s paintings, including “Studio Garden Gate Afternoon,” at the Nilsson Spring Street Studio and Gallery open house on Sept. 21. Visit the secret garden behind the gallery to see if you can find the fairy doors.


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