Category Archives: Shops

Goldworks: A Showcase for New Technology and Old World Skills in Jewelry Design and Fabrication

Goldworks on Old Town Square in Fort Collins, Colorado

Goldworks, owned by jewelry designer Tom Linenberger and his wife Sandy, sits along the north side of Old Town Square in Fort Collins. (Photo provided by Goldworks)

Along the north side of Old Town Square in Fort Collins sits Goldworks, owned by Tom and Sandy Linenberger and filled with fine jewelry designed and created by Tom and fellow artisan Mark Videan.

Tom and Mark met in 1994 at a trade show in Denver. They had come from different Midwestern states to check out the CAD (computer-assisted-design) programs available for jewelry designers. Their enthusiasm for the same design program sparked a long-lasting friendship. Tom opened Goldworks in Fort Collins four years ago. A year later, he convinced Mark to join him.

Mixing Technology and Tradition

White gold ring by Tom Linenberger

This  ring design shown in white gold was created by Tom Linenberger at Goldworks in Fort Collins. (Photo provided by Goldworks)

Both Tom and Mark are still enthusiastic about using a CAD program to make sure they produce what their customers expect. Before CAD, they couldn’t always be certain that a customer completely understood their drawn design. With a CAD program, however, they can turn their design in every direction to show the customer every aspect of it.

Once the customer agrees to a design – a particular ring, for example — the CAD program guides the milling machine that creates a wax version of the ring. Before they used CAD, Tom and Mark sculpted the ring out of wax by hand. Now the computer gives them a perfect wax form and frees their time for other creative work. Continue reading


Jukebox Quilts: On the Cutting Edge of Quilting

Second in a two-part series on ways quilting has been changing in the 21st century

Monochromatic quilt designed by Kelly Abbott-Gallagher

This monochromatic quilt designed by Kelly Gallagher-Abbott hangs on a wall at Jukebox Quilts in Fort Collins.

Quilting hobbyists who frequent Jukebox Quilts have choices beyond our grandmothers’ dreams. They can purchase a small machine that cuts perfect shapes from fabric six layers at a time.  They have access to a computer-guided machine that can appliqué and embroider complex designs. Other machines, also computer-guided, can complete the quilting process by stitching elaborate patterns through fabric and batting.

Freed from the mechanics of quilting, they have more time to experiment with color and design. I admired the creativity, artistry, and technical know-how that I witnessed in my recent visits to Jukebox Quilts, where eye-catching quilts hang on the walls and over railings.

Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, owner of Jukebox Quilts, designed the monochromatic quilt, above right, using a computer program similar to Adobe Illustrator. The computer then guided the quilting machine as it stitched the design. The silk and cotton blend makes the quilt shimmer when you’re viewing it in person.

Taking advantage of all the mechanization could be quite an investment, but Jukebox Quilts makes it easy to try the technology by renting time on equipment right on site. Located in a historic building at 406 North College Avenue in Fort Collins, the shop is a mix of colorful fabrics, heavy wooden beams and stairs, and cutting edge technology. At the top of the stairs is a jukebox that Kelly acquired for fun. Beyond it is a scene unlike any I had ever encountered before my first visit to the store. Continue reading


Bead Cache: An Antidote for a Gray Day

When winter gloom has you down, and you’re weary of everything on your list of antidotes, try walking into Bead Cache in Fort Collins. Sparkling color dazzled me right away on a recent visit there, and I was struck by the endless possibilities for creativity.

I’ll share my visit with you in bold images so you can see what I mean.

Glass seed beads at Bead Cache in Fort Collins

Glass seed beads line a wall of Bead Cache in Fort Collins.

Continue reading


For Fun, Give Me a Show of Hands

Fourth and final in a series on where to find exceptional, handcrafted holiday gifts

Folk art by Alan Moore family and Joyce Curvin in Show of Hands in Denver

At Show of Hands in Denver, folk art by the Alan Moore family of Littleton, Colorado, hangs on the wall above whimsical animals by Joyce Curvin of Florida. About 25% of the artisans represented at the gallery are local.

When I walked into Show of Hands in Denver last week, the first thing I saw was the display you see at right. Bright colors, whimsy, folk art . . . immediately I caught the light-hearted mood developed by business partners Mandy Moscatelli and Katie Friedland, who purchased Show of Hands three years ago. I would soon learn that they want more than anything else to have Show of Hands be “a happy place,” where people of all ages and means can feel good and find handmade items they can afford.

It’s your turn to browse while I pass along what Katie shared about Show of Hands and the vision she and Mandy hold for the future of “handmade” wherever it’s found. Continue reading


The Evergreen Gallery – Making a Day of It

Third in a series on where to find exceptional, handcrafted holiday gifts

Evergreen, Colorado, lies tucked into the mountains not far west of Denver. I hadn’t been there in several years, so it was a treat to leave I-70 and follow Evergreen Parkway toward town last week. Beautiful pine forests cover the low mountains that surround the parkway as it curves gently for eight miles to the heart of Evergreen.

When the road started to edge Evergreen Lake, I knew I was almost at my destination: The Evergreen Gallery. The drive from Fort Collins had taken an hour and a half – and it was well worth it.

So Much to See

Pottery by Meryl Sabeff, original owner of The Evergreen Gallery

Pottery by Meryl Sabeff of Evergreen, Colorado, original owner of The Evergreen Gallery

The Evergreen Gallery celebrated its 27th anniversary last month, an impressive accomplishment for this privately owned shop. Over half of the artisans whose work is displayed here live and work along the Front Range. That includes Meryl Sabeff, the original owner, who still lives in Evergreen and actively creates pottery to sell at the gallery. The photo at left shows one of her four styles of functional ware now available.

Lisa Gibson, current owner, kindly showed me around the gallery and pointed out things I might have missed in this showcase of almost 100 artisans. Much of the work was so unique and so beautifully made that it was like going on a docent-led tour of a museum — except that you can take the art home with you if you want to.

Kaleidoscope by Henry Bergeson of Conifer, Colorado

Kaleidoscope by Henry Bergeson of Conifer, Colorado

She showed me the kaleidoscope pictured at right, by Henry Bergeson of Conifer, Colorado. You don’t pick it up to view it – you just look down into it, as if it were a telescope pointing down. In back, two lights have been integrated into the kaleidoscope to illuminate a clear barrel of trinkets floating in glycerin that the lens turns into fascinating designs. Smaller kaleidoscope designs, also by Henry Bergeson, do require that you pick them up; the beautifully finished and shaped wood makes that a pure pleasure. Like the larger one pictured here, these kaleidoscopes on their stands have such grace and beauty, they are true works of art.

Doll by Mary Jane Butler of Littleton, Colorado

Doll by Mary Jane Butler of Littleton, Colorado.



So are the dolls by Mary Jane Butler of Littleton, Colorado. Notice how the doll pictured at left seems to look right at you, as if she were waiting for what you were going to say next. Lisa explained that the head is sculpted from polymer clay, but the upper body is made of wood. This line of  dolls is actually made to hang on a wall. Artfully quilted fabric creates the skirt of the dress, which is weighted along the hemline by a small branch of wood. Even looking at the work in person, I couldn’t tell where the fabric ended and the painted bodice began.

Animal masks by Hilarey Walker

Animal masks by Hilarey Walker


On a wall nearby hang animal masks by Hilarey Walker, who recently moved back to Colorado. Made primarily of clay, the masks are fired and then painted with acrylics. Metal ornaments and decorative papers, sometimes objects from nature add stunning detail.

I’m not sure if any photograph could truly catch how beautiful the masks are. Maybe that’s because the artisan’s vision of the animal and the ancient culture influencing each mask can only be captured fully in three-dimensional form. People rarely buy only one, Lisa told me; they collect them over time.

Ceramic figures by Jennifer Rudkin of Louisville, Colorado

Fine Art Whimsy by Jennifer Rudkin of Louisville, Colorado

Jennifer Rudkin of Louisville, Colorado, takes a completely different approach to portraying the character of animals in the line she calls Fine Art Whimsy. Her figures, sculpted in clay, are as playful as the masks are serious. In fact, she sometimes includes an antique toy with one of her figures to accent the spirit of fun.

Notice the dog with the bone on top of the backhoe in the picture at left; another bone lies in wait in the bucket. Not far away, a bear is ready to roll away on an actual antique roller skate with a ceramic beehive on the front. The photo shows only a portion of the Fine Art Whimsy that the gallery carries.

So Much to Enjoy

There was so much to see and marvel over that I took a lunch break before spending a couple more hours at the gallery. At Lisa’s suggestion, I walked a block to the Muddy Buck coffee shop, which occupies the former lobby of the Evergreen Hotel. The warm, eclectic décor was delightful, and lunch was delicious.

On my way back to the gallery, I stopped by Seasonally Yours. The candy shop drew me in with its sign for pumpkin praline fudge, its seasonal specialty this month — heavenly, even though there’s no chocolate about it. Had I not been planning to drop in on a fiber arts event on my way back to Fort Collins, I would have added a walk by the lake to the day’s outing. Any concerns that I had about the distance of the trip had long since evaporated.

The Evergreen Gallery, located at 28195 Hwy 74, Evergreen, is open seven days a week. Hours are listed on its website under “contact us.” The website also offers examples of all the work the gallery carries — but you won’t really know how beautiful the artwork is until you treat yourself to a day like mine.

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