Friday, March 31, 2006

Artist Profile- Nancy Bariluk-Smith Artist Profile- Nancy Bariluk-Smith

I was inspired at a young age by my brother, who was an amazing musician and pianist and knew at a deep level what made him tick, what was at his core. I wanted that, I longed for that.
Being exposed to fiber while traveling in New Zealand gave me that sense of self and sparked in me an inner fire. Fiber began to speak through my hands. Ideas started coming to me in the form of figures, faces, and people; all kinds of images wanted to be set free onto the wool. There is a comical side to my work, things that make one smile. I often make 3-D characters and have been commission to do likenesses of loved ones, immortalize in fiber, forever having fun and laughing back at their beloved.
Oh sure I can get serious...abstract, real. That is the nature of felting, it can go in any direction… and my life has been going in amazing directions all for the love of fiber.
My work can be seen at Chasing Silver in Cambridge, NY, at area art shows, on the web at, or by contacting me directly at

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #4 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #4

Can Anyone Identify This Piece?
The only thing Jack knows about this object is that it is a wood pattern from a foundry. A pattern is a wooden form made to the exact specifications that a mold is created from for casting metal into. The yellow part called a "core box"; color signifies a hollow place, perhaps where a drive shaft might go. Stamped metal label reads: LOREN ENG. CO. and the numbers C14131 and a "W".
If you think you know what this is a pattern for, please respond in by clicking on the comment link! Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Treasures of Cambridge #4 Treasures of Cambridge #4

Be a part of "Treasures of Cambridge". If you are a resident of the Cambridge, NY area, please contact me to have your portrait taken. I will be at Bean Heads Coffee House on Thursdays in March and April 6th and 13th. Bring a prop that you identify yourself with. Check out the "About Cambridge Treasures" on this blog for more about the project. Or email me at

William Herbert Creitz from Mineola, NY, in front of the vault at former Bean Heads Coffee House. Bill moved to Cambridge, NY in 1977. As a younger man, was an engineering supervisor at Howard Johnson’s canning plants, making and canning all of their products except for their ice cream! Moved on to become a salesman for canning and food processing machinery and after six years created his own company. Bill says, "I am probably best known for having brought rotary piston fillers for sauerkraut into the US."

In the Army he was trained to run generators for Nike missiles sites but they later made him a cook instead, "typical government efficiency." he quips. Thankfully for us here is town, for that experience lead him here to Cambridge, NY where he owned and opperated Bean Heads Coffee House before retiring to pursue other interests. Bill’s props include his chef’s jacket and a patent he won in 1995 for a seam-inspecting device for cans. Bill, we all miss Bean Heads and your kind heart.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Artist Profile Artist Profile

The Cambridge NY area is a haven for artists and artisans: Painters, Sculptors, Photographers, Printmakers, Musicians, Writers, Poets, Filmmakers, Actors, Singers, Dancers, you name the artform, we have it here!

For the over 20 years I have called the area my home, I am continuously amazed by the amount and caliber of artistic talent that lives in these hills. Each year I am introduced to yet another person who is pursuing the artistic life and has chosen to do it here, even though they may exhibit their work across the nation, and in some cases, the world.

Cambridge Buzz wants to introduce these creative souls to the community, by posting "Artist Profile" as a new thread on the Blog. Enjoy! The Arts, are one more way Cambridge, NY is an exciting tourism destination inspiring economic development for the entire area.

Artist Profile- June Mohan Artist Profile- June Mohan

June W. Mohan lives and works out of Eagle Bridge in the Cambridge Valley of New York State. June’s knowledge of the artist and local ledged, "Grandma Moses" (who was also a housewife when she started painting), was her inspiration to pursue a lifelong dream to also become a professional artist. She felt, "if Grandma Moses could begin her career as an artist at the ripe old age of 89, so could I at 49."

Age was not the only obstacle June would overcome. Damaged knees made it difficult for her to walk about making photographs. This physical limitation became an important and interesting element in her work. She does most of her photography from the side of the road, out the window of her car!

This vantage point is fascinating in that it is a view available to all who drive the roads of this beautiful area of New York State. June remarks, "people are often too busy and involved with their lives to appreciate what can be seen before them along the very roads they traverse. It is with these views, these often ‘missed experiences, that I create the basis for my art."

Her art has been exhibited throughout the region including Kevin at Mike’s Place in North Bennington, Vermont. Currently, June’s work can be viewed and purchased in the offices of Village Primary Care on Main Street in Hoosick Falls, NY, as well as The Glens Falls National Bank, and the Cambridge Florist located on Main Street in Cambridge, NY.

June’s strong religious conviction inspires her to donate at least one third of the proceeds from the sales of her artwork to charities working towards the feeding and supplying medical care and clean water to children in need in the United States and around the world.

Contact June at 518-686-0366 or email:

Ghost Tree 2004 by June Mohan
Seeing is very personal. June’s work is an invitation to explore our visual world and see spaces and symbols in new and exciting ways. Her work is at once, spiritual, conceptual, and simply visual. Through the manipulation of everyday objects, landscapes and scenes, June gives our minds-eye license to see past what is ordinary. She challenges us to generate new world-views from familiar old ones, and to simultaneously interact with our inner and outer awareness.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Sense of Place A Sense of Place

We all have a powerful sense of place, although sometimes we may not be consciously aware of it. Place can serve as an important factor in how we define ourselves.

Yesterday, a friend told me the story of a woman who grew up near a big tree that she really loved. As a child, she would always go sit under it and play and reflect on problems in her life. She came to feel that the tree helped her come to terms with things. Many years later, she moved back to where she grew up, and re-established her ritual of spending time near this beloved tree.

In the recent power outage, a neighbor's tall, beautiful pine tree was toppled by the winds. His grandmother had planted it many years earler, so it was a strong element in his sense of place. Alas! I used to look out my window and take great joy in seeing that tree standing tall agaist a backdrop of sky. It was a part of my sense of place too.

On a more positive note, I can report that Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Spa State Park does not look much different after over a dozen trees were cut down in the interest of safety.

Landscapes change over time. This area used to be heavily forested. And that actually played an important role in the Battle of Saratoga. Kari Blood reports:

"In the fall of 1777, the British were advancing from the north. The American army chose to stand against them in Saratoga in large part because of the landscape. The Hudson River lay to the east and highland hills to the west, creating a narrow passage for the British. That gave the Americans a tactical advantage, enabling them to cut off the British troops’ main route to Albany. Americans also held areas of higher ground offering a view of the valley.

But it wasn’t only the lay of the land that affected the outcome of the battles. The forest itself played an important role. Densely forested areas made it difficult for the British to know where the Americans soldiers were camped. Trees in the forest also provided shelter, cover, and concealment for American riflemen as they attacked and battled the British army."

This information is part of a guide to trees on the Wilkinson Trail that will be published soon by the Saratoga National Historic Park.

Look around you. What gives you your sense of place? Are there trees, buildings, or other features of the world around you that are particularly meaningful to you? Can you envision how the area around you has changed? Are there landmarks such as beautiful trees that you remember? Be sure to let us know --- post a comment.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cambridge, NY Life #3 Cambridge, NY Life #3

Every wonder where folks in a small, rural community go to find out what's happening in town? We all used to go to Bean Heads Coffee House, but now I find out the latest dish at the Town Recycling Center. Every Saturday I load up my Forester and make the trip to the "dump" to deposit the week's recyclables. It's here I run into folks I haven't seen in ages, find out who has come back from their winter retreats, and can score some great "dumpster diving" items. Believe it or not, it's a real gathering place and one that is always a hotbed of activity.

If I don't see someone at the "dump," I invariably run into them at our local food co-op, The Village Co-op. One of the oldest in the area, the Co-op been providing Cambridge, NY with great produce, staples, and other culinary needs for over 25 years. You can place an order for special items or just shop from the well-stocked shelves. You won't find fresher or better spices anywhere. The Co-op has a small paid staff who manage the place, but the bulk of the work is done by community members who volunteer 4 hours a month as sales staff and stock clerks. It's worth joining the Village Co-op for the 10-20% discount., Since Bean Heads is no longer my source for great fresh coffee beans, the Co-op has become the place to replenish my java stock. If you pass through Cambridge, NY on your way to Saratoga Springs or Bennington, VT, stop at the Village Co-op and check out the great cheeses, organic fruits and nuts, and meet some of the interesting characters that make Cambridge, NY such a great place to live.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #3 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #3

Foundry Pattern for Manhole Cover. This is an exact wooden replica of the cast covers you see covering manholes in the road. Jack says, “For me I enjoy it for its beautiful sculptural form.” It is amazing to think of the skill and precision that goes into pattern making, where most things cast in metal (or plastic for that matter) have to first be precisely fashioned from wood (often by hand) to make the mold.
Visit Jack’s Outback, 30 West Main Street, Cambridge, NY 518-677-2929.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #3 Treasures of Cambridge #3

Be a part of "Cambridge Treasures". If you are a resident of the Cambridge, NY area, please contact me to have your portrait taken. I will be at Bean Heads Coffee House on Thursdays in March from 1-3pm. Bring a prop that you identify yourself with. Check out the "About Cambridge Treasures" link on this page for more about the project.

Bob Spendiff in front of the vault at former Bean Heads Coffee House. Richard loves to fish, hunt, read and do flea markets. Apart from four years service in the Air Force, Bob has lived all his 64 years in the Cambridge, NY area. His uncle had one of the first camps on Lake Lauderdale. Retired two years ago from the construction trades pouring concrete, Bob now enjoys being an avid outdoorsman.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Saratoga Springs Notes #2 Saratoga Springs Notes #2

Like Cambridge, nearby Saratoga Springs has a rich heritage of historic buildings, some converted to great new uses. Just like Bean Heads Coffee House occupies a beautiful building that used to be a bank, in Saratoga Springs, some people joined together to form a not-for-profit (and non-religious) corporation to save the Universal Baptist Church building at 25 Washington Street and transform it into a significant and high quality meeting, event and performance space. Last Tuesday, a fundraising auction was held, and the public got its first opportunity to see the work that has been done on the Saratoga Springs Universal Preservation Hall. The Universal Preservation Hall will open in the fall of 2006, and it will be exciting to see how this old but new assest to the community develops.

And starting tomorrow, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation will be hosting its annual Preservation 360 Conference. On March 17 and 18, 2006, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation presents a wide-ranging program including workshops on restoration topics including:
Great American Architects and Architectural Styles
Building Codes and Historic Preservation
New Uses for Old Buildings
What Makes a Great Downtown?
Introduction to Historic Preservation Law
Training for Historic Review Commissions
Using Historic Preservation and New Markets Tax Credits
Slate Roofs, Windows, Porches – How To’s
Restoring, Maintaining and Funding the Preservation of Sacred Spaces

I will report back next week!

On a related topic, cultural tourism, you may be interested in this report: Cultural/Heritage Tourism: Opportunity, Impact, and Implications. Certainly there are some valuable cultural resources such as the Rice Mansion in Cambridge, NY.

Cambridge, NY Life: Posting #2 Cambridge, NY Life: Posting #2

We live in a "Right to Farm" County (Washington Co., NY) and are proud of that rural tradition. The other day, my neighbor was walking past my house with two of the biggest oxen I have ever seen. I mean these bovine looked like small elephants with brown and white spots. As a hobby, Dale drives ox carts in local parades and at various events around the area. He's a fixture at the Washington County Fair and was training these two to pull his cart. His family is also the type of neighbor that checks in with me when there is a power outage or heavy snowstorm to see if I need to be plowed out.

Spring is just around the corner and that means all the bulbs planted last fall will begin to splash the town with color. I personally planted over 100 spring bloomers and can't wait to see what will come up. It also means that the garden tour and plant sale can't be far off. All around town you see people starting to prepare for the warmer weather. I love talking a walk and greeting neighbors as they work outside in their yards. I've learned so much about gardening and landscaping just by looking at the local gardens. Soon I'll see landscape painters on the side of the road and kids on horses riding past my house as they head into Mt. Tom State Park. Spring also means the Cambridge, NY Balloon Festival can't be far off.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Jack's Outback Rendezvous #2 Jack's Outback Rendezvous #2

Salesman’s Window Sample circa 1870. Beautifully, hand planed beading with mortise and tenon construction and square head nails. The ingenious latch system is hand hammered. "When you slide the window open, you can see where the sun through the window has bleached the wood below, compared to where the frame has protected it from its rays. That is nature’s stamp of authenticity!" Out of the history of our country’s sales force, Jack says, "I am really excited to have this piece of Americana".
Visit Jack's Outback, at 30 West Main Street, Cambridge NY, 518-677-2929

Monday, March 13, 2006

Treasures of Cambridge #2 Treasures of Cambridge #2

Jack Metzger in front of the vault at former Bean Heads Coffee House. Jack has run, “Jack’s Outback”, his antiques and collectibles shop in Cambridge since 1992. Pictured here with an antique 1890’s hand turned baseball bat, expressing his age-old connection to sports (he himself played ball from Little League to Semi-Pro), and his love of antiques. “Beauty is in simple practicality and function.” Check out his antiques shop at 30 West Main Street here in Cambridge, NY.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Saratoga Springs Notes #1 Saratoga Springs Notes #1

This post will start a feature on Cambridge Buzz focusing on nearby Saratoga Springs.

On March 9, 1956, a storm dropped 367 inches of snow at the Ranier Paradise Ranger Station in Washington. The snow depth was a state record and the second highest total of record for the continental U.S.

The recent wind storm in upstate New York probably did not set any major records, but it will stand out in people's memories. Saratoga Springs was very hard hit by this storm, including one tragic death from a falling tree, on Avenue of the Pines in Saratoga Spa State Park. Now Saratoga residents and all who love the park must come to terms with the news that 18 pine trees have been cut down in the interests of safety. But just as in Cambridge, this wind storm and the resulting power outage resulted in a wonderful sense of neighborliness, people taking care of people.

Have you been to the Beekman Street Art District on Saratoga Springs' west side, near downtown? This wonderful new district includes shops, galleries, the wonderful Beekman Bistro, Gotchas Cafe, and the new pasta emporium, The Yawning Duck, offering pasta and classes in making pasta from chef Dominic Colose. The Beekman Street Art District has emerged over the past 5 years as a wonderful resource within the city. The Beekman Street Artists Co-op Flower Show takes place on Saturday, March 11, 2006 from 5 to 7 p.m. This is a flower show art party with live music. For more information: 518-461-4893.

For information about other events in Saratoga Springs and the surrounding area, check out Saratoga County Event Calendar

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cambridge Life #1 Cambridge Life #1

This will be a new Wednesday feature of our blog. I’ll try to give you a taste of life and a flavor for the people in Cambridge, NY and the surrounding area.

February 17,2006, the entire region was hit by a major storm. Winds topped out at 90mph in some areas and electricity was knocked out. Word on the street was that power would be out for at least 2 days, maybe more. It was cold and we were without power, most folks had no heat.

When I finally ventured into town, strangers asked if everything was okay and did I need any help. I’m relatively new to the area and don’t know many folks, but that did not matter. The local hardware store was sold out of generators and kerosene heaters, but Alexander’s hunted down generators from far and wide and located sources for kerosene and other sold out items. My neighbor called to say he had a generator and would we like to come stay at their place?

Local fire and rescue squads went door-to-door making sure we knew about the shelters they set up and to provide transportation to those who needed it. The care and generosity of neighbors and strangers alike was refreshing. By the next day, life and power returned to normal and the great storm of 2006 became fodder for sharing antidotes for survival.

Treasures of Cambridge #1 Treasures of Cambridge #1

John Fillmore in front of the vault at former Bean Heads Coffee House. John came to Cambridge, NY in 1947 when he was 7 years old. His props are seed catalogues and a bee smoker, for he says he, “did not want to be perceived as an indoor person”.

About Treasures of Cambridge About Treasures of Cambridge

New to this Blog is an art project, entitled, “Treasures of Cambridge”. The idea is to photograph all Cambridge, NY area residences wearing and/or holding something they feel defines their essence. Thanks to resident Bill Creitz, the photographs will be taken in front of the beautiful bank vault in the former Bean Heads Coffee House (a fitting place to show off the real treasures of Cambridge, NY!).

I realized what makes Cambridge a remarkable place is its people. I believe each and every person is a treasure, and together our individual stories make the place we live interesting and rich. This project is a way to celebrate the community and help foster community awareness and pride.

Along with a weekly posting of these photographs on this blog, I am recording a short audio clip of each person and hope to link it to the photograph on a future website about Cambridge, NY, called Cambridge Buzz (under construction). I also want to have a show of photographs someday where people can meet one another, mingle, and share their uniqueness with their neighbors.

This has been a very fun project for everyone who has participated so far. Cambridge, NY area residents interested in being included in this project should email me at, to arrange a time to be photographed. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Jack’s Outback Rendezous #1 Jack’s Outback Rendezous #1

One of the most fun places to visit in Cambridge, NY, is Jack’s Outback, located at 30 West Main Street. It is a shop full of wondrous treasures from days gone by, and its proprietor is one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet. Jack Metzger has run his antiques and collectibles shop in Cambridge since 1992.

Jack’s Outback is not just another antiques shop; it is a journey into the area’s past with Jack being your skillful guide and passionate storyteller. Leaving Jack’s Outback with a piece of the past gives you much more than a unique item to grace your home; you get also a deeper understanding of our ancestry in a wonderfully human and dignified way.
Call Jack at 518-677-2929, visit the shop and experience for yourself the magic at Jack’s Outback.

Jack’s Outback is going to be a feature of Cambridge Buzz, with weekly postings of interesting artifacts found in his store and information about them. Every once in a while we will have an item that even Jack can’t figure out what it is or how it was used. We will elicit your help in uncovering the mystery!

Oak Box- turn of the century oak box with brass hinges and mint condition color litho of the Rice Seed Company, located here in Cambridge, NY. Jack says this is an important example of a pioneering lithographic technique! There are more artifacts from the Rice Seed Company at the Rice Mansion Inn for the interested antique hunter.