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WV LIVING Road Trip Re-Cap

WV LIVING hit the back roads on September 16 and 17, 2011, for their first road trip. The trip, led by Editor Nikki Bowman, celebrated Tamarack’s 15th anniversary by visiting three of its founding artists’ studios. Participants came from all over the state, as well as California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

“Because of my job, I take the back roads regularly, and I wanted to share that experience with our readers,” says Nikki Bowman, WV LIVING publisher and editor. “I think it changes the way you think about supporting the local economy when you visit our artists, our craftspeople, our farms, and local restaurants. We wanted to create a trip that honored this important Tamarack milestone because without Tamarack many of our state’s finest artists could not survive.”

The adventure kicked off with a Friday night reception at Café Cimino in Sutton—one of the state’s finest country inns and restaurants. Chef Urbanic prepared a lovely buffet of locally grown foods, and local Tamarack artists displayed their works. The night was spent at the newly renovated Days Hotel in Flatwoods—another locally owned business.

The old adage “half the adventure is getting there” proved true as the group headed to esteemed potter Brian Van Nostrand’s studio in Webster County. After four boxes of Dramamine were passed out, the bus pulled into a church’s parking lot, from where Brian and several family members and friends carted the attendees up a one-lane dirt road to his studio.

The second stop was in Rock Cave, where Chef Dale Hawkins of Fish Hawk Farms provided lunch. His Vegetable Soup (with all the produce coming from his own farms), Orzo salad, locally baked bread from Jeff’s Breads, and Strawberry Shortbread, was the perfect lunch for the crisp fall day.

After lunch, the group headed to Sago Road in Buckhannon to glassblower extraordinaire Ron Hinkle’s studio, where he demonstrated the creation of several of his pieces. After shopping in his studio, the tour continued to glass etcher Katherine Miller’s studio, before stopping in downtown Buckhannon for the Main Street Art Fair. Many of the attendees had never been to Buckhannon, and they enjoyed visiting this charming town.

The trip wound down at Lamberts Vintage Wines, a winery in Weston—but not before making a surprise stop at the Lunatic Asylum, where, surprisingly, no one begged to get off the bus. After a tour of the winery, Lamberts served a delicious dinner, and then everyone gathered around the outdoor fireplace to recap the day.

If you would like to participate in WV LIVING’s 2012 Road Trip, email

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