Combining Elise's love of American folk art, with Payne's traditional blacksmithing, the couple joined their creative voices over twenty years ago. Payne's exploration of metal working began in a high school class and continued after college when he began to sell his work at craft fairs and exhibit in galleries. Recreating the craft of traditional metal smithing and modern technology, along with design concepts from early American, Shaker , Art Nouveau to Arts and Craft traditions, Payne has created his own unique signature metal work.
Decorative American Folk Art captured Elise's imagination while in college studying for a career in dance. She has worked in many mediums: surface painting, stencils, and textile printing. She was Inspired by artists such as Peter Hunt, Adele Bishop and her own Grandmother, who created beautiful embroidery in traditional Hungarian patterns. She supported herself as a dancer by by selling her work at small fairs and craft shows.
The couple met at such a fair and their first collaboration was not far behind. Starting with an acetelyne torch, they made the first simple folk figures for weathervanes and wall art. Together they have designed and built garden gates, chandeliers, railings, hardware and fireplace doors, as well as signature wall art and weathervanes. The weathervane atop the Guilford Vermont Welcome Center (and corresponding VT seal at the front counter), custom chandelier for the American fly Fishing Museum , and the Franklin County Courthouse railings are among the larger projects they have completed. They have also won numerous awards , such as the league of NH Craftsmen 'Best in Show' award for their trout garden bench and 'Tribute to Woodstock' life size Moose sculpture.
In 2007 the couple opened 103 Artisans Marketplace, which featured their work as well as the fine craft of many other artisans. The store was a popular shopping destination for 10 years, recently closing in 2018. Payne & Elise now are focused on their artwork and commissions as they continue to be inspired by their partnership and surroundings.
Elise and Payne
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