Carve out your own niche

Hudson Valley artists, writers and craftspeople offer classes at Wing & Clover in Rhinebeck

by Ann Hutton
December 09, 2010 10:00 AM | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bright and beautiful things are happening in a storefront in Rhinebeck. Owned by Marla Walker, Wing & Clover is a creative space where arts-and-crafts classes are taught, materials, tools and books are offered and – most evidently – a particular aesthetic prevails: one that honors simplicity, quality and the human touch.

Walker has gathered together a casual faculty of local Hudson Valley artists, writers and craftspeople who conduct two- to three-hour-long workshops in a diverse array of subjects. You’ll find method classes from writing and Photoshopping to lacemaking to thrumming mittens, all focused on attention to the creative act and each thematically linked with the intent to explore the potential of the medium. The storefront also features a selection of magazines, journals, gift items and work by local artists, inspiring visitors to dabble in a new skill or learn what goes into making the items with which we all live. It is a veritable antidote to mass production – an eye-opening flash of creative inspiration.

Wing & Clover – the store’s name is a metaphor for the creative process, referring to the tool and raw material that bees use to make honey – is not Walker’s first retail endeavor. For five successful years she ran a women’s apparel store in Park Slope, Brooklyn called Bird. A one-time producer at Children’s Television Workshop, with a Masters in Education degree from Harvard University specializing in media and technology, Walker worked with inner-city pre-teen girls to make documentary videos about their lives, eventually founding an afterschool program at the Computer Museum in Boston that encouraged their use of technology.

When she moved with her family to Barrytown in 2007, she discovered a renewed physical and psychological freedom: the space to think and reflect and turn her attention to creative self-expression. And she learned to quilt. Believing that we all have stories to tell and the impulse to manifest them, Walker wants Wing & Clover to be a place where artists and crafters can connect to expand their creative horizons – where learners and teachers enrich each other in the process of making domestic artifacts and memorabilia. With plans to develop floor space to include fabric, textiles, quilting, photography and filmmaking and supplies for collage and painting, Walker has used her talents to make an airy, welcoming place: a workshop/gallery/retail store equal to more than the sum of its attractive parts.

Wing & Clover is located at 22 East Market Street in the Village of Rhinebeck. General shop hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays (closed on Tuesdays) and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. New classes for ages 12 to adult are now forming for the winter/spring 2011 season. In January, Wing & Clover will be offering paper-cutting from patterns with Jenny Lee Fowler, thrummed mittens with Jill Draper, mosaic basics with Jenny Strohm, a couple of specialty sewing classes with Cal Patch and drawing basics with Jenny Strohm. Classes in February, March and April include blogging basics, knitting, oil painting, embroidery and appliqué, patternmaking and other sewing techniques, block printing for textiles, digital audio storytelling and others. For a complete roster of dates, times, fees and instructors, see or call (845) 876-1035.

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