279 Artisans Trail 'Jams' on second Saturdays - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

279 Artisans Trail 'Jams' on second Saturdays


If you'd like to support some of East Texas's local communities this weekend, the artists on the 279 Artisans Trail in Van Zandt County are hosting their monthly Second Saturday Art Jam this weekend.

The 279 Artisans Trail starts in Ben Wheeler and follows Farm to Market Road 279 all the way through Edom and into Chandler.

There are 11 artist shops along the trail, as well as several restaurants, produce stands, garden centers and music venues, and all have the goal of sharing their American products with the people of East Texas.

"It is a movement. It's an art movement. We're so excited. Saturday's our big day. Every second Saturday is a special event for us," says Marsha Taylor, owner of Secret Garden Embroidery in Ben Wheeler.

That's because the artisans can open up their doors and show off the products they make right here at home.

"What we're focusing on this month is National Craft Month, and so all of us are taking the opportunity to be demonstrating our work, what we do," says Beth Brown of Potters Brown Pottery Studio in Edom.

Some of them have been for years. The Edom arts community started in the early 1970s, but Ben Wheeler's restoration has been recent.

"You're going to find a slice of the best of Austin. That was the whole idea. The town has been restored to its historical significance. Every shop is special and unique and has the best artists from East Texas in it, and there's something for everybody," Taylor says.

It was that spirit that led Taylor to open Secret Garden Embroidery in Ben Wheeler last summer.

"I'm an embroidery artist, which is kind of unusual. My linens are based on my original artwork. They're in stores all over the world," she says.

Down the road in Edom, Beth Brown and her husband Doug are busy throwing and glazing pottery. Their studio and store Potters Brown has been an Edom fixture since Doug started the local arts community in Edom more than 40 years ago.

They sell all kinds of dishware and pottery, but the Browns say it's their special glaze, which Doug has spent years perfecting, that makes them special.

"We handpaint all of our glazes so no 2 pieces are alike, Beth Brown says.

And it's that unique, handmade experience that Beth Brown says you won't find anywhere else but from the artists right here in East Texas.

"We want to show people what we do here. I mean, we make everything from our clay -- we make our clay -- to throwing and making the pots, to firing the pots. I mean, everything is completely from the Earth. It's made right here," she says.

You're going to find jewelry, woodworking, clothing, artwork, antiques, fresh food, live music and more on the 279 trail.

For more information, you can visit their website or check out this page for details: 279 Artisans' Trail information.

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