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Artists of the Month

Alan Bourgault, and Jan Willett are the Artists of the month in July.

Alan Bourgault, the newest member of our cooperative gallery and one of the Artists of the Month in July, was introduced to woodworking as a child when he watched and helped his skillful father with carpentry projects at home. This introduction to wood tools and processes led him to deepen his skills doing construction projects in his own home including making some pieces of furniture. He believes in simple, functional pieces with clean lines, meticulously crafted using traditional joinery and quality materials. At Sign of the Dove he offers cutting boards, salad servers, and inventive bread knives. His round and rectangular cutting boards of maple and cherry softly catch the light, and their velvety smooth patina begs to be touched. Many boards have a hole at one end for hanging, and some are crafted from bird’s-eye maple with its intriguing pattern or tiger maple with its stripes. Their beauty and functionality make them perfect for cutting bread or vegetables or as a cheese board.

Our other Artist of the Month in July makes soft-sculpture monkeys, perfect for young children and those who appreciate their humor and folk-art history. Jan Willett creates each monkey individually from her own pattern, using carefully chosen socks in bright colors and rich designs. Jan says she is fascinated by the imaginary line between art object and plaything. Her approach to the sock monkey, an icon of the inventive American spirit, is to re-create it for a new generation, as living folk art and an invitation to play. Their thin arms and legs are easy for a small child to grab, and they are so flexible that they can easily be tied into knots or entwined into amusing postures. She uses locally sourced materials in an effort to support American businesses and lessen our carbon footprint. The monkeys are machine-washable and crib-safe, and they feature recycled cotton fiber.

February through November look for designated Artists of the Month and save 10 percent on all of their creations offered at Sign of the Dove at Porter Square.