15 Surprising Vendors You’ll Find at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment
Often times, travel surprises us. It’s the reason behind the thrill that keeps us going, that keeps us exploring. We long for those moments that leave us saying, “I can’t believe I ate a guinea pig,” or “I can’t believe how beautiful Belfast was.” My trip to Huntsville provided several such moments that left me saying, “I can’t believe this is in Alabama.” Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment sits at the top of that list.
Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment is the largest privately owned arts facility in the United States. Within the refurbished old mill are 132 working artist studios where over 200 artists, makers, and tinkers work and sell their wares. Within the studios, visitors can find glass artists, painters, sculptors, culinary artists, and much more.
In addition, there is also plenty of space that honors the performing arts from Concerts on the Dock to music showcases at Tangled String Studios to dance and comedy at the Flying Monkey multi-use theatre. Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment also hosts the world’s longest running Cigar Box Guitar Festival.
As I roamed the corridors of Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment, I continued to be amazed by the sheer breadth of creativity. It was inspiring to see so many creatives come together to make a living doing what they love and the community support behind them.
Here are 15 surprising vendors you’ll find at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment:
Puppeteering at Squeaking Tribe Studios
I didn’t know puppeteers existed either. I mean, maybe in the past in a land before TVs and smartphones. However, life-long puppeteer Anna Sue Courtney still honors the craft and performing art at her studio, Squeaking Tribe. I had a fascinating conversation with Anna as she walked me through what she does which includes not only building puppets but also staging performances at the Flying Monkey theatre.
Felt from Kami Watson Studio
Kami Watson is a second-generation textile artist that specializes in felt. Yes, you read that right. Felt. A stop by her stall is a lesson in the fine art of felt making. Visitors can shop from her sweaters, scarves, pillows, and more.
Painted Glass from Judson Portzer
There’s an awe to Judson Portzer’s Painted Glass Studio. An awe to be careful not to break anything and an awe to the delicate beauty of his unique work. The process he uses dates back to the Middle Ages and involves using paint made of finely ground particles of colored glass followed by a negative process to bring beautiful portraits and landscapes to life.
>>>There is a ton to do in Huntsville, Alabama! Check out some of these other fun attractions!<<<
Gourmet Ice Pops from Suzy’s Pops
Take a refreshing break from shopping with an ice pop from Suzy’s Pops. Owner Suzy Naumann prides herself in using the freshest and most natural ingredients she can procure, often sourcing many of her ingredients from North Alabama. I’m partial to the Peach Basil.
Rattan Baskets from Grace Davis
Grace Davis not only makes hand-woven and hand-dyed rattan baskets for sale in her studio, she also teaches the woven trade through seasonal classes. Grace offers a “Bubbha Gump Shrimp” variety of baskets and woven goods: Easter baskets, serving trays, bowls, market baskets, purses, etc.
Acoustic Guitars from Tangled String
Danny Davis custom builds guitars, mandolins, and kalimbas in his finely refurbished “rail car” studio. His instruments are sought after by both local musicians and Nashville stars alike. Tangled String is also used as a recording studio and musician showcase venue. Chatting with Danny about all that Tangled String does actually inspired me to start playing the guitar again.
>>>Read hotel reviews for Huntsville, Alabama!!!<<<
Precious Bead and Pearl Jewelry from Eva Ziegler Studios
With her unique background of art education and pearl stringing combined with a passion for archeology, Eva Ziegler makes simple, yet stunning jewelry out of natural materials like fossils, ammonites, gems, and minerals.
Chocolate from Pizzelle’s Confections
Pizzelle’s Confections is known throughout Huntsville for their chocolates, which are made at Low Mill Arts & Entertainment. Sisters Michelle Novosel and Caitlyn Lyon source local and fair-trade ingredients for their chocolate truffles and hot drinking chocolate with house made marshmallows. The truffles are then finished with an artist’s touch. Seriously, their truffles looked too good to eat, but I’m never one to waste chocolate… They tasted even better than they looked.
Signs from Pat Keefe
Do you ever wonder where signs are designed and printed? From designers like Pat Keefe. His digital printing and cut vinyl signs appear on everything from food trucks to shop windows to outdoor signage. Pat does canvas prints with fade-resistant inks that can be used for artistic reproductions of paintings.
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Reclaimed Woodwork from Rusted Willow
Husband and wife team James and Natalie Stevens of Rusted Willow use reclaimed wood from houses, barns, and factories and turn it into modern art. Sometimes they toss in a little metal or tile work for an extra pop of color and texture against the natural beauty of the wood.
Invent at Mind Gear Labs
Mind Gear Labs isn’t an artist studio persay, but a place where the community can come to test out ideas and inventions on their lab gear. They also offer classes in things like 3D printing, electronic boards, and app design.
Artisan Sweet Tea from Piper & Leaf
As a northern expat living in the South, I have a confession to make. I don’t like sweet tea. Or any tea for that matter. Still, I was curious as to what Piper & Leaf was serving. I’m sure glad I stopped in. Husband and wife team Caleb and Bridgette Christopher are blending some of the best tea I’ve tasted, like their Lemon Berry BLush and Healing Honeysuckle. A touch of cane sugar brings the flavors to life.
>>>Read hotel reviews near Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment!!!<<<
Nickel Cigar Box Guitars
Can I admit that I never heard of a cigar box guitar until I visited Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment? Apparently, it’s a thing as Lowe Mill not only hosts the world’s longest running cigar box guitar festival, but it also has a studio dedicated to making cigar box guitars. Nickel Cigar Box will get you started with a handmade guitar and lessons to learn how to play. They also sell kits to build your own cigar box guitar. #ChristmasList
Comic Book Art from SuperPowered Studios
The trio Kevin Stokes, Lynn Day, and Nathan Massengill of SuperPowered Studios showcase their interest in sci-fi and fantasy through sculptures, dolls, and comic book art. While Lynn focuses on the dolls and sculptures, Kevin and Nathan produce comic book art work which has appeared in the likes of Marvel.
Small Batch Whiskey from Irons Distillery
End your day of shopping at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment with a sip of whiskey from Irons Distillery. The family run business offers free samples of their ONE Bourbon Whiskey and Irons ONE Bourbon Mash Whiskey, both of which are made from local grains and aged in oak barrels. If you wish to buy some of their spirits, look for them at packaged stores around Huntsville.