In the late 1960s Rudy Hopkins purchased his Grandmother’s Catskill Mountain resort, Shady Lawn Cottage. Rudy, a public school teacher opened a summer arts camp for teenagers on the property. All it took was a few clay classes with the campers for Rudy to recognize his passion for clay. Soon he was exhibiting his pottery and some houseplants on the front porch of the house. Then he met Mary. Mary Elwyn, a Woodstock painter and metalsmith, became his life partner. Together they raised their five children as Crafts People grew from the front porch of the main house into the living room, dining room and finally the kitchen where you may have been lucky enough to arrive just in time for warm cookies from the big commercial oven. The family worked a huge vegetable garden and they ran a farm complete with ducks, geese, chickens, pigs, rabbits and “Lucky” their Sicilian burro. Rudy opened a “school without walls” and he and Mary taught pottery and jewelry classes at the house. Rudy enjoyed keeping the shops well supplied with pots and mentoring young artisans on marketing their craft. Mary developed a large wholesale line of jewelry and tableware. She exhibited her metalwork at American Craft Council shows and at the Buyer’s Market of American Craft. Her work was represented in over 350 retail galleries across the U.S. and she was the recipient of numerous national awards.
Crafts People began in 1974. The year 2019 marks our 45th year! From our humble beginning on the front porch to today Crafts People strives to create a pleasant environment for our guests complete with complimentary refreshments, beautiful crafts to behold and a gathering place for folks to browse and join in conversation.