ROBESONIA PA – An annual sale of pottery and other artistic works created by area producers, known as the summer “Artisans at the Furnace” show, will be held Aug. 18 and 19 (2012; Saturday and Sunday) from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the restored Robesonia Furnace and Firehouse, Freeman and Furnace streets, about 12 miles west of Reading PA on U.S. Route 422.
- This event has been added to The Post calendar.
The show, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the non-profit Friends of the Robesonia Furnace. It showcases the skills of several Friends’ artisans, including:
- Robesonia Redware items produced by potters Scott Madeira, Thilo “T.J.” Schmitz and Curt Pearson;
- Hand-forged iron works by blacksmith Allen Schaeffer of Furnace Creek Forge;
- Tinware by Ken and Carolyn Handwerk of Handwerk Tin;
- Hooked rugs and primitive folk art created by Tish Bachleda of The Tweed Weasel; and
- Reproduction, scale-sized log cabins by Terry and Judy Boyer of the 1860 Wood Company.
Artists Madeira, Schmitz and Pearson all worked for the late Lester P. Breininger, who died in 2011, and who – along with his wife, Barbara – achieved national recognition for their redware pottery decorated with tulips, distelfink and other Pennsylvania German motifs. Over more than six decades, they amassed one of the largest collections of Berks County antiques and artifacts ever assembled.
The Breiningers’ annual porch sale of pottery, made in an outbuilding on their South Church Street property, drew collectors from around the country. The 42nd, and last, porch sale was held in August 2011. The Friends’ show coincides with what would have been the 43rd porch sale weekend.
The show also features a special food tent, other vendors and a Chinese Auction on both days, according to organizer Abby Wertz. The Robesonia Furnace Museum, located in the firehouse and which describes the history of the pig-iron furnace that once operated there, also will be open.