Ledge Craft Lane

The Past, Present, and Future

Carson Lemon, Staff Writer

   In what used to be Grand Ledge’s fire house in 1885, on the corner of Bridge Street and River Street, an artist owned co-op filled with handmade art awaits! Ledge Craft Lane, a pillar of Grand Ledge, has had its doors open to local artists and the community since the 70s. 

  Nowadays, Ledge Craft Lane hosts +50 artists with different booths scattered throughout the store. Operated on a volunteer basis, every artist who sells in the store comes in and works a day, working the cash register and keeping the store open.

  Tam Wolfe, an artist who sells in the building says she’s been working with art,since she was a kid. However, she became involved with Ledge Craft back in its early days. “Back in highschool, my mom, my sister, and I got into a booth here at Ledge Craft back in 1974, then I went to LCC and kept selling my work here for a few years,”  said Wolfe.

  Annette Ryan, another artist at Ledge Craft, has a story similar to Wolfe’s. “…I’ve been selling here for 21 years, since I retired. But before that back in 1974 I painted tree fungus and sold it here.”

  According to Ryan, there’s something for everyone at the store. “I personally make paintings but other people have some beautiful stained glasswork, resin work, crochet items and jewelry. We even have a woodworking artist that gets wood from all over the world in all sorts of colors.”

You’ve got to like it, I had to learn everything I made, I had to learn from scratch, but I think I got better at it because I liked making it,

— Tam Wolfe

  When asked about advice for “bad artists” who want to change their mindset, “I dunno man, get a therapist,” Wolfe remarked with a snicker. In a more serious tone she started, “You’ve got to like it, I had to learn everything I made, I had to learn from scratch, but I think I got better at it because I liked making it,” Wolfe said.

  Ryan also added her own advice for struggling artists, “You just have to try it, you might like it and you might have talent. I’ve taken many classes but that isn’t a requirement, you just have to try.”

  Wolfe also offered some advice for people looking to get in touch with their artistic side. “Get some books, read up on what you’re interested in, and then maybe you can get into a class that fits your style, what you might like to do,” Wolfe suggested. She is currently offering sewing classes hosted at Ledge Craft Lane, and can be contacted by text: (707) 548-3666 to sign up for lessons.

  For other art lessons taught at Ledge Craft Lane, a popular painting teacher Kerri Goodman, has been teaching for over 10 years. According to Goodman, she herself became comfortable painting by taking a class at the shop. “I came in on a Thursday night, painted with a group, a three hour session like what I teach now. I made a lot of friends and I really loved it, I lived for Thursday nights,”

  After her teacher, Carol Basso retired, Basso left Goodman in charge of running some of her classes. “I didn’t want to [teach classes] at all to be honest, but she must have seen something in me and was convinced I would be a good fit,” Goodman said.

  “When I started off I was pretty intimidated because some of the people I was supposed to lead were really talented painters, and to think that I would have to teach people I didn’t even know was frightening,” she remarked.

  Goodman went on to take some classes in Flint to gain some confidence in her talents, and is happy running her own classes at Ledge Craft. She made sure to stress the benefits Ledge Craft brings to the community as well as the importance of their classes.

  “These classes are perfect for people who don’t really know what to do but they want to do something artsy, and on top of all of the knowledge they get they also walk away with a family of people that really care about them,” Goodman said.

  If interested in stopping by Ledge Craft Lane, they’re open Thursday and Friday from 11-5 and Saturday from 11-4. They also keep updates and new class opportunities on their Facebook, and post regularly on the Grand Ledge Community Page.