Greystone Farm and Art Studio

      The farm has been in the family since my great-grandmother bought it during the 1930s depression.  We have all worked hard to be good stewards of the farm and to properly care for the plants, animals, and people who live here. Each generation has planted more trees and improved the meadows. My husband and I added a big pond that has become the heart of the farm. The land has evolved from a rather barren and rocky hilltop with a few scraggly hardwoods, to a diverse open and wooded ecosystem. Wildlife is abundant here and we see birds and animals that did not live here 60 years ago. In the 1940s My Grandfather and Grandmother raised an excellent herd of Jersey Cows, Cheviot sheep, and Duroc hogs. My mother remembered getting up before dawn to help milk the herd - by hand - before walking over 2 miles to school. Those were tough times! My parents eventually came back to the farm and raised their children here. I was the second oldest of six. My father was a school teacher and my mother raised her famous herd of Greystone Connemara Ponies and Sport Horses along with her children. The "Greystone" name is still found on the pedigrees of elite Connemaras today. As kids, we did not have to work as hard as my mother had to when she was a child. Horses and goats are not as demanding as cows. We went to the same village school that my mother did - but we got to ride a school bus! My two children also grew up here, and now my grandchildren can call the farm "home".
I have been an artist since I picked up my first crayon, and for many years I combined my art career with raising a family and working off-farm. After I retired from off-farm work I was finally able to spend more time creating art. I like making things! All kinds of things! Painting and ceramics, drawing, woodcarving, and photography are some of the mediums I enjoy. I learned to do hot glass flameworking at the Corning Glass studio. I took a few classes there while I was still working off-farm. It is a great place to go if you get the chance. Glass is fascinating. It is mesmerizing to work glass in a flame because the heated glass is over 2000 degrees and it is only an inch or two from your fingers - it is like manipulating 2000-degree chewing gum. The risk of a burn is worth it. Glass catches the light more beautifully than any other medium. Over the years my artwork has been included in local, state, national, and even international exhibits. One of my flameworked dog portrait beads traveled to Istanbul for an exhibit, and a blue parrot bead went to Japan. My art is better traveled than I am!
My studio is now part of the Greater Ithaca Art Trail. Ithaca is located in Tompkins County which is in the Finger Lakes Region of Central NY State. It is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. The area is known for its world-class wineries, beautiful waterfalls, gorges, and of course, its many big, deep, long lakes. Tompkins County is a well-known vacation spot. There are many beautiful campgrounds or hotels to stay in when you visit. The Art Trail includes about 50 artists in Tompkins County. We have an open studio day on the second Saturday of every month. Not everyone is open every month but you can find a list of participating artists on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail website,  ARTTRAIL.COM. You can come for a visit on open studio days and many artists on the trail (including me) are happy to set up appointments if you contact us and arrange a time.
The lumber that I use for wood carving is cut and cured on the farm or sourced from other local, sustainable growers. I also use scrap wood from other woodworkers. The forest on the farm has increased in size since the family began their stewardship of the land. Oak, cherry, poplar, maple, spruce, pine, ash, and other trees grow here. The land is better suited to growing trees and grass than row crops. We do have a huge garden and fruit trees. We raise pigs and chickens for eggs and meat. We also raise Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats. I make ice cream, yogurt,  kefir, and many different types of cheese from their milk.  You can check out our goats at

Cordwood Studio and Greenhouse
We started building the studio a few years before I retired. I had always wanted to build a cordwood building and I began to realize that if I did not start pretty soon I was going to run out of time. My husband Bill thought I was nuts.  Cordwood construction is very time-consuming. It is beautiful - but it takes a long time to do. He thought we should just use metal siding and call it done. To my artistic sensibilities, that was not an aesthetically pleasing solution for a studio! Fortunately, Bill was willing to humor me and he cut trees and milled lumber. Working together we managed to strip bark and prepare the log chunks for the walls. Construction works better if done with softwoods and since we have a large stand of mature spruce trees on our farm (that I helped plant when I was 5!) we were able to build using trees from the farm. A real-life example of "slow craft!". Bill put up the rough carpentry on the greenhouse and then I started in on the walls. It took me three summers to mix all the mortar, lay the stone foundation, and then build the cordwood walls between the supports. The walls are 18 inches thick with sawdust in the middle for insulation. The mortar is about 4 inches thick on each side of the wall. The studio building is now a wonderfully beautiful place to work and the greenhouse allows us to raise all the plants for the garden. We are pleased with it!

This is a picture of me, my brother Bruce, and my father, Wade. The photo was taken by my Uncle, J.J. after we reached the top of the second field in 1960 after planting 2000 spruce trees. Now, many of those trees are the walls of my studio!

     Working in the studio.