By Debra Bell
of The Weekly Staff
BANGOR, Maine – From the start, Maine Jewelry and Art was meant to be a collaborative artisan-centered business. It started in 2010 as a small store located on Main Road in Hampden.
Now owned by Roxanne Munksgaard, Amanda Coburn, and Anne Reigstad, the business moved from the outskirts of Bangor to 96 Harlow St., Suite 120, two years ago; the move was exactly what the store needed.
The women aren’t just owners: They’re artists. Coburn works with metal, Reigstad creates fused dichroic glass jewelry and has taught stained glass classes, and Munksgaard creates jewelry from found and hand-created items including metal, beads and wire.
Walk through the store’s vibrant red door and you’ll be greeted by a cozy atmosphere, an artisanal treasure trove, and smiles.
Maine-made treasures line the walls and displays throughout the store, each made by one of 33 Maine artists featured in the store. That includes jewelry, pottery, glass and metal sculpture, ceramic jugs and pipes, felted wool hats, hand painted and woven scarves, photographs, and decor items.
“We wanted to include other kinds of art [in the store],” Coburn said. “It was important to us to have just Maine artists products.”
Located near the heart of downtown Bangor’s arts district, Maine Jewelry and Art embraces the city’s cultural renaissance. Just a block away is a district full of artists, creative stores, and lots to do.
Now the store is expanding to a new workshop space next door to the shop at 100 Harlow St. to allow artists new and old to learn, create, and collaborate.
The new space will include a metal and glass studio, workshop space, and an artisan gallery. But a big part of the new space will revolve around teaching. Each of Maine Jewelry and Art’s owners will lead workshops throughout the year.
“[The new space] is big,” Coburn said. “There’s so much space to teach and learn. We all love to teach and talk to people, and we’re excited to teach what we do.”
The studio will have its official grand opening 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 20. During the grand opening, the public can take a tour, partake in refreshments, and learn more about upcoming workshops.
“To celebrate Earth Day Week, we will be running free children’s and teen’s workshops all day in recycled-upcycled-repurposed art,” Coburn said.
The grand opening also will feature an upcycled-recycled-repurposed artisan workshop for children ages 9-18. The workshop is free.
Artisan workshops are planned throughout April:
• Dichroic glass jewelry workshop, 1-5 p.m. Saturday, April 13. The workshop is for ages 15 and older and costs $80 plus $15 for materials.
• Metal etching workshop, 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 14. The workshop is for ages 15 and older and costs $45 plus $10 for materials.
• Glass mosaic workshop, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, April 21. The workshop is for ages 15 and older and costs $60 plus $10 for materials.
• Chain maille workshop, noon-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The workshop is for ages 14 and older and costs $35 plus $10 for materials.
“We’ve had a lot of people ask for lessons,” Coburn said. “We have taught workshops in the past that were successful, but we never had dedicated space.”
The new workshop and gallery space will solve that problem. And it adds a layer to the store that makes Maine Jewelry and Art a gem in downtown.
“We love being here,” Coburn said. “I’m inspired to come to work every day. Now I’m excited to come to work and fuse it with a place where people come to create.”
The women expect to expand class offerings. Stay up-to-date by visiting www.mainejewelryart.com or call 207-941-8600 for information.