Matt Taylor knew he wanted to be a filmmaker from the start. “I could have told you that when I was eight,” he says. He was a decent student and a pretty fair athlete growing up – he played baseball, basketball, and he swam. But “people in the Boston area are so rabid about sports,” even high-school sports, he says. “It wasn’t fun for me.” All he wanted to do was tell stories and make movies. But in Bridgewater back in the early 1980s, there was no one to show him how.

Tom Dunlop


Like many popes and kings, Denys Wortman of Vineyard Haven is the eighth in a dynastic lineup. The seventh Denys Wortman was a nationally known cartoonist – and mid-century president of the Society of Illustrators of New York – who happened to do a lot of painting on the side. But because dad died in 1958, when son Denny was in his second year of college, the eighth wasn’t aware until the early 1990s that the seventh was a splendid painter.

Holly Nadler


When Ronni Simon gets dressed, she doesn’t wear much jewelry – usually just her watch and maybe some hoop earrings, plus the rings she wears all the time because she can’t get them off her fingers anymore. “I’ve never really been into jewelry,” she confesses.

Which is why no one is more surprised than Ronni herself at the overnight success of the jewelry-making business she started just over half a year ago.

Laura D. Roosevelt


A fashion statement, a political statement. Stina Sayre wants to make them at the same time, but it’s not easy. Her political statement goes like this: “We’re so globalized,” she says. “It’s like nothing is made in the Western world anymore. We westerners don’t understand where our things come from. But when you go to Wal-Mart, the jeans you buy are made by slaves, pretty much. You can buy a pair of pants for $25, but the person who made them doesn’t make a buck an hour. And we live here and we think that we are so fair to each other and so civilized. And I think it’s really rotten.

Mike Seccombe


No one knows for certain who the first person was to create scrimshaw; however, chances are his inspiration came not so much from a creative muse as it did from a state of boredom.

According to Tom DeMont, owner of Edgartown Scrimshaw, scrimshaw originated on American whaling ships in the 1700s. Because whaling was so dangerous, men were unable to work at night, and scrimshaw became a way for them to occupy their idle hours.

Geoff Currier


Chilmark Pottery, off State Rd. across from Nip ‘n' Tuck Farm, West Tisbury. 508-693-6476. Daily demonstrations. Open Monday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Christina Gallery, 32 N. Water St., Edgartown, 508-627-8794, christina.com. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cobalt Gallery, 553 State Rd., West Tisbury, 508-693-2052. "Small Works" November 23-January 1. Wednesday-Sunday 2-6 p.m.

Craftworks, 149 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-7463. Contemporary American Craft. Open through the holidays. Daily 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


And finally, eventually, most of the visitors are gone from the streets and the galleries and the bed-and-breakfasts. For most Islanders, that means a return to the essential, ordinary lives of work, family and school.

That's also true for Island craftspeople. But the people who make pots and quilts, rugs and jewelry and other handmade crafts often spend the warm months selling their work or their services to summer visitors. For them, the colder months are a time to get back to their craft.

Hollis L. Engley