Statewide apprenticeship launches budding artisans

LEWISTON — The work of Ellsworth master glass blower Linda Perrin and Little Deer Isle master blacksmith Doug Wilson and their respective apprentices Jacquelyn Jensen and James Crawford are the focus of an Oct. 6-Nov. 7 show at L/A Arts in Lewiston.

The “Masters + Apprentices: Work from Maine’s Craft Apprentice Program” show is the culmination of the statewide Craft Apprentice Program (CAP). The seven-month program was founded early this year by the Maine Craft Association and the Maine Arts Commission. CAP pairs Maine master craftsmen and women with Maine-based apprentices who are selected through a competitive application process and must demonstrate foundational skills in the medium they wish to pursue.jacquelyn-jenson-linda-perrin

Both master and apprentices receive honorariums and complete at least 100 apprenticeship hours.

“CAP is a very welcome opportunity for me to share my love, enthusiasm, talent and insight, and to do my part to ensure the skills are carried onward into a new generation,” said Doug Wilson, who has worked as a metalsmith since 1973.

Wilson produces mainly commissioned work that is functional, architectural and sculptural, but rooted in traditional techniques and joinery. He also has taught workshops at numerous institutions, including Deer Isle’s Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

A 2015, College of the Atlantic graduate, Crawford began blacksmithing as an apprentice at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut. His senior college project was functional and decorative ironwork. At present, he works as a blacksmith at Doug Wilson Forge in Little Deer Isle.

“I enjoy making things with a story behind them, spending time and skill to bring an idea to life,” Crawford said. “I also enjoy being part of a long line of blacksmiths who are using and passing on age-old techniques.”

A professional glass blower since 1990, Perrin and her husband and fellow glass artist Ken founded and run Atlantic Art Glass in Ellsworth. Her work is exhibited and collected nationally.

Apprentice Jacquelyn Jenson also graduated from COA in 2015.

“I want to work on my personal expression and empowerment as a glass artist, to build a cohesive body of work that demonstrates intention and vision,” she said. “There are more female glassblowers than ever before. The idea of more female gaffers emerging in a male-dominated industry is something that I want to be a part of.”

Through CAP, Ellsworth metalsmith and jeweler Emily Shaffer is currently interning with master jeweler Cara Romano in Ellsworth.

The 2017 CAP application deadline is Dec. 9. Maine craft artists are invited to attend a CAP 2017 question and answer session from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at L/A Arts in Lewiston.

To participate, email Sadie Bliss at [email protected]. Application apprenticeships are available at

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