Maine’s working creators celebrated in book

At Brooksville’s Tinder Hearth bakery, Tim Semler and his partner Lydia Moffett have strived to make old-fashioned bread, using locally grown organic grains, for years.

BLUE HILL — Sawyer Ray Murphy, lobsterman John Williams, seaweed harvester Micah Woodcock, bakers Tim Semler and Lydia Moffett, the Beech Hill Farm crew and potters Phid Lawless and Dan Farrenkopf share something in common. They all work hard with their hands at crafts that are deeply rooted in the sea and land around them.

Through their grit and tenacity living year-round in Maine, these Hancock County “makers” also have come to possess a vision and principles that guide them in their work and lives. They and their “creations” are among 22 contemporary Maine craftspeople, artists and growers celebrated in “Handcrafted Maine: Art, Life, Harvest & Home” (Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2017, $39.95) written by Katy Kelleher and photographed by Greta Rybus.

From 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18, Kelleher and Rybus will be on hand to sign copies and talk about the book’s creation and its 22 creators at The Meadow in Blue Hill. The gift shop is located at 140 Main St.

Brooksville writer Jan Hartman edited “Handcrafted Maine” and spearheaded the project. The book was made possible through support from the Robert P. & Arlene R. Kogod Family Foundation.

“If genius arises from hardship and education, then Maine’s unique brand of creativity comes from its rough geography, its economic frailty and its vibrant history,” wrote Hartman in the book’s introduction. Many of the “makers,” she writes, are “self-educated. Some went to college. Others studied books. While they each brought something new to the table, none of them did it alone. They are part of a long tradition of makers, builders, farmers and thinkers. They are part of Maine’s great story.”

All corners of Maine are represented in the book from Red River Camps’ operators Jen Brophy and Gloria Curtis in the far-flung Aroostook County town of Portage and Portland Japanese restaurateur and farmer Masa Miyake to Indian Island basket artist Jeremy Frey and Waldoboro rug weaver Sara Hotchkiss.

For more info about the Nov. 18 signing, call 374-3785. To learn more about the book, visit