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The Dovetail Artisans Provide An Eclectic Selection of Odds And Ends In Glenside, PA

By Paul Rowe

Providing a dazzling selection of jewelry, pottery, clocks, woodwork, boxes, and art glass among other artisanal products, Glenside's The Dovetail Artisans carries a certain aura of whimsy and peace uncommon to other shops. Almost everything in the shop is made from scratch in North America by U.S. and Canadian artists, many of them local to the Glenside area. "I don't create any of the artwork; I live in awe of the artists' creativity and my job is to curate a collection of fabulous gifts at affordable prices," owner Elayne Aion said. "I also have a card shop right in the store with the biggest and best collection of cards in the area." Dovetail's eclectic selection of odds and ends provides the perfect gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings, graduations, and much, much more. The selection of Judaica make excellent gifts for Bat or Bar Mitzvahs, while the puzzle boxes are the perfect sort of "just for fun" items for any occasion.

The jewelry here crafted by French Canadian artisan Christophe Poly has a unique sensibility owed to his training in architecture, using materials such as aluminum, glass beads, and copper. The pottery here by Billy Campbell, an extraordinary ceramicist from Pennsylvania, is spellbinding. Campbell drips acid onto the glaze to create wonderful shapes and colors. Another marvelous Pennsylvania artist is Sean Brady, a specialist in wire sculptures, the best of which is life size climber attached to the corner of The Dovetail Artisan's building. Brady's sculpture inside are smaller, unusual, and downright fun. "There is always movement, music, and plenty to look at," Aion said. "We really do have something for everyone and although most of the gifts are handcrafted, I work hard to keep the prices within everyone's range."

After spending 10 years in hospice care, Aion felt it was time to do something completely different. Around this same time, Aion's sister mentioned that a local gift shop owner was interested in selling. Right then and there, Aion decided to make her move, and she hasn't looked back ever since that day. Aion purchased what was left of the shop's inventory, redesigned the entire shop from top to bottom, and opened in 2007 under the name The Dovetail Artisans. "Owning a small business is a great way to strengthen a community," Aion said. "I have found that my customers agree." Through traveling, visiting art shows, and visiting artists' co-ops where she can meet artists in person, Aion is always on the move, passionately seeking out new provocative work for The Dovetail Artisans. Aion's curiosity and her intense desire to provide true variety in art supports Glenside's artists and its community: that's how Aion expresses her own artistry.
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About The Author

Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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