Sara Swanson

David Nelson and Margaret Shaw, local artists to hold Studio and Garden Art Walk

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

submitted by Elizabeth Polk and Margaret Shaw

Forty years ago, two young artists, David Nelson from Jackson and Margaret Shaw from Waterford, attended Eastern Michigan University and have remained lifelong friends to this day. What a coincidence (and how fortunate for us!) that they would both wind up in Manchester as independent home/studio owners, Though both David and Margaret attended EMU to study ceramics, David held onto pottery for 40 years while Margaret went on to work in many different genres of art, settling on Folk Art. Both have pursued a career in art throughout their lives and support Manchester by their choice of calling it their “Forever Home” and putting down their roots here.

photo courtesy of M. Shaw

Photo courtesy of M. Shaw

DAVID W. NELSON has been a potter for forty years. Through pottery workshops, continued reflection and constant practice, he has refined his craft, ever evolving his technique. His attention to minute detail and his experimentation with color and design are evident in all of his work. David’s teapots, urns, vases, dishes, bowls, mugs and other vessels are truly one of a kind and can be viewed on his website at or, better yet, in his studio at 319 Morgan Street. The studio is readily open to the public. If the red door is OPEN, David is open for business or a friendly chat. In the warmer months, he is often on the road selling at various art fairs around the country, including the famous Ann Arbor Art Fair. He sells wholesale from his studio and in late November or early December, he hosts a popular Christmas Sale, this year Nov. 18 & 19th. The scent of homemade soup and cookies can be enjoyed while shopping for precious gifts for your loved ones or a treasured piece of art for yourself. Phone or text David at 734 428-8922.

Photo of M. Shaw

MARGARET SHAW lives right on the main street of Manchester at 610 City Rd (M-52 as it passes through town). Although she often has to stop to make peace with the noisy street location, it also provides a Drive/Walk-By Gallery for her constantly growing portfolio of Folk Art and her Work-In-Progress Home. Margaret excels at “Making-Do Folk Art” and a “Thinking Outside the Box House and Yard Gallery.” Her home of nearly four years needed a lot of work when she moved in and became not only her labor of love but her “Art Project” both inside and out. Her approach and goal was to do as much as possible herself while using as many reclaimed and recycled materials as possible. The result is a magical, whimsical wonderland of ideas and craft, where edges are left exposed as “part of the story.”

Another of Margaret’s goals is to show first hand what can be done by “oneself” while creatively using available “2nd Hand” materials. As you will experience, Margaret has an indelible playful spirit, making do with great abandon and, as she calls it, “flying by the seat of my pants!”

Photo of M. Shaw

Participate in her folk art, reclaimed, reused treasure hunt at the open house to win a M Shaw painting “ Stacked Crows” 24”x18”.

Out of necessity and a need to be helpful and make a difference, in her “Other Life”, Margaret works with elders. She is an independent Elder Assistant currently working with five separate elders, all over 90 years old and, all but one, managing to live in their own homes.

Photo of M. Shaw

During the Sesquicentennial Art and Garden Tour, Margaret invites you to participate in a Treasure Hunt, looking for all the recycled treasures in each interior room and in the garden. The most perceptive person will win a small Folk Art painting. Art on the front porch and in the front studio will be for sale at that time. But wait! The porch at 610 City Road will continue to be a virtual studio where pieces can be purchased “Farm Style,” that is, Put Your Money in a Box. Though no fool, Margaret is willing to take this risk in order to show and sell her work. Art hidden away in a cupboard does no good and, as it stacks up, it lessens the incentive to create more art. Contact her by e mail at or her web site where you can network and share her work with others. Texting works too; 734 417-2385, and of course you can find her on Face Book.

Make sure you don’t miss this opportunity to be welcomed into David’s studio and Margaret’s home, garden and studio. These are just two of the hidden artistic talents in our small village. Let’s get them out of hiding and into the mainstream where they belong. Pursuing a career in art is an arduous labor of passion in which the artist experiences many hard times along the journey. Try to remember David and Margaret when you are shopping for art for your home or a gift for all occasions. Their work is truly one of a kind, created with incredible skill.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login