Large tents will be needed for work by purveyors like Tyler Gebhardt. Gebhardt, a former Wilmington resident and current student at Burlington College’s woodworking school, spends his time making everything from furniture to canoes, a hobby he developed four years ago, doing work around the house. “I got into woodworking with my dad around the house, building a deck, and then I built Adirondack chairs,” said Gebhardt. “I enjoyed it and took it one step further and go to school for it.”
Gebhardt brought his work to his first craft fair at this event last year, and has since turned what once was a hobby into a blooming part-time business. In this, his last semester at school, Gebhardt has already brought his work to four craft shows this season, and is working on a commissioned piece, a writing desk. “It’s hands-on work,” said Gebhardt. “ I like to say all my furniture has a fair share of blood, sweat, and curse words put into it, and it’s true. In the end, it all comes together and you have this masterpiece that could come from a tree in anyone’s backyard.”
While it varies at each show, Gebhardt will usually leave the big stuff behind, bringing smaller pieces of furniture like cabinets, as well as cutting boards and bowls. The main idea is that when people purchase his smaller items, it covers his production costs, while those who truly enjoy his work can commission larger pieces, which turn a profit.
Gebhardt says his next step will be finding a full-time job in woodworking while setting up his own part-time operation, which he intends to grow and turn into his life’s work. Right now, it’s both his schoolwork and his job, and that can become all-consuming for a person who takes his time to make his masterpieces. “I’ve thought about having to separate my work from my personal life. I need to find additional hobbies in order to keep being interested in doing this for a living, and if I do that I will be able to enjoy doing it for a living.” Gebhardt’s plan: collecting motorcycles.
After leaving Gebhardt and all the other craft and art stands at the Main Lodge, there’s a party going on outside at the 16th annual German-themed Oktoberfest. The annual celebration that features everything from a keg toss to a yodeling contest is one of the resort’s most successful events according to Mount Snow communications director Dave Meeker. “This is the last festival we have before winter,” said Meeker. “It’s also a time when a lot of second-home owners come up to get their homes ready, and it’s nice to see faces you only frequently see in the winter. But people come from all over for this because, forget the cliché, it truly does have something for everyone.”
While the kids zone will feature pumpkin painting, a bouncy house, and a hay pile, the big kids will be privy to a selection of beers from 20 different breweries, while German fare will be served for the whole family to the sound of the Oberlaendler Hofbrau Band.
For a complete schedule of Mount Snow’s 16th annual Oktoberfest and 40th annual harvest arts and craft show go to mountsnow.com. To check out Tyler Gebhardt’s work go to tjgwoodworking.com.