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Author: Sophie Malmon-Berg

Art & Memories with painter Shane Miller

ART & MEMORIES WITH
PAINTER SHANE MILLER

By Jayme Moye

Photography by Brent Whaley

Nashville-based artist Shane Miller paints landscapes the way they appear in human memory, in fleeting thoughts, or in the recollection of dreams. On his canvas there’s a focal point, but then the opening in the forest, or the bend in the stream, begins to blur and fade. “I feel like that’s how a lot of memories and dreams are,” Miller says. “There’s always one little part that’s in focus, but everything else you can’t really grasp.”



Shane wears the Dune 5X Gun Club Hat in Silverbelly.

“A lot of people will say they bought it because it reminds them of home, or a particular memory.”

Miller, 30, grew up in western Maryland, in the foothills of the Appalachians. His mom homeschooled him for most of his education. He started drawing in early childhood and painting in high school, although playing guitar was his greatest passion. Miller moved to Nashville a couple of years after graduating college, lured by close friends living there and by the music and art scene. He soon got a gig playing guitar for a country music artist, which left his daytime hours open for painting. And once Miller started doing it regularly, he couldn’t stop.

“You know that Picasso quote?” he says, “Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.’ It’s really applicable to me. The act of painting, of producing these works, is what keeps me feeling good.”

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While he still enjoys making music, in 2017, Miller officially traded the guitar for the paintbrush as his full-time job. Now, after five years of proving he can earn a living from his landscape painting, Miller’s turning his attention to the pursuit of mastery. “I think it’s important to always try to push yourself to be better,” he says. “I’m hoping to achieve a higher level of discipline with my craft and to keep understanding my painting more and more.”

For Miller, the dream appears to be very much within his grasp.

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Dorset Maple Reserve

Dorset Maple Reserve:

The secret to world-class maple syrup and a better quality of life

By Steve Schwartz

Photography by Maaike Bernstrom

In the Green Mountains of Vermont, the transition from winter to spring means one thing: sugaring season, when the trees are tapped, the sap is boiled, and turned into some of the finest maple syrup in the world.

On a 500-acre piece of land in southern Vermont, Austin Felis II and Lauren Felis are drawing their life and passion from the land, quite literally. As the husband-and-wife owners of Dorset Maple Reserve, they’re producing 5,000 gallons of maple syrup every year, by hand, and operating the entire business by themselves. We headed north to pay their farm a visit and learned the secret to creating a top-quality product while also building a better life for generations to come.



“The quality of working in the woods, taking something from nature, and then refining it into a finished product is pretty rewarding, in my opinion. There’s a lot of self-satisfaction in it. It’s a different world from most and I prefer this one,” Austin said.

AUSTIN FELIS TAPS A MAPLE TREE ON HIS FAMILY’S 500-ACRE MAPLE SYRUP FARM IN SOUTHERN, VERMONT.

Starting in mid-January, he and Lauren clean out 137 miles of tubing around their land to prepare for tapping the trees, where they then strategically drill a 6/10th-inch hole to prevent harming the sugar maple. Then, they put the entire system under a vacuum, which triggers higher production from the tree throughout the tapping process. Then, after reverse osmosis, aeration, and evaporation, they come away with a finished bottle of Dorset Maple Reserve Syrup.

“It’s a different world from most and I prefer this one.”

As Austin explained, the beauty of the syrup doesn’t necessarily come from the process, but moreso from the trees themselves. Much like grapes to wine production, a sugar maple tree is the keystone of a syrup’s flavor, color, and richness. Dorset sits atop a natural marble deposit (it contributed materials for The New York Public Library and many monuments in Washington D.C.), as well as a limestone belt, which gives Dorset syrup a “very soft, almost buttery flavor.” A product from Ohio or Canada may be wildly different from one in Vermont or even neighboring New York.

In other words, every tree and every bottle of syrup is unique, and the same could be said for the people who make it. As for Austin, he opted to return to the farm, which has been in the family for more than 40 years and create the entire syrup operation from scratch. After earning a degree in Management of Technology from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and owning a custom motorcycle shop in Bridgeport, Connecticut, a severe motorcycle crash—along with the birth of his children—prompted Austin and his family to move to Vermont to enjoy a change. “As a younger man, I had zero responsibilities and a lot of freedom. I loved it. As I became a family man and had some real responsibilities when my children came along, my attitude shifted,” Austin said. “I wanted us to live basically a better quality of life.”

Lauren Santagata CHECKS THE GRADE OF THE MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCT. it can only be one of four: Golden, Amber, Dark or Very Dark.

And now a decision for change is the foundation for Austin’s work at Dorset Maple Reserve, something that’s reflected in the product itself. Throughout the course of a season, maple syrup will shift from very light and sweet early on to something much darker and richer and more vibrant in later months. It’s never the same, always taking on more complexity and flavor. This personality and unpredictability is something that Austin and his family have fallen in love with over the years. You could say they’re maple evangelists at this point. One of their most pointed efforts: Giving maple syrup a place beyond the breakfast table. 

“When we first started going direct to the consumer, I noticed that I was having a problem. I would always offer a sample and people would respond, ‘Oh, I don’t eat pancakes.’ My wife and I decided that in order to get to expand people’s ideas, we were going to have to come up with recipes and show people other ways to use it,” Austin said.


If you browse through Dorset’s website, you’ll see recipes for everything ranging from maple-roasted garlic to maple chia pudding and this incredible Cast Iron Bourbon Apple Crisp. They’ve even introduced a bourbon barrel-aged syrup and smoked and spicy syrup, which make up more than half of their total sales. Austin and Lauren see maple syrup as much more than an alternative to sugar, though. As something that’s loaded with zinc, magnesium, and riboflavin, maple syrup is a vegan-approved way to boost your immune system, much like honey. There are even some studies that link maple syrup with a reduction of heart disease and certain cancers, Austin said, and it all comes from a 6/10th-inch hole drilled into a tree. 

MORE MAPLE RECIPES

It seems that the world at large is beginning to take notice, too, as Dorset has seen steady growth since opening its doors in 2013. Call it a farm-to-table movement or just people recognizing a great product when they see one, but a change for the better seems to follow Austin and Lauren. Now, with their three children getting older, Austin said he hopes this 500-acre maple syrup farm will be something he can share with generations to come. 

“I want to build a future for my kids. This farm is one of the most beautiful pieces of property I’ve ever seen. I want my children and my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren—I want everybody—to enjoy it,” Austin said.

Until then, they’ll keep drawing inspiration from the land. As of March, Austin and Lauren were hard at work, preparing their maple syrup for their growing customer base. Each bottle represents something new and unique, a flavor growing more rich and complex with each passing week, much like the lives of the people who are producing it. And soon, after hours of hands-on production and attention, people around the world will get a taste of this positive change for themselves, one bottle at a time. 

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Matt McCormick for Stetson

MATT MCCORMICK FOR STETSON


Featuring two ultra-limited-edition Fender® Telecasters® emblazoned with custom graphics created exclusively for Stetson, along with a handcrafted Chelsea boot reimagined with classic Western details.

The Guitars

For decades, the Fender® Telecaster® has defined the sound of rock and roll, blues, and country music—where its iconic twang has emanated from Nashville to Bakersfield. This exclusive pair of American-made Telecasters® features custom graphics created by Matt McCormick. They’re just what you’d expect from Telecasters: incredible playability, feel, and of course, that special tone that only comes from a dialed-in Tele.

  • THE COWBOY EDITION

  • THE CREST EDITION

“I REINTERPRETED CLASSIC STETSON LOGOS AND GAVE THEM A ROUGH CHARCOAL SPIN. I LIKE THE WAY THEY’RE LOOSE AND SHOW THE MOVEMENT.”

MATT MCCORMICK

THE COWBOY EDITION | $3,000

THE CREST EDITION | $3,000

The Chelsea Boot

“I always wanted a boot with a western feel that could exist seamlessly in the city, as well as the outdoors,” says McCormick of the boot he worked with us to create. The results? A versatile Chelsea boot reimagined with classic Western details.

“It straddles two worlds in a way

I’m always trying to.”

LIMITED EDITION BOOT | $350

The Charity Partner

As a part of this launch, The John B. Stetson Company, in conjunction with The Bulova Stetson Fund, has made a donation of $10,000 to Education Through Music-Los Angeles, which partners with under-resourced schools to provide music as a core subject for all children, utilizing music education as a catalyst to improve academic achievement, motivation for school, and self-confidence.

The Artist

Read more about Matt McCormick, the artist and designer behind the collaboration—his story, his inspirations, and his passion for music and its power to inspire.

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A Timeless Collection That Embodies The West

A Timeless Collection That Embodies The West

After months of design and development, we are thrilled to introduce this limited edition hat accessories collection made of fine quality stones, forged silver, and natural materials. Each design is handmade in New Mexico and has a unique story to tell.

This collection features a number of motifs including traditional Native American symbols, animals, and objects. Each timeless piece was designed in collaboration with the artists at Peyote Bird. Meet the artists.

Whitney Corum

With 14 years of experience, Whitney is currently the design coordinator at Peyote Bird and the head of technical drawing.

Following in the tradition of silversmithing from her grandfather, Whitney has always had a strong passion for jewelry design.

“I find much of my inspiration through bold color, pattern, and the intricacies of nature.”

“I find much

of my inspiration

through bold

color, pattern,

and the intricacies

of nature.”

You’ll find Whitney early in the mornings at the studio before the frenetic energy of the day ensues. She uses this quiet time to focus on her new ideas and let the flow of drawing naturally come to her. Once she begins drawing an idea, the inspiration seems to come like second nature.

Whitney’s technical drawings combined with Joe Eby’s silversmithing skills led to the creation of the three sterling silver and turquoise hat pins; the crossed arrows, lone arrow, and longhorn.

Video and images by @leroygrafe

Joe Eby

Joe was raised in the Navajo Nation and began his initial jewelry training while in Gallup, NM. Joe and his partner, Gina moved to San Antonio, TX where they enjoy a creative collaboration in silversmithing.



Each pin for this collection is cut from 20 gauge sheet metal which has just the right thickness to cut, hold its shape, and take the assorted design stamped created by Whitney. The bezel cups that the turquoise stones are set in and the pin findings are attached by soldering with an acetylene torch (the preferred method taught by Joe’s Navajo mentors). He employs a two-stage tumble finish to smooth rough edges and apply shine before setting the stones which is the final step in the process. All of these fine details make these one-of-a-kind pins heirloom quality. 

Video and images by @tylerellsion

Amour Arrows Pin

The crossed arrows pin represents friendship. They symbolize two people whose paths have crossed and become friends. This design boasts a round turquoise stone and sterling silver.

SIZE: 0.7” width, 0.6” height 
MATERIAL: .925 sterling silver, turquoise 

Copper Arrow Pin

The lone arrow pin represents protection and moving forward since an arrow can only go forward once released from its bow. This design includes an oval turquoise stone and copper.

SIZE: 2” length 
MATERIAL: copper, turquoise 

Longhorn Pin

The longhorn pin is inspired by nature and represents the strength & hardiness of the West.

SIZE: 1” width, .06” height 
MATERIAL: .925 sterling silver, turquoise 

Anne Marie Wipf

With 16 years of experience in design and handcrafted jewelry, Anne is currently the lead designer at Peyote Bird.

Anne developed her keen eye for color and design while studying art. 

“I have always had a strong love for rocks, minerals, and gems; naturally this translated into a love for jewelry and beaded design. The materials speak to me, and then the designs follow. It is incredibly rewarding to be able to share my creativity with others while making unique and timeless designs.”

Anne’s keen eye for beaded design shines with the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise hatband. Each stone was hand-strung using the highly coveted Sleeping Beauty Turquoise stone which boasts a natural, brilliant blue hue. This stone is increasingly rare to find and is only cultivated in Arizona.


Chimayo Hat Band

  
 

“The materials speak

to me, and then

the designs follow.”

Turquoise represents wisdom, tranquility, protection, good fortune, and hope.

This unique hatband is 20” and adjustable to fit a wide range of hat sizes.

Rick Montaño

Born in New Mexico, Rick Montaño has been making jewelry since 1986. His stamps are handmade from cold steel. While individually exclusive, his jewelry exemplifies traditional metal stamp work.



Rick designed the unique hand-stamped hatband with silver conchos. This hatband is adjustable to fit a wide range of hat sizes and exemplifies the iconic style of the Southwest.

 

Ancestral Path Hat Band

MATERIAL: natural black leather, .925 sterling silver 

Stamps may vary.
Video and images by @leroygrafe

The landscape in the American West is unmatched when it comes to stunning, unique features. These timeless pieces draw inspiration from that landscape. The symbolism of each piece in our collection embodies that great spirit of the West. You will treasure the stylistic beauty and character they add to your Stetson for years to come. 

Shop the Stetson x Peyote Bird Collection here.

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A PARTNERSHIP FORGED IN STYLE

A Partnership Forged in Style 

The Americana Collection: A collaboration between Stetson and LHN Jewelry 

Photography by Tatsuro Nishimura & Sumner Dilworth

Videography by Mark Kauzlarich

Our collaboration with Brooklyn-based LHN Jewelry began with a closely united vision, a shared appreciation for craftsmanship and the belief that nothing puts a statement on one’s style like a well-chosen accessory.

The Americana Collection, the first Stetson jewelry launch in generations, includes distinctive rings and bracelets handwrought from sterling silver, brass, Kingman turquoise and leather. Classic Western motifs, southwestern elements and nods to Stetson’s unique heritage are seen throughout the collection, which was inspired by the spirit of America.

“I grew up in England,” says Lewis Williams, the founder of LHN, “but was always influenced by Americana.” He began working with metal over two decades ago, taking a course at the prestigious Central Saint Martins before getting his degree at London Guildhall. Relocating to New York, Williams launched LHN, using traditional, time-tested metalsmithing techniques to craft dynamic lines of one-of-a-kind pieces inspired by everything from heraldry in the Middle Ages to 1950s biker gangs.

We visited the LHN studio in Brooklyn, NY, to talk to Williams about his collaboration with Stetson, the inspiration behind the Americana Collection and what goes into making each unique piece.


WHAT INITIALLY DREW YOU TO FOCUS ON MEN’S JEWELRY?

I found that there wasn’t much contemporary men’s jewelry being made which was interesting. I wanted to make something new and dynamic. The collections I design are centered on heritage references and I try to transform these elements into contemporary works of jewelry. I am interested in many different things from tattoo culture to maritime life as well as a whole host of different elements that inspire the work. Introducing these elements into men’s jewelry was something I aspired to do.

HOW ARE THE PIECES CREATED?

We use traditional metalsmithing techniques to create jewelry. These include ancient processes such as carving into wax and casting into brass, silver and gold. Sketches and drawings are created first and then we make each design by hand. The metals are sawed, engraved, hammered and soldered with precision and care. Each creation is unique and made to last.

WHAT MADE THIS COLLABORATION FEEL RIGHT TO YOU? WHAT ASPECT OF THE BRAND RESONATES WITH YOU?

Stetson is an iconic name which immediately conjures up a certain classic sense of Americana. Their deep-rooted history of making quality goods over so many years is an inspiration. The heritage of the brand is something I wanted to contribute to with new creations in the same vein and aesthetic as Stetson.

HOW DID YOU APPROACH THE DESIGN OF THE COLLECTION? WHAT VISUAL ELEMENTS DID YOU WANT TO INCLUDE?

Taking a dive into the 155-year-old history of Stetson was exciting, and formed the basis of what we wanted to incorporate into the designs. Touchstones of the American Southwest were influential on the collection. We incorporated Americana sensibilities, such as the longhorn, buffalo and timeless motifs such as the horseshoe. One piece features an engraving that reads “Boss of the Plains,” in honor of John B. Stetson.



photo by Tatsuro Nishimura

WHICH PIECE IN THE COLLECTION IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE?

The Southwestern Cuff with Kingsman Turquoise gemstones at either end of it is an epic piece that captures all the elements we wanted to portray in this collaboration. The cuff has a substantial width with lots of relief work in the design, but because we gave it a certain curve on the inside, it is incredibly comfortable to wear. I also love this cuff because the brush patina finish we apply to it, gives the cuff an antique feel. Like an old treasure.

photo by Brent Whaley

Shop the Stetson x LHN Collection here.

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