Heidi Howard creates trade and tavern signs in the style of 18th and 19th century
New England sign painters. Each sign is handcrafted from 100 to 200 year old boards,
painted, lettered by hand, and aged to resemble its antique predecessor.
Boards and molding are assembled with antique hand-cut nails.
In her Eastford, Connecticut studio, Heidi transforms ancient hand-planed planks
into decorative objects, no two alike. Commissions are accepted. Early examples
can be reproduced, or Heidi will create an imagined sign. Whether you are trying
to find just the right piece of folk art for that big blank wall space in your home,
or you are a collector of early American craftsmanship reproduction, you will surely
enjoy a trade or tavern sign to enhance your collection.
Heidi began to paint historic reproductions of trade and tavern signs when her
interest in early American country painted antiques collided with her artistic
background. After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with a degree
in Fine Art, Heidi went through a natural progression of nomad, waitress,
seamstress, hatter, mother, and, ultimately, historic trade & tavern sign painter.
What a wonderful culmination of a life-long interest in art and antiques and the
actual (gasp!) use of one's college degree! Her attraction to weathered
surfaces and crusty paint began early though, having spent her childhood in rural
Vermont, surrounded by barns, rusty farm equipment, and other glimpses of history.
Heidi continues to be inspired by her New England surroundings.